Seven Worlds, One Planet is a documentary series from the BBC Natural History Unit. The seven-part series, in which each episode focuses on one continent, debuted on 27 October 2019 and is narrated and presented by naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Over 1,500 people worked on the series, which was filmed over 1,794 days, with 92 shoots across 41 different countries. (wiki)
Southland Tales is a 2006 science fiction comedy-drama thriller film and the second film written and directed by Richard Kelly. The title refers to the Southland, a name used by locals to refer to Southern California and Greater Los Angeles. Set in the then-near future of 2008, as part of an alternate history, the film is a portrait of Los Angeles, and a satiric commentary on the military–industrial complex and the infotainment industry. The film features an ensemble cast including Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mandy Moore, and Justin Timberlake. Original music was provided by Moby. The film is an international co-production of the United States, Germany and France.
timespace coordinates: On July 4th, 2005, in a fictionalized United States alternate history reality, two towns in Texas (El Paso and Abilene) were destroyed by twin nuclear attacks, killing thousands and triggering a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, sending America into a state of anarchy and hysteria, as well as a Third World War (a fictionalized version of what the nation may have become under the War on Terror), with the US government re-introducing the draft. The PATRIOT Act has extended authority to a new agency known as US-IDent, which keeps constant surveillance on citizens—even to the extent of censoring the Internet and requiring fingerprints to access computers and bank accounts. In response to the recent fuel shortage in the wake of global warfare, the German company Treer designs a generator of inexhaustible energy, which is propelled by the perpetual motion of ocean currents, called “Fluid Karma”. However, its inventor Baron von Westphalen and his associates are hiding the fact that the generators alter the ocean’s currents and cause the Earth to slow its rotation, and that the transmission of Fluid Karma to portable receivers (via quantum entanglement) is ripping holes in the fabric of space and time.
In near-future 2008, Los Angeles (referred to as “The Southland” by locals) is a city on the brink of chaos overshadowed by the growth of an underground neo-Marxist organization. The film follows the criss-crossed destinies of Boxer Santaros, an action film actor stricken with amnesia; Krysta Now, a psychic ex-porn star in the midst of creating a reality TV show; and twin brothers Roland and Ronald Taverner, whose destinies become intertwined with that of all mankind.
Southland Tales was initially planned to be a nine-part “interactive experience”, with the first six parts published in six 100-page graphic novels that would be released in a six-month period up to the film’s release. The feature film comprises the final three parts of the experience. A website was also developed to intertwine with the graphic novels and the film itself. The idea of six graphic novels was later narrowed down to three. The novels were written by Kelly and illustrated by Brett Weldele. Kelly wrote them while making the film and found it very difficult as it pushed him “to the edge of my own sanity”, as he remarked in an interview.
- Part One: Two Roads Diverge (May 25, 2006)
- Part Two: Fingerprints (September 15, 2006)
- Part Three: The Mechanicals (January 31, 2007)
They have been collected together into one single volume:
- Southland Tales: The Prequel Saga (360 pages)
The titles of the parts in the film are:
- Part Four: Temptation Waits
- Part Five: Memory Gospel
- Part Six: Wave of Mutilation
The film remains enigmatic to many viewers and even some of its makers. In a 2011 interview, Justin Timberlake himself said, “To me, Southland Tales is performance art. I still don’t know what that movie is about [laughs].”
In a 2013 interview, Kelly said he considered this work as “the thing that I’m most proud of, and I feel like it’s sort of the misunderstood child or the banished child.” (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2010’s Iranian ghost-town Bad CityA Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Persian: دختری در شب تنها به خانه میرود Dokhtari dar šab tanhâ be xâne miravad) is a 2014 Persian-language American vampire western film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (imdb). Tagged as “The first Iranian vampire Western“, it was chosen to show in the “Next” program at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
The film is described as being set in “the Iranian ghost-town Bad City” and depicts the doings of “a lonesome vampire”. (wiki)
Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke. The film is often compared to Koyaanisqatsi, the first of the Qatsi films by Godfrey Reggio for which Fricke served as the cinematographer. It is also the most recent film to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, and the first film ever to be restored and scanned at 8K resolution. (wiki)
Named after a Sufi word that translates roughly as “breath of life” or “blessing,” Baraka is Ron Fricke‘s impressive follow-up to Godfrey Reggio‘s non-verbal documentary film Koyaanisqatsi. Fricke was cinematographer and collaborator on Reggio’s film, and for Baraka he struck out on his own to polish and expand the photographic techniques used on Koyaanisqatsi. The result is a tour-de-force in 70mm: a cinematic “guided meditation” (Fricke’s own description) shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period that unites religious ritual, the phenomena of nature, and man’s own destructive powers into a web of moving images. Fricke’s camera ranges, in meditative slow motion or bewildering time-lapse, over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Ryoan-Ji temple in Kyoto, Lake Natron in Tanzania, burning oil fields in Kuwait, the smoldering precipice of an active volcano, a busy subway terminal, tribal celebrations of the Maasai in Kenya, chanting monks in the Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery…and on and on, through locales across the globe. To execute the film’s time-lapse sequences, Fricke had a special camera built that combined time-lapse photography with perfectly controlled movements of the camera. In one evening sequence a desert sky turns black, and the stars roll by, as the camera moves slowly forward under the trees. The feeling is like that of viewing the universe through a powerful telescope: that we are indeed on a tiny orb hurtling through a star-filled void. The film is complemented by the hybrid world-music of Michael Stearns. ~ Anthony Reed, Rovi (rottentomatoes)
timespace coordinates: 2000’s. north of Iran, Caspian Sea
About Elly (Persian: درباره الی, translit. Dar bāre-ye Elly) is a 2009 Iranian drama film directed by Asghar Farhadi. It is the fourth film by Farhadi. The film is about middle class relationships in Iran. One year after its release, it was voted the 4th greatest Iranian movie of all time by the national society of Iranian critics. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: Persian Empire 6th century BC
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 American action fantasy film directed by Mike Newell. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina, Ben Kingsley as Nizam, and Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar.
The film has the same title as the video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time developed and published by Ubisoft, and is primarily based on it. Elements from Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, the two other titles from the Sands of Time trilogy of the Prince of Persia video game franchise, are also incorporated.
The film seems to be set in ancient Persia, as the film starts with a map portending to show the expanse of the Persian Empire 2500 years ago. The film set design seems to be based on Islamic Persia. Islamic architecture with intricate use of geometric shapes and domes are shown. The cities in the film all appear to have minarets. The Allied Kingdom of Alamut, shown in the movie wasn’t established until 9th century (after Islamic Conquest of Persia). The Alamut castle was built by the Justanid ruler, Wahsudan b. Marzuban, a follower of zaydi Islam, around 865 AD. It was seized by Hassan-i Sabbah, who was the leader of the Nizārī Ismā‘īlītes and the founder of the secret order known as Assassins. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 1970s > 1980s > 1990s Tehran / Vienna
Persepolis is a 2007 French-Iranian animated biographical film based on Marjane Satrapi‘s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Satrapi with Vincent Paronnaud. The story follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The title is a reference to the historic city of Persepolis.