329 – Contact (1997)

spacetime coordinates: 1990s New Mexico // Florida //  Puerto Rico // Washington, D.C. // Wisconsin // Hokkaido

contact posterContact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan‘s 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the story outline for the film.37696-1920x1200contact 1Jodie Foster portrays the film’s protagonist, Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen to make first contact.

imdb        wiki

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What Happens If China Makes First Contact?

As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose. (read more)

“No civilization should ever announce its presence to the cosmos. Any other civilization that learns of its existence will perceive it as a threat to expand—as all civilizations do, eliminating their competitors until they encounter one with superior technology and are themselves eliminated. This grim cosmic outlook is called “dark-forest theory,” because it conceives of every civilization in the universe as a hunter hiding in a moonless woodland, listening for the first rustlings of a rival.”

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270 – Die Päpstin (2009)

spacetime coordinates:  9th century
Ingelheim am Rhein – the cathedral school in Dorestad – the Fulda monastery of Benedictines – Rome 

die-päpstin-04Pope Joan (German: Die Päpstin) is an international epic film produced by Bernd Eichinger, based on American novelist Donna Woolfolk Cross‘ novel of the same name about the legendary Pope Joan. Directed by Sönke Wortmann, it stars Johanna Wokalek as Joan, David Wenham as Gerold, her lover, and John Goodman as Pope Sergius II.

2009-die-päpstin-01die_ppstin-2The popular story of the ‘female Pope’ that has become widespread since the Middle Ages and thereafter. Pope Joan has been mentioned in works that were released several centuries after her supposed reign. Most modern scholars have dismissed the stories as fictional, due to lack of contemporary documentation, and the debunking of indirect evidence. Many theories abound that the lack of evidence is the result of successful attempts by the Catholic Church to erase Joan’s existence from history. The matter therefore remains controversial.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458455/

266 – Luther (2003)

spacetime coordinates: 1505 – 1530 SaxonyHoly Roman Empire

Luther is a 2003 biopic about the life of Martin Luther (1483–1546) starring Joseph Fiennes. It was an independent film partially funded by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The film covers Luther’s life from his becoming a monk to the Diet of Augsburg.

film inaccuracies

+The film takes place over the course of three decades. However, none of the characters show any signs of aging, including Luther and the youthful German emperor.+

imdb

251 – Apocalypto (2006)

spacetime coordinates:  pre-Columbian Yucatan and Guatemala, 1502

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Apocalypto is a 2006 American epic adventure film directed and produced by Mel Gibson and written by Gibson and Farhad Safinia.  Similar to Gibson’s earlier film The Passion of the Christ, all dialogue is in a modern approximation of the ancient language of the setting. Here, the Yucatec Maya language is used, with English and other language subtitles, which sometimes refer to the language as Mayan.

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Themes

Historical Accuracy

imdb

 

134 – The Way Back (2010)

spacetime coordinates: 1940 Siberia, Soviet Union  Lake BaikalMongoliaGobi Desert, the Himalayas

 

the Way Back is a 2010 survival drama film directed by Peter Weir, from a screenplay by Weir and Keith Clarke. The film is inspired by The Long Walk (1956), the memoir by former Polish prisoner of war Sławomir Rawicz, who claimed to have escaped from a Soviet Gulag and walked 4,000 miles to freedom in World War II. The film stars Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, and Saoirse Ronan, with Alexandru Potocean, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Gustaf Skarsgård, Dragoş Bucur and Mark Strong.

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Regardless of whether or not this particular “long walk” really took place, during World War II other Poles undertook difficult journeys attempting to leave the Soviet Union. Accounts of their escapes can be found in the archives of the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London, and in the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, in California. Also, several relatively verifiable and believable escapee autobiographies have been published in English, e.g., Michael Krupa’s Shallow Graves in Siberia.

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Many of the events that happen in the gulag scenes come from Varlam Shalamov’s The Kolyma Tales. (read/download PDF here)

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023114/

033 – Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

spacetime coordinate: 19th century Slavonice

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Czech: Valerie a týden divů) is a 1970 Czechoslovakian surrealist horror film directed by Jaromil Jireš (1935–2001) and based on the 1945 novel of the same name by Vítězslav Nezval (1900–1958). It is considered part of the Czech New Wave movement.

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The 1970 film adaptation of Valerie a týden divů was shot in 1969 starring 13-year-old Jaroslava Schallerová as Valerie, with a supporting cast of Helena Anýžová, Karel Engel, Jan Klusák, Petr Kopriva, among others. It was filmed in the Czech town of Slavonice and surrounding areas. The film portrays the heroine as living in a disorienting dream, cajoled by priests, vampires, men and women alike, and blends elements of fantasy and horror films.

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Promotional trailer advertising the first public screening of a newly discovered print of Jaromil Jire’s legendary erotic horror-fantasy HERE

imdb

wikipedia