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: 1976 Formula One season
Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film centred on the Hunt–Lauda rivalry between two Formula One drivers, the British James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula 1 motor-racing season. It was written by Peter Morgan, directed by Ron Howard and stars Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda. (wiki)
Some things in the film are exaggerated (like the Hunt–Lauda rivalry; in reality they had shared a flat early in their careers and were good friends), others downplayed (like Lauda’s wife’s shock at his disfigurement), and others invented (like Hunt beating up a reporter or the Nürburgring nickname being “the graveyard”; in fact Jackie Stewart had nicknamed it “the Green Hell”). (read more: historical accuracy)
timespace coordinates: Europe at night (2008 – 2010)
Abendland is a 2011 observational documentary film by Nikolaus Geyrhalter. The documentary, which has only scenes at night, explores European obsession with technology and security. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called Abendland a “visually precise and politically amorphous” portrait of an imagined community: “The overall impression is a vision of Europe as a mosaic, as an artful amalgam of perfectly framed, seemingly disconnected moments during a long shared night, give or take a time zone change or two.” (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2000’s Netherlands / United States / Belgium / China / SpainThe Forgotten Space (Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2010) follows container cargo aboard ships, barges, trains and trucks, listening to workers, engineers, planners, politicians, and those marginalized by the global transport system. We visit displaced farmers and villagers in Holland and Belgium, underpaid truck drivers in Los Angeles, seafarers aboard mega-ships shuttling between Asia and Europe, and factory workers in China, whose low wages are the fragile key to the whole puzzle. And in Bilbao, we discover the most sophisticated expression of the belief that the maritime economy, and the sea itself, is somehow obsolete.
A range of materials is used: descriptive documentary, interviews, archive stills and footage, clips from old movies. The result is an essayistic, visual documentary about one of the most important processes that affects us today. The Forgotten Space is based on Sekula’s Fish Story, seeking to understand and describe the contemporary maritime world in relation to the complex symbolic legacy of the sea.
The sea is forgotten until disaster strikes. But perhaps the biggest seagoing disaster is the global supply chain, which – maybe in a more fundamental way than financial speculation – leads the world economy to the abyss. (http://www.theforgottenspace.net/)
The Botany of Desire is a two-hour program broadcast by PBS based on The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. Pollan presents case studies that mirror four types of human desires that are reflected in the way that we selectively grow, breed, and genetically engineer our plants. The tulip, beauty; marijuana, intoxication; the apple, sweetness; and the potato, control.
The stories range from the true story of Johnny Appleseed to Pollan’s first-hand research with sophisticated marijuana hybrids in Amsterdam to the paradigm-shifting possibilities of genetically engineered potatoes. Pollan also discusses the limitations of monoculture agriculture: specifically, the adoption in Ireland of a single breed of potato (the Lumper) made the Irish vulnerable to a fungus to which it had no resistance, resulting in the Irish Potato Famine. The Peruvians from whom the Irish had gotten the potato grew hundreds of varieties, so their exposure to any given pest was slight.