1385 – Ad Astra (2019)

timespace coordinates: “near future” (2050’s ?) commercial flight to the Moon > the ship Cepheus, bound for Mars > Norwegian biomedical research space station >  underground SpaceCom base on Mars > the Lima Project (Neptune’s rings)ad_astra_xlgAd Astra is a 2019 American science fiction adventure film produced, co-written, and directed by James Gray. Starring Brad PittTommy Lee JonesRuth NeggaLiv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland, it follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System. + scored by Max Richter. +

Reviews out of the Venice Film Festival compared it to well-worn sci-fi touchstones “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Solaris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” in part due to its probing adventure narrative. Gray says he went straight to the urtext that inspired them, Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.” (cnn)

The title means “to the stars” in Latin. It is often used as a shorthand for “Per Aspera Ad Astra” (Through the hardships to the Stars).

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1348 – Sweetheart (2019)

Sweetheart is a 2019 American survival horror/ creature feature directed by J.D. Dillard, written by Dillard, Alex Theurer and Alex Hyner, and starring Kiersey ClemonsEmory CohenHanna Mangan-Lawrence and Andrew Crawford. (wiki)960x0Jenn has washed ashore a small tropical island and it doesn’t take her long to realize she’s completely alone. She must spend her days not only surviving the elements, but must also fend off the malevolent force that comes out each night. (rottentomatoes)

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1307 – The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden (2013)

timespace coordinates: the Galapagos island of Floreana 1929 – 1935

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden is a 2013 feature-length documentary directed by  Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine. It is about a series of unsolved disappearances on the Galapagos island of Floreana in the 1930s among the largely European expatriate residents at the time. The voice cast includes Cate BlanchettSebastian KochThomas KretschmannDiane KrugerConnie NielsenJosh Radnor and Gustaf Skarsgård.

It features the 1934 silent film The Empress of Floreana in its entirety, but the four-minute short is split into halves. (wiki)

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1200 – Life of Pi (2012)

timespace coordinates: 1970s  India / the Pacific Ocean / Mexico – 2000’s Montreal

Life of Pi is a 2012 survival drama film based on Yann Martel‘s 2001 novel of the same name. Directed by Ang Lee, the film’s adapted screenplay was written by David Magee, and it stars Suraj SharmaIrrfan KhanRafe SpallTabu HashmiAdil Hussain, and Gérard Depardieu. The storyline revolves around an Indian man named “Pi” Patel, telling a novelist about his life story, and how at 16 he survives a shipwreck and is adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. (wiki)

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846 – Papillon (2017)

timespace coordinates: 1931 – 1941 French Guianapillon posterPapillon 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)

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Charles Brunier

808 – Gravity (2013)

timespace coordinates: Earth orbit, mission STS-157 to service the Hubble Space Telescope in the not too distant pastgravity_xlgGravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, co-edited, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as American astronauts who are stranded in space after the mid-orbit destruction of their space shuttle, and their subsequent attempt to return to Earth.

Visual effects company Framestore spent more than three years creating most of the film’s visual effects, which make up over 80 of its 91 minutes. (wiki)

Although Gravity is often referred to in the media as a science fiction film, Cuarón told BBC that he sees the film rather as “a drama of a woman in space”. According to him, the main theme of the film was “adversity” and he uses the debris as a metaphor for this. Despite being set in space, the film uses motifs from shipwreck and wilderness survival stories about psychological change and resilience in the aftermath of a catastrophe. (read more: Themes)gravity_gatefold1scientific accuracytumblr_mz3s2aJkzv1rcljqpo1_1280imdb

657 – Mind Game (2004)

GKIDS-MG-poster-webMind Game (マインド・ゲーム) is a 2004 Japanese animated feature film based on Robin Nishi’s manga of the same name. It was planned, produced and primarily animated by Studio 4°C and adapted and directed by Masaaki Yuasa in his directorial debut, with chief animation direction and model sheets by Yūichirō Sueyoshi, art direction by Tōru Hishiyama and groundwork and further animation direction by Masahiko Kubo.

It is unusual among features other than anthology films in using a series of disparate visual styles to tell one continuous story. As Yuasa commented in a Japan Times interview, “Instead of telling it serious and straight, I went for a look that was a bit wild and patchy. I think that Japanese animation fans today don’t necessarily demand something that’s so polished. You can throw different styles at them and they can still usually enjoy it.”1514453512766The film received a cult audience and was well received, winning multiple awards worldwide, and has been praised by directors Satoshi Kon and Bill Plympton. Allegedly, according to Tekkonkinkreet director Michael Arias, there was consideration for a release of the film on R1 DVD but it fell through. The film is now available to stream on Netflix in Australia as of 2016. GKIDS announced that they licensed the film, which will be streamed on VRV Select on December 29, 2017 followed by a limited theatrical run in February 2018 and a home video release in spring 2018. (wiki)

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