timespace coordinates: 18th century in a remote South American colony
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.
The Botany of Desire is a two-hour program broadcast by PBS based on The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. Pollan presents case studies that mirror four types of human desires that are reflected in the way that we selectively grow, breed, and genetically engineer our plants. The tulip, beauty; marijuana, intoxication; the apple, sweetness; and the potato, control.
The stories range from the true story of Johnny Appleseed to Pollan’s first-hand research with sophisticated marijuana hybrids in Amsterdam to the paradigm-shifting possibilities of genetically engineered potatoes. Pollan also discusses the limitations of monoculture agriculture: specifically, the adoption in Ireland of a single breed of potato (the Lumper) made the Irish vulnerable to a fungus to which it had no resistance, resulting in the Irish Potato Famine. The Peruvians from whom the Irish had gotten the potato grew hundreds of varieties, so their exposure to any given pest was slight.
Michael Pollan on twitter
spacetime coordinates: 1858 – 1859 Texas – Tennessee – Mississippi (Candyland plantation)Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson, with Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, and Don Johnson in supporting roles. Set in the Old West and Antebellum South, it is a highly stylized tribute to Spaghetti Westerns, in particular the 1966 Italian film Django by Sergio Corbucci, whose star Franco Nero has a cameo appearance.
Sic Parvis Magna
Uncharted is an action-adventure third-person shooter platform video game series developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles. The series follows protagonist Nathan “Nate” Drake(portrayed by Nolan North through voice and motion capture) a charismatic yet obsessive treasure hunter who journeys across the world to uncover various historical mysteries. The main series began with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune released on the PlayStation 3 in 2007, followed by its sequels Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009), Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011), with the final installment Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End released on the PlayStation 4 in 2016. A prequel, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, was released for Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld system in 2011, followed by the card game spin-off Uncharted: Fight for Fortune in 2012. A standalone expansion to the series, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, was released in 2017, with Chloe Frazer as the game’s playable protagonist.
spacetime coordinates: 19th-century England, Yorkshire > the Amazon and its tributaries > the Andes of Peru and Ecuador
” Pushing against its scientific reputation as downright boring, moss in particular served to create some botanical, aesthetic sense of a setting that allowed for illicit sexual encounters and for primal yearnings. The reasons for this strange dual identity of bryophytes as both mundane and as primal are relatively clear: realistically, moss provided a soft bed for sexual romps that had to take place outside of stuffy Victorian homes. Serving, perhaps predictably, as a slang term for pubic hair, moss was understood to be consistently moist and jewel-like, glittering like emerald colonies under light. (…) Although tropes of sexual encounters occurring in gardens and forests far predated the nineteenth century, both realistically and literarily, these hidden moss grottoes conjured up an image of something semi-religious, some secret refuge from the trials of urban — and overwhelming imperial tropical — life.”
The Pearl Button (Spanish: El botón de nácar) is a 2015 Chilean documentary film directed by Patricio Guzmán. The filmmaker has described the work as part of a triptych with Nostalgia for the Light (imdb) and potentially a third film focusing on the Andes.
It explores familiar Guzmán themes such as memory and the historical past, particularly that of history’s losers rather than victors, recording some of the last surviving members of the original Alacalufe and Yaghan tribes, the far north of Chile, the most waterless place on earth, where radio telescopes in the desert discover more about the cosmos each day. A departure for Guzmán is that it does not focus solely on Chile’s past under Augusto Pinochet, as the title was partly inspired by a shirt button discovered during a 2004 investigation by Chilean judge Juan Guzmán on a length of rail used to weight the bodies of Pinochet’s victims dumped in the sea and partly by the button after which the Yaghan native Jemmy Button was named when taken aboard HMS Beagle in 1830.
spacetime coordinates: Chile, 1948
Neruda is a 2016 internationally co-produced biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín, a fabulous retelling of popular poet and Communist Senator Pablo Neruda’s 1948 flight from Chile’s fascist government.