663 – November (2017)

spacetime coordinates: 19th century EstoniaNovember_PosterNovember is a 2017 Estonian fantasy drama film directed by Rainer Sarnet, based on Andrus Kivirähk‘s novel Rehepapp ehk November (Old Barny aka November).november 1

“Sarnet’s earthbound fairy tale occupies a dreamscape somewhere between the teeming canvases of Brueghel and the existential agonies of Bela Tarr‘s films.” Sheri Linden

November – Official Trailer

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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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655 – The 12th Man / Den 12. mann (2017)

spacetime coordinates: 1943  Norway > Sweden, via Lyngenhalvøya and Manndalen

MV5BYzI1MzA0NjUtNWI2MC00NDg0LThiYmItN2RjZWRmN2E0MmVmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODY3Nzc0OTk@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_The 12th Man is a 2017 Norwegian historical drama directed by Harald Zwart and written by Petter Skavlan. The main role of Jan Baalsrud is played by Thomas Gullestad, who escapes from Germans in Rebbenesøya, via Lyngen Fjord and Manndalen, to neutral Sweden in the spring of 1943.

The film is based on the same historical events and has the same protagonist as the Arne Skouen Oscar-nominated film Nine Lives, in which Baalrud’s courage and stamina were also emphasized. The 12th Man is also based on the book Jan Baalsrud and Those Who Saved Him, written by Tore Haug and Astrid Karlsen Scott. Unlike the book, the film puts much emphasis on the efforts of those who helped Baalsrud escape, which was in line with Baalsrud’s own statements about the local population’s courage. The 12th Man’s plot also details the pursuit of Baalsrud from the Gestapo leadership’s perspective, with the escape being depicted as cat-and-mouse game between Sturmbannführer Kurt Stage and Baalsrud. According to German documents, the Nazis believed that the entire Resistance had perished in a blast, meaning that there are no reports indicating that the Germans even knew to hunt for Baalsrud. Baalsrud himself, however, claims that he killed two German soldiers in the fight, which would have definitely created a sharp German response. (wiki)

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633 – Michiel de Ruyter / Admiral (2015)

spacetime coordinates: 1650s – 1670s  Dutch Empire – British Empire9928754f73a5519b39Michiel de Ruyter (Dutch pronunciation: [miˈxil də ˈrœy̯tər]) is a 2015 epic Dutch film about the 17th-century admiral Michiel de Ruyter directed by Roel Reiné. Paintings from the 17th century served as an inspiration for the design. In the beginning of the movie, when Klaartje the family maid pours milk, it is almost an exact replica of the famous painting ‘The Milkmaid’ by Johannes Vermeer.

Prior to its release, several protest groups had accused the film of glorifying the colonial history of the Netherlands. References to colonialism in the film are however almost absent. The film makes a minor reference to the Dutch East India Company, which contributed highly to the welfare in the 17th century in the low countries, and to the trading vessels which were protected by the navy under Michiel de Ruyter. The film’s main subjects — apart from Michiel de Ruyter himself — are the internal politics of the country, including the brutal murder of Johan de Witt and the complicated relationship with England, up to the engagement of the Dutch prince of Orange with Mary II. (wiki)

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631 – Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse (2016)

MV5BZTc5Yzg3OWQtYzZmYi00N2FlLTlkZmEtMGJkYmU0ZDcwZDA4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzAwNTExNTk@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,698,1000_AL_From the exhibition walls to the wonder and beauty of artists’ gardens like Giverny and Seebüll, the film takes a magical and widely travelled journey to discover how different contemporaries of Monet built and cultivated modern gardens to explore expressive motifs, abstract colour, decorative design and utopian ideas. Guided by passionate curators, artists and garden enthusiasts, this remarkable collection of Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century will reveal the rise of the modern garden in popular culture and the public’s enduring fascination with gardens today. Long considered spaces for expressing colour, light and atmosphere, the garden has occupied the creative minds of some of the worlds greatest artists. As Monet said, ‘Apart from painting and gardening, I’m no good at anything’. (exhibitiononscreen)

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628 – Gattaca (1997)

6ebe946dd3dc520c70b46f17d25e8b8bGattaca is a 1997 American science fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, with Jude LawLoren DeanErnest BorgnineGore Vidal, and Alan Arkin appearing in supporting roles. The film presents a biopunk vision of a future society driven by eugenics where potential children are conceived through genetic selection to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents. The film centers on Vincent Freeman, played by Hawke, who was conceived outside the eugenics program and struggles to overcome genetic discrimination to realize his dream of traveling into space.

The movie draws on concerns over reproductive technologies which facilitate eugenics, and the possible consequences of such technological developments for society. It also explores the idea of destiny and the ways in which it can and does govern lives. Characters in Gattaca continually battle both with society and with themselves to find their place in the world and who they are destined to be according to their genes.

The film’s title is based on the letters G, A, T, and C, which stand for guanineadeninethymine, and cytosine, the four nucleobases of DNA. The movie uses a swimming treadmill in the opening minutes to punctuate the swimming and futuristic themes. The futuristic turbine cars are based on 1960s car models like Rover P6Citroën DS19 and Studebaker Avanti, and futuristic buildings represent modern architecture of the 1950s. (wiki)

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