“Code 8 is an electrifying film featuring ordinary people with powers in a tough world. It’s a gritty and realistic take that’s a nice change of pace in the superhero genre.” John Nguyen / Nerd Reactor
Memory: The Origins of Alien is a 2019 documentary film that traces the origin of Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise. Directed and written by Alexandre O. Philippe, it focuses on the idea that film is “a collective art form – not just the wider circle of writers, performers and technicians beyond the director, but in the case of the truly great films, serendipitous access to a deeper collective unconscious …”, tracing the connections from H. P. Lovecraft to Francis Bacon to the Greek Furies. (wiki) / imdb / rt
timespace coordinates: “near future” (2050’s ?) commercial flight to the Moon > the ship Cepheus, bound for Mars > Norwegian biomedical research space station > underground SpaceCom base on Mars > the Lima Project (Neptune’s rings)Ad Astra is a 2019 American science fiction adventure film produced, co-written, and directed by James Gray. Starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland, it follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System. + scored by Max Richter. +
Reviews out of the Venice Film Festival compared it to well-worn sci-fi touchstones “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Solaris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” in part due to its probing adventure narrative. Gray says he went straight to the urtext that inspired them, Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.” (cnn)
The title means “to the stars” in Latin. It is often used as a shorthand for “Per Aspera Ad Astra” (Through the hardships to the Stars).
Freaks is a 2018 American-Canadian science fiction thriller film directed, written and produced by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein. It stars Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, and Lexy Kolker, who was seven years old at the time of filming.
The film tells the story of a 7-year-old girl named Chloe (Kolker) who is locked in an abandoned house by her disturbed father (Hirsch). The mysterious Mr. Snowcone (Dern) convinces her to escape for his own suspicious reasons. (wiki)
A promotional poster for the film features a street sign with a one eye logo and a phone number to call to report “abnormal activity”. The number is 1-800-517-5890 and when called, a recorded message with a woman’s voice would say, “Thank you for calling the abnormal defense hotline, provided by the Department of Homeland Security.” The recorded message at first urged others to be on the lookout for “freaks” and it said that you can leave a message to report any abnormal activity from freaks. A few days later, the recorded message was changed to warn others to stay away from an upcoming San Diego Comic Con “free underground prescreening of Freaks” on July 18, 2019.
“Pontypool” was produced as both a motion picture, and as a radio play. Both versions of “Pontypool” were influenced by Orson Welles‘ infamous radio production of “The War of the Worlds.” The radio play was broadcast on the BBC’s Art & Culture section of their World Service website. It is approximately 58 minutes long, as opposed to the film’s running time of 95 minutes.
timespace coordinates: 70’s Oregon – Morningside Cemetery
Phantasm is a 1979 American science fantasy horror film directed, written, photographed, and edited by Don Coscarelli. “a truly bizarre mix of outlandish horror, cheapo gore, and psychological mindgames that purposefully blur the line between waking and dreaming.” Marc Savlov
The first film in the Phantasm franchise, it introduces the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a supernatural and malevolent undertaker who turns the dead of Earth into dwarf zombies to be sent to his planet and used as slaves. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike (Michael Baldwin), who tries to convince his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) and family friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) of the threat.
Phantasm was a locally financed independent film; the cast and crew were mostly amateurs and aspiring professionals. Though initial reviews were mixed in regards to the dream-like, surreal narrative and imagery, later reception was more positive and the film became a cult classic. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2010’s U.S. / Colombia / Hungary
Gemini Man is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Ang Lee. Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong, the film follows a hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself while on the run from the government. (wiki)