spacetime coordinates: 2010’s Stockholm
“The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring. Within it we all share equal rights and obligations.”The Square is a 2017 Swedish satirical drama film written and directed by Ruben Östlund, and starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Terry Notary. The film is about publicity surrounding an art installation, and was partly inspired by an installation Östlund and producer Kalle Boman had made.
(development) Originally with the performance artist who entertains the affluent patrons, Östlund was considering modelling the character after G.G. Allin, but deciding that that would be too “extreme”, he fell back on his interest in animal imitations. In crafting the scene, his concept was: “this internationally recognized artist is pretending to be a wild beast. What happens when he enters a room full of people in tuxedos?” The scene was inspired by a real incident with the artist Oleg Kulik, who performs as a dog and had attacked people at a notorious event in Stockholm. Other artists parodied in the film include Julian Schnabel, Robert Smithson and Carl Hammoud.
Oleg Kulik “Reservoir Dog” Zurich 1995
Childhood’s End is an American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name, by Arthur C. Clarke, and developed by Matthew Graham. It premiered on Syfy on December 14, 2015.
After peaceful aliens invade earth, humanity finds itself living in a utopia under the indirect rule of the aliens, but does this utopia come at a price?
spacetime coordinate: New York City, 2095
Immortal (French: Immortel, ad vitam) is a 2004 English language French live-action and animated science fiction film co-written and directed by Enki Bilal and starring Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann and Charlotte Rampling. It is loosely based upon Bilal’s comic book La Foire aux immortels (The Carnival of Immortals).
Immortal was one of the first major films (along with Casshern and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) to be shot entirely on a “digital backlot“, blending live actors with computer generated surroundings. The French video game studio Quantic Dream helped produce much of the cinematics.
The film takes place in New York City in the year 2095 where genetically altered humans live side by side with unaltered men and women, and where Central Park has been mysteriously encased in an “intrusion zone” where people who attempt to enter are instantly killed. A strange pyramid has appeared over the city; inside, the gods of ancient Egypt have judged Horus, one of their fellow gods, to cease his immortality.
In the city below, Jill, a young woman with blue hair is arrested…
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spacetime coordinate: 40’s > 90’s, Saint Petersburg > New York
When asked in an interview whether he ever intended to return to his Motherland, Joseph Brodsky replied: “Such a journey could only take place anonymously…”
The creators of this film imagined that the journey in question was undertaken after all, selecting the genre of an ironic fairytale. The poet sails to the country of his childhood, and with him we traverse not only geographical expanses, but travel through time as well; stringing together a number of facts from the Nobel Prize Laureate’s biography, we return to the USSR of the 50s and early 60s, soaking up the atmosphere of the “European” city of Petersburg, to this day Russia’s cultural center. Along with live-action sequences, the film features animation, as well as documentary footage concerning Brodsky and his milieu.
Some of the animated sequences — of winged horses and flying sleds, of Brodsky as a farm animal on all fours drawing a cart — suggest Chagall. Other, more elegant pictures — of pianos and other musical instruments flying in formation while framed against the heroic architecture of St. Petersburg — are closer to Magritte’s surrealism. Visually, it is an ode to St. Petersburg (its museums, architecture and statuary are lovingly photographed), and to the Neva River, which runs by the city.
With its unabashedly nostalgic glow, the film belongs to what might be called the “rosebud” school (after “Citizen Kane”) of film biographies that locate the essence of a life in childhood memories. Recurrent images in the film are visual representations of the family’s house cat. The youthful Brodsky (Evgeniy Ogandzhanyan) is shown conversing with his father in meows and later subverting the solemnity of a school anthem sung by a chorus by substituting cat cries for words. He later confides to a friend that he wants to be reincarnated as a cat in Venice.