778 – Discworld (1995 video game)

discworldDiscworld is a 1995 point-and-click adventure game developed by Teeny Weeny Games and Perfect 10 Productions for MS-DOS, Macintosh, and the Sony PlayStation. A Sega Saturn version was released the following year. The game stars Rincewind the Wizard (voiced by Eric Idle) and is set on Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld. The plot is based roughly around the events in the book Guards! Guards!, but also borrows elements from other Discworld novels. It involves Rincewind attempting to stop a dragon terrorising the inhabitants of Ankh-Morpork.

The game was developed because the designer Gregg Barnett wanted a large adventure for CD-based systems. A licence was difficult to obtain; Pratchett was reluctant to grant one as he wanted a Discworld game to be developed by a company with a reputation and who cared about the property. An original story was created due to Barnett having difficulty basing games on one book. Discworld was praised for its humour, voice-acting and graphics, though some criticised its gameplay and difficult puzzles. Discworld was followed by a sequel, Discworld II: Missing Presumed…!?, in 1996. (wiki)

Ankh-Morpork

Ankh-Morpork lies on the River Ankh (the most polluted waterway on the Discworld and reputedly solid enough to walk on), where the fertile loam of the Sto Plains (similar to Western Europe) meets the Circle Sea (the Discworld’s version of the Mediterranean). This, naturally, puts it in an excellent trading position. Lying approximately equidistant from the cold Hub and tropical Rim, Ankh-Morpork is in the Discworld’s equivalent of the temperate zone. The name “Ankh-Morpork” refers to both the city itself, a walled city about five miles (8 km) across, and the surrounding suburbs and farms of its fiefdom. The central city divides more or less into the more affluent Ankh and the poorer Morpork which includes the slum-like “Shades”, which are separated by the River Ankh. Ankh-Morpork is built on black loam, broadly, but is mostly built on itself; pragmatic citizens simply built on top of the existing buildings when the sediment grew too high as the river flooded, rather than excavate them out. There are many unknown basements, including an entire “cave network” below Ankh-Morpork made up of old streets and abandoned sewers (it has been continuously stated that anyone with a pickaxe and a good sense of direction could reach anywhere in Ankh-Morpork by knocking walls down in a straight line, though in Thud! it is added that they would also need to breathe mud). Recently, the underground regions have been extended by the city’s dwarf population to get around unimpeded. It has recently been made municipal property. Ankh-Morpork is also the city with the most dwarfs on the whole disc outside of Überwald, largely considered the dwarfen homeland, with over 50,000 dwarfs living there.  (wiki)


Terry Pratchett – Back in Black BBC Documentary 2017 (youtube)

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612 – Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert, Alison Dundy – The falling sky – words of a Yanomami shaman

The Falling Sky is a remarkable first-person account of the life story and cosmo-ecological thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon. Representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy, Davi Kopenawa paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest–a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry.the-falling-sky-1In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road workers, cattle ranchers, and gold prospectors. He vividly describes the ensuing cultural repression, environmental devastation, and deaths resulting from epidemics and violence. To counter these threats, Davi Kopenawa became a global ambassador for his endangered people. The Falling Sky follows him from his native village in the Northern Amazon to Brazilian cities and finally on transatlantic flights bound for European and American capitals. These travels constitute a shamanic critique of Western industrial society, whose endless material greed, mass violence, and ecological blindness contrast sharply with Yanomami cultural values.

Bruce Albert, a close friend since the 1970s, superbly captures Kopenawa’s intense, poetic voice. This collaborative work provides a unique reading experience that is at the same time a coming-of-age story, a historical account, and a shamanic philosophy, but most of all an impassioned plea to respect native rights and preserve the Amazon rainforest. (amazon)

“When I come back from a trip among the white people, the dizziness leaves my eyes after a while and my thought be-comes clear again. I no longer hear cars, machines, or airplanes. I only lend an ear to the tooro toads and krouma frogs that call the rain in the forest. I only hear the rustling of the leaves in the wind and the rumbling of the thunders in the sky. The ignorant words of the city politicians gradually vanish in the quiet of my sleep. I become calm again by going to hunt and making my spirits dance.

The forest is very beautiful to see. It is cool and aromatic. When you move through it to hunt or travel, you feel joyful and your mind is slow-paced. You listen to the chirping of the cicadas in the distance, or the cries of the curassows and the agami herons, and the clamor of the spider monkeys in the trees. Your worries are eased. Your thoughts can then follow one another without getting obscured.”

474 – Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

 spacetime coordinates: 20th century // 2000/10’s Chicago,  the Alpine village of Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur > street scenes in Chicago and New York during the 1950s and 1960sfinding_vivian_maierFinding Vivian Maier is a 2013 American documentary film about the photographer Vivian Maier  (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) written, directed, and produced by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, and executive produced by Jeff Garlin.

Maier was a French-American woman who worked most of her life as a nanny and housekeeper to a multitude of Chicago families. She carried a camera everywhere she went, but Maier’s photographic legacy was largely unknown during her lifetime. The film documents how Maloof discovered her work and, after her death, uncovered her life through interviews with people who knew her. Maloof had purchased a box of photo negatives at a 2007 Chicago auction, then scanned the images and put them on the Internet. News articles began to come out about Maier and a Kickstarter campaign for the documentary was soon underway.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2714900/

“the poor are too poor to die”

091 – In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

spacetime coordinates: 1892–1973 Chicago, Illinois, U.S. 

in_the_realms_of_the_unreal

In the Realms of the Unreal is a 2004 documentary film directed by Jessica Yu about American outsider artist Henry Darger.

An obscure janitor during his life, Darger is known for the posthumous discovery of his elaborate 15,145-page fantasy manuscript entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred watercolor paintings and other drawings illustrating the story.

The film’s style is atypical of a documentary. Because there are only three known photographs of Darger, and because of his reclusive lifestyle, the film is mostly a narrated biographical account, accompanied by animated versions of events from his magnum opus, which is also surveyed in detail. Interviews with his few neighbors and other acquaintances are included.

in-the-realms-of-the-unreal--the-mystery-of-henry-darger-poster

In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”

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