1216 – Sanatorium pod Klepsydra / The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)

Among all the tales there is one, / which you haven’t heard / and which the night reclaimed long ago. / Have you enough patience to listen to it?

The Hourglass Sanatorium (Polish: Sanatorium pod klepsydrą) is a 1973 Polish film directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has, starring Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Mieczysław Voit, Halina Kowalska and Gustaw Holoubek. The story follows a young Jewish man who visits his father in a mystical sanatorium where time does not behave normally. The film is an adaptation of Bruno Schulz‘s story collection Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. It won the Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. (Release)

MV5BMjIxMzBlNDgtMTM0Zi00MmEyLWIxMTAtYTFlNGE4OTMyZWVjL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTAyODkwOQ@@._V1_timespace coordinates: The time period of the film is a mixture of elements from the turn-of-the-century Galicia where Schulz grew up, and Has‘ own pre-World War II memories of the same region

Joseph (Jan Nowicki) travels through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father, Jacob, in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice.

Though Joseph is always shown as an adult, his behavior and the people around often depict him as a child. He befriends Rudolf, a young boy who owns a postage stamp album. The names of the stamps trigger a wealth of association and adventure in Joseph. Among the many occurrences in this visually potent phantasmagoria include Joseph re-entering childhood episodes with his wildly eccentric father (who lives with birds in an attic), being arrested by a mysterious unit of soldiers for having a dream that was severely criticized in high places, reflecting on a girl he fantasized about in his boyhood and commandeering a group of historic wax mannequins. Throughout his strange journey, an ominous blind train conductor reappears like a death figure.

Has also adds a series of reflections on the Holocaust that were not present in the original texts, reading Schulz’s prose through the prism of the author’s death during World War II and the demise of the world he described. (wiki)

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“There are things than cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to loose their integrity in the frailty of realization. ”  (Bruno Schulz)

1011 – The House That Jack Built (2018)

timespace coordinates:  1970s and 1980s  Washington.

!extreme violence!

THTJB-AlternatePosterThe-House-That-Jack-Built-Movie-Poster-LarsThe House That Jack Built is a 2018 psychological horror art film written and directed by Lars von Trier, starring Matt Dillon in the title role of Jack. The story follows Jack, a serial killer, over the course of 12 years in the 1970s and 1980s in the U.S. state of Washington. The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, marking von Trier’s return to the festival after more than six years. (wiki)

The shot of Jack and Verge standing in a boat strongly resembles the painting “La Barque de Dante” by Eugène Delacroix, which was in itself influenced by “The Raft of the Medusa” (Le Radeau de La Méduse) by Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault. (read more: trivia)

von Trier described the film as celebrating “the idea that life is evil and soulless”.

imdb   /   rottentomatoes

772 – Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

timespace coordinates: 1900. girls’ private school, near the town of Woodend, VictoriaAustralia

“What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.”99405_frontPicnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 Australian mystery drama film which was produced by Hal and Jim McElroy, directed by Peter Weir, and starred Vivean GrayDominic GuardAnne-Louise LambertHelen Morse, and Rachel Roberts. It was adapted by Cliff Green from the 1967 novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay, who was deliberately ambiguous about whether the events really took place, although the story is in fact entirely fictitious.

The plot involves the disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at Hanging RockVictoria on Valentine’s Day in 1900, and the subsequent effect on the local community.

imdb

read: 770


Marion stares down at the Picnic Ground and says, “Whatever can those people be doing down there, like a lot of ants? A surprising number of human beings are without purpose though it is probable they are performing some function unknown to themselves.”

742 – LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE / Ruang rak noi nid mahasan (2003)

timespace coordinates: 2000’s ThailandLast Life in the Universe posterThai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang directs the character-driven drama Last Life in the Universe, co-written by first-time screenwriter Prabda Yoon. Kenji (Tadanobu Asano) is a Japanese man living in Bangkok. He lives a tidy, silent lifestyle fueled by the detached desire to kill himself. Meanwhile, Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak) is a pot-smoking call girl who lives in a  shabby beachside home outside the city. She tries to teach herself to speak Japanese with hopes of moving to Osaka. One day, Kenji walks into his apartment as his brother Yukio (Yutaka Matsushige) is involved in a gun fight with gangster (yakuza) Takashi (Riki Takeuchi). Then Kenji accidentally witnesses the death of Noi’s lovely sister, Nid (Laila Boonyasak), with whom he first became smitten at the library. Having nowhere to go, Kenji goes to live with Noi for a few days, leading to the development of a strange and sensitive relationship. With cinematography by Hong Kong-based photographer Christopher Doyle. Last Life in the Universe won an Upstream Prize at the 2003 Venice Film Festival. (rottentomatoes)last-life-in-the-universe140990242_d52609771b_b

Last Life in the Universe OST – Untitled [Are you alone? Are you lonely?]


402 – Drowning by Numbers (1988)

drowning by numbers

Drowning by Numbers is a 1988 British-Dutch film directed by Peter GreenawayDrowning by Numbers(158)The film’s plot centres on three married women — a grandmother, her daughter, and her niece — each named Cissie Colpitts. As the story progresses, each woman successively drowns her husband. The three Cissie Colpittses are played by Joan PlowrightJuliet Stevenson and Joely Richardson, while Bernard Hill plays the coroner, Madgett, who is cajoled into covering up the three crimes.Drowning by Numbers(159)The structure, with similar stories repeated three times, is reminiscent of a fairy tale, most specifically ‘The Billy Goats Gruff‘, because Madgett is constantly promised greater rewards as he tries his luck with each of the Cissies in turn. The link to folklore is further established by Madgett’s son Smut, who recites the rules of various unusual games played by the characters as if they were ancient traditions. Many of these games are invented for the film, including:

  • Bees in the Trees
  • Dawn Card Castles
  • Deadman’s Catch
  • Flights of Fancy (or Reverse Strip Jump)
  • The Great Death Game
  • Hangman’s Cricket
  • The Hare and Hounds
  • Sheep and Tides

In Drowning by Numbers, number-counting, the rules of games and the repetitions of the plot are all devices which emphasise structure and symmetry. Through the course of the film each of the numbers 1 to 100 appear, the large majority in sequence, often seen in the background, sometimes spoken by the characters. 

The film is set and was shot in and around SouthwoldSuffolkEngland, with key landmarks such as the Victorian water towerSouthwold Lighthouse, and the estuary of the River Blyth clearly identifiable.

Music

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092929/

045 – Taboo (2017 TV series)

spacetime coordinate:  1814 London

Adventurer James Keziah Delaney builds his own shipping empire in the early 1800s.

-Taboo-Poster-

It was created by Steven Knight, Tom Hardy and his father, Edward “Chips” Hardy and is based on a story written by Tom and Chips Hardy. The eight-part series, set in 1814, begins with James Delaney (Tom Hardy) returning to England after twelve years in Africa with fourteen stolen diamonds, following the death of his father and as the war with the United States is nearing its end. Delaney finds himself in a face-off against the East India Company, whilst playing a dangerous game between the two warring nations.

music composed by Max Richter.

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