spacetime coordinates: Czechoslovakia, 1963 >> 1930’s – 1940’s Prague
I Served the King of England (Czech: Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále) is a 2006 comedy film written and directed by Czech New Wave master Jiří Menzel, based on the novel I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal. It is Menzel’s sixth adaptation of the works of Hrabal for film.
“A look at the glamorous life at an old-world Prague hotel.”
Experimenter is a 2015 American biographical drama film written and directed by Michael Almereyda, based on the 1961 Milgram experiment. The film is based on the true story of famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, who in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments at Yale University that tested the willingness of ordinary humans to obey an authority figure while administering electric shocks to strangers.
spacetime coordinates: 1945 Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany // Buchenwald, Weimar, Thuringia, Germany // Dachau, Bavaria, Germany // Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland // Majdanek, Lublin, Lubelskie, Poland
German Concentration Camps Factual Survey is the official British documentary film on the Nazi concentration camps, based on footage shot by the Allied forces in 1945.
The film was produced by Sidney Bernstein, then with the British Ministry of Information, with Alfred Hitchcock acting as a “treatment advisor”. The script was written by Richard Crossman and Colin Wills. Soviet filmmaker Sergei Nolbandov was production supervisor.
The project was abandoned in September 1945, and the film was left unfinished for nearly seventy years. The film’s restoration was completed by film scholars at the Imperial War Museum. The finished film had its world premiere early in 2014 at the Berlin Film Festival, and was shown in a limited number of venues in 2015. It was released in North America in 2017.
A 70-minute documentary on the making of the 1945 film, entitled Night Will Fall, was assembled from the partially finished material and new original footage by director Andre Singer and producers Sally Angel and Brett Ratner. The New York Times, in its review of the documentary, said that “what the new film accomplishes, more than anything else, is to make you wish you could see the original.”
spacetime coordinates: 1990s New Mexico // Florida // Puerto Rico // Washington, D.C. // Wisconsin // Hokkaido
Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan‘s 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the story outline for the film.Jodie Foster portrays the film’s protagonist, Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen to make first contact.
What Happens If China Makes First Contact?
As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose. (read more)
“No civilization should ever announce its presence to the cosmos. Any other civilization that learns of its existence will perceive it as a threat to expand—as all civilizations do, eliminating their competitors until they encounter one with superior technology and are themselves eliminated. This grim cosmic outlook is called “dark-forest theory,” because it conceives of every civilization in the universe as a hunter hiding in a moonless woodland, listening for the first rustlings of a rival.”
spacetime coordinates: late 19th century > mid-20th century HungarySunshine is a 1999 historical drama film directed by István Szabó and written by Israel Horovitz and Szabó. It follows five generations of a Hungarian Jewish family, originally named Sonnenschein (German: “sunshine”), later changed to Sors (Hungarian: “fate”), during changes in Hungary, focusing mostly on the three generations from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. The family story traverses the creation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through to the period after the 1956 Revolution, while the characters are forced to surrender much of their identity and endure family conflict. The central male protagonist of all three generations is portrayed by Ralph Fiennes. The film’s stars include Rachel Weisz and John Neville, with the real-life daughter and mother team of Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris playing the same character across a six-decade storyline.
spacetime coordinates: 1807 Kolberg (Kołobrzeg) // 1945 Germany
Kolberg is a 1945 German historical film directed by Veit Harlan. One of the last films of the Third Reich, it was intended as a Nazi propaganda piece to bolster the will of the German population to resist the Allies.
The film is based on the autobiography of Joachim Nettelbeck, mayor of Kolberg in Pomerania, and on a play drawn from the book by Paul Heyse. It tells the story of the defence of the besieged fortress town of Kolberg against French troops between mid-March and July 2, 1807, during the Napoleonic Wars. In reality, the city’s defense, led by then-Lieutenant Colonel August von Gneisenau, held out until the war was ended by the Treaty of Tilsit. In the film, the French abandon the siege.
spacetime coordinates: 1961 New York // Israel
Hannah Arendt is a 2012 German-Luxembourgish-French biographical drama film directed by Margarethe von Trotta and starring Barbara Sukowa. The film centers in the life of German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt. The film centers on Arendt’s response to the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann, which she covered for The New Yorker. Her writing on the trial became controversial for its depiction of both Eichmann and the Jewish councils, and for its introduction of Arendt’s now-famous concept of “the banality of evil“.