Home is a 2009 French documentary film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. The English version was read by Glenn Close.The film was financed by Kering, a French multinational holding company specializing in retail shops and luxury brands, as part of their public relations strategy. (wiki)Yann Arthus-Bertrand said in a TED talk that the movie has no copyright.
A Beautiful Planet is a 2016 American documentary film that explores Earth by showing IMAX footage that was recorded over the course of fifteen months by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The filmmakers who created the movie and the astronauts who filmed it and starred in it intended to help viewers experience the awe and wonder that come from looking down on our planet from space. It is narrated by Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Lawrence; she has called A Beautiful Planet “a love letter to Earth.”
The film also examines some of the daily experiences of the astronauts, who represent the respective space agencies for the United States, Russia, Europe, and Japan. This multinational crew lives and works on the Space Station, an orbiting symbol of cutting edge technology and peaceful international cooperation which is presented as “a truly awesome example of what we can achieve when we work together.” (wiki)
As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age.
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime. (VERSO)
timespace coordinates: 1931 – 1941 French GuianaPapillon is a 2017 biographical drama film directed by Michael Noer. It tells the story of French convict Henri Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), nicknamed Papillon (“butterfly”), who was imprisoned in 1933 in the notorious Devil’s Island penal colony and escaped in 1941 with the help of another convict, counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek). The film’s screenplay is based on Charrière’s autobiographies Papillon and Banco, as well as the former’s 1973 film adaptation, which was written by Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr. and starred Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. (wiki)
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.