spacetime coordinates: 2009 Ireland
Nothing Personal is a 2009 Dutch-Irish drama film written and directed by Urszula Antoniak. It was presented at the Locarno International Film Festival for the international competition. It won the Golden Leopard for best debut film and Lotte Verbeek won the award for best actress. The film won four Golden Calves at the Dutch Film Festival of 2009, including best film.
Alone in her empty flat, from her window Anne observes the people passing by who nervously snatch up the personal belongings and pieces of furniture she has put out on the pavement. Her final gesture of taking a ring off her finger signals she is leaving her previous life in Holland behind. She goes to Ireland, where she chooses to lead a solitary, wandering existence, striding through the austere landscapes of Connemara. During her travels, she discovers a house that is home to a hermit, Martin.
spacetime coordinates: 2035, Sarang Station, automated lunar facility
Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. The film follows Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Moon. It was the feature debut of director Duncan Jones. Kevin Spacey voices Sam’s robot companion, GERTY.
Jones described the intent: “[We] wanted to create something which felt comfortable within that canon of those science fiction films from the sort of late seventies to early eighties.” The director spoke of his interest in the lunar setting: “for me, the Moon has this weird mythic nature to it…. There is still a mystery to it. As a location, it bridges the gap between science-fiction and science fact. We (humankind) have been there. It is something so close and so plausible and yet at the same time, we really don’t know that much about it.”
The director described the lack of romance in the Moon as a location, citing images from the Japanese lunar orbiter SELENE: “It’s the desolation and emptiness of it…it looks like some strange ball of clay in blackness…. Look at photos and you’ll think that they’re monochrome. In fact, they’re not. There simply are no primary colours.” Jones made reference to the photography book Full Moon by Michael Light in designing the look of the film.
Jones is planning a follow-up film, titled Mute, which will serve as an epilogue to Moon. “Sam has agreed to do a little cameo in the next film”, said Jones, who ultimately hopes to complete a trilogy of films set in the same fictional universe.
spacetime coordinates: autumn and around Christmas 1989 to the backdrop of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution // jeseniky mountains // small railway station Bílý Potok // Prague
Alois Nebel is a 2011 Czech animated drama / neo-noir directed by Tomáš Luňák, based on the comic-book trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromír 99.
It is set in the late 1980s in a small village in the Jeseník Mountains, close to the Polish border, and tells the story of a train dispatcher who begins to suffer from hallucinations where the present converges with the dark past of the expulsion of Germans after World War II. The black-and-white film was animated mainly through rotoscoping and stars Miroslav Krobot as the title character.
spacetime coordinates: 1892–1973 Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
In the Realms of the Unreal is a 2004 documentary film directed by Jessica Yu about American outsider artist Henry Darger.
An obscure janitor during his life, Darger is known for the posthumous discovery of his elaborate 15,145-page fantasy manuscript entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred watercolor paintings and other drawings illustrating the story.
The film’s style is atypical of a documentary. Because there are only three known photographs of Darger, and because of his reclusive lifestyle, the film is mostly a narrated biographical account, accompanied by animated versions of events from his magnum opus, which is also surveyed in detail. Interviews with his few neighbors and other acquaintances are included.
In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”