timespace coordinates: 1969 Los Angeles
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It features a large ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino. The film follows an actor and his stunt double, as they navigate the changing film industry, and features “multiple storylines in a modern fairy tale tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age” (wiki)
imdb / Character background / Pop culture references / Historical accuracy / Controversy
Memory: The Origins of Alien is a 2019 documentary film that traces the origin of Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise. Directed and written by Alexandre O. Philippe, it focuses on the idea that film is “a collective art form – not just the wider circle of writers, performers and technicians beyond the director, but in the case of the truly great films, serendipitous access to a deeper collective unconscious …”, tracing the connections from H. P. Lovecraft to Francis Bacon to the Greek Furies. (wiki) / imdb / rt
30 Alien Poster Designs / Poster Posse Project / alternativemovieposters.com/portfolio
timespace coordinates: 2010’s Shanghai/ Hong Kong > Sichuan region > the Gobi Desert > the banks of the Yellow River > the Himalayas
Abominable is a 2019 computer-animated adventure film produced by DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio. It was written and directed by Jill Culton and co-directed by Todd Wilderman, and stars the voices of Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, and Michelle Wong. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: “near future” (2050’s ?) commercial flight to the Moon > the ship Cepheus, bound for Mars > Norwegian biomedical research space station > underground SpaceCom base on Mars > the Lima Project (Neptune’s rings)Ad Astra is a 2019 American science fiction adventure film produced, co-written, and directed by James Gray. Starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland, it follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System. + scored by Max Richter. +
Reviews out of the Venice Film Festival compared it to well-worn sci-fi touchstones “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Solaris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” in part due to its probing adventure narrative. Gray says he went straight to the urtext that inspired them, Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.” (cnn)
The title means “to the stars” in Latin. It is often used as a shorthand for “Per Aspera Ad Astra” (Through the hardships to the Stars).
wiki / imdb / rt
Freaks is a 2018 American-Canadian science fiction thriller film directed, written and produced by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein. It stars Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, and Lexy Kolker, who was seven years old at the time of filming.
The film tells the story of a 7-year-old girl named Chloe (Kolker) who is locked in an abandoned house by her disturbed father (Hirsch). The mysterious Mr. Snowcone (Dern) convinces her to escape for his own suspicious reasons. (wiki)
A promotional poster for the film features a street sign with a one eye logo and a phone number to call to report “abnormal activity”. The number is 1-800-517-5890 and when called, a recorded message with a woman’s voice would say, “Thank you for calling the abnormal defense hotline, provided by the Department of Homeland Security.” The recorded message at first urged others to be on the lookout for “freaks” and it said that you can leave a message to report any abnormal activity from freaks. A few days later, the recorded message was changed to warn others to stay away from an upcoming San Diego Comic Con “free underground prescreening of Freaks” on July 18, 2019.
imdb / rottentomatoes
timespace coordinates: 2010’s U.S. / Colombia / Hungary
Gemini Man is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Ang Lee. Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong, the film follows a hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself while on the run from the government. (wiki)
“Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor (BBC Four) was a 90-minute documentary detailing a year-long study of a single 400-year-old oak in Oxfordshire. It might sound about as interesting as watching grass grow but this was classy, engrossing television. “I can promise you one thing,” said entomologist George McGavin. “You’ll never look at an oak tree the same way again.” He was true to his word.” (read more)