The Gleaners and I (French: Les glaneurs et la glaneuse; “The gleaners and the female gleaner”, a reference to the director herself) is a 2000 French documentary film by Agnès Varda that features various kinds of gleaning. It was entered into competition at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival (“Official Selection 2000”), and later went on to win awards around the world. In a 2014 Sight and Sound poll, film critics voted The Gleaners and I the eighth best documentary film of all time. In 2016, the film appeared at No. 99 on BBC’s list of the 100 greatest films of the 21st century. / Cinematic significance (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2000’s New JerseyThe Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film produced and directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring Mickey Rourke (plays an aging professional wrestler), Marisa Tomei (as a stripper), and Evan Rachel Wood.
Promotion: WWE helped promote it through an on-screen angle (a fictional storyline used in wrestling). This involved the heel Chris Jericho criticizing legendary retired wrestlers such as Ric Flair, who he felt were embarrassing themselves, as well as Mickey Rourke for his portrayal in The Wrestler. At the 15th Screen Actors Guild Awards, Rourke announced he would be competing at WrestleMania XXV, specifically targeting Jericho. The announcement led to a confrontation between the two on Larry King Live, which showed signs of second thoughts from Rourke. On January 28, it was announced through Rourke’s spokesperson that the actor would not compete at the event, and he was soon after announced instead as a guest. Rourke was also invited to the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony the night before WrestleMania. The angle culminated the following night where Jericho faced Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka in a handicap match. After his victory, Jericho dismantled Flair and challenged Rourke, who finally entered the ring and punched him out. (wiki)
Voyage of Time is a 2016 American IMAX documentary film written and directed by Terrence Malick. An exploration into our planetary past and a search for humanity’s place in the future. Malick has been working on the film for over forty years and it has been described by Malick himself as “one of my greatest dreams”.
Voyage of Time was released in two versions: a forty-minute IMAX version with narration by Brad Pitt, and a 35-millimetre feature-length edition (also known as Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey) narrated by Cate Blanchett. (wiki)
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.
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)
Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke. The film is often compared to Koyaanisqatsi, the first of the Qatsi films by Godfrey Reggio for which Fricke served as the cinematographer. It is also the most recent film to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, and the first film ever to be restored and scanned at 8K resolution. (wiki)
Named after a Sufi word that translates roughly as “breath of life” or “blessing,” Baraka is Ron Fricke‘s impressive follow-up to Godfrey Reggio‘s non-verbal documentary film Koyaanisqatsi. Fricke was cinematographer and collaborator on Reggio’s film, and for Baraka he struck out on his own to polish and expand the photographic techniques used on Koyaanisqatsi. The result is a tour-de-force in 70mm: a cinematic “guided meditation” (Fricke’s own description) shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period that unites religious ritual, the phenomena of nature, and man’s own destructive powers into a web of moving images. Fricke’s camera ranges, in meditative slow motion or bewildering time-lapse, over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Ryoan-Ji temple in Kyoto, Lake Natron in Tanzania, burning oil fields in Kuwait, the smoldering precipice of an active volcano, a busy subway terminal, tribal celebrations of the Maasai in Kenya, chanting monks in the Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery…and on and on, through locales across the globe. To execute the film’s time-lapse sequences, Fricke had a special camera built that combined time-lapse photography with perfectly controlled movements of the camera. In one evening sequence a desert sky turns black, and the stars roll by, as the camera moves slowly forward under the trees. The feeling is like that of viewing the universe through a powerful telescope: that we are indeed on a tiny orb hurtling through a star-filled void. The film is complemented by the hybrid world-music of Michael Stearns. ~ Anthony Reed, Rovi (rottentomatoes)
timespace coordinates: 1986 – 2019 Santa Cruz, California
Us is a 2019 American psychological horror thriller film written and directed by Jordan Peele, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker. The film follows a family who are confronted by murderous doppelgangers known as “the Tethered”.
Critic Jim Vejvoda related the Tethered to “urban legends” and “xenophobic paranoia about the Other”, (…) Journalist Noel Ransome viewed the film as being about “the effects of classism and marginalization”, writing “the Tethered are effigies of this same situational classism. They’re trapped—mentally and physically—and ignored”. Joel Meares of Rotten Tomatoes also noted that the Tethered, referencing the “we’re Americans” line, are representatives of the duality of American society, how some citizens can afford to live on top of the class system, while others are stuck in illiterate poverty. He also noted the title Us could mean “U.S.”, or United States.
The Tethered’s red jump suits and single glove were an allusion to Michael Jackson along with the “Thriller” shirt seen on young Adelaide, and Peele has stated that Jackson was “the patron saint of duality”. Peele referenced many other instances of 1980s culture, including allusions to The Lost Boys and Hands Across America, stating “Everything in this movie was deliberate, that is one thing I can guarantee you. Unless you didn’t like something and that was a complete accident”.
The film contains numerous references to Jeremiah 11:11, which reads: “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them'” (NIV). Critic Rosie Fletcher commented on the context, with Jeremiah warning Jerusalem was facing destruction due to false idols, and expressed the opinion that the film’s characters also “worshiped the wrong things”… (wiki)
Nineteen Eighty-Four, also known as 1984, is a 1984 British dystopian science fiction film written and directed by Michael Radford, based upon George Orwell‘s novel of the same name (published in June 1949). Starring John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, and Cyril Cusack,
the film follows the life of Winston Smith, a low-ranking civil servant in a war-torn London ruled by Oceania, a totalitarian superstate. Smith (Hurt) struggles to maintain his sanity and his grip on reality as the regime’s overwhelming power and influence persecutes individualism and individual thinking on both a political and personal level. The film, which features Burton’s last screen appearance, is dedicated to him. (wiki)