1330 – Ruiner (2017 video game)

timespace coordinates: cyber metropolis Rengkok / nightscapes and industrial jungles of a grit-tech 20911519286441-436203609Ruiner is a brutal cyberpunk top-down shooter / isometric slasher video game developed by Polish indie game studio Reikon Games and published by Devolver Digital. The game was released for Linux, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One on 26 September 2017. Omri Pettite of PC Gamer stated that “Ruiner is gorgeous, a sensory feast inspired by the works of cyberpunk’s 1980s heyday, in which a silent, masked protagonist travels through the nightscapes and industrial jungles of a grit-tech 2091. Underneath, a thumping top-down action game delivers sword-sharp combat, the familiarity of its design offset by the constant urge to simply stand still and drink everything in.”

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (MINIMUM)Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system /  OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 x64 / Processor: Intel Core i5-760 (4 * 2800) or equivalent / AMD Athlon II X4 645 AM3 (4 * 3100) or equivalent / Memory: 4 GB RAM / Graphics: GeForce GTX 460 (1024 MB) / Radeon HD 6850 (1024 MB) / Storage: 10 GB available space

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wiki   /   steam

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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wiki   /   imdb

1289 – Akira (1988)

timespace coordinates: AD 2019 Neo-Tokyo (31 years after ww3)

Akira (Japanese: アキラ Hepburn: Akira) is a 1988 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, based on Otomo’s 1982 manga of the same name. The film had a production budget of ¥1.1 billion ($9 million), making it the most expensive anime film of its time.

Set in a dystopian 2019, Akira tells the story of Shōtarō Kaneda, a leader of a local biker gang whose childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, acquires incredible telekinetic abilities after a motorcycle accident, eventually threatening an entire military complex amidst chaos and rebellion in the sprawling futuristic metropolis of Neo-Tokyo. While most of the character designs and settings were adapted from the manga, the plot differs considerably, and does not include much of the last half of the manga. The soundtrack, which draws heavily from traditional Indonesian gamelan as well as Japanese noh music, was composed by Shōji Yamashiro and performed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi.

Akira premiered in Japan on July 16, 1988 by Toho, but was initially unable to recoup its budget. It was released the following year in the United States by pioneering animation distributor Streamline Pictures. It garnered an international cult following after various theatrical and VHS releases, eventually earning over $80 million worldwide from home video sales. It is widely regarded by critics as one of the greatest animated and science fiction films ever made, as well as a landmark in Japanese animation. It is also a landmark film in the cyberpunk genre, particularly the Japanese cyberpunk subgenre, as well as adult animation. The film had a significant impact on popular culture worldwide, paving the way for the growth of anime and Japanese popular culture in the Western world as well as influencing numerous works in animation, comics, film, music, television and video games. (wiki)

imdb   /  live-action adaptation

999 – The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

timespace coordinates: late 1990s / 1937 / 2024 Los Angeles13th floorThe Thirteenth Floor is a 1999 neo-noir science fiction crime thriller film written and directed by Josef Rusnak, and produced by Roland Emmerich. It is loosely based upon Simulacron-3 (1964), a novel by Daniel F. Galouye (one of the first literary descriptions of virtual reality), and a remake of the German film World on a Wire (1973). The film stars Craig BierkoGretchen MolArmin Mueller-StahlVincent D’Onofrio, and Dennis Haysbert. (wiki)

imdb

824 – Dark City (1998)

dark_city_by_nuke_vizard-d309igfDark City is a 1998 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer. The film stars Rufus SewellKiefer SutherlandJennifer Connelly, and William Hurt. Sewell plays John Murdoch, an amnesiac man who finds himself suspected of murder. Murdoch attempts to discover his true identity and clear his name while on the run from the police and a mysterious group known only as the “Strangers”.

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chris skinner streetscape edition poster

(themes) Theologian Gerard Loughlin interprets Dark City as a retelling of Plato‘s Allegory of the Cave. For Loughlin, the city dwellers are prisoners who do not realize they are in a prison. John Murdoch’s escape from the prison parallels the escape from the cave in the allegory. He is assisted by Dr. Schreber, who explains the city’s mechanism as Socrates explains to Glaucon how the shadows in the cave are cast. Murdoch however becomes more than Glaucon; Loughlin writes, “He is a Glaucon who comes to realize that Socrates’ tale of an upper, more real world, is itself a shadow, a forgery.”

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chris skinner skyscape edition poster

Murdoch defeats the Strangers who control the inhabitants and remakes the world based on childhood memories, which were themselves illusions arranged by the Strangers. Loughlin writes of the lack of background, “The origin of the city is off–stage, unknown and unknowable.” Murdoch now casts new shadows for the city inhabitants, who must trust his judgment. Unlike Plato, Murdoch “is disabused of any hope of an outside” and becomes the demiurge for the cave, the only environment he knows. dark_city_quad_movie_posterThe city in Dark City is described by Higley as a “murky, nightmarish German expressionist film noir depiction of urban repression and mechanism”. The city has a World War II dreariness reminiscent of Edward Hopper‘s (049) works and has details from different eras and architectures that are changed by the Strangers; “buildings collapse as others emerge and battle with one another at the end”. The round window in Dark City is concave like a fishbowl and is a frequently seen element throughout the city. The inhabitants do not live at the top of the city; the main characters’ homes are dwarfed by the bricolage of buildings.  (wiki)


Mr. Hand: We’re very lucky when you think about it. / Emma Murdoch: I’m sorry? / Mr. Hand: To be able to revisit those places which have meant so very much to us. / Emma Murdoch: I thought it was more that we were haunted by them. / Mr. Hand: Perhaps. But imagine a life Alien to yours. In which your memories were not your own, but those shared by every other of you kind. Imagine the torment of such an existence….no experiences to call your own. / Emma Murdoch: If it was all you knew, maybe it would be a comfort. / Mr. Hand: But if you were to discover something different…Something….better.

imdb   /   Chris Skinner

801 – Minority Report (2002)

timespace coordinates: 2054 Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia6HDFaGIMinority Report is a 2002 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg and loosely based on the short story “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick. It is set primarily in Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia in the year 2054, where PreCrime, a specialized police department, apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics called “precogs“. The cast includes Tom Cruise as Chief of PreCrime John Anderton, Colin Farrell as Department of Justice agent Danny Witwer, Samantha Morton as the senior precog Agatha, and Max von Sydow as Anderton’s superior Lamar Burgess.

The film combines elements of tech noirwhodunitthriller and science fiction genres, as well as a traditional chase film, as the main protagonist is accused of a crime he has not committed and becomes a fugitive. Spielberg has characterized the story as “fifty percent character and fifty percent very complicated storytelling with layers and layers of murder mystery and plot”. The film’s central theme is the question of free will versus determinism. It examines whether free will can exist if the future is set and known in advance. Other themes include the role of preventive government in protecting its citizenry, the role of media in a future state where technological advancements make its presence nearly boundless, the potential legality of an infallible prosecutor, and Spielberg’s repeated theme of broken families.2002_minority_report_wallpaper_004During pre-production, Spielberg consulted numerous scientists in an attempt to present a more plausible future world than that seen in other science fiction films, and some of the technology designs in the film have proven prescient. Minority Report has a unique visual style. It uses high contrast to create dark colors and shadows, much like a film noir picture. The film’s overlit shots feature desaturated colors which were achieved by bleach-bypassing the film’s negative in post-production. (wiki)

imdb

762 – Electric Dreams (2017 TV series)

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Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, or simply Electric Dreams, is a British anthology television series based on various writings from author Philip K. Dick, each of the 10 stand-alone episodes are set in a different and unique world — some that lay in the far reaches of the universe and others that are much closer to home. While the stories may be worlds apart, central to each is the exploration of the importance and significance of humanity. (rt)

imdb   /   wiki