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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702 – Ben-Hur (2016)

timespace coordinates: 25 – 33 ancient Rome / Jerusalem / Ionian Seaben_hur_ver14_xlgBen-Hur is a 2016 American epic historical period drama film directed by Timur Bekmambetov and written by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. It is the fifth film adaptation of the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace following the 1907 silent short film, the 1925 silent film, the Academy Award-winning 1959 film and the 2003 animated film of the same name. It has been termed a “re-adaptation”, “reimagining”, and “new interpretation” of the novel.  (wiki)

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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)

676 – Zama (2017)

timespace coordinates: 18th century in a remote South American colony

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Zama is a 2017 Argentine period drama film starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, and Matheus Nachtergaele & directed by Lucrecia Martel. It is based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Antonio di Benedetto, on Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish officer of the 18th century settled in Asunción, Paraguay, who awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires.

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641 – La planète sauvage / Fantastic Planet (1973)

918-3Qh8wdL._SL1500_Fantastic Planet (French: La Planète sauvage, Czech: Divoká planeta, lit. The Wild Planet) is a 1973 animated science fiction film directed by René Laloux and written by Laloux and Roland Topor. Topor also completed the film’s production design and it was animated at Jiří Trnka Studio in Prague. The entire animation team was composed of women.

The film was an international co-production between companies from France and Czechoslovakia (The animation was started in Prague but had to be moved to Paris to avoid interference by the Communist authorities who were in power at the time).tumblr_ol3jr9nPW41vl5jyeo1_1280The allegorical story, about humans living on a strange planet dominated by giant humanoid aliens (blue Draags) who consider them animals, is based on the 1957 novel Oms en série by French writer Stefan Wul. (wiki)   imdb   Interpretations

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