Jojo Rabbit is a 2019 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows), based on Christine Leunens‘s book Caging Skies. Roman Griffin Davis portrays the title character, Johannes “Jojo” Betzler, a Hitler Youth member who finds out his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. He must then question his beliefs, while dealing with the intervention of his imaginary friend, a fanciful version of Adolf Hitler (Waititi). The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell. (wiki)
Uncut Gems is a 2019 American crime thriller film directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, (Good Time) who co-wrote the screenplay with Ronald Bronstein. The film stars Adam Sandler, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, The Weeknd, and Eric Bogosian.
The plot follows Howard Ratner, a gambling addict in New York City’s Diamond District, who gets in over his head with loansharks and must retrieve an expensive gem he purchased in order to pay off his debts. (wiki)
“That’s a million dollar opal you’re holding. This is old school. Middle-earth shit. “
The District! (Hungarian: Nyócker!) is a 2004 Hungarian caricaturistic animated film directed by Áron Gauder. Its original title is a shortened colloquial form of nyolcadik kerület, the eighth district of Budapest, also known as Józsefváros, including an infamous neighbourhood where the film takes place. It is sometimes labelled as the Hungarian South Park.
The animated technique for this movie was rather innovative. The artists took 350 headshot pictures of each actor and used these photos for the expressing emotions and the animation of the heads. The bodies were hand drawn.
The film displays the Hungarian, Roma, Chinese and Arab dwellers and their alliances and conflicts in a humorous way, embedded into a fictive story of a few schoolchildren’s oil-making time-travel and a Romeo and Juliet-type love of a Roma guy towards a white girl. (wiki)
The Exception is a 2016 romantic war drama directed by David Leveaux, in his directorial debut, and written by Simon Burke, based on Alan Judd‘s 2003 novel The Kaiser’s Last Kiss. The film stars Jai Courtney, Lily James, Janet McTeer, and Christopher Plummer.
The plot is a fictionalized account of the life of exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II (Plummer). When a Wehrmacht officer (Courtney) is ordered to determine whether or not a British spy has infiltrated the Kaiser’s residence with a view to assassinating the deposed monarch. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1941 Dinu Pass, Romanian Alps, somewhere north of Ploiesti
The Keep is a 1983 supernatural horror film directed by Michael Mann and starring Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, Jürgen Prochnow, Alberta Watson and Ian McKellen. It was released by Paramount Pictures. The story is based on the F. Paul Wilson novel of the same name, originally published in 1981. The theme and music was composed by Tangerine Dream. (wiki)
Among all the tales there is one, / which you haven’t heard / and which the night reclaimed long ago. / Have you enough patience to listen to it?
The Hourglass Sanatorium (Polish: Sanatorium pod klepsydrą) is a 1973 Polish film directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has, starring Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Mieczysław Voit, Halina Kowalska and Gustaw Holoubek. The story follows a young Jewish man who visits his father in a mystical sanatorium where time does not behave normally. The film is an adaptation of Bruno Schulz‘s story collection Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. It won the Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. (Release)
Joseph (Jan Nowicki) travels through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father, Jacob, in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice.
Though Joseph is always shown as an adult, his behavior and the people around often depict him as a child. He befriends Rudolf, a young boy who owns a postage stamp album. The names of the stamps trigger a wealth of association and adventure in Joseph. Among the many occurrences in this visually potent phantasmagoria include Joseph re-entering childhood episodes with his wildly eccentric father (who lives with birds in an attic), being arrested by a mysterious unit of soldiers for having a dream that was severely criticized in high places, reflecting on a girl he fantasized about in his boyhood and commandeering a group of historic wax mannequins. Throughout his strange journey, an ominous blind train conductor reappears like a death figure.
Has also adds a series of reflections on the Holocaust that were not present in the original texts, reading Schulz’s prose through the prism of the author’s death during World War II and the demise of the world he described. (wiki)
“There are things than cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to loose their integrity in the frailty of realization. ” (Bruno Schulz)
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)