855 – The Secret of Kells (2009)

timespace coordinates: 9th century Ireland

1118full-the-secret-of-kells-posterThe Secret of Kells is a 2009 French-Belgian-Irish animated fantasy film animated by Cartoon Saloon directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey.

The film is based on the story of the origin of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament located in Dublin, Ireland.

It also draws upon Celtic mythology; examples include its inclusion of Crom Cruach, a pre-Christian Irish deity and the reference to the poetic genre of Aislings, in which a poet is confronted by a dream or vision of a seeress, in the naming of the forest sprite encountered by Brendan. Wider mythological similarities have also been commented upon, such as parallels between Brendan’s metaphysical battle with Crom Cruach and Beowulf‘s underwater encounter with Grendel’s mother. 

The Secret of Kells began development in 1999, when Tomm Moore and several of his friends were inspired by Richard Williams’s The Thief and the Cobbler, Disney’s Mulan and the works of Hayao Miyazaki, which based their visual style on the respective traditional art of the cultures featured in each film. They decided to do something similar to Studio Ghibli‘s films but with Irish art. Tomm Moore explained that the visual style was inspired by Celtic and medieval art, being ‘flat, with false perspective and lots of colour’. Even the clean up was planned to ‘obtain the stained glass effect of thicker outer lines’. (wiki)

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851 – The Little Stranger (2018)

timespace coordinates: 1947/’48 > 1919 England

(sad and spooky) The Little Stranger is a 2018 Irish/British/french gothic drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Lucinda Coxon, based on the novel of same name by Sarah Waters. The film stars Domhnall GleesonRuth WilsonWill Poulter, and Charlotte Rampling40666609_517186275375456_3857919910814416896_nTHE LITTLE STRANGER tells the story of Dr Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, an 18th-century estate,, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants – mother, son and daughter – are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how disturbingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own. (rt)


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762 – Electric Dreams (2017 TV series)

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Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, or simply Electric Dreams, is a British anthology television series based on various writings from author Philip K. Dick, each of the 10 stand-alone episodes are set in a different and unique world — some that lay in the far reaches of the universe and others that are much closer to home. While the stories may be worlds apart, central to each is the exploration of the importance and significance of humanity. (rt)

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745 – Aferim! (2015)

timespace coordinates: 1835 WallachiaMV5BNTgxNjA5MDkzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTUyNzA5NDE@._V1_Aferim! (English: Bravo!) is a 2015 Romanian drama/western film directed by Radu Jude. The film is set in Wallachia in the early 19th century, when a local gendarme, Costandin, is hired by Iordache, a boyar, to find Carfin, a Gypsy slave who had run away from the boyar’s estate after having an affair with his wife, Sultana. Aferim! (2015) is only the second Romanian film to address the Roma slavery, which existed in Wallachia for almost 500 years until 1856. (The first one was the silent film Fata tigani in dormitor (1923). It has apparently been lost, with only a few stills surviving.)

The story is fictional, but director Radu Jude said in the NY Times (Sept. 8, 2015) that he drew on the historical record. Before shooting began, he held a script reading with 20 historians and made adjustments in response to their input.aferimPublication The Hollywood Reporter describes Radu Jude’s film as “a harsh lesson of history, relieved by overlooked humor and classic Western elements”. Variety magazine writes that Aferim! is “an exceptional and extremely intelligent insight into a crucial period of history, a film equally inspired and furious” (wiki)

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725 – Låt den rätte komma in / Let the Right One In (2008)

timespace coordinates:  western Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1981c3aa3267533c307013d8584f651b12d6

Let the Right One In (Swedish: Låt den rätte komma in) is a 2008 Swedish romantic horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson, based on the 2004 novel of the same title by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay.

Dejameentrar_posterae8f8e44708273.581b4e16168ebThe film tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a vampire child in Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm, in the early 1980s. Alfredson, unconcerned with the horror and vampire conventions, decided to tone down many elements of the novel and focus primarily on the relationship between the two main characters. Selecting the lead actors involved a year-long process with open castings held all over Sweden. In the end, the 11-year-olds Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson were chosen for the leading roles. They were subsequently commended by both Alfredson and film reviewers for their performances.

(Spoilers) The novel presents Eli as an androgynous boy, castrated centuries before by a sadistic vampire nobleman. The film handles the issue of Eli’s gender more ambiguously: a brief scene in which Eli changes into a dress offers a glimpse of a suggestive scar but no explicit elaboration.  When Oskar asks Eli to become his girlfriend, Eli tries to tell Oskar “I’m not a girl”. An actress plays Eli’s character, but her voice was considered to be too high pitched, so it was dubbed by voice actress Elif Ceylan. According to an interview with the director, as the film was originally conceived, flashbacks explained this aspect in more detail, but these scenes were eventually cut. (wiki)Magnet_R6_FULL_outlines

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Let Me In (2010 american version)

timespace coordinates: Los Alamos, New Mexico, 1983

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