1159 – The Ninth Gate (1999)

timespace coordinates: 1990’s New York City >  Toledo, Spain >  SintraPortugal > FranceMV5BM2Q1ZTFhMmYtNDljMS00Y2ZhLWE3M2QtMjYwYmFkYmJmMjI1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjU0NTI0Nw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,681,1000_AL_The Ninth Gate is a 1999 mystery thriller film directed, produced, and co-written by Roman Polanski. An international co-production between the United States, Portugal, France, and Spain, the film is loosely based upon Arturo Pérez-Reverte‘s 1993 novel The Club Dumas. The plot involves the search for a rare and ancient book that purportedly contains a magical secret for summoning the Devil. (wiki)

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1152 – Samsara (2011 documentary)

Samsara is a 2011 American non-narrative documentary film of international imagery directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson. Samsara was filmed over a period of five years in 25 different countries around the world.

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The official website describes the film, “Expanding on the themes they developed in Baraka (1992) and Chronos (1985), Samsara explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of humanity’s spirituality and the human experience. Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation.” (wiki)

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1025 – Jeanne d’Arc (1999)

timespace coordinates: France 1429 – 1431 (Hundred Years’ War)

Percival, about the Maid of Orleans:
The girl is of appealing beauty and manly bearing; she speaks little and shows remarkable sagacity; when she speaks she has a pleasing, delicately feminine voice. :{…} her tears often overflow; she loves a happy face, endures unheard of toil, and is so assiduous in the manipulation and bearing of weapons that she remains uninterruptedly for six days — day and night — in full armour.

messenger_the_story_of_joan_of_arc_xlgThe Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d’Arc) is a 1999 French epic historical drama film directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Milla JovovichJohn MalkovichFaye Dunaway and Dustin Hoffman. The screenplay was written by Besson and Andrew Birkin.

The Messenger portrays the story of St. Joan of Arc, the French war heroine and religious martyr of the 15th century. The story begins with young Joan as she witnesses the atrocities of the English against her family, and she is portrayed as having visions that inspire her to lead the French in battle against the occupying English forces. Her success in routing the English allows Charles VII to take the throne. Eventually Joan is captured by the English, tried and executed for heresy.

Luc Besson stated that he was not interested in narrating the history of Joan of Arc; rather, he wanted to pull a message out of history that is relevant for today. (read more: Themes)

Historical accuracy

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“Regardless of what Joan of Arc said about the appearance of the higher beings in her visions, the occultist who is able to investigate these things knows that it was always the genius of the French nation who stood behind them.” (rs)

995 – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

timespace coordinates: 18th century France (1730s – 1760s)

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 2006 German period psychological crime thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Ben WhishawAlan RickmanRachel Hurd-Wood, and Dustin Hoffman. Tykwer, with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil, also composed the music. The screenplay by Tykwer, Andrew Birkin, and Bernd Eichinger is based on Patrick Süskind‘s 1985 novel Perfume. Set in 18th century France, the film tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Whishaw), an olfactory genius, and his homicidal quest for the perfect scent. (wiki)

During pre-production, Tom Tykwer, Director of Photography Frank Griebe, Production Designer Uli Hanisch, and Costume Designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud studied the complete works of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Joseph Wright, in order to ensure the film’s aesthetic correctly captured eighteenth century France.

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Nirvana Scentless Apprentice

986 – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

 timespace coordinates: 1927 Paris / London / New York City

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a 2018 fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J. K. Rowling. A joint British and American production, it is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). It is the second instalment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, which began with the Harry Potter film series.

The film features an ensemble cast that includes Eddie RedmayneKatherine WaterstonDan FoglerAlison SudolEzra MillerZoë KravitzCallum TurnerClaudia KimWilliam NadylamKevin GuthrieJude Law, and Johnny Depp. The plot follows Newt Scamander and Albus Dumbledore as they attempt to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, while facing new threats in a more divided wizarding world.

2a12b57ae5755ed62214dd0b3dda41d6Hogwarts exteriors, like some interiors, were shot in the historic Lacock Abbey, dating from 1229. This abbey, located in Wiltshire, England, had already been used for the same purpose for the first films of the Harry Potter saga .

As with the first film, animal making required months of graphic, pattern, and animation testing to determine the appearance, behavior, movements, attitude, and personality of each creature. J.K. Rowling was inspired, for many of them, by legendary creatures from different cultures, such as the Chinese Zouwu, the Scottish Kelpie and the French Matagot.

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The Art of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald


The interior of the basement where Newt Scamander keeps his beasts is stylized according to the lithograph “Relativity” by Maurits Cornelis Escher.

980 – At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

timespace coordinates: 1888 – 1890 Arles – Saint-Rémy Auvers-sur-OiseMV5BOTRmZGJiZjUtMGJjYi00MzZhLTkzYjUtODE1Yjk5ZDRiODhlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODAzODU1NDQ@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_At Eternity’s Gate is a 2018 biographical drama film about the final years of painter Vincent van Gogh‘s life. The film is directed by Julian Schnabel, from a screenplay by Schnabel, Louise Kugelberg and Jean-Claude Carrière. It stars Willem Dafoe as van Gogh, Rupert FriendOscar IsaacMads MikkelsenMathieu AmalricEmmanuelle Seigner and Niels Arestrup. (wiki)

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