1063 – The Pianist (2002)

timespace coordinates: 1939 – 1945 Warsaw  during Nazi Germany‘s invasion of Poland /  Warsaw Ghetto /  the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising /  the Warsaw Uprising

MV5BOWRiZDIxZjktMTA1NC00MDQ2LWEzMjUtMTliZmY3NjQ3ODJiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjU0OTQ0OTY@._V1_The Pianist is a 2002 biographical drama film produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The Pianist, a Holocaust memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman, a Holocaust survivor. The film was a co-production of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland.

The story had deep connections with director Roman Polanski because he escaped from the Kraków Ghetto as a child after the death of his mother. He ended up living in a Polish farmer’s barn until the war’s end. His father almost died in the camps, but they reunited after the end of World War II. (wiki)

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1032 – The Last Samurai (2003)

timespace coordinates: 1876 – 1877 California > Japan25b37ffea8d32331The Last Samurai is a 2003 American period action drama film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan and Marshall Herskovitz. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, with Timothy SpallKen WatanabeBilly ConnollyTony GoldwynHiroyuki SanadaKoyuki, and Shin Koyamada in supporting roles.

Tom Cruise portrays a United States Captain of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact with samurai warriors in the wake of the Meiji Restoration in 19th Century Japan.

The film’s plot was inspired by the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori, and the westernization of Japan by foreign powers, though in the film the United States is portrayed as the primary force behind the push for westernization. To a lesser extent it is also influenced by the stories of Jules Brunet, a French army captain who fought alongside Enomoto Takeaki in the earlier Boshin War and Frederick Townsend Ward, an American mercenary who helped Westernize the Chinese army by forming the Ever Victorious Army. (wiki)

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918 – The Drop (2014)

timespace coordinates: 2010s Brooklynthe-drop-poster03The Drop is a 2014 American crime film directed by Michaël R. Roskam, from a screenplay written by Dennis Lehane. The film is based on Lehane’s 2009 short story “Animal Rescue”. Lehane also adapted the script into a 2014 novel of The Drop. The film stars Tom HardyNoomi Rapace and James Gandolfini (in his final film role), with Matthias SchoenaertsJohn Ortiz and James Frecheville in supporting roles. (wiki)

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855 – The Secret of Kells (2009)

timespace coordinates: 9th century Ireland

1118full-the-secret-of-kells-posterThe Secret of Kells is a 2009 French-Belgian-Irish animated fantasy film animated by Cartoon Saloon directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey.

The film is based on the story of the origin of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament located in Dublin, Ireland.

It also draws upon Celtic mythology; examples include its inclusion of Crom Cruach, a pre-Christian Irish deity and the reference to the poetic genre of Aislings, in which a poet is confronted by a dream or vision of a seeress, in the naming of the forest sprite encountered by Brendan. Wider mythological similarities have also been commented upon, such as parallels between Brendan’s metaphysical battle with Crom Cruach and Beowulf‘s underwater encounter with Grendel’s mother. 

The Secret of Kells began development in 1999, when Tomm Moore and several of his friends were inspired by Richard Williams’s The Thief and the Cobbler, Disney’s Mulan and the works of Hayao Miyazaki, which based their visual style on the respective traditional art of the cultures featured in each film. They decided to do something similar to Studio Ghibli‘s films but with Irish art. Tomm Moore explained that the visual style was inspired by Celtic and medieval art, being ‘flat, with false perspective and lots of colour’. Even the clean up was planned to ‘obtain the stained glass effect of thicker outer lines’. (wiki)

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