spacetime coordinates: 1846 – 1862 New York City
Gangs of New York is a 2002 American epic period drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of New York City. It was inspired by Herbert Asbury‘s 1928 non-fiction book, The Gangs of New York.
The film is set in 1863 and follows gang leader William “Bill the Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) in his roles as crime boss and political kingmaker under the helm of “Boss” Tweed (Jim Broadbent). The film culminates in a violent confrontation between Cutting and his mob with the protagonist Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his allies, which prefaces the real-life New York Draft Riots of 1863.
spacetime coordinates: farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971 // London suburb of Enfield 1977The Conjuring is an American horror film series distributed by the New Line Cinema division of Warner Bros. Pictures. The films present a dramatized take on the real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent yet controversial cases of haunting. The main series follows their attempts to assist people who find themselves possessed by demonic spirits, while the spin-off films focus on the origins of some of the entities the Warrens have come across.
The franchise currently consists of two films in the main series, The Conjuring (2013) (imdb) and The Conjuring 2 (2016) (imdb), both directed by James Wan, co-produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, and co-written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. The installments revolve around two of the many famous paranormal cases the Warrens have been a part of, with the first film depicting the case of the Perron family, who are experiencing disturbing events in their newly acquired house in Rhode Island, and the second entry focusing on the controversial case of the Enfield Poltergeist while briefly referencing the events that inspired The Amityville Horror. A third film in the main series is currently in development.
The franchise also includes Annabelle (2014), a prequel directed by The Conjuring cinematographer John R. Leonetti and produced by Safran and Wan, which developed the origins of the doll of the same name before the Warrens came into contact with it at the start of the first film. An Annabelle prequel, Annabelle: Creation (2017), directed by David F. Sandberg, was also produced. A spin-off film, The Nun, is currently in post-production, based on a character introduced in The Conjuring 2. A further spin-off film, The Crooked Man, also based on a character introduced in The Conjuring 2, is in development.
Horror films based on actual events
spacetime coordinates: Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, Poland 6 – 7 October 1944Son of Saul (Hungarian: Saul fia) is a 2015 Hungarian drama film directed by László Nemes and co-written by Nemes and Clara Royer. It is set in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, and follows a day-and-a-half in the life of Saul Ausländer (played by Géza Röhrig), a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando. The film’s many historical sources included the personal accounts of Schlomo Venezia and Filip Müller, the records of Miklos Nyiszli, a Romanian-Jewish doctor who was forced to work in the crematoria, and Claude Lanzmann‘s Shoah (1985).
During the preparation, director László Nemes, cinematographer Mátyás Erdély and production designer László Rajk made a pledge to stick to certain rules, or a “dogma”, which included: The film cannot look beautiful. // The film cannot look appealing. // We cannot make a horror film. // Staying with Saul means not going beyond his own field of vision, hearing, or presence. // The camera is his companion, it stays with him throughout this hell.
The film took five months of sound design, where human voices in eight languages were recorded and attached to the original recording of the production. Sound designer Tamás Zányi described the sound in the film “as a sort of acoustic counterpoint to the intentionally narrowed imagery”. The music score by László Melis is intentionally kept so subtle that viewers won’t even notice it. (read more: imdb, wiki)The film follows the same stylistic approach as László Nemes’ first and most successful short film Türelem (2007). In the short, the camera follows a woman proceed with her daily work routine with a very narrow focus and vision, until she walks up to a window and sees a group of Jewish prisoners stripped down by Sonderkommando prisoners and SS officers. The short is available online HERE.
spacetime coordinates: 2000’s Detroit, MichiganGran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. It is the first mainstream American film to feature Hmong Americans. Many Lao Hmong war refugees resettled in the U.S. following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975.
spacetime coordinates: village in the mountains of South Korea August 31, 2014 – February 28, 2015The Wailing (Hangul: 곡성; Hanja: 哭聲; RR: Gokseong) is a 2016 South Korean supernatural horror film directed by Na Hong-jin about a policeman who investigates a series of mysterious killings and illnesses.
According to director Hong-jin Na, the movie was made on the base of folk religions in Korea, Shamanism in Nepal and Catholic faiths.
spacetime coordinates: 18th – 19th century Easter Island
“According to one early commentator, Rapanui songs expressed ‘the surprise of being alive and also the sadness of life.’”
spacetime coordinates: 1873 New Mexico TerritoryCowboys & Aliens is a 2011 American western science fiction film directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. The film is based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. The plot revolves around an amnesiac outlaw (Craig), a wealthy cattleman (Ford), and a mysterious traveler (Wilde) who must ally to save a group of townspeople abducted by aliens.
Favreau chose to film traditionally and in anamorphic format (widescreen picture on standard 35 mm film) to further a “classic movie feel” Measures were taken to maintain a serious Western element despite the film’s “inherently comic” title and premise.
Roger Guyett about the aliens: “They’re frontiersmen in a way: traveling to another place and having to deal with all the adversities of the climate. And in our case, we played up the fact that they weren’t comfortable in our world. There are flies all around them; they don’t like the light; and when they were wounded and exposed, a strange fungus grows around them.”