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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1362 – Our Planet (TV Mini-Series 2019)

Our Planet is a British nature documentary series made for Netflix. The series is narrated by David Attenborough and produced by Silverback Films, led by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, who also created BBC documentary series Planet EarthFrozen Planet and The Blue Planet, in collaboration with the conservation charity World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The series addresses issues of conservation while featuring these disparate animals in their respective home regions, and has been noted for its greater focus on humans’ impact on the environment than traditional nature documentaries; centering around how climate change impacts all living creatures. It marked the first nature documentary Netflix has ever made. All episodes were released on 5 April 2019. A behind the scenes documentary was released onto Netflix on 2 August 2019.

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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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1324 – Strange Days (1995)

timespace coordinates: 1999, turn of the century (near-future) Los Angeles (racial war zone / New Year’s Eve party) 

MV5BODFkMTBmNjktMjM1Yy00MjY5LTliMGEtM2FhYjE2YjRmN2RkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzkwMjQ5NzM@._V1_Strange Days is a 1995 American science fiction thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by James Cameron and Jay Cocks, and produced by Cameron and Steven-Charles Jaffe. It stars Ralph FiennesAngela BassettJuliette Lewis, and Tom Sizemore. Set in the last two days of 1999, the film follows the story of a black marketeer of SQUID discs, recordings that allow a user to experience the recorder’s memories and physical sensations, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the murder of a prostitute.

Blending science fiction with film noir conventions, Strange Days explores themes such as racismabuse of powerrape, and voyeurism. Although the story was conceived by Cameron around 1986, Bigelow found inspiration after incidents such as the Lorena Bobbitt trial and the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict.

Strange Days was a commercial failure and almost derailed Bigelow’s career (…) Nevertheless, the film’s critical standing has improved over the years, with many fans feeling that the film has been overlooked by a casual mass audience and misguided critics.

The scene where the crowd celebrates the turn of the new century at the end of the film was shot at the corner of the 5th and Flower streets, between the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Los Angeles Public Library. Over 50 off-duty police officers were hired to control an assembled crowd of 10,000 people, who had to pay $10 in advance to attend the event. The film-makers also hired rave promoters Moss Jacobs and Philip Blaine to produce performances featuring Aphex TwinDeee-Lite, as well as “all the cyber-techno bands they could garner”.

In 2015The Washington Post editor Sonny Bunch felt that Strange Days was still relevant, comparing the imagery captured by the SQUID units to that of first-person shooters or cellphone videos on YouTube. He added that events such as Jeriko One’s murder and the subsequent coverup of the crime contribute to activist movements like Black Lives Matter, and that their media documentation amplifies their reception and consequences. (read more: Themes)

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1304 – Crawl (2019)

timespace coordinates: 2010’s FloridaCRAWL_HemphillDesigns-1500x2318Crawl is a 2019 Serbian-American disaster survival horror film directed by Alexandre Aja and written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen. It stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper as a daughter and father, who along with their dog are hunted by alligators after becoming trapped in their home during a Category 5 hurricane. The movie was inspired by a true alligator event from Hurricane Florence.

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1303 – In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

timespace coordinates: Philadelphia 2024 / 1988 / 1997 / 2006 / 2015 MV5BN2I1MGQ2ZjMtMjc1My00YzU1LThjNzktNzJlMWRkMTc0NjZhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTkxNjUyNQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_In the Shadow of the Moon is a 2019 American science fiction (genre-blending) thriller film directed by Jim Mickle and written by Gregory Weidman and Geoff Tock. It stars Boyd HolbrookCleopatra Coleman, and Michael C. Hall. The film had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 21, 2019. It was later released on September 27, 2019, by Netflix. (wiki)

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1283 – Sphere (1998)

timespace coordinates: the floor of the Pacific Ocean, 1990’s

sphere_ver3_xlgSphere is a 1998 American science fiction psychological thriller film directed and produced by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin HoffmanSharon Stone, and Samuel L. JacksonSphere was based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. (wiki)33977_Sphere-11000 feet below the ocean, navy divers discover an object half-a-mile long. A crack team of scientists are deployed to the site in Deepsea Habitats. What they find boggles the mind as they discover a perfect metal sphere. What is the secret behind the sphere? (imdb)