745 – Aferim! (2015)

timespace coordinates: 1835 WallachiaMV5BNTgxNjA5MDkzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTUyNzA5NDE@._V1_Aferim! (English: Bravo!) is a 2015 Romanian drama/western film directed by Radu Jude. The film is set in Wallachia in the early 19th century, when a local gendarme, Costandin, is hired by Iordache, a boyar, to find Carfin, a Gypsy slave who had run away from the boyar’s estate after having an affair with his wife, Sultana. Aferim! (2015) is only the second Romanian film to address the Roma slavery, which existed in Wallachia for almost 500 years until 1856. (The first one was the silent film Fata tigani in dormitor (1923). It has apparently been lost, with only a few stills surviving.)

The story is fictional, but director Radu Jude said in the NY Times (Sept. 8, 2015) that he drew on the historical record. Before shooting began, he held a script reading with 20 historians and made adjustments in response to their input.aferimPublication The Hollywood Reporter describes Radu Jude’s film as “a harsh lesson of history, relieved by overlooked humor and classic Western elements”. Variety magazine writes that Aferim! is “an exceptional and extremely intelligent insight into a crucial period of history, a film equally inspired and furious” (wiki)

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744 – Scarred Hearts / Inimi cicatrizate (2016)

timespace coordinates: 1937  Tekirghiol  Romania

“Scarred Hearts” is inspired by Romanian author Max Blecher‘s novel, which is set in 1937. It centers on Emanuel, a man in his early 20s, who spends his days at a sanatorium on the Black Sea coast, suffering from bone tuberculosis. Falling in love with another patient, he narrates his and his fellow patients’ attempts to live life to the full as their bodies slowly wither but their minds refuse to give in. Blecher wrote the text, hailed as a masterpiece on publication in Romania in 1939, as autobiographical notes before he died, after 10 years of suffering, at the age of 29.

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743 – A Viszkis / The Whisky Robber (2017)

timespace coordinates: 80’s TransylvaniaRomania > 1988 – 1999 Budapest, HungaryMV5BZmRkOTgyM2UtZGZjOC00YzcxLTgzZTMtOGVkZTNmYmU2N2MzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjIzMTU0Nzk@._V1_‘A Viszkis’/’The Whiskey Robber’ is a biographical crime-thriller written and directed by Nimród Antal and stars Bence Szalay as the notorious 1990s folk hero of Hungary, Attila Ambrus, who committed 27 bank and post office robberies from 1993 to 1999 until his eventual capture. The estimated amount of money stolen is more than 100 million HUF (approx. half a million USD) at the time.846f9ea8c01561764e2fa0faaeb970bfFor the release in Hungary, a giant promotional billboard was placed above a bank in Budapest.

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698 – Van Helsing (2004)

timespace coordinates: 1888 Transylvania

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Van Helsing is a 2004 American dark fantasy action comedy written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It stars Hugh Jackman as vigilante monster hunter Van Helsing, and Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious. The film is an homage and tribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and ’40s (also produced by Universal Studios which were in turn based on novels by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley), of which Sommers is a fan.

The eponymous character was inspired by the Dutch vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing from Irish author Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.  The film includes a number of monsters such as Count DraculaFrankenstein’s monster and werewolves in a way similar to the multi-monster movies that Universal produced in the 1940s, such as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf ManHouse of Frankenstein and House of Dracula.

Spin-offs

Sommers expanded the story of Van Helsing in two direct spin-offs:

  • The animated prequel titled Van Helsing: The London Assignment takes place before the main events of the film, focusing on Van Helsing’s mission to try to stop Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from terrorizing London.
  • There is also a one-shot comic book, published by Dark Horse Comics, titled Van Helsing: From Beneath the Rue Morgue, that follows Van Helsing on a self-contained adventure that occurs during the events of the film, just after the death of Jekyll/Hyde in Paris but before Van Helsing returned to Rome. In the adventure, Van Helsing deals with Doctor Moreau and his hybrid mutants.

Reboot and shared universe

In May 2012, Universal Pictures announced that they would be rebooting the film with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as a two-year deal to produce a modern reimagining and Tom Cruise to star as the title character and also produce the film. Rupert Sanders is in talks to direct the film. Orci spoken to IGN that he has hinted that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a shared universe. On November 11, 2015, Variety reports that Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer will write the reboot, but Cruise left the film. However, in 2016, Cruise signed back on to star in Kurtzman’s The Mummy, which was released in theaters on June 9, 2017. (wiki)

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309 – The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (2013 video game)

674 – Secret Life Underground: Series 1 (2016 documentary)

Nature Documentary hosted by Geoffrey Bateman, published by Arte in 2016 – English narration. (docuwiki)

The underground world is so unfamiliar to us that you only have to dig down a few yards to reveal a totally unknown realm, just beneath our feet. Today, only a fraction of the rich biodiversity that inhabits the soil has been studied. Scientists estimate that the ground is probably home to 70% of the living organisms yet to be discovered.

The Skin Of The Earth

Secret-Life-Underground-Series-1-chaptershot0We know less than 10% of the organisms that populate the underground world and that, each in their own way, take an active part in creating the soil. We are just beginning to discover that plants form partnerships and create complex unions. Welcome to this subtle, surprising and secret world.

Hidden in the Depths

Secret-Life-Underground-Series-1-chaptershot1Take a journey alongside scientists into an underground maze with huge surprises in store. They lead us into monumental cavities, shaped by water and by time. They reveal to us mineral jewels of staggering beauty, and shed light on certain species of fauna that defy the imagination.

mineral trees: