timespace coordinates: 1999, turn of the century (near-future) Los Angeles (racial war zone / New Year’s Eve party)
Strange Days is a 1995 American science fiction thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by James Cameron and Jay Cocks, and produced by Cameron and Steven-Charles Jaffe. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, and Tom Sizemore. Set in the last two days of 1999, the film follows the story of a black marketeer of SQUID discs, recordings that allow a user to experience the recorder’s memories and physical sensations, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the murder of a prostitute.
Blending science fiction with film noir conventions, Strange Days explores themes such as racism, abuse of power, rape, and voyeurism. Although the story was conceived by Cameron around 1986, Bigelow found inspiration after incidents such as the Lorena Bobbitt trial and the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict.
Strange Days was a commercial failure and almost derailed Bigelow’s career (…) Nevertheless, the film’s critical standing has improved over the years, with many fans feeling that the film has been overlooked by a casual mass audience and misguided critics.
The scene where the crowd celebrates the turn of the new century at the end of the film was shot at the corner of the 5th and Flower streets, between the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Los Angeles Public Library. Over 50 off-duty police officers were hired to control an assembled crowd of 10,000 people, who had to pay $10 in advance to attend the event. The film-makers also hired rave promoters Moss Jacobs and Philip Blaine to produce performances featuring Aphex Twin, Deee-Lite, as well as “all the cyber-techno bands they could garner”.
In 2015, The Washington Post editor Sonny Bunch felt that Strange Days was still relevant, comparing the imagery captured by the SQUID units to that of first-person shooters or cellphone videos on YouTube. He added that events such as Jeriko One’s murder and the subsequent coverup of the crime contribute to activist movements like Black Lives Matter, and that their media documentation amplifies their reception and consequences. (read more: Themes)
wiki / imdb
China banned the Comedy Central cartoon “South Park” after its 299th episode, “Band in China,” aired on October 2. It mocked Hollywood’s submission to the country. In response, “South Park” declared “F—” the Chinese government” in its 300th episode, and the show’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker published a mock apology. (businessinsider)
timespace coordinates: November 1942, the Battle of Stalingrad (Volgograd)
Stalingrad (Russian: Сталинград) is a 2013 Russian war film directed by Fedor Bondarchuk. The screenwriter studied diaries of the participants of the Battle of Stalingrad. He also used museum archives, documents and recorded stories of its participants.
The prototype of this house is the legendary Pavlov’s House in Stalingrad. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1944 – 1968 – 2001 berlin germany / pisa / montecatini tuscany italy
The Collini Case (German: Der Fall Collini) is a 2019 German crime-drama-thriller film loosely based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ferdinand von Schirach, a legal thriller that deals with Germany’s Nazi past and that was inspired by the author’s own family history. The film is directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner and stars Elyas M’Barek, Alexandra Maria Lara, Heiner Lauterbach, Manfred Zapatka and Franco Nero.
timespace coordinates: 2010’s “warped Alabama backwoods narrative”
Y’all wanna get weird?
The Death of Dick Long is a 2019 twisted awkward black comedy–drama film directed and produced by Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man) and written by Billy Chew. The film stars Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia Newcomb, Andre Hyland, Sarah Baker, Jess Weixler, Roy Wood Jr., and Sunita Mani.
“Sooner or later
the exact measurement of our time
and we’ll be on the ship that’s bound
for the bitterest shore. (II, 9)
The Order of Time (Italian: L’ordine del tempo) is a book by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli. It is about time in physics.
Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.
An audiobook, four hours and nineteen minutes long, was read by Benedict Cumberbatch. (wiki)
Carlo Rovelli on The Order of Time (youtube)
“For centuries, as long as travel was on horseback, on foot, or in carriages, there was no reason to synchronize clocks between one place and another. There was good reason for not doing so. Midday is, by definition, when the sun is at its highest. Every city and village had a sundial that registered the moment the sun was at its midpoint, allowing the clock on the bell tower to be regulated with it, for all to see.
But the sun does not reach midday at the same moment in Lecce as it does in Venice, or in Florence, or in Turin, because the sun moves from east to west. and for centuries the clocks in Venice were a good half hour ahead of those in Turin. Every small village had its own peculiar “hour.” A train station in Paris kept its own hour, a little behind the rest of the city, as a kind of courtesy toward travelers running late.
goodreads / penguin