timespace coordinates: 2000’s Józsefváros – Budapest, Hungary
The District! (Hungarian: Nyócker!) is a 2004 Hungarian caricaturistic animated film directed by Áron Gauder. Its original title is a shortened colloquial form of nyolcadik kerület, the eighth district of Budapest, also known as Józsefváros, including an infamous neighbourhood where the film takes place. It is sometimes labelled as the Hungarian South Park.
The animated technique for this movie was rather innovative. The artists took 350 headshot pictures of each actor and used these photos for the expressing emotions and the animation of the heads. The bodies were hand drawn.
The film displays the Hungarian, Roma, Chinese and Arab dwellers and their alliances and conflicts in a humorous way, embedded into a fictive story of a few schoolchildren’s oil-making time-travel and a Romeo and Juliet-type love of a Roma guy towards a white girl. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: Europe at night (2008 – 2010)
Abendland is a 2011 observational documentary film by Nikolaus Geyrhalter. The documentary, which has only scenes at night, explores European obsession with technology and security. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called Abendland a “visually precise and politically amorphous” portrait of an imagined community: “The overall impression is a vision of Europe as a mosaic, as an artful amalgam of perfectly framed, seemingly disconnected moments during a long shared night, give or take a time zone change or two.” (wiki)
imdb / review
timespace coordinates: New Year’s Eve, 1999 New YorkCityEnd of Days is a 1999 American supernatural action horror film directed by Peter Hyams and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollak, Rod Steiger, CCH Pounder, and Udo Kier. The film follows former New York Police Department detective Jericho Cane (Schwarzenegger) after he saves a banker (Byrne) from an assassin, finds himself embroiled in a religious conflict, and must protect an innocent young woman (Tunney) who is chosen by evil forces to conceive the Antichrist with Satan. (wiki)
imdb / End Of Days Smoothie Breakfast with Arnold Schwarzenegger
Samsara is a 2011 American non-narrative documentary film of international imagery directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson. Samsara was filmed over a period of five years in 25 different countries around the world.
The official website describes the film, “Expanding on the themes they developed in Baraka (1992) and Chronos (1985), Samsara explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of humanity’s spirituality and the human experience. Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation.” (wiki)
imdb / fantasy_coffins / 819 – Olivier de Sagazan
Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke. The film is often compared to Koyaanisqatsi, the first of the Qatsi films by Godfrey Reggio for which Fricke served as the cinematographer. It is also the most recent film to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, and the first film ever to be restored and scanned at 8K resolution. (wiki)
Named after a Sufi word that translates roughly as “breath of life” or “blessing,” Baraka is Ron Fricke‘s impressive follow-up to Godfrey Reggio‘s non-verbal documentary film Koyaanisqatsi. Fricke was cinematographer and collaborator on Reggio’s film, and for Baraka he struck out on his own to polish and expand the photographic techniques used on Koyaanisqatsi. The result is a tour-de-force in 70mm: a cinematic “guided meditation” (Fricke’s own description) shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period that unites religious ritual, the phenomena of nature, and man’s own destructive powers into a web of moving images. Fricke’s camera ranges, in meditative slow motion or bewildering time-lapse, over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Ryoan-Ji temple in Kyoto, Lake Natron in Tanzania, burning oil fields in Kuwait, the smoldering precipice of an active volcano, a busy subway terminal, tribal celebrations of the Maasai in Kenya, chanting monks in the Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery…and on and on, through locales across the globe. To execute the film’s time-lapse sequences, Fricke had a special camera built that combined time-lapse photography with perfectly controlled movements of the camera. In one evening sequence a desert sky turns black, and the stars roll by, as the camera moves slowly forward under the trees. The feeling is like that of viewing the universe through a powerful telescope: that we are indeed on a tiny orb hurtling through a star-filled void. The film is complemented by the hybrid world-music of Michael Stearns. ~ Anthony Reed, Rovi (rottentomatoes)
imdb / on YouTube
timespace coordinates: 1888 Transylvania
Van Helsing is a 2004 American dark fantasy action comedy written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It stars Hugh Jackman as vigilante monster hunter Van Helsing, and Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious. The film is an homage and tribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and ’40s (also produced by Universal Studios which were in turn based on novels by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley), of which Sommers is a fan.
The eponymous character was inspired by the Dutch vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing from Irish author Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. The film includes a number of monsters such as Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and werewolves in a way similar to the multi-monster movies that Universal produced in the 1940s, such as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula.
Sommers expanded the story of Van Helsing in two direct spin-offs:
- The animated prequel titled Van Helsing: The London Assignment takes place before the main events of the film, focusing on Van Helsing’s mission to try to stop Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from terrorizing London.
- There is also a one-shot comic book, published by Dark Horse Comics, titled Van Helsing: From Beneath the Rue Morgue, that follows Van Helsing on a self-contained adventure that occurs during the events of the film, just after the death of Jekyll/Hyde in Paris but before Van Helsing returned to Rome. In the adventure, Van Helsing deals with Doctor Moreau and his hybrid mutants.
In May 2012, Universal Pictures announced that they would be rebooting the film with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as a two-year deal to produce a modern reimagining and Tom Cruise to star as the title character and also produce the film. Rupert Sanders is in talks to direct the film. Orci spoken to IGN that he has hinted that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a shared universe. On November 11, 2015, Variety reports that Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer will write the reboot, but Cruise left the film. However, in 2016, Cruise signed back on to star in Kurtzman’s The Mummy, which was released in theaters on June 9, 2017. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 1960s Nashville, Tennessee, USANovitiate is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Maggie Betts. Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.