In our race towards modernity, amidst all the technological innovation and the rapid growth of our cities, silence is now quickly passing into legend. Beginning with an ode to John Cage‘s seminal silent composition 4’33“, the sights and sounds of this film delicately interweave with silence to create a contemplative and cinematic experience that works its way through frantic minds and into the quiet spaces of hearts. As much a work of devotion as it is a documentary, IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, with sound, and the impact of noise on our lives. (rottentomatoes)
“The etymological roots of the word silence
are somewhat contested. There are two words
in particular that people go back to. There’s the Gothic term ana-silan, and then</i> desinere. One of them has to do with
the wind dying down and the other has to do with
a kind of stopping of motion. They’re both to do with an
interruption, not just of sound, but the roots of silence
are also to do with the interruption of our own… The imposition of our own egos
on the world.” GEORGE PROCHNIK
timespace coordinates: 1888 Transylvania
Van Helsing is a 2004 American dark fantasy action comedy written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It stars Hugh Jackman as vigilante monster hunter Van Helsing, and Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious. The film is an homage and tribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and ’40s (also produced by Universal Studios which were in turn based on novels by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley), of which Sommers is a fan.
The eponymous character was inspired by the Dutch vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing from Irish author Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. The film includes a number of monsters such as Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and werewolves in a way similar to the multi-monster movies that Universal produced in the 1940s, such as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula.
Sommers expanded the story of Van Helsing in two direct spin-offs:
- The animated prequel titled Van Helsing: The London Assignment takes place before the main events of the film, focusing on Van Helsing’s mission to try to stop Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from terrorizing London.
- There is also a one-shot comic book, published by Dark Horse Comics, titled Van Helsing: From Beneath the Rue Morgue, that follows Van Helsing on a self-contained adventure that occurs during the events of the film, just after the death of Jekyll/Hyde in Paris but before Van Helsing returned to Rome. In the adventure, Van Helsing deals with Doctor Moreau and his hybrid mutants.
In May 2012, Universal Pictures announced that they would be rebooting the film with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as a two-year deal to produce a modern reimagining and Tom Cruise to star as the title character and also produce the film. Rupert Sanders is in talks to direct the film. Orci spoken to IGN that he has hinted that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a shared universe. On November 11, 2015, Variety reports that Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer will write the reboot, but Cruise left the film. However, in 2016, Cruise signed back on to star in Kurtzman’s The Mummy, which was released in theaters on June 9, 2017. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 13th century RussiaFurious, also known as Legend of Kolovrat (Russian: Легенда о Коловрате, translit. Legenda o Kolovrate), is a 2017 Russian historical fantasy film about the Ryazan knight Evpaty Kolovrat, It is directed by Dzhanik Fayziev & Ivan Shurkhovetskiy and stars newcomer Ilya Malakov, Polina Chernyshova, Aleksei Serebryakov, Aleksandr Ilyin Jr. and Yulia Khlynina in supporting roles.
Film is based on the period when Russia was under control of the Golden Horde. Ryazan knight Evpaty Kolovrat is the leader of the squad, which decides to fight back Batu Khan , who divided Russia.
The plot is based on The Tale of the Destruction of Riazan, a medieval military tale about the capture of the city of Ryazan by the Mongols in 1237 and is one of the best sources of the Mongol invasion of Russia. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 1996, Algeria, Abbey of Our Lady of Atlas
“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”
Of Gods and Men is a 2010 French drama film directed by Xavier Beauvois, starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale. Its original French language title is Des hommes et des dieux, which means “Of Men and of Gods” and refers to a verse from the Bible shown at the beginning of the film. It centers on the monastery of Tibhirine, where nine Trappist monks lived in harmony with the largely Muslim population of Algeria, until seven of them were kidnapped and assassinated in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War.Largely a tale of a peaceful situation between local Christians and Muslims before becoming a lethal one due to external forces, the screenplay focuses on the preceding chain of events in decay of government, expansion of terrorism, and the monks’ confrontation with both the terrorists and the government authorities that led up to their deaths. Principal photography took place at an abandoned monastery in Azrou, Morocco. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 2002 – 2003, Grande Chartreuse, Chartreuse MountainsInto Great Silence (German: Die große Stille) is a documentary film directed by Philip Gröning that was released in 2005. It is an intimate portrayal of the everyday lives of Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse, a monastery high in the French Alps.
The idea for the film was proposed to the monks in 1984, but the Carthusians said they wanted time to think about it. They responded to Gröning 16 years later to say they were willing to permit him to shoot the movie if he was still interested. Gröning then came alone to live at the monastery, where no visitors were ordinarily allowed, for a total of six months. He filmed and recorded on his own, using no artificial light. Gröning then spent two and a half years editing the film. The final cut contains neither spoken commentary nor added sound effects. It consists of images and sounds that depict the rhythm of monastic life, with occasional intertitles displaying selections from Holy Scripture. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: Alexandria, Egypt. 391 – 415 A.D.
Agora (Spanish: Ágora) is a 2009 Spanish English-language historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar and written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil. The biopic stars Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, a female mathematician, philosopher and astronomer in late 4th-century Roman Egypt, The story uses historical fiction to highlight the relationship between religion and science at the time amidst the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism and the Christianization of the Roman Empire. The set used in the film is meticulously historically authentic, showing a blend of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian architectural styles that would have been fitting to the time period, but the costumes are anachronistic. Hypatia’s age in the film is also inaccurate; most scholars believe she would have been in her 50s or 60s at the time of her death, but the film portrays her as a young woman. Irene A. Artemi, a doctor of theology at Athens University, states that “The movie—albeit seemingly not turning against the Christian religion—is in fact portraying the Christians as fundamentalist, obscurantist, ignorant and fanatic”. Similarly, the atheist historian Tim O’Neil remarks: “Over and over again, elements are added to the story that are not in the source material: the destruction of the library, the stoning of the Jews in the theatre, Cyril condemning Hypatia’s teaching because she is a woman, the heliocentric “breakthrough” and Hypatia’s supposed irreligiosity.” (read more: Historical accuracy)
Cyril of Alexandria
spacetime coordinates: 13th-century South East EnglandIronclad is a 2011 action adventure war film directed by Jonathan English. Written by English and Erick Kastel, based on a screenplay by Stephen McDool, the cast includes James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Kate Mara, Paul Giamatti, Vladimir Kulich, Mackenzie Crook, Jason Flemyng, Derek Jacobi and Charles Dance. The film chronicles the siege of Rochester Castle by King John in 1215.The film shows Rochester Castle standing next to a bridge in a totally empty moorland landscape. In fact the castle was (and is) on the edge of the City of Rochester, which was already a thousand years old at the time of the siege, and right next to it is the great 11th-century cathedral of Rochester. On the other side of the bridge was (and is) the town of Strood, plus a number of smaller settlements. (read more)
One of four surviving copies of the 1215 Magna Carta. This copy is one of two held at the British Library. It came from the collection of Sir Robert Cotton, who died in 1631. In 1731, a fire at Ashburnam House in Westminster, where his library was then housed, destroyed or damaged many of the rare manuscripts, which is why this copy is burnt.
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