1328 – The Exception (2016)

timespace coordinates: Occupied Holland during World War II

The Exception is a 2016 romantic war drama directed by David Leveaux, in his directorial debut, and written by Simon Burke, based on Alan Judd‘s 2003 novel The Kaiser’s Last Kiss. The film stars Jai CourtneyLily JamesJanet McTeer, and Christopher Plummer.

The plot is a fictionalized account of the life of exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II (Plummer). When a Wehrmacht officer (Courtney) is ordered to determine whether or not a British spy has infiltrated the Kaiser’s residence with a view to assassinating the deposed monarch. (wiki)

imdb

1327 – In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

timespace coordinates: 1990’s New Hampshire

reality isn’t what it used to be…”

In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 American horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca. It stars Sam NeillJulie CarmenJürgen ProchnowDavid Warner and Charlton Heston. Informally, the film is the third installment in Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy, preceded by The Thing and Prince of Darkness.

The film pays tribute to the work of seminal horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, with many references to his stories and themes. Its title is a play on Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, and insanity plays as great a role in the film as it does in Lovecraft’s fiction. The opening scene depicts Trent’s confinement to an asylum, with the bulk of the story told in flashback, a common technique of Lovecraft. Reference is made to Lovecraftian settings and details (such as a character that shares the name of Lovecraft’s Pickman family). Sutter Cane’s novels have similar titles to H.P. Lovecraft stories : The Whisperer of the Dark (The Whisperer in Darkness), The Thing in the Basement (The Thing on the Doorstep), Haunter out of Time (The Haunter of the Dark/The Shadow Out of Time), and The Hobbs End Horror (The Dunwich Horror), the latter also referencing Hobbs End underground station from Nigel Kneale‘s Quatermass and the Pit.

The film can also be seen as a reference to Stephen King, who, like Lovecraft, writes horror fiction set in New England hamlets. (wiki)

imdb

1324 – Strange Days (1995)

timespace coordinates: 1999, turn of the century (near-future) Los Angeles (racial war zone / New Year’s Eve party) 

MV5BODFkMTBmNjktMjM1Yy00MjY5LTliMGEtM2FhYjE2YjRmN2RkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzkwMjQ5NzM@._V1_Strange Days is a 1995 American science fiction thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by James Cameron and Jay Cocks, and produced by Cameron and Steven-Charles Jaffe. It stars Ralph FiennesAngela BassettJuliette Lewis, and Tom Sizemore. Set in the last two days of 1999, the film follows the story of a black marketeer of SQUID discs, recordings that allow a user to experience the recorder’s memories and physical sensations, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the murder of a prostitute.

Blending science fiction with film noir conventions, Strange Days explores themes such as racismabuse of powerrape, and voyeurism. Although the story was conceived by Cameron around 1986, Bigelow found inspiration after incidents such as the Lorena Bobbitt trial and the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict.

Strange Days was a commercial failure and almost derailed Bigelow’s career (…) Nevertheless, the film’s critical standing has improved over the years, with many fans feeling that the film has been overlooked by a casual mass audience and misguided critics.

The scene where the crowd celebrates the turn of the new century at the end of the film was shot at the corner of the 5th and Flower streets, between the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Los Angeles Public Library. Over 50 off-duty police officers were hired to control an assembled crowd of 10,000 people, who had to pay $10 in advance to attend the event. The film-makers also hired rave promoters Moss Jacobs and Philip Blaine to produce performances featuring Aphex TwinDeee-Lite, as well as “all the cyber-techno bands they could garner”.

In 2015The Washington Post editor Sonny Bunch felt that Strange Days was still relevant, comparing the imagery captured by the SQUID units to that of first-person shooters or cellphone videos on YouTube. He added that events such as Jeriko One’s murder and the subsequent coverup of the crime contribute to activist movements like Black Lives Matter, and that their media documentation amplifies their reception and consequences. (read more: Themes)

Strange Days_02_0

wiki   /   imdb

1322 – Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

timespace coordinates: East Berlin, from October 1989 to just after German reunification a year later (Most scenes were shot at the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin and around Plattenbauten near Alexanderplatz.)

Good Bye Lenin! is a 2003 German tragicomedy film, directed by Wolfgang Becker. The cast includes Daniel BrühlKatrin SaßChulpan Khamatova, and Maria Simon. The story follows a family in East Germany; the mother (Saß) is dedicated to the socialist cause and falls into a coma in October 1989, shortly before the November revolution. When she awakens eight months later in June 1990, her son (Brühl) attempts to protect her from a fatal shock by concealing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism.

Ostalgie is a neologism for the nostalgia for a communist past which is a common theme in Good Bye, Lenin! (read more


wiki   /   imdb   /   rottentomatoes   /   Sandmann Lied (sandmännchen – kosmonaut)

1320 – The Collini Case (2019)

timespace coordinates: 1944 – 1968 – 2001 berlin germany / pisa / montecatini tuscany italy

The Collini Case (German: Der Fall Collini) is a 2019 German crime-drama-thriller film loosely based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ferdinand von Schirach, a legal thriller that deals with Germany’s Nazi past and that was inspired by the author’s own family history. The film is directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner and stars Elyas M’Barek, Alexandra Maria Lara, Heiner Lauterbach, Manfred Zapatka and Franco Nero.

imdb

1319 – Killing Them Softly (2012)

timespace coordinates: American financial crisis and presidential election campaign, the fall of 2008killing-them-softly-poster1Killing Them Softly is a 2012 American neo-noir crime film directed by Andrew Dominik and starring Brad Pitt, based on George V. Higgins‘ novel Cogan’s Trade (1974).   The film is about three small-time crooks who rob a Mob-protected illegal gambling operation, which prompts the Mob to send in two hitmen, Jackie (Pitt) and Mickey (James Gandolfini), to deal with the perpetrators. (wiki)

imdb

1317 – The Death of Dick Long (2019)

timespace coordinates: 2010’s “warped Alabama backwoods narrative”

Y’all wanna get weird?

MV5BOTQ3ZjZhZjAtNWRkNy00NWQ3LWJlMDgtMTExYmY5NTc0MWY2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTkxNjUyNQ@@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_The Death of Dick Long is a 2019 twisted awkward black comedydrama film directed and produced by Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man) and written by Billy Chew. The film stars Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia NewcombAndre HylandSarah BakerJess WeixlerRoy Wood Jr., and Sunita Mani.


[I]t is probably best seen with zero foreknowledge. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (AV Club)

You may not like where the movie takes you, but damn if you won’t enjoy the ride. Scott Marks  (San Diego Reader)

You can feel your brain melting away as you watch it, and that’s not always a bad sensation. Bilge Ebiri (New York Magazine/Vulture)

A Deep South crime story that evokes Fargo with different accents Pat Padua
(The DC Line)

It’s one of the year’s best oddities, a small film about hillbilly country folk that certainly won’t be for everyone. Justin Jones (CBR)


rottentomatoes   /   wiki   /   imdb