spacetime coordinates: Paris in the 1930s
Hugo is a 2011 historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick‘s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it is about a boy who lives alone in the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris in the 1930s.
The backstory and primary features of Georges Méliès‘ life as depicted in the film are largely accurate: He became interested in film after seeing a demonstration of the Lumière brothers‘ camera; he was a magician and toymaker; he experimented with automata; he owned a theatre (Theatre Robert-Houdin); he was forced into bankruptcy; his film stock was reportedly melted down for its celluloid; he became a toy salesman at the Montparnasse station, and he was eventually awarded the Légion d’honneur medal after a period of terrible neglect. Many of the early silent films shown in the movie are Méliès’s actual works, such as Le voyage dans la lune (1902). However, the film does not mention Méliès’ two children, his brother Gaston (who worked with Méliès during his film-making career), or his first wife Eugénie, who was married to Méliès during the time he made films (and who died in 1913). The film shows Méliès married to Jeanne d’Alcy during their filmmaking period, when in reality they did not marry until 1925. (read more here: Historical references)
Snowpiercer (hangul: 설국열차; hanja: 雪國列車; RR: Seolgungnyeolcha) is a 2013 English-language South Korean-Czech science fiction thriller film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film is directed by Bong Joon-ho, and written by Bong and Kelly Masterson.
The film stars Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Go Ah-sung, John Hurt, and Ed Harris.
In 2014, an attempt to counteract global warming through climate engineering backfires catastrophically, unintentionally causing an ice age that extinguishes all life except the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a massive train powered by a perpetual motion engine that travels a circumnavigational track, created by the transportation magnate Wilford.
By 2031, elites inhabit the extravagant front cars and the “scum” inhabit the tail in squalid and brutal conditions.
Evans stars as Curtis Everett, a member of the lower-class tail section passengers as they lead a revolution against the elite of the front of the train. Filming was done on train car sets mounted on gimbals at Barrandov Studios in Prague to simulate the motion of the train. – (read more)
spacetime coordinates: 2016 South Korea // KTX high-speed line from Seoul to Busan
Train to Busan (Hangul: 부산행; RR: Busanhaeng) is a 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok. The film takes place in a train to Busan, as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks in the country and compromises the safety of the passengers.
An animated prequel, Seoul Station, also directed by Sang-ho, was released less than a month later.
imdb: Busanhaeng , Seoul Station
spacetime coordinates: autumn and around Christmas 1989 to the backdrop of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution // jeseniky mountains // small railway station Bílý Potok // Prague
Alois Nebel is a 2011 Czech animated drama / neo-noir directed by Tomáš Luňák, based on the comic-book trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromír 99.
It is set in the late 1980s in a small village in the Jeseník Mountains, close to the Polish border, and tells the story of a train dispatcher who begins to suffer from hallucinations where the present converges with the dark past of the expulsion of Germans after World War II. The black-and-white film was animated mainly through rotoscoping and stars Miroslav Krobot as the title character.
Europa (known as Zentropa in North America) is a 1991 Danish art drama film directed by Lars von Trier. It is von Trier’s third theatrical feature film and the final film in his Europa trilogy following The Element of Crime (1984) and Epidemic (1987). Europa was influenced by Franz Kafka‘s Amerika, and the title was chosen “as an echo” of that novel.
A young, idealistic American hopes to “show some kindness” to the German people soon after the end of World War II. In US-occupied Germany, he takes on work as a sleeping car conductor for the Zentropa railway network, falls in love with a femme fatale, and becomes embroiled in a pro-Nazi terrorist conspiracy.
Europa employs an experimental style of cinema, combining largely black and white visuals with occasional intrusions of colour having actors interact with rear-projected footage, and layering different images over one another to surreal effect. The voice-over narration uses an unconventional second-person narrative imitative of a hypnotist
The film’s characters, music, dialogue, and plot are self-consciously melodramatic and ironically imitative of film noir conventions.
spacetime coordinates: 2000’s India
The Darjeeling Limited is a 2007 American adventure comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson which he co-produced with Scott Rudin, Roman Coppola and Lydia Dean Pilcher and co-wrote with Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. The film stars Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Schwartzman and also features Waris Ahluwalia, Amara Karan, Barbet Schroeder and Anjelica Huston with Natalie Portman, Camilla Rutherford, Irrfan Khan and Bill Murray in cameo roles.
The Darjeeling Limited includes many of Anderson’s signature themes and styles, such as despair, abandonment, sibling relationships, a privileged class who rarely work, and timeless fashions and props. Anderson has revealed that The River by Jean Renoir, the films of Satyajit Ray and documentaries on India by Louis Malle were his inspirations for this movie. The film was dedicated to Ray and makes allusions to him and his work.
As of April 2015, on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 68% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 188 reviews, with a consensus among critics that the film “will satisfy Wes Anderson fans.”