timespace coordinates: 1986 – 2019 Santa Cruz, California
Us is a 2019 American psychological horror thriller film written and directed by Jordan Peele, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker. The film follows a family who are confronted by murderous doppelgangers known as “the Tethered”.
Critic Jim Vejvoda related the Tethered to “urban legends” and “xenophobic paranoia about the Other”, (…) Journalist Noel Ransome viewed the film as being about “the effects of classism and marginalization”, writing “the Tethered are effigies of this same situational classism. They’re trapped—mentally and physically—and ignored”. Joel Meares of Rotten Tomatoes also noted that the Tethered, referencing the “we’re Americans” line, are representatives of the duality of American society, how some citizens can afford to live on top of the class system, while others are stuck in illiterate poverty. He also noted the title Us could mean “U.S.”, or United States.
The Tethered’s red jump suits and single glove were an allusion to Michael Jackson along with the “Thriller” shirt seen on young Adelaide, and Peele has stated that Jackson was “the patron saint of duality”. Peele referenced many other instances of 1980s culture, including allusions to The Lost Boys and Hands Across America, stating “Everything in this movie was deliberate, that is one thing I can guarantee you. Unless you didn’t like something and that was a complete accident”.
The film contains numerous references to Jeremiah 11:11, which reads: “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them'” (NIV). Critic Rosie Fletcher commented on the context, with Jeremiah warning Jerusalem was facing destruction due to false idols, and expressed the opinion that the film’s characters also “worshiped the wrong things”… (wiki)
timespace coordinates: South Africa / Botswana 1980 – the Kalahari DesertThe Gods Must Be Crazy is a 1980 South African comedy film written and directed by Jamie Uys. Financed only from local sources, it is the most commercially successful release in the history of South Africa’s film industry. Originally released in 1980, the film is the first in The Gods Must Be Crazy series. It is followed by one official sequel, The Gods Must Be Crazy II, released by Columbia Pictures.
Set in Botswana, it follows the story of Xi, a San of the Kalahari Desert (played by Namibian San farmer Nǃxau ǂToma) whose tribe has no knowledge of the world beyond, Andrew Steyn (Marius Weyers), a biologist who analyzes manure samples for his PhD dissertation, and Kate Thompson (Sandra Prinsloo), a newly hired village school teacher.
timespace coordinates: 2000’s. north of Iran, Caspian Sea
About Elly (Persian: درباره الی, translit. Dar bāre-ye Elly) is a 2009 Iranian drama film directed by Asghar Farhadi. It is the fourth film by Farhadi. The film is about middle class relationships in Iran. One year after its release, it was voted the 4th greatest Iranian movie of all time by the national society of Iranian critics. (wiki)
Finding Steve McQueen is a 2019 American heist thriller film directed by Mark Steven Johnson and written by Ken Hixon and Keith Sharon. The film stars Travis Fimmel, Rachael Taylor, Forest Whitaker, and William Fichtner, telling the story of a gang planning to steal millions of dollars from President Nixon‘s illegal political slush fund. The film is based on the United California Bank robbery. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: sleepy village of Trüberbrook, Germany, 1960’s parallel universe
timespace coordinates: 1891 – 1893 France – Tahiti / French Polynesia Gauguin – Voyage de Tahiti is a 2017 biopic / period drama directed by Edouard Deluc The film stars Vincent Cassel and Tuheï Adams,
In 1891 Gauguin settles down in Tahiti, where he hopes to find inspiration for his work as an artist and live as a free man in the wild, far from all the moral, political and aesthetic codes of civilized Europe. In the jungle, he faces loneliness, poverty and disease, and he meets Tehura. She eventually becomes his wife and the main subject of his greatest paintings.