Betting on The Tour de France - uniclubdefutbol.com

AMA Schedule!!!!!one - Read this and/or weep

It's official--

AMA Season has begun, and the mod team here is excited to announce that our first author in the intellectual hopper will be none other than the incredible, edible, but *never* forgettable:

TAO WONG

Tao will be rolling into LitRPG on July 7th at 10 AM PST to answer every single one of your delectable, quippy questions or moral morsels (I may be hungry, right now.)
So make sure you're all tuned in for our kick off, but also, keep in mind, we have many other people coming your way in the next few weeks including:

MATT MOSS - JULY 20th - Author of Alterlife, and holds the record for fastest completion of the Tour de France because he accidentally took a helicopter (I checked the rule book--that, and being a dog are not against the rules!)

DAN SUGRALINOV - JULY 31st - Author of Level up/UP and I have nothing to go off of, but I would bet all of my hard-earned food stamps that he could physically dominate the other Authors in here with just a well-timed scowl.

ERIC UGLAND - AUGUST? (TBD) - Author of the Good/Bad Guys and don't worry guys, it's just a coincidence that he happens to look IDENTICAL to those portraits of nobles throughout history.

DAKOTA KROUT- AUGUST 21st - Some guy that no one has heard of. I think he sells handblown glass made from beach lightning?

STUART THAMAN - SEPTEMBER 1st - Author of Forsaken Talents, and his name is an anagram for "truant asthma," so I think that tells you all you need to know about who he is as a person.

ANDREW SEIPLE - SEPTEMBER 15th - Author of Threadbare and secretly eight cats in a lab coat. [citation needed]

LUKE CHMILENKO - SEPTEMBEOCTOBER (TBD) - Author of Ascend Online (I'm just happy I spelled it right on the first try!)

HARMON COOPER - OCTOBER 9th - Author of Way of the Immortal and has asserted there's no relation to D.B. Cooper no matter if they wear the same size "the Cure" Hot Topic wristband, or not.

TRAVIS BAGWELL - OCTOBER 19th - Author of Awaken Online and once got into an altercation with a falcon over the pronunciation of the word "coupon."

MICHAEL CHATFIELD - OCTOBER 29th - Author of Ten Realms and general good-looking author (I mean, me too, but I'm not on trial here. The attractiveness part, not the Ten Realms part... but I mean, COULD U IMAGIN?? )

We will update these on the sidebar, but this is just the first wave, so keep you eyes peeled and make sure you engage with these folks, but keep the rules in mind and ensure that you're cordial so we can all have fun.

Thanks all! Can't wait to rage in this mfer.

-Sig and the gang
submitted by SigKusanagi to litrpg [link] [comments]

Covid-19 update Tuesday March 17th

Good morning from the UK. Happy St Patricks day. It'll be a woeful one for many Irish people around the world with pubs and bars shut in multiple US states, several European countries, several Asian countries and worst of all, Ireland itself. Here in the UK you can still go to the pub, although as of late yesterday afternoon the UK government advised against it says the BBC.

Virus statistics
Several comments from redditors in past days complained the WHO stats I C&P'd did not come very close to reflecting stats being quoted by national media wherever they lived. As a result, I'm abandoning the WHO stats and going back to the John Hopkins University tracker stats for all countries. If it's good enough for the likes of Forbes, Business Insider, FT, USA Today to regularly cite it then it's good enough for me:-

Region Today (John Hopkins Stats at time of writing) Yesterday (John Hopkins stats not the WHO's) % daily change
Global 182,424 169,387 +7.7%
China 81,053 81,020 +0.4%
Italy 27,980 24,747 +13.1%
Iran 14,991 13,938 +7.6%
Spain 9,942 7,844 +26.7%
South Korea 8,320 8,162 +1.9%
Germany 7,272 5,813 +25.1%
France 6,655 5,437 +22.4%
USA 4,661 3,774 +23.5%
Switzerland 2,330 2,200 +5.9%
UK 1,553 1,395 +11.3%
Netherlands 1,414 1,136 +24.5%
Norway 1,347 1,256 +7.2%
Sweden 1,121 1,032 +8.6%
Belgium 1,058 886 +19.4%
Austria 1,018 860 18.4%

All other countries with under 1000 identified infections not listed (sorry Denmark), yesterday's threshold was 750. Total countries infected worldwide = 155, an increase from yesterday of 9. Source for all countries (as discussed above): the John Hopkins University dashboard (Link). (Personal note: Western countries infection counts are increasing each day much faster than Asian countries but that may be due to cultural differences or it may be that they're doing my testing, if anyone can shed light on this please do).
Reminder, these are identified case counts and medical experts are reporting this virus has a long incubation period with people being infections despite displaying no symptoms; the true infection figures are likely to be much higher. Note that some countries are reporting shortages of test kits which further skews the data available; assume true cases are much higher.
Finally, no, I don't believe China's official statistics either.

Selected Virus news

Warnings of shortages of regeants (ingredients) to make test kits in the US - the Fool (a high quality finance website despite the name) reports that FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn stated last week in testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee that there could be supply chain issues with reagents needed for novel coronavirus diagnostic kits. He noted that the supply issues specifically apply to RNA used in testing for coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Shortages in US supermarkets likely to continue until panic buying eases - The LA Times says that shortages will continue until people calm down in their shopping habits. The major chains usually get shipments overnight, or perhaps twice a day, to restock essentials such as paper towels, toilet paper and water, but “manufacturers in some cases are having trouble keeping up, and that’s where the void is, they’re not able to keep up with demand,” said Bob Reeves, vice president for the West at the Shelby Report, a research firm that tracks the grocery industry. “We’re seeing shipments coming into the stores sometimes without any of those products, and it will be like that until people calm down a little bit,” he said. In some cases, chains are sending their delivery trucks directly to manufacturers — bypassing warehouses and distributors — to get the items to the stores faster. (Personal note: the same applies for all supermarket supply chains globally)

Pa. hospitals are rationing protective gear as the number of coronavirus cases grows - (Personal note, this is an example, there seems to be a general global shortage of medical PPE (personal protective equipment) - The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that hospitals across Pennsylvania are drastically limiting the use of key protective gear out of fears that a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases could diminish reserves and cause a dangerous shortage. The rationing comes as the state Department of Health maintains that it has personal protective equipment available and is working with health systems to make sure they have what they need. The gear includes eye protection, gowns, and N95 respirators, which are essential in preventing a health care worker from breathing in infectious particles when in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. In Philadelphia, two doctors who work at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania said it’s barring the use of N95 respirators “except in extraordinarily limited situations.” Penn Medicine declined to comment. Another city doctor, Daphne Owen, said in a tweet Thursday her clinic “for uninsured and undocumented patients” was out of masks. Two days later, the clinic, Puentes de Salud, said it was closed due to the pandemic.

Other Virus news in brief
- The Scottish courts and tribunals announced today that no new criminal jury trials would be commenced or new juries empanelled until further notice.
- Iran has temporarily freed a total of 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, a spokesman for its judiciary said on Tuesday, adding that the prisons were responding to the threat of a coronavirus epidemic in jails.
- Britain had “no time to lose” in changing tactics in order to prevent thousands of deaths and the NHS being overwhelmed, scientists providing guidance to the UK government have said. The Imperial College Covid-19 response team – which is one of several scientific teams advising UK ministers – published a paper (I've put it in the addendum below) showing that 250,000 people could die if efforts were focused only on delaying and slowing down the spread of Covid-19.Separately, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, could not rule out the strict measures having to last for a year but predicted they would last at least “several months“.
- Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Australians to return home as soon as possible by commercial means because overseas travel is becoming “more complex and difficult” as countries impose travel restrictions and close their borders.
- Leaders of EU states were expected on Tuesday to suspend all travel into the passport-free Schengen zone by non-EU nationals for at least 30 days in a bid to instil uniformity across the bloc after some member states, including Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, unilaterally began imposing border checks.
- China has issued an angry reaction (by diplomatic standards) to the US president Donald Trump’s characterisation of the disease as “the Chinese virus.” (he tweeted late last night "The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!"). China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the US president should take care of his own matters first and not seek to “stigmatise” China.
- The postponement of soccer’s Euro 2020 Championship may already have been decided after Uefa last week cancelled its hotel bookings in Copenhagen.
- The UK just advised its citizens against all non essential travel worldwide in the past 10 minutes
- Mobile phone networks are struggling in some areas of the UK with significantly increased demands according to down detector. For sure a lot of people seem to be home working, my commute in this morning was like it was the middle of August and everyone else was on holiday.
- Alitalia, the Italian airline flag carrier is to be renationalised by Italy
- Cinema chains are closing in multiple countries due to shutdowns
- Kazakhstan is closing down its two largest cities (despite only having 32 cases so far)
- A preliminary calculation by a US expert suggests that tens of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution may have been avoided by the cleaner air in China, far higher than the 3,208 coronavirus deaths.
- Jordan: the army has said it will deploy at entrances and exits of main cities in the kingdom in a move officials said was ahead of an imminent announcement of a state of emergency to combat the spread of coronavirus.
- In a joint statement, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and YouTube said they would help ensure people could stay connected to each other during isolation as well as fight any misinformation and fraud linked to the outbreak. “We are working closely together on Covid-19 response efforts,” the statement said. “We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in co-ordination with government healthcare agencies around the world.
- Almost all Germans shops are about to close by government decree; supermarkets, pharmacies will remain open (including on Sundays when they are usually closed). Separately, government press briefings there have gone online only.
- Olympic organisers in Japan are asking people not to create crowds along the route of the Olympic torch relay and not to gather near the route if they feel sick. A Boeing aircraft flew to Greece on 15 March to bring the torch to Japan.
- France: No movement allowed except for essential work or health reasons. “There can be no more outside meetings, no more seeing family or friends on the street or in the park. We must slow the spread of this virus by limiting the number of people we are in contact with each day to the strict minimum. If we do not, we endanger the lives of those we hold dear.” said the French President Macron.
- Israel’s government has approved emergency measures to track people suspected or confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus by monitoring their mobile phones, immediately raising privacy concerns in the country. The cabinet unanimously approved the use of the technology, developed initially for counter-terrorism purposes, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said providing the country’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, with new secretive powers was a “dangerous precedent and a slippery slope that must be approached and resolved after much debate and not after a brief discussion”.
- Indonesian president Joko Widodo said on Saturday that he had withheld some information about cases to prevent the country from panicking, the Jakarta Post reported. He has rejected calls for a lockdown to be imposed on hard hit areas.
- Malaysia has announced it's closing its borders prompting neighbouring Singapore's citizens to panic buy (90% of their food is imported from Malaysia).
- New Zealand on Tuesday deported its first unruly traveller flouting the country’s mandatory 14-day self-isolation rule for almost all arrivals, the health ministry said. The tourist, who had checked into a backpackers hostel in the city of Christchurch, was removed from the accommodation by the police after officials learned she did not have clear self-isolation plans.

Economics

Goldman Sachs doesn't think the stock market drops have finished - BusinessInsider says that Goldman Sachs thinks that the S&P 500 might plunge as low as 2,000 before recovering through the rest of the year, the investment bank wrote Friday. The level is the benchmark index's lowest since early 2016 and implies a 20% decline from Monday's open. Such a tumble would also place the index more than 40% below its February 19 peak. The coronavirus outbreak is responsible for "unprecedented financial and societal disruption," the analysts said, and equities have so far served as accurate leading indicators before the release of relevant earnings or macroeconomic data. That said, the analysts pointed out that "The lesson of prior event-driven bear markets is that financial devastation ultimately allows a new bull market to be born,".

U.S. factories are likely to close because of the coronavirus’ supply-chain shock - Marketwatch reports (link) that there is a very real chance that companies from auto makers to electronics manufacturers will soon begin to cease or limit production. With a downed China as the headstream of global manufacturing, mercantile America simply can’t function as it’s accustomed to. We’re starting to see this happen in official reports: The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index, released Monday, plunged by a record 34.4 points to minus 21.5 in March. And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Sunday he expects a contraction in GDP in the second quarter. (Personal note: I expect similar problems across all G20 countries). The article goes on to explain that many supply chain directors may understand their first tier suppliers but often do not have full visibility of the status of their 2nd or 3rd tier suppliers

Supply impact of the coronavirus outbreak is waning, but demand shock will linger, economist says - CNBC says that in January and February, industrial output fell by 13.5% from the same period a year earlier, the weakest reading since January 1990 — when Reuters' record began. China's industrial production is likely to improve in March over a slump in January and February due to the coronavirus outbreak, but consumer demand will take longer to recover both in the country and globally, an economist said Monday. "We will see some recovery, but this recovery, I think, is being undermined by the global spread as well," said Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard. Meanwhile, retail sales in January and February shrank 20.5% from a year ago, compared with a 8% growth in December as fearful consumers avoided crowded places like malls, restaurants and cinemas. "We were worried about supply-side issues, but now it's becoming a demand shock issue," said Zhuang. Smaller outfits like restaurants and service-oriented businesses have "resumed work but there are no customers," said Zhuang. "I think we are going to see a delayed V-shape (recovery), and this V may be a tilted V or W, or even U. We are not sure," he added.

Coronavirus Impacts Every Sector of the Supply Chain - Supply and demand chain executive reports that the global supply chain continues to experience disruption. "We have seen that in the way that it’s spreading across into different hubs where we see alternative routes to be overly burdened, such as the rail system,” says Koray Köse of Gartner. “Now with the crisis and the hubs being closed and product movements are still active to some extent, but not necessarily from those regions, will become crowded and impacted. This means that there’s an additional strain on the overall network to move material.” Some products have experienced significant upticks including Chicken noodle soup (+37%), Hand sanitizer (+65%), Disinfecting Wipes: (+353%) and Cold & Flu medications (+197%) amongst others.

Coronavirus pandemic worse than 1997 financial crisis, Malaysian ex-PM Mahathir warns - The Strait times reports on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former premier who steered Malaysia's recovery from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, expects the current coronavirus pandemic to hit the global economy even harder. "This is worse than the financial crisis," he said in a Bloomberg Television interview. "This is really a terrible blow to the economies of the whole world." Dr Mahathir joins other world leaders in warning that the virus impact may be worse than past periods of upheaval (Personal note: I pointed out yesterday the NZ PM also saying this).

Supply chain news relating to Covid-19

For Global Supply Chains the Worst Is Yet to Come - Supply Chain Management review says (Link) that most industrial companies have 30-60 days of parts and raw materials either on hand, in-transit, or obtainable on short notice. After these supplies run out, we will start to see shortages of finished products as well as parts needed to produce other goods. Shortages will start to become more evident toward the end of March and beginning of April. Production in some non-Chinese factories will have to be put on hold for lack of parts. Partially finished products will remain in suspension until all parts are available to build finished products. Some companies are pressing their engineers to redesign parts that can be sourced in the U.S., or at least outside of China. Other companies are giving 3D printing a serious try for the first time. The article goes on to point out delays in sea freight ex-Asia and extremely high airfreighting costs are exacerbating the situation.

U.S. Suspends Truck-Driving Limits to Speed Coronavirus Shipments - The Wall Street Journal reports as of 2 days ago that maximum working hours for truck drivers in the US have been suspended. This applies to truck drivers moving emergency supplies such as medical equipment, hand sanitizer and food in response to the nationwide coronavirus outbreak. It comes as hospitals report shortages of medical masks and as retailers and manufacturers are straining under surging demand for everything from hand sanitizer to staples such as toilet paper and rice. As anxious consumers stockpile goods, grocers have turned to rationing, imposing purchase limits on disinfectant wipes, cleaning supplies and other high-demand products. The move is the first time the FMCSA has issued nationwide-wide relief from hours-of-service regulations, although regional declarations have waived those rules in response to disasters such as hurricanes. Federal regulations limit most commercial truck drivers to 11 hours of driving time in a 14-hour workday, restrictions intended to reduce accidents caused by highway fatigue.

For supply chain companies, U.S.-Mexico border closures could be catastrophic - Marketplace points out that Mexico’s deputy health minister says he’s worried about people coming into Mexico from the United States; currently the U.S. has far more cases of COVID-19 than Mexico. The Mexican government even said it might consider restricting access at its northern borders. For businesses that operate on both sides of the border, any shutdown could be catastrophic. The article gives a case study of a manfacturer employing 150 people in Texas. The company president says before anyone considers closing the border, President Donald Trump and Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, should discuss a coordinated response to the virus. As for now, he says all of his people can work from home, if the situation calls for it. Everyone here has a laptop, he said. But he says the independent truck drivers and contractors who work on the loading docks, they have to be on site to run things. Those people also only get paid if they show up for work. So, for now, they’re glad the COVID-19 hasn’t shut this part of Texas down, yet.

It won't be long before Coronavirus shuts down local African supply chains - The major Kenyan newspaper daily nation reports that there are imminent difficulties facing Kenyan pharma firms due to the industry importing 70% of its ingredients from India and China, both of whom have restricted exports. Studies show that the Kenyan pharmaceuticals market is worth Sh100 billion ($965m USD), 80 per cent of which is prescription drugs. Although Kenya exports 50 per cent to the COMESA region and 75 per cent to East African Community, most of these exports are re-exports from India and China.

European automotive factories shutting down - Ferrari and Lamborghini have both suspended almost all production (says the Express and Star) whilst Yahoo Finance reports that Fiat Chrysler said in a statement on Monday 16 March that it would halt operations at most of its European plants, from now until 27 March because of an “interruption in market demand.” The Italian-American automotive group said the manufacturing stop includes six factories in Italy, the EU country worst hit by coronavirus. Italy has had over 24,700 infection cases so far, and more than 1,800 people have died from the virus. The PSA group, which includes Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel, said today it will close all its European plants, including in the UK, France and Germany for the remainder of the month too. German car giant Volkswagen is also suspending production at a number of manufacturing bases in Europe, including in Slovakia and Spain. VW-owned Seat has shuttered its main factory near Barcelona for at least the rest of the month. Meanwhile, according to the Financial Times, Volkswagen may also be forced to curtail production at the main factory in its home town of Wolfsburg, because of running low on parts.
Useful parcel courier current operational status links for anyone else in eCommerce:Canada Post, DHL Express, DPD, Fedex, Parcelforce, USPS. If anyone has any other major courier links for service status, please let us all know :)

Good news section
Amazon to hire 100,000 more workers and give raises to current staff to deal with coronavirus demands - CNBC says that Amazon is hiring an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S. to meet the surge in demand from online shopping amid the coronavirus outbreak, the company said Monday. The company is looking to add extra full-time and part-time positions for warehouse and delivery workers. Through the end of April, it will raise pay for these employees by $2 per hour in the U.S., £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. Amazon currently pays $15 per hour or more in some areas of the U.S. for warehouse and delivery jobs. Amazon encouraged employees in other industries whose jobs were "lost or furloughed" as a result of the coronavirus to apply, including members of the hospitality, restaurant and travel industries. "We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back," the company added.

Educating in denial older relatives anecdote
Personal story time; my 69 year old Aunt is very grumpy because despite me telling her for well over a month, it is finally dawning on her that her dream guided coach bus tour of the West USA national parks in 10 weeks time is rapidly going up in smoke whilst my 75 year old Dad has realised his third cruise of the year (this time around the med) in 5 weeks time is also about to be toast. My Aunt complained on Facebook yesterday that nobody is mentioning the 46,000 people who have recovered from the illness and that "it's just a bit of flu". It isn't, otherwise governments around the world would not be reacting as they are.
If you have an elderly relative like mine who relies far too much on social media anecdotes rather than good quality fact based mainstream media, maybe point them at this businessinsider article here where it points out that 1) flu mortality rates are 0.1% vs. Covid-19 is 3.4% and 2) for 70-79 the mortality rate is 8% and for over 80's it's 14.8%. Hopefully they might just realise the seriousness of the situation; my Aunt dismissed it as "a website I've never heard of and won't believe" despite the article clearly citing CDC figures.

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Donations
Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.

EDIT: Missed out virus news in brief, added as of 12:45. EDIT 2: Added in the Dutch foodbank link (hat tip siliconfrontier)
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

Oscars 2021: An inside look (like, really inside) to 50 possible contenders in the next awards race

Another Oscar ceremony happened, and we got our fair share of joy and disappointment. After Parasite surprised the world and took Best Picture, it seems like the game has changed for the awards race, now that non-English speaking films can actually fight and be recognized as well as classics as… Green Book. The Oscar race is still full of pain and glory, and even though the year has barely started, we have a bunch of movies that are fighting for air. And here’s 50 of them. Yes, I had some free time in my hands and this is a cool hobby, so I took the liberty to introduce most of the movies that will have Film Twitter entertained for the following 12 months. I say most, because there are always contenders who come out of nowhere later in the year, so this is the starter set. Here we go.
-Annette: Since Parasite’s road to the Oscars started at Cannes, it seems fair to talk about a movie that is circling a premiere in the world stage that is set in France. After delivering weird, indie classics like Mauvais Sang and Holy Motors (yes, the kind of movies that make you seem like a snob when you recommend them to people), Leos Carax is making his first movie spoken in the English language… and it has a musical screenplay written by the cult rock duo of Sparks. Recently robbed Adam Driver and previous Oscar winner Marion Cotillard sing in this tale of a stand-up comedian and a famous soprano singer who rise and fall in Los Angeles while their daughter is born with a special gift. It seems like a wild bet, but we already know that Carax is a master with musical moments, so this is one of the most intriguing question marks of the year.
-Ammonite: It’s time to talk narratives. On the one hand, we have Kate Winslet, a known name who hasn’t been very successful in the Oscar race since her Oscar win for The Reader over a decade ago (with the exception being her supporting performance in Steve Jobs, where she had a weird accent). On the other, we have Saoirse Ronan, a star on the rise who keeps collecting Oscar nominations, with 4 nods at the age of 25, including her fresh Best Actress loss for Little Women. What happens if we put them together in a drama set in the coasts of England during the 19th century where both of them fall for each other? That’s gonna be a winning formula if writedirector Francis Lee (who tackled queer romance in his acclaimed debut God’s Own Country) nails the Mary Anning story, and Neon (the distribution company founded three years ago that took Parasite to victory) is betting on it.
-Benedetta: We know the Paul Verhoeven story. After isolating himself from Hollywood for over a decade, he took Isabelle Huppert to an Oscar nominated performance with the controversial, sexy, dark and funny thriller Elle. Now, he’s back with another story that perks up the ears, because now he’s covering the life of Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century lesbian nun who had religious and erotic visions. If you know Paul, you already can tell that this fits into his brand of horniness, and a possible Cannes premiere could tell us if this has something to carry itself to Oscar night.
-Blonde: With a short but impactful directorial credits list that takes us from Chopper, to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford to Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik is back with a film about Marilyn Monroe, a woman who has transcended the ideas of fame and stardom, in ways that are glamorous and nightmarish at the same time. After failing to launch with Naomi Watts or Jessica Chastain,the rising Ana de Armas takes the lead in the retelling of Monroe’s troubled life based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, which is said to be covered in the screenplay as somewhat of a horror movie. We don’t know what that means yet, but Netflix is gonna push hard for this one, especially considering how the Academy loves throwing awards to stars playing previous stars, and that also can possibly include co-stars Bobby Cannavale and Adrien Brody.
-Breaking News in Yuba County: While he hasn’t gone back to the heights of his success achieved by the box office and award success of The Help (a movie that did not age well), Tate Taylor is still enjoying himself economically due to recent thrillers like The Girl on the Train and Ma. For his next movie, he’s made a dramedy that once again reunites him with Oscar winner Allison Janney, where she plays a woman who has to keep appearances and a hidden body when she catches her husband cheating on her, and then he dies of a heart attack. With a cast that also includes Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, Samira Wiley, Wanda Sykes, Jimmi Simpson and Ellen Barkin, this could be a buzzy title later this year.
-C’mon C’mon: You may love or hate whatever Joaquin Phoenix did in Joker, but you can’t deny the benefit of playing the Crown Prince of Crime in an Oscar-winning performance. The blank check that you share with indie directors afterwards. Now that Joaquin’s cultural cachet is on the rise, Mike Mills gets to benefit with this drama that stars Phoenix and Gaby Hoffmann, with him playing an artist left to take care of his precocious young nephew as they forge an unexpected bond over a cross country trip. We only have to wonder if A24 will do better with this movie’s Oscar chances compared to 20th Century Women.
-Cherry: After killing half the universe and bringing them back with the highest grossing movie of all time, where do you go? For Joe and Anthony Russo, the answer is “away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe”. The Russo brothers are trying to distance themselves and prove that they have a voice without Kevin Feige behind them, with a crime drama that’s also different than their days when they directed You, Me and Dupree or episodes of Arrested Development and Community. To help them in the journey, they took Tom Holland (who also needs to distance himself from Spider-Man, lest he ends up stuck to the character in the audience’s eyes) to star in a crime drama based on former Army medic Nico Walker’s memoir about his days after Iraq, where the PTSD and an opioid addiction led him to start robbing banks.
-Da 5 Bloods: After bouncing back from a slump with the critical and commercial success of BlackKklansman, Spike Lee is cashing a Netflix check to tell the tale of four African American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for their fallen leader and some treasure. With a cast that includes Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Paul Walter Hauser and Chadwick Boseman, this sounds like an interesting combo, although we still should remember the last time that Spike tried his hand at a war movie, with the dull Miracle at St. Anna.
-Dune: If you are on Reddit, you probably know about the new film by movies’ new Messiah, Denis Villeneuve. While the epic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert is getting a new chance in the multiplexes after that David Lynch movie that was forgotten by many, some are hoping that this will be the beginning of a new franchise (as seen by the release date of December 18, taking the spot of the usual Star Wars opening), and a return to the whole “remember when stuff like Return of the King or Fury Road were nominated for Best Picture?” question. Timothee Chalamet will be riding a lot of hope, and sandworm.
-Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: As you start to see, there are several musicals that are gonna be fighting for attention over the next year, and Annette was the first one. Now, we also have this adaptation of the hit West End production, that centers around a gay British teenager who dreams of becoming a drag queen and get his family and schoolmates to accept his sexuality. With a cast that mixes young unknowns, familiar Brits (Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and my boy Ralph Ineson) and the previously nominated legend that is Richard E. Grant (who is playing a former drag queen named Loco Chanelle), the creative team of the stage musical will jump to the big screen with the help of Fox Searchlight (sorry, just Searchlight), who has clear Oscar hopes with a release date right in the middle of awards heat, on October 23.
-Hillbilly Elegy: Even though the Parasite victory gave many people hope for a new Academy that stops recognizing stuff like previous winner Green Book… let’s be honest, the Academy will still look for movies like Green Book. This year, many people are turning their eyes towards Ron Howard’ adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir about his low income life in a poor rural community in Ohio, filled with drugs, violence and verbal abuse. If this sounds like white trash porn, it doesn’t help to know that Glenn Close, who has become the biggest living Oscar bridesmaid with seven nominations, will play a character called Mamaw. And if that sounds trashy, then you have to know that Amy Adams, who follows Glenn with six nominations, is playing her drug-addicted, careless daughter. I don’t want to call this “Oscar bait”, but it sure is tempting.
-I’m Thinking of Ending Things: After his stopmotion existential dramedy Anomalisa got him a Best Animated Feature nomination at the Oscars but at the same time bombed at the box office, Charlie Kaufman is getting the Netflix check. This time, he’s adapting the dark novel by Iain Reid, about a woman (Jessie Buckley, who is on the rise and took over the role after Brie Larson had to pass) who is taken by her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), in a trip that takes a turn for the worse. If Kaufman can deliver with this one, it will be a big contender.
-In the Heights: Yes, more musicals! This time, it’s time to talk about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony-winning musical, that was overshadowed because of his other small play about some treasury secretary. Now, his Broadway ensemble tale about life in a neighborhood in Washington Heights is jumping to the movie screen with Jon Chu at the helm, following the success of Crazy Rich Asians. This Latino tale mixes up-and-comers like Anthony Ramos (who comes straight from Hamilton and playing Lady Gaga’s friend in A Star is Born), names like Corey Hawkins and Jimmy Smits (who is pro bits), and Olga Merediz, who starred in the Broadway show as Abuela Claudia and who could be the early frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress, if Chu allows her to shine like she did onstage.
-Jesus Was My Homeboy: When looking at up-and-coming Black actors right now in Hollywood, two of the top names are Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, who already appeared in the same movie in Get Out, which earned Kaluuya a Best Actor nomination. This time, they share the screen in Shaka King’s retelling of the story of Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), an activist and Black Panther leader… as well as the story of William O’Neal (Stanfield), the FBI agent sent by J. Edgar Hoover to infiltrate the party and arrest him. With the backing of Warner Bros, this will attempt to make an impact with a clash of actors that will have to fight with an August release date, not the ideal time to release an awards movie.
-King Richard: Starting with Suicide Squad, Will Smith has been trying to prove that he’s back and better than ever. Some attempts to get back to the top of the A-list (Aladdin, Bad Boys For Life) have worked, while others (Gemini Man, Spies in Disguise)... have not. But Will is still going, and now he’s going for his next prestige play as he plays Richard Williams, the coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena, who pushed them to their full potential. While it’s weird that the father of the Williams sisters is getting a movie before them, it does sound like a meaty role for Smith, who has experience with Oscar notices with sports biopics because of what he did with Michael Mann in Ali. Let’s hope director Reinaldo Marcus Green can take him there too.
-Last Night in Soho: Every year, one or two directors who have a cool reputation end up in the Dolby Theatre, and 2020 could be the year of Edgar Wright. After delivering his first big box office hit with Baby Driver, the Brit is going back to London to tell a story in the realm of psychological horror, which has been supposedly inspired by classics like Don’t Look Now and Repulsion. With a premise that supposedly involves time travel and a cast that includes Anya-Taylor Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith and Diana Rigg, Wright (who also co-wrote this with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was just nominated for Best Original Screenplay for her work in 1917) is making a big swing.
-Let Them All Talk: Every year there’s more new streaming services, and that also means that there’s new players in the Oscar game. To secure subscribers to the new service, HBO Max has secured the rights to the next Steven Soderbergh movie, a comedy that stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author that takes her friends (Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges, again) in a journey to find fun and come to terms with the past. The last time that Soderbergh and Streep worked together, the end result was the very disappointing The Laundromat. Let’s hope that this time everything works out.
-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Now that Netflix got the deal to adapt August Wilson’s acclaimed plays with Denzel Washington’s production company, the next jump from the stage to the screen is a meaty one. Viola Davis is playing blues singer Ma Rainey in this tale of a heated recording session with her bandmates, her agent and her producer in 1927, with a cast that also includes Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman and Colman Domingo. The Tony nominated play talked about race, art and the intersection of the two, and it’s gonna be explosive to see that unfold on screen, even if director George C. Wolfe’s previous filmography isn’t very encouraging.
-Macbeth: In a shocking development, the Coen brothers are no more. Well, just this time. For the first time in his career, Joel Coen is making a movie without Ethan, and it’s a Shakespeare adaptation. Denzel Washington is playing the man who wants to be king of Scotland, and Frances McDormand is playing his Lady Macbeth. While this just started filming and it will be a race to finish it in time for competition in the awards race, the potential is there, and this project has everybody’s attention.
-Mank: After scoring 24 Oscar nominations and only winning 2 awards last Sunday, Netflix has to wonder what else must they do to get in the club that awards them. They tried with Cuarón, they tried with Scorsese, they tried with Baumbach, they tried with two Popes, and they still feel a barrier. Now, the big gamble for awards by the streamer in 2020 comes to us in the hands of David Fincher, who is basically their friend after the rest of Hollywood denied him (Disney dropped his 20,000 Leagues adaptation, HBO denied the US remake of Utopia, and Paramount drove World War Z 2 away from him). In his first movie since 2014’s Gone Girl, David will go black and white to tackle a script by his late father about the making of the classic of classics, Citizen Kane, with previous Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing the lead role of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Will the Academy fall for the ultimate “power of da moviesshhh” story?
-Minari: Sundance can be hit or miss with the breakout films that try to make it to the Oscars. However, you can’t deny the waves made by A24 when they premiered Lee Isaac Chung’s new drama there, ending up winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition. If Parasite endeared Academy voters to Korean families, Steven Yeun hopes that the same thing happens with this story, where he plays a father in the ‘80s who suddenly decides to move his family to Arkansas to start a farm. Even though the reviews have been great, we must also remember that last year, A24 had in their hands The Farewell, another Sundance hit about an Asian family that ended up with no Oscar nominations. Let’s hope that this time, the Plan B influence (remember, that’s Brad Pitt’s production company, of Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave fame) makes a difference.
-Next Goal Wins: It’s a good time to be Taika Waititi. Why? Taika Waititi can do what he wants. He can direct a Thor movie, he can win an Oscar for writing a comedy set in WW2 about a Third Reich boy who has an Imaginary Hitler friend, or he can pop up in The Mandalorian as a droid. Taika keeps winning, and he wants more. Between his press tour for Jojo Rabbit and his return to the MCU, he quickly shot an adaptation of a great documentary about the disgraced national team of American Samoa, one of the worst football teams known to man, as they try to make the cut for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Everybody loves a good sports comedy, and Searchlight bets that we’ll enjoy this story led by Michael Fassbender as the new (and Dutch-American) coach in town who tries to shape the team for victory.
-News of the World: Seven years after their solid collaboration in Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks reunite for more awards love in what seems to be Universal’s main attraction for the Oscars. This time, Hanks stars in a Western drama based on Paulette Jiles’ novel where he plays a traveling newsreader in the aftermath of the American Civil War who is tasked with reuniting an orphaned girl with her living relatives. With a Christmas release date, Universal is betting big in getting the same nomination boost that 1917 is enjoying right now, and the formula is promising.
-Nightmare Alley: Following his Best Picture and Best Director wins for The Shape of Water, everybody in Hollywood wondered what would Guillermo del Toro do next. Well, as Del Toro often does, a little bit of everything and nothing. Some projects moved (as his produced Pinocchio movie on Netflix, or his Death Stranding likeness cameo), others stalled and die (like his proposed Fantastic Voyage remake). But now he’s rolling on his next project, a new adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel that already was a Tyrone Power film in 1947. This noir tale tells the story of a con man (Bradley Cooper) who teams up with a psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) to trick people and win money, and how things get out of control. With a cast that also includes Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara and more, this could play well if it hits the right tone.
-Nomadland: There’s breakout years, and then there’s the amazing potential of Chloe Zhao’s 2020. On the one hand, after making Hollywood notice her skill with the gripping story of The Rider, she got the keys to the MCU kingdom to direct the next potential franchise of Kevin Feige, The Eternals. And just in case, she also has in her sleeve this indie drama that she wrote and directed beforehand, with two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand playing a woman who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. If Chloe nails these two films, it could be the one-two punch of the decade.
-One Night in Miami: Regina King is living her best life. Following her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk and the success that came with her lead role in the Watchmen show on HBO, the actress is jumping to a new challenge: directing movies. For her big screen debut, she’s adapting Kemp Powers’ play that dramatizes a real meeting on February 25, 1964, between Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown.
-Over the Moon: After earning praise and Oscar nominations with I Lost My Body and Klaus, Netflix will keep its bet on animated movies with a film directed by the legendary Glen Keane. Who? A classic Disney animator responsible for the design of characters like Ariel, the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and more](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jRkx2PNVr8), and who recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball, which he co-directed with the late Kobe Bryant. Now, he brings us a musical adventure centered around a Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the Moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess.
-Passing: It’s always interesting when an actor jumps behind the camera, and Rebecca Hall’s case is no exception. For her directorial debut, Hall chose to adapt Nella Larsen’s acclaimed novel set in Harlem in the 1920s, about two mixed race childhood friends (Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson) who reunite in adulthood and become obsessed with one another's lives. With a premise that explores tough questions about race and sexuality, it looks like a tricky challenge for a first timer, but it would be more impressive if Hall manages to rise over the challenge.
-Prisoner 760: An interesting part of following the awards circuit is looking at when it's appropriate to talk about touchy subjects in recent history. I’m saying that because this next movie tells the real life tale of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), a man who, despite not being charged or having a set trial, is held in custody at Guantanamo Bay, and turns towards a pair of lawyers (Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley) to aid him. Based on the famous journal that the man wrote while he was being detained, the movie (that also counts with Benedict Cumberbatch) is directed by Kevin Macdonald who, a long time ago, helped Forest Whitaker win Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland. Could he get back in the race after almost 15 years of movies like State of Play?
-Raya and the Last Dragon: This year, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ bet for the Oscars is a fantasy tale set in a mysterious realm called Kumandra, where a warrior named Raya searches for the last dragon in the world. And that dragon has the voice of Awkwafina. Even though they missed out last Oscars when Frozen II got the cold shoulder by the Academy in Best Animated Feature, this premise looks interesting enough to merit a chance. One more thing: between last year’s Abominable, Over the Moon and this movie, there’s a clear connection of animated movies trying to appeal to Chinese sensibilities (and that sweet box office).
-Rebecca: It’s wild to think that the only time that Alfred Hitchcock made a film that won the Oscar for Best Picture was with 1940’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller novel, more muted and conventional than his more known classics. Now, Ben Wheatley and Netflix are giving the Gothic story a new spin, with Lily James playing the newly married young woman who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife, the mysterious Rebecca. The story is a classic, and we have to see how much weird Wheatley stuff is in the mix.
-Red, White and Water: Between 2011 and 2014, Jennifer Lawrence was everywhere and people loved it. She was America’s sweetheart, the Oscar winner, Katniss Everdeen. But then, everything kinda fell. Those X-Men movies got worse and she looked tired of being in them, her anecdotes got less charming and more pandering to some, she took respectable risks that didn’t pay off with Red Sparrow and Mother!, and some people didn’t like that she said that it wasn’t nice to share private photos of her online. Now, she looks to get back to the Oscar race with a small project funded by A24 and directed by Lila Neugebauer in her film debut, about a soldier who comes back to the US after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. Also, Brian Tyree Henry is in this, and it would be amazing if he got nominated for something.
-Respect: You know what’s a surefire way to get Academy voters’ attention? Play a real singer! Rami Malek took a win last year for playing Freddie Mercury, Renee Zellweger just won the gold after portraying Judy Garland, and now Jennifer Hudson wants more Oscar love. Almost 15 years after taking Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls, Hudson will try to get more by playing soul legend Aretha Franklin, in a biopic directed by first timer Liesl Tommy that practically screams “give me the gold”. How am I so sure? Well, see the teaser that they released in December (for a movie that opens in October), and tell me. It will work out better for Hudson than Cats, that’s for sure.
-Soul: Unless they really disappoint (I’m looking at you, The Good Dinosaur, Cars 2 and Cars 3), you can’t have the Oscars without inviting Pixar to the party. This year, they have two projects in the hopes of success. While in a few weeks we’ll see what happens with the fantasy family road trip of Onward, the studio’s biggest bet of the year clearly is the next existential animation written and directed by Pete Docter, who brought Oscar gold to his home with Up and Inside Out. The movie, which centers on a teacher (voice of Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician and, just as he’s about to get his big break, ends up getting into an accident that separates his soul from his body, had a promising first trailer, and it also promises a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as new songs by Jon Batiste. The only downside so far for the marketing was the fact that the trailer reveal led people to notice a suspicious trend involving black characters when they lead an animated movie.
-Tenet: When Leonardo DiCaprio finally touched his Academy Award, an alarm went off in the mind of a portion of Internet users, who have made their next crusade to give themselves to the cause of getting Christopher Nolan some Oscar love. And his next blank check, an action thriller involving espionage and time travel, could pull off the same intersection of popcorn and prestige that made Inception both a box office hit and a critically acclaimed Oscar nominee. It helps to have a cast of impressive names like John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson, as well as a crew that includes Ludwig Goransson and Hoyte van Hoytema. In other words, if this becomes a hit, this could go for a huge number of nominations.
-The Devil All the Time: As you may have noticed by now, Netflix is leading the charge in possible Oscar projects. Another buzzy movie that comes from them is the new psychological thriller by Antonio Campos, a filmmaker known for delivering small and intimate but yet intense and terrifying dramas like Simon Killer and Christine. Using the novel by Donald Ray Pollock, Campos will follow non-linearly a cast of characters in Ohio between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War, with the help of an interesting cast that includes Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough.
-The Eyes of Tammy Faye: After being known as a sketch comedy goofball because of The State, Wet Hot American Summer and Stella, Michael Showalter reinvented himself as a director of small and human dramedies like Hello, My Name is Doris and The Big Sick. For his next project, he’s gonna mix a little bit of both worlds, because he has before him the story of the televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain, who has been really trying to recapture her early ‘10 awards run to no avail) and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield, who was previously nominated for Hacksaw Ridge, instead of Silence, because why). With a real life tale that involves Christian theme parks, fraud and conspiracies, this is the kind of loud small movie that Searchlight loves to parade around, especially as an actors showcase (Jojo Rabbit being the most recent example). The first image looks terrifying, by the way.
-The Father: It’s weird to be in the middle of February and say that there’s already a frontrunner for the Best Actor race at the next Oscars. After its premiere in Sundance a couple of weeks ago, every prognosticator pointed in the direction of Anthony Hopkins (recently nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Two Popes), who delivers a harrowing portrayal of an old man grappling with his age as he develops dementia, causing pain to his beleaguered daughter (recent winner Olivia Colman, who also got praised). With reviews calling it a British answer to Amour (in other words: it’s a hard watch), Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his acclaimed play not only benefits from having Hopkins and Colman together as a selling point, because it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, a distributor with experience in getting Academy voters to watch adult movies with heavy themes. If you don’t believe me, watch how they got Julianne Moore a win for Still Alice, as well as recent nominations for Isabelle Huppert for Elle, Glenn Close for The Wife, and Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory. They know the game, and they are going to hit hard for Hopkins and Colman.
-The French Dispatch: If you saw the trailer, we don’t need to dwell too much on the reasons. On the one hand, we have the style of Wes Anderson, a filmmaker who has become a name in both the critics circle and the casual viewer, with his last two movies (The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs) earning several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture for the one with Gustave H. Then, we have a long cast that goes from the director’s regulars like Bill Murray to new stars like Timothee Chalamet, and also includes people like Benicio del Toro. The only thing that could endanger the Oscar chances for this is that the story, an anthology set around a period comedy with an European riff on The New Yorker, will alienate the average Academy member.
-The Humans: There’s the prestige of a play, and then there’s the prestige of a Tony-winning play. Playwright Stephen Karam now gets to jump to the director’s chair to take his acclaimed 2016 one-act story to the big screen, and A24 is cutting the check. Telling the story of a family that gets together on Thanksgiving to commiserate about life, this adaptation will be led by original performer Jayne Houdyshell (who also won a Tony for her stage performance), who’ll be surrounded by Richard Jenkins, Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun and June Squibb. If it avoids getting too claustrophobic or stagey for the cinema, it will be a good contender.
-The Last Duel: Always speedy, Ridley Scott is working on his next possible trip to the Oscars. This time, it’s the telling of a true story in 14th-century France, where a knight (Matt Damon) accuses his former friend (Adam Driver) of raping his wife (Jodie Comer), with the verdict being determined by the titular duel. It’s a juicy story, but there was some concern when it seemed that the script was only being written by Damon and Ben Affleck (who’ll also appear in the film). A rape story written by them after the Weinstein revelations… not the best look. But then, it was revealed that they were writing the screenplay with indie figure Nicole Holofcener, who last year was nominated for an Oscar for her script for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Let’s hope that the story is told in a gripping but not exploitative way, and that it doesn’t reduce the role of Comer (who deserves more than some of the movie roles that she’s getting after Killing Eve) to a Hollywood stereotype.
-The Power of the Dog: We have to talk about the queen of the indie world, we have to talk about Jane Campion. More than a decade after her last movie, Bright Star, the Oscar and Palme d’Or winner for The Piano returns with a non-TV project (see Top of the Lake, people) thanks to Netflix, with a period drama centered around a family dispute between a pair of wealthy brothers in Montana, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons), after the latter one marries a local widow (Kirsten Dunst). According to the synopsis, “a shocked and angry Phil wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her entirely using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn”. Can’t wait to see what that means.
-The Prom: Remember the Ryan Murphy blank check deal with Netflix that I mentioned earlier? Well, another of the projects in the first batch of announcements for the deal is a musical that he’ll direct, adapting the Tony-nominated show about a group of Broadway losers (now played by the one and only Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and, uh, James Corden, for some reason) who try to find a viral story to get back in the spotlight, and end up going to a town in Indiana to help a lesbian high school student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. The show has been considered a fun and heartwarming tale of acceptance, so the movie could be an easy pick for an average Academy voter who doesn’t look too hard (and you know that the Golden Globes will nominate the shirt out of this). It’s funny how this comes out the same year than Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and then it’s not funny realizing that Film Twitter will pit the two movies against each other.
-The Trial of the Chicago 7: After getting a taste of the director’s taste with Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin wants more. For his second movie, he’s tackling one of his specialties: a courtroom drama. And this one is a period movie centered around the trial on countercultural activists in the late ‘60s, which immediately attracts a campaign of how “important” this movie is today’s culture. To add the final blow, we have a cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance. If Sorkin can contain himself from going over the top (and with that cast, it would be so easy to surrender to bouts of screaming and winding speeches), this could be one of the top contenders.
-Those Who Wish Me Dead: Having made a good splash in the directorial waters with Wind River, Taylor Sheridan (also known for writing the Sicario movies, the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water or that Yellowstone show that your uncle raves about on Facebook) returns with yet another modern Western. For this thriller based on the Michael Koryta novel, Angelina Jolie stars as a survival expert in the Montana wilderness who is tasked with protecting a teenager who witnessed a murder, while assassins are pursuing him and a wildfire grows closer.
-Untitled David O. Russell Project: Following the mop epic Joy, that came and went in theaters but still netted a Best Actress nomination for Jennifer Lawrence, the angriest director in Hollywood took a bit of a break (it didn’t help that he tried to do a really expensive show with Amazon starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore that fell apart when the Weinstein exposes sank everything). Now, he’s quickly putting together his return to the days of Oscar love that came with stuff like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, with a new movie that is set to star Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan. Even though we don’t know many details (some people are saying the movie is called Amsterdam) except for the fact the movie hasn’t started shooting yet, David is a quick guy, so he’ll get it ready for the fall festival circuit. If there’s one thing that David O. Russell knows (apart from avoid getting cancelled for abusing people like Lily Tomlin, Amy Adams and his niece), it’s to make loud actor showcases.
-Untitled Nora Fingscheidt Project: When Bird Box became one of the biggest hits on Netflix history, the streamer decided to keep itself in the Sandra Bullock business. Sandy’s next project for Ted Sarandos is a drama where she plays a woman who is released from prison after serving time for a violent crime, and re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past. To get redemption, she searches her younger sister she was forced to leave behind. With the direction of Fingscheidt, who comes from an acclaimed directorial debut with Systemsprenger (Germany’s submission to the last Academy Awards), and a cast that also includes Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal, this will also hopefully try its luck later this year.
-Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project: We don’t know if this movie will be ready for the end of the year (although last time, he managed to sneak Phantom Thread under the buzzer and earn several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture), but PTA is apparently gonna start to shoot it soon, with the backing of Focus Features. After several movies with prestige locations and intricate production design, Film Twitter’s Holy Spirit will go back to the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, to tell the story of a high school student who is also a successful child actor.
-Stillwater: Tom McCarthy’s recent career is certainly puzzling. After delivering the weird lows of The Cobbler, he bounced back with the Best Picture winner that was Spotlight. And following that, he… helped produce the 13 Reasons Why series. And following that… he made Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, a Disney+ original movie. Now, he’s back to the award race with a drama starring Matt Damon, who plays a father who rushes from Oklahoma to France to help his daughter (Abigail Breslin), who is in prison after being suspected for a murder she claims she didn’t commit.
-West Side Story: To close things, we have to see one of the possible big contenders of the season, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the iconic musical that translates Romeo and Juliet to the context of a street gang war in 1950s New York. While the decision to adapt again something that has been a classic both in Broadway and in movie theaters almost 60 years ago is a challenge, the idea of Spielberg doing a musical closer to the stage version with Tony Kushner as the writer is too tempting for the average Academy voter, who is already saving a spot in major categories in case Steven nails it in December. However, there’s two question marks. First, how well will Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler stand out in the roles of Tony and Maria? And second, will In the Heights steal some of the thunder of this movie by being, you know, more modern?
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Filme gratuite legate de hiking & escalada de la Banff Mountain Film Festival

Banff Mountain Film Festival Films Online for Free
List curated by Lianne Caron
RJ Ripper
(2018, 20 min)
Kids and bikes; wherever you are in the world, they go together. The chaotic streets of
Kathmandu may not seem like a typical breeding ground for world-class mountain bikers, but
then again nothing is typical about Rajesh (RJ) Magar. Since learning to ride on a beat-up
clunker, to becoming the four-time National Champion at age 21, RJ’s story is one of boundless
childhood dreaming and unstoppable determination, forged from junkyard scraps and tested
on the rugged trails of the mighty Himalaya.
https://vimeo.com/275506930
BAWLI BOOCH - Downhill Biking India
(2017, 5 min)
4Play is India’s first adventure film company. A fun short film with a catchy song that will make
you smile. Downhill Mountain Biking in Manali (India), Himalayan cultural nuances and a
catchy Bollywood song that will make your foot tap and keep your eyes glued to the screen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvExzRrB9Fg
Speak To Me Softly
(2019, 6 min)
Experience fear and emotion alongside climber Jenny Abegg as she ascends Moonlight
Buttress while fighting the self-criticism and doubt from that little voice we all have in the back
of our heads.
https://rockandice.com/videos/climbing/speak-to-me-softly/?cn-reloaded=1
Life of Pie | Pizza and Bikes Can Fix Anything
(2019, 11 min)
In 2002, mountain bikers and entrepreneurs Jen Zeuner and Anne Keller moved to Fruita,
Colorado, in search of cheap rent, world-class single track, and free time to ride. Over 15 years
later, the two unconventional women have helped reshape one of the state’s most
conservative towns, uniting the community through advocacy, inclusivity, and damn good
pizza.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7yg2PO07u8
Loved By All: The Story of Apa Sherpa
(2018, 14 min)
Every spring the summit of Mount Everest drews people from around the world. But in its
shadow live the Sherpa, a resilient, religious people, who, despite the riches surrounding the
highest peak on earth, are still quite poor and uneducated. A child of the Khumbu, Apa Sherpa
climbed Everest 21 times. Pulled away at the age of 12 to work as a high altitude porter, like so
many others, he would leave his family for months, risking his life on the mountain. Through
his work at the Apa Sherpa Foundation, he aims to create a different future for his people.
https://vimeo.com/270499256
Curated by Lianne Caron
Shepherdess of The Glaciers
(2016, 74 min)
A beautiful cultural film that will sweep you away to an exotic far away location. Way up in
Ladakh—at 16,500 feet, somewhere in the Gya-Miru Valley—lives a shepherdess with a flock of
250 sheep and pashmina goats on a huge deserted rock-strewn mountain. They are her only
companions, except for the troubling presence of wolves and a snow leopard; her only link
with the outside world is a little transistor...
https://vimeo.com/channels/lesfilmsdeladecouverte/147091400
Artifishal | The Fight to Save Wild Salmon
(2019, 80 min)

Artifishal is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the
environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats
posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdNJ0JAwT7I
The Last Honey Hunter
(2017, 36 min)
In the steep mountain jungles of Nepal’s Hongu river valley, members of the isolated Kulung
culture have risked their lives for generations scaling dangerous cliffs to collect wild and
toxic honey. Deep and dark, the film glides through a misty world of forest spirits, dreams,
and woodsmoke to share the story of the leader of the harvest and his final journey.
https://vimeo.com/201695311
The Frozen Road
(2018, 25 min)
Self-shot and edited whilst cycling around the world, this short film charts my winter journey
into the Canadian Arctic as I completed my bike ride up the American continent. Compelled by
Jack London’s assertion, that ‘any man who is a man can travel alone’, I sought an adventure of
perfect solitude. Yet, as I came to realise, the harsh truths of travelling in such a formidable
environment were a long way from the romantic images I’d held of this land. The Frozen Road
is an honest reflection on my solo trip; of the wonder, terror and frustration I experienced when
riding through the unforgiving emptiness of one of the world's 'last great wildernesses'.
https://vimeo.com/252863313
Blood Road
(2017, 92 min)
Rebecca Rusch’s search for connection. In this award-winning film, Rebecca Rusche cycles
1,930km along the Ho Chi Minh Trail through the jungles of Vietnam. The goal is to reach the
site where her father, a US Air Force pilot, was shot down in Laos more than 40 years ago.
https://www.redbull.com/int-en/films/blood-road
Curated by Lianne Caron
Billder
(2018, 6 min)
Bill McLane is a trail builder. What started as a hobby between forest firefighting seasons
became a career which has helped shape the mountain bike scene on Vancouver Island. Billder
takes a closer look at the craft and dedication behind the trails we sometimes take for granted.
It shows that when people pursue their passion, we're all better for it
https://vimeo.com/378218839
Up To Speed
(2018, 20 min)
Some climbers perceive speed climbing as a fringe activity, but its inclusion in the 2020
Olympics means it’s now being taken seriously. Film-maker Zachary Barr takes an in-depth
look into the sport.
https://www.redbull.com/int-en/episodes/up-to-speed-reel-rock-s05-e01
Okpilik - Inuit Nunangat Taimaannganit
(2019, 4 min)
Mary Kudlak talks about fishing in Okpilik lake near Ulukhaktok as part of the Inuit
Nunangat Taimannganit video project.
https://www.itk.ca/inuit-nunangat-taimannganit/video_archive/okpilik/
Dark Peak Fell Runners
(2019, 17 min)
The Dark Peak Fell Runners base themselves in Sheffield, but their playground is the Peak
District National Park where they weave tracks through the fields, peat bogs and rocky
outcrops to create a tapestry of eccentricity, endeavour and endurance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwTp28jbTP8

Chasing a Trace
(2019, 21 min)
This is a love story between a badass woman scientist and one of the most elusive wild
animals on earth set in the snowy high mountains of Western Canada.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQN16cJ4mLk
Climb Your Dreams
(2019, 2 min)
The rush of life in the city inspires a dream for an escape. The nature of reality is questioned
by the contrast of what we do for a living.
https://vimeo.com/362028659
Curated by Lianne Caron
Full Moon
(2019, 6 min)
Closing lifts and the setting sun mark the end of the action for most skiers. But not for Max
Kronech and Jochen Mesle. While ski towns fall asleep they head into the mountains to
see them in a new light.
https://vimeo.com/362028659
Good Morning
(2018, 4 min)
Every day, skier Richard Permin falls into his mundane morning routine. Right after getting out
of bed, he clicks on his skis and rides down the snow covered rooftops of Avoriaz.
https://vimeo.com/305915054
The Imaginary Line
(2019, 10 min)
In an act of political solidarity, a team from Mexico and the U.S.A assemble with the sole
purpose of establishing a slackline that crosses the border between them. In a world that is
constantly tearing us apart, they come together to cross an imaginary line and tell a
different story.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkG7koiNiq4
Age of Ondra
(2018, 47 min)
On the heels of a historic 5.15d ascent, we follow climber Adam Ondra from his home in the
Czech Republic, across Europe to North America, as he innovates new training methods,
establishes upper echelon first ascents, and attempts to be the first person to send 5.15 on
the first try.
Part one: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/episodes/age-of-ondra-part-1-reel-rock-s5-e2
Part two: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/episodes/age-of-ondra-part-2-reel-rock-s5-e3
Part three: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/episodes/age-of-ondra-part-3
Thabang
(2019, 13 min)
Thabang Madiba somehow found his way into the world of trail running and in the last few
years has become everyone’s favourite in the South African trail scene.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0NR4Qqje4A
The Redstone Pack
(2018, 5 min)
What began as an impromptu leap into the world of dog sledding, Aaron Natoniewski’s
methodical approach to the sport and understanding of his dogs has inspired a team of
sled hounds unlike any other.
https://vimeo.com/293860988
Curated by Lianne Caron

We Are Abel
(2018, 8 min)
We Are Abel features the story of a Gwich’in father who is standing against reckless plans
to industrialize the Arctic Refuge and not only fight for his culture’s existence, but also for
his son’s ability to know that culture fully.
https://vimeo.com/341401643
The River’s Call
(2019, 8 min)
The River’s Call follows seven kayakers through the deep canyons and challenging whitewater
of the Rio Apurimac the farthest source of the Amazon in the heart of the Andes.
https://vimeo.com/325319778
The Ladakh Project
(2019, 13 min)
Seven days, three rivers, one woman. This is the story of Nouria Newman’s solo kayak
adventure in the Indian Himalaya.
https://www.redbull.com/int-en/ladakh-project-nouria-newman-kayaks-india-rivers-interactive-s
t ory
The Flip
(2019, 3 min)
French skydiver Remi Angeli must face his fears in order to explore new expressions of
movement while BASE jumping in Mexico. On the other side of his fear he discovers life in
its purest form.
https://vimeo.com/390490875
Kai Jones - Far Out
(2018, 6 min)
Eleven-year-old Kai Jones isn’t old enough to go to the movies alone or order a sandwich at the
pub, but in the mountains age doesn’t matter. He is following in his family’s ski tracks...right
into backflips and tricks off of cliffs.
https://www.tetongravity.com/video/ski/11-year-old-skis-jackson-holes-gnarliest-terrain
Every Mystery I’ve Lived
(2019, 24 min)
At the end of 2017, rookie slopestyle MTB rider Emil Johansson was on top of the world. In his
first full season, he was crowned FMB World Tour champion as a teenager only for his world
to crumble around him with a mystery illness.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnicW-F52n4
Eclipse
(2015, 32 min)
Photographer Reuben Krabbe is someone captivated by the solar eclipse, and so in March 2015
he set out to take a photo of a skier during this infrequent occurrence in the northern
Curated by Lianne Caron
archipelago of Svalbard, Norway. The story of this demanding expedition was documented by
Salomon in partnership with Switchback Entertainment and won Best Film: Snow Sports at the
Banff Mountain Film Festival.
http://tv.salomon.com/story/eclipse#overlay
Charge
(2019, 5 min)
Four top freeskiers and a world champion drone pilot are dropped at Chatter Creek, BC for
one week. Their instructions: charge as hard as you can every day.
http://tv.salomon.com/story/charge#overlay

Liv Along the Way
(2018, 23 min)
Since she first summited Mont Blanc as a teen, Liv Sansoz knew she would make her life in the
mountains. She was twice crowned World Champion in sport climbing, and eventually
expanded her professional horizons to mixed climbing, ski mountaineering, and base jumping.
In 2017, at 40 years old, Liv set out from her base in Chamonix, France to attempt to climb all
82 4000m peaks in the European Alps in a single year. As she’s learned several times
throughout her life, things don’t always go as planned.
http://tv.salomon.com/channel/hiking-mountaineering#overlay/livalongtheway
Frozen Mind
(2018, 33 min)
Together with his old friend Pierre Hourticq, snowboarder Victor de le Rue tries to write a new
story in the iconic mountains near Chamonix. Frozen Mind is not just a freeride film, it is a
story of friendship and a journey of discovery as the two men take unique paths in order to
conquer the same objectives.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axNnKy-jfWw
The 7 Stages of Blank
(2019, 42 min)
Blank Collective films takes you on a journey through The 7 Stages of Blank, a lighthearted
look into the bond that develops around the sport of skiing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSK-f5ES0i4
Circle of the Sun
(2019, 5 min)
Steep mountains, the ocean, the sun, and the aurora borealis. One rotation of the sun high in
the Arctic on skis equals one day of magic.
https://vimeo.com/344890300
Curated by Lianne Caron
Safe Haven
(2018, 8 min)
Founded on the belief that everyone is welcome, Memphis Rox opened a climbing gym to be
at the center of the city's revitalization. Watch and if you are interested to learn more about
Memphis Rox.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYjVzoxIkdI
Camel Finds Water
(2019, 8 min)
Trevor found the hull of an abandoned fishing boat in a field. He brought it home and built it
back to a sea-worthy state over the course of a summer. Then, he took it on its maiden voyage
to British Columbia in search of waves.
https://vimeo.com/328771728
This Land
(2019, 10 min)
Runner and advocate Faith E. Briggs used to run through the streets of Brooklyn every morning.
Now, she’s running 150 miles through three U.S. National Monuments that lay in the thick of the
controversy around public lands.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3dxCJK5BaQ&list=RDCMUC4qZJvaF8JKHFJzC_6lXWbg
& start_radio=1&t=5
Beneath the Ice
(2019, 16 min)
Canadian Will Gadd uses his unparalleled ice climbing skills and knowledge to lead a
scientific exploration into uncharted territory inside of the Greenland ice sheet.
https://www.redbull.com/ca-en/films/beneath-the-ice

Aziza
(2018, 6 min)
Set in the streets of Bou Tharar and the wide, craggy valleys of the lower Atlas mountains,
Aziza is the story of a young woman who has thrived in the world of ultra-running and how she
has become a role model for other up-and-coming athletes in Morocco.
https://vimeo.com/286846186
Standing Man
(2019, 13 min)
Cyclist Payson McElveen attempts to break the current fastest known time on the grueling
160 km White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La8-Qqio0rU
Curated by Lianne Caron
Eli
(2019, 5 min)
As a rancher growing up in the rugged northeast corner of the Navajo Nation with no electricity
or running water, Eli Neztsosie learned through years of work what it meant to rely on
discipline and endurance. Now he relies on these same skills, running long distances— striving
every day, in his words, to be better than he was the day before.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l16tuTE99vA
A Nordic Skater
(2018, 5 min)
A Nordic Skater is the very first film about this little known sport. It features Per Sollerman, a
photographer who has been skating on frozen lakes and fjords for the past 10 years. During 6
captivating minutes, the viewer is transported to the region of Oslo to have a peek at a story of
a man who uses every sense he has to travel on thin ice.
https://vimeo.com/297673643
Out on a Limb
(2019, 21 min)
Engineer Kai Lin teams up with climber Craig DeMartino to design a badass prosthetic foot,
which if they succeed won’t just level the playing field, but will dish up, if not superpowers, then
a real sense of empowerment, which is almost the same thing.
https://mojagear.com/videos/2019/08/16/limb-prosthetic-climbing-craig-demartino/
Spirit
(2019, 20 min)
An intimate story of longing and belonging in India’s sacred mountains. Spirit explores what
it takes to make a home in a remote community in the thralls of change.
https://vimeo.com/369505425
Solstice
(2019, 4 min)
A skier’s tribute to the shortest day of the year when the sun arcs low over the horizon and
the ice crystals linger in the air. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTPovRc6OoM
Narics
(2019, 19 min)
In the midst of Kosovo, an area that’s been haunted by war and ethical conflicts, Elias Elhardt
discovers the small ski resort Brezovica.Snowboard enthusiast Hamdi is one of the locals
that now wants to breathe new life into this special place. He guides Elias through this
forgotten world and reflects on the question, how a future can be built if the past still weighs
so heavily.
https://vimeo.com/383514704
Curated by Lianne Caron

Valley of the Moon
(2018, 21 min)
Valley of the Moon explores the importance of climbing as a way to cross cultural barriers,
build friendship and chase adventure in one of the most breathtaking regions of the earth.
https://vimeo.com/299057800
The Legend of Rafael
(2019, 7 min)
A beautiful story about the power of two wheels and a community built through bicycling. After
a devastating breakup, Rafael finds solitude and restoration on the open road, pedaling his way
to emotional health from Mexico City to northern Colorado. With just $500 to his name, he
spearheads a revolution to help the underprivileged members of his new neighborhood the best
way he knows how—repairing their bicycles. https://vimeo.com/333580941
Over Time - Sammy C
(2019, 7 min)
Filmed purley in the heart of the BC backcountry, Over Time - Sammy C features the best
shots from a full winter with pro skier Sammy Carlson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVXJ2E41_xE
Wallmapu
(2018, 6 min)
The Pehuenche people of present-day Chile speak Mapudungun: ‘the language of the land.’
This land, their universe, is known as Wallmapu. Two skiers enter, into a breathtaking creation
of ancient Araucaria trees, looming volcanoes, and windblown snow.
https://vimeo.com/306295979
Chasing the Sublime
(2018, 6 min)
Why do we put ourselves into the path of discomfort and risk? What drives us to get too cold
and too tired, to battle with fear, in the name of adventure? Follow the originators of The
Outdoor Swimming Society, ‘swim twins’ Kate Rew and Kari Furre, in this hauntingly beautiful
glimpse at the physicality of UK cold water swimming, as two friends set out to chase the
sublime. https://vimeo.com/292071219
The Running Pastor
(2019, 8 min)
Sverri is a local Pastor and avid runner who uses his time on the trails to work through not
only his own personal conflicts, but the conflicts of others he often is burdened with.
https://vimeo.com/340472874
Curated by Lianne Caron
BMX Nigeria
(2019, 13 min)
BMX street is one of the most frequently evolving sports in the world and, in Nigeria, a group
of local riders are reinventing riding at a grassroots level.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDZpsjtfYuY
The Shepherdess
(2018, 6 min)
A brutal drought is gripping the Southwest and the Navajo reservation especially hard,
threatening traditional shepherds and a way of life going back generations.
https://www.katiefalkenberg.com/#/shepherdess/
Silence
(2018, 18 min)
What does it take to climb the world’s first 9c? Let’s find out in Silence, a movie by Bernardo
Giménez. It shows what preceded the afternoon of September 3, 2017 when Adam Ondra, a
professional rock climber and currently one of the best climbers in the world, made a little piece

of climbing history when he climbed his project in the spectacular Hanshelleren Cave in
Norway. The route, later named Silence, received a new grade of 9c and became the hardest
route in the world.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRTNHDd0gL8
Ice & Palms
(2018, 32 min)
The documentary follows skiers Jochen Mesle and Max Kroneck on their most ambitious
ski tour yet. A 100% self powered adventure from southern Germany all the way to the
mediterranean sea.
https://vimeo.com/319200353
Sacred Strides
(2018, 12 min)
Bears Ears National Monument is a public land under threat. In 2018, a group of Native
American tribes put their differences aside and ran 1280 km to Bears Ears to send a message
of unity.
https://vimeo.com/283490560
Hourya
(2018, 10 min)
Fly Above the ancient sands of the Moroccan coastline. Let your spirit soar with lightness
and the feeling of Hourya.
https://vimeo.com/289029793
Curated by Lianne Caron
FAST HORSE
(2018, 14 min)
FAST HORSE follows the return of the Blackfoot bareback horse racing tradition in a new form:
the Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles to build a team with
second-hand horses and a new jockey, Cody Big Tobacco, to take on the best riders in the
Blackfoot Confederacy at the Calgary Stampede.
https://vimeo.com/358170802
The Moment
(2017, 74 min)
In the backwoods of British Columbia, three small but dedicated crews of adventure
seekers were quietly changing the course of a sport and carving their paths in history. The
Moment captures the birth and success of the original freeride mountain bike movement.
https://www.redbull.com/int-en/films/the-moment
For the Love of Mary
(2018, 6 min)
When 97-year-old runner George Etzweiler dons his lucky ancient green running shorts, he’s
not just running to the summit of Mt Washington, he carries something special with him: the
memory of his late wife of 68 years.
https://vimeo.com/273611679
Break on Through
(2017, 26 min)
Margo Hayes, a little-known 19 year old from Boulder Colorado, has moved to Europe to train
and climb with the goal of succeeding on two of the most iconic 5.15s in France and Spain. But
by pushing her body and mind to the absolute limit, she risks injury and failure in her quest to
be the first.
https://www.redbull.com/int-en/episodes/break-on-through-reel-rock-s04-e01
Life of Glide
(2017, 16 min)
Big Mountain rider Jeremy Jones dissects his lifelong passion for the simple sacred feeling

he calls “The Glide.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edYSL913rHI
Brothers of Climbing
(2017, 7 min)
How can you be what you can’t see? Mikhail Martin, co-founder of Brothers of Climbing said, “I
literally typed, ‘Are there black climbers?’ in Google ... someone said, ‘black people don’t
climb.'”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LWq5s-s4pY
Curated by Lianne Caron
Ride of the Dead
(2017, 12 min)
Enter into the world of Oaxacan mountain bike culture during Mexico’s famous annual
celebration known as Dia De Los Muertos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLXR86vHUNU
Holocene
(2018, 12 min)
Join two riders from Japan as they dive into the cultural history of the dolomites clattering
up Via Ferratas and shredding down couloirs along the way.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Yqf9Mn_ZY
Beautiful Idiot
(2018, 15 min)
Beautiful Idiot takes you on a ride through the mindset and motivations of those who feel
driven to pursue greatness, how it can feel to fall short, and the consequences of reaching a
lofty goal when the struggle to get there has defined you for so long. Featuring professional
freeride mountain bike rider Brett Rheeder.
https://vimeo.com/282402702
Perspectives | India
(2018, 5 min)
Professional mountain bike athlete and artist Micayla Gatto adventures to the Indian
Himalayas to experience the culture with her unique artistic perception.
https://freehubmag.com/videos/perspectives-india
Inside the Indus - A Pakistani Odyssey
(2017, 27 min)
An international team of kayakers heads to Pakistan to attempt a descent of the fabled Rondu
Gorge, on the Indus river. Hidden behind a wall of political and security factors meant it had
been eight years since the last expedition had ventured into the gorge.
https://www.facebook.com/twelveproductions/videos/inside-the-indus-a-pakistani-odyssey/22
4 8154562075004/
Skier Vs Drone
(2018, 4 min)
2018 Olympic Bronze Medalist skier racer, Victor Muffat-Jeandet, faces off against 2x World
Drone Racing Champion, Jordan Temkin, in a dual GS race to see who is the fastest down
the mountain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn_Fx2MwCB0
Curated by Lianne Caron
The Faction Collective Presents: La Grave
(2018, 17 min)
Sam Anthamatten and Johnny Collinson travel to La Grave to push the limits of steep skiing
and discover what makes La Grave so unique - a mythic freeride location where time stops.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkinG08IoKk

Children of the Columbia: A Skier’s Odyssey
(2018, 20 min)
A cultural ski journey up the historically-charged waters of the Columbia River in interior
British Columbia.
https://vimeo.com/330851467
The Sky Piercer
(2018, 44 min)
Snow athletes Sam Smoothy, Xavier De Le Rue, Nadine Wallner and Fraser McDougall take
on the challenge of skiing down New Zealand’s highest mountain, the notorious Mount Cook
(Aoraki). Will extreme weather and icy conditions defeat them?
https://www.redbull.com/int-en/films/the-sky-piercer-2019-23-10
The Lorax Project
(2018, 35 min)
Six friends embark on a determined quest to climb and then BASE jump ‘The Lorax’, a
formidable climb in remote western Tasmania. Surrounded by some of the most pristine
wilderness in all of Australia, they contend with extreme weather and rugged terrain, relying on
each other’s skills and a bit of humour to reach their goal. https://vimeo.com/310331133
Escape
(2018, 8 min)
JaBig, a Montreal-based DJ, buys a bike on a whim and decides to attempt to beat the record
for the longest continuous bike ride in a single country. What’s more, he’ll ride a single-speed,
fixed-gear bicycle and finish in the winter, approaching the Arctic Ocean by way of Canada’s
northernmost continental hamlet, Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories.
https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/mec-documentary-escape
Facing Sunrise
(2017, 8 min)
While dealing with one of the darkest times of her life, processing family trauma and recovering
from injury, Azzah overhears a conversation around the question, “what do you want to do
before you die?” Inspired and energized, she rushes home and begins her bucket list. Although
she has never seen herself as much of an adventurer, she realizes she’s capable of more than
she ever imagined.
https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/facing-sunrise
Curated by Lianne Caron
Ascending Afghanistan *warning graphic content
(2016, 44 min)
Follow the first female Afghan mountaineering team as they navigate their first expedition and
fight for recognition as athletes amongst their country, culture, and families.
https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/vice-impact-ascending-afghanistan-rising-women/587674b
f f0d3f0d206a3cec6?latest=1
Brotherhood of Skiing
(2018, 10 min)
Since 1973, the National Brotherhood of Skiers has overcome barriers by bringing soul,
smiles and a party to the mountain.
https://vimeo.com/318824416
How to Run 100 Miles
(2018, 28 min)
The odds were stacked against Jayson Sime early in life: poverty, homelessness, dyslexia,
bullying. But he learned to fight. In 2017, he entered his first 100-mile mountain
ultramarathon, betting on his lifelong resilience to carry him to the finish line.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC7Lh4opLsc

Blue Heart
(2018, 44 min)
The Balkan Peninsula is home to the last wild rivers in Europe. However, a deluge of more
than 3,000 proposed hydropower developments threaten to destroy the culture and ecology of
this forgotten region. Blue Heart, now in its first digital release, documents the battle for the
largest undammed river in Europe, Albania’s Vjosa, the effort to save the endangered Balkan
lynx in Macedonia, and the women of Kruščica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are
spearheading a months-long, 24/7 protest to protect their community’s only source of
drinking water.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhmHByZ0Xd8
Carving Landscapes
(2018, 6 min)
Through the inspiring legacy of Mary Vaux we will venture onto the Illecillewaet
Glacier, reenacting her research and her mountain travel in the restriction of Victorian
dresses. https://vimeo.com/299359466
The Passage
(2018, 25 min)
In 1974, my 20-year-old parents and uncle Andy built their own canoes, launched them into the
Pacific, and became some of the first people in modern history to canoe from Washington to
Alaska up the Inside Passage. My brother and I grew up paddling those wooden canoes in the
Virginia rivers and the 1974 adventure became a legend in our family - shaping who we’ve
become, how we view our parents, and how our parents view themselves. In the summer of
Curated by Lianne Caron
2017, we renovated those canoes and with our aging parents completed their 1974 journey. The
Passage is a story about growing up, growing old, and the wild places that define us.
https://vimeo.com/272632802
Grizzly Country
(2018, 12 min)
After serving in the Vietnam War, author and eco-warrior Doug Peacock spent years alone in the
Wyoming and Montana wilderness observing grizzly bears. This time in the wild changed the
course of his life. With the protection of Yellowstone grizzlies now under threat, Peacock
reflects on the importance of habitat and why he continues to fight for wild causes.
https://vimeo.com/300829054
The Botanist
(2016, 20 min)
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan, a former Soviet Socialist Republic, plunged into a
devastating civil war. A famine struck the mountainous region of the Pamir where Raïmberdi,
a passionate and ingenious botanist, built his own hydroelectric station to help his family
survive through the crisis.
https://vimeo.com/267165412
Surviving the Outback
(2018, 57 min)
Could you survive alone across hundreds of kilometers of remote outback for a whole
month, trekking and sailing on a makeshift raft, with nothing but a time capsule of antique
stuff from 1932? Mike wasn’t sure he could pull it off either!
https://tubitv.com/movies/497254/surviving_the_outback
The Mirnavator
(2017, 11 min)
Ultra-runners overcome obstacles on every trail. In this film, Force of Nature Mirna
Valerio overcomes the negative voices that don’t believe she belongs in the sport.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5-CSQcYeXk
Ski Photographer

(2018, 9 min)
Drawn to the mountains in search of the ski bum lifestyle, Oskar Enander had no intention of
ever becoming a photographer. Is his affinity for cold stark places driven by his color
blindness? Or is it place that has formed his aesthetic?
https://vimeo.com/300544856
Curated by Lianne Caron
My Mom Vala
(2017, 10 min)
Life has a way of putting us where we need to be. For Vala, that’s in both Greenland – where
she works at her family’s fishing lodge – and Reykjavík, where she teaches her daughter how to
do it all on her own, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERjQ7hcVxus
AMO
(2017, 7 min)
Amo; in the native Rapa Nui Language means, to carry on ones shoulders. Easter Island is a
place known the world across in myth and legend, but the people who call it home and the
unique culture that they embody is often overlooked as the most valuable piece of the islands
estranged story. In this short film, Heu Rapa Haoa, native born Rapa Nui and one of 800
remaining people left in the world who speak his native tongue fluently, tells his story of the
island, the stone heads that brought Easter Island renowned, and in what he sees for his future
and in that the future of his people the culture that defines them.
https://vimeo.com/254442752
Surface
(2018, 7 min)
In a photographic niche defined by familiar angles, Ben Thouard is driven by his desire to
create something original in surf photography.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeONe9teVWw
The Frenchy
(2018, 14 min)
Jacques is an 82-year-old badass athlete, but the real story is how he inspires us with his
contagious love of life, epic tales of survival and his ability to counter aging through
laughter.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dhfipv8LXRg
Dreamride 3
(2018, 6 min)
Inspired by a Dr. Seuss narrative, this mountain bike film is sure to take you places like no
other. https://vimeo.com/266377015
Treeline
(2018, 40 min)
Through a cinematic exploration of three extraordinary tree communities, Treeline brings forests
alive on screen, illuminating the reciprocal bond between humanity and nature - a relationship
we can’t survive without - and asks what responsibility we have to protect the exceptional
forests that remain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCEaYInJbos
Curated by Lianne Caron
The Wolf Pack
(2018, 12 min)
The Braford-Lefebrve family lives to run and runs to live. Without cell phones or any
modern worry, the wolf pack roams the mountains around Silverton CO.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I83E6jSHBs4

Danny Macaskill: Danny Daycare
(2019, 4 min)
In his latest film Danny Macaskill takes on some child care the only way he knows how... by
taking them for a wee bike ride around Scotland!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj0CmnxuTaQ#action=share
Electric Greg
(2019, 20 min)
Record-breaking mountain endurance athlete Greg Hill has never shied away from a goal.
Through his time spent in the mountains, he's seen the effects of climate change first-hand and
came to realize the way he was approaching the mountains was only making the problem
worse. Two years ago he changed his approach and set out to climb 100 peaks without burning
any fossil fuels. But the question is: will it make a difference?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTL5l4CcBdE&feature=youtu.be
Defiance
(2019, 13 min)
The path of progression is paved with acts of defiance. Leanne Pelosi, Jake Blauvelt, and
Victor de Le Rue take the stage in British Columbia in a showcase of shred.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUN-2fAgp0A&feature=youtu.be
Par For The Course
(2019, 4 min)
Mirna Valerio takes on her first ever sky race at the 4th annual Broken Arrow Sky Race. Mirna
navigated the rocky, exposed ridge lines, steep climbs and snow filled descents of Squaw
Valley with an attitude unlike any other.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13kb8geCNNc&feature=youtu.be
The Motivator
(2018, 4 min)
Filmmaker Aaron Hitchins turns his camera on the person who has motivated him to lead a life
connected to the outdoors: his mother, Maureen. He wishes he were half as active as she is,
and her commitment to rediscovering herself is inspirational.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpLt8ThtOFc&feature=youtu.be
submitted by gafitescu to RoHiking [link] [comments]

‘They are us’ – an urgent, uncomfortable call to action

"By Morgan Godfery | Contributing writer March 13, 2020
A proper reckoning with March 15 2019 demands that we take up a generations-long struggle to destroy all the exclusions that make up our society and produce the conditions we know as racism. An essay by Morgan Godfery.
This work is made possible by Spinoff Members.

1

I was cleaning out the garage the other day and found an old Crusaders jersey. If I remember right it’s their team kit from 2005, the white knight sewn into the chest and the old Ford logo printed in the centre. The jersey itself is still as fresh as new paint, a novelty purchase from when we were passing through Christchurch on our way to Christmas in Oamaru. I was a year 9 in school and a Super 12 jersey was the kind of item you had, just so you could say you had one. This is about the same time it was still acceptable to whisper things like how the white players in the Crusaders were responsible for their team’s championship success, playing their footy with brains, and the problem with mid-table finishers like the Blues were too many brown boys who only knew how to throw their weight around.
I’m not quite white-passing, but my upper middle-class accent, generally preppy affect, and not-quite-pasty-not-quite-brown skin makes me ethnically ambiguous enough that people are happy to share their thoughts about big Polynesian units, Asian immigrants, Muslim terrorists, and the Jews. The first time I remember running into entirely casual racism was in Christchurch, on the way back from that Christmas in Oamaru, when a retail worker caught up with me on the street apologising for short-changing me in store. I didn’t realise or particularly care, but years later I thought about his apology. “Sorry, I just Jew-ed you”.
At the time it was nothing to me. In high school and later in my flat at Victoria that was just what people said. “Jewing” someone was a verb for ripping them off, taking an advantage, or just a way to give someone a bit of stick. In my experience it was especially popular with the Christ’s College boys, which probably has something to do with the city’s private schools inheriting their culture from Britain’s public schools. “A Jewish boy at a public school almost invariably had a bad time,” wrote Orwell in 1945. Things probably aren’t that much better in 2020. The other day I read an old mate – a private schooler too – on Facebook joking about how Jews are useless at sport.
I suspect for good liberals this is probably shocking. This isn’t language that ever sneaks through our circles. But outside of our cosy hermetic world words like coconut, boonga, fob, wog, gook, curry muncher, towelhead, the hundred variations on the N word, and “Jew” as more than a noun are common currency. The stains from that vocabulary seep into every part of the culture and society, and nothing much has ever been done to wash it out. The first time I remember encountering deliberate, menacing racism is on the rugby paddock when a white coach was yelling at my mate on the wing “run you BLACK bastard”. I thought about that moment when spectators in Christchurch were caught vilifying Fijian player Sake Aca in 2015, screaming from the stands “black cunt”.
Fandoms like to imagine their sports, multicultural rugby especially, as pure and independent realms (“a level playing field”) absent race, politics, or any disadvantage other than skill. It’s a seductive argument, I’ll concede that much, but it’s so self-evidently false it still surprises me every time someone insists on it earnestly. Sport? Not racist? In 2012 talkback callers and trolls went after then Blues coach Pat Lam and his family for the great crime of simply being Polynesian. In 2010 former All Black Andy Haden was put through the wringer for telling media the Crusaders only recruit a maximum three “darkies”, presumably to preserve the team’s famous brain-brawn balance.
Even in the laudatory histories New Zealand rugby was, and probably remains, a notorious nexus for down home conservatives, know-nothing administrators, and out and out racists. In 1960 the rugby union sent the All Blacks on tour to Apartheid South Africa, waving the team off without any Māori players or officials in a remarkable sop to the country’s colour bar. In 1976 the national team were sent back, this time defying international calls to cut sporting ties with the racist state. In protest at the tour more than twenty African countries led a boycott at that year’s Olympics, a moral stand that should perpetually shame New Zealand Rugby. Not racist? As if.
In an ideal world the Canterbury Crusaders would study this history, carefully considering whether their decision to retain the team name is another brick in rugby’s wall of shame. The managers might consider how “deus vult”, meaning God wills it, a battle cry from the first Crusade, and “Acre 1189”, a reference to a siege in the third Crusade, are URL shorthands and postscripts for white supremacist users constructing a historiography for their neo-fascist movement. The managers might also reflect on how real-life white supremacists in countries like Brazil, Norway, and Australia are adopting the Knights Templar, the Christian warrior monks who made up the crusading hordes, and the literal white knight that was formerly the Canterbury team’s logo, as their saints.
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CRUSADERS MASCOTS AT AMI STADIUM IN CHRISTCHURCH IN 2019. PHOTO: DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES. FEATURE IMAGE: FRIDAY PRAYERS AT AL NOOR MOSQUE ON MARCH 22, 2019. PHOTO BY SANKA VIDANAGAMA/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
As it happens the team’s managers, after kicking the issue to a “market research” firm shortly after March 15, made the call to save the name. It’s an unconscionable decision, for obvious reasons, but the team bosses seem cognitively incapable of reasoning through the issue and its implications beyond mere “branding”. In a statement announcing the name-stay the team’s PR people wrote “for us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading spirit of this community,” as if it’s possible to just reframe the holy war using a press release. It’s a cretinous thing to do when not even a year earlier an alleged shooter undertook a massacre at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques as part of his own “crusade”.
A28-year-old man is before the High Court facing 52 murder charges relating to the events of March 15. What we know about his life is little, save the things he was curating about himself online, which in this essay I treat with caution and scepticism. But it seems clear enough the Australian citizen was an obsessive for the Crusades, scribbling references to the religious war for the Holy Land across the weapon police accuse the man of using to carry out the massacre. Investigative reports note in his pilgrimage to Europe the 28-year-old – who pleaded not guilty to all charges – made particular visits to Christian-Muslim battlegrounds in the former Ottoman Empire, apparently as a tribute to the crusading warmongers he was so keen to match.
To outsiders the obsession with this particular historical episode is probably bizarre, if not creepy. But in the nether world this man and his neo-fascist comrades inhabit they imagine they’re acting out the thesis and title in Samuel P Huntington’s The Clash of Civilisations. In his 1993 essay the American political scientist argues that in the immediate past global conflicts were between warring ideological factions – capitalism and communism – but post-Cold War conflict will centre between clashing civilisations. The West vs the rest. Christianity vs Islam. The Crusades II.
In Huntington’s telling, and in the alleged shooter’s head, the West and the Islamic world are fated to compete. Yet that competition won’t centre over economic issues like stable oil supply lines, or even political issues like the territorial integrity of Western allies in the Middle East, instead the clash is meant to happen over Islam’s apparently regressive values and the West’s progressive tradition. It’s a striking thesis, especially for the generals and politicians who were hunting for cover for their military adventures in the Middle East and East Africa in the late 80s and early 90s. But it was always a notion that was impossible to apply, reducing the Islamic world to a series of stereotypes (it never had its enlightenment) and setting it against an equally reductive West (it did have its enlightenment).
The late Edward Said, the Palestinian scholar, cut right to the heart of Huntington’s argument in identifying it wasn’t an argument at all – rather, he was “a partisan, an advocate of one so-called civilisation over all others” who maps billions of people into “vague” and “manipulable” abstractions and then presents it as a true account of the world. “Thus to build a conceptual framework around the notion of us-versus-them is in effect to pretend that the principal consideration is epistemological and natural – our civilisation is now and accepted, theirs is different and strange – whereas in fact the framework separating us from them is belligerent, constructed, and situational.”
In other words, the thing separating the Christian us from the Islamic them, to the extent a clean separation is possible at all, is history – of colonialism, of Cold War power politics – and not immutable categories like “the West” or “the East”. That the categories exist at all are a function of history and political convenience, not a universal law stipulating conflict as the only end. Yet for the neo-fascists like the alleged shooter every thought they cherish orbits this particular rock: that the entire Islamic world is one dirty blob of terrorism, rape, and invasion, and that all its more than one billion members act with a single purpose and co-ordination unknown in the entire history of humanity.
But why commit to a dichotomy so obviously stupid at all? The 28-year-old grew up in Grafton, a waterway town in northern New South Wales, and in his time on the Eastern seaboard it seems unlikely he ever actually met many Muslim people at all. In his own family’s account they were just ordinary Aussies. It’s impossible to interrogate the claim – every family thinks itself the norm and we can’t penetrate their private lives to investigate how true it is – yet the family were probably ordinary in one sense. They were unremarkable. Just another white family. The alleged shooter’s parents were in traditional jobs. Mum a teacher. Dad a rubbish man.
The people who were closest to him – cousins, old school mates – pinpoint his OE to Europe as “the moment”. As RNZ reports in his manifesto the alleged shooter recounts his trip through North Korea and Pakistan, paying tribute to the locals’ kindness and hospitality (noticing the contradiction he explains he doesn’t hate the yellows and blacks who stay in their own “homelands”). Eventually he lands in Europe, road tripping France. In one passage he despairs that he can’t seem to find an all-white town or city. In another passage his travels take him, quite conveniently, to a cemetery for the European dead of the world wars. “I broke into tears, sobbing alone in the car,” he writes, mourning the apparent Islamification of Europe. “Why were we allowing these soldiers deaths to be in vain?”
He didn’t realise that the dead he mourned died trying to kill people like him.
In 2018 I wrote (presciently, without claiming too much credit for an insight this awful) that “white nationalism is, for the basement dwelling 4chaners, mouth breathing Redditors, and Youtube philosopher kings, nothing more than a desperate search for an alternative fatherland”. That search is what drove the alleged shooter from his Australian home. “The origin of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European… most importantly, my blood is European”. To the alleged shooter his actual home was irredeemable. “What is an Australian but a drunk European?”
In each claim is a desperate narcissism, reaching for an imaginary identity when your existing accomplishments don’t match your personal ambitions. It’s tempting to extend that psychoanalysis. The alleged shooter’s fetish for imaginary “whites” is a cover for the trauma of being a nothing, disembodied. Or maybe the urge to order and rank the world into competing civilisations is a neurosis, like stacking your knives and forks in a row. Perhaps the pleasure he takes in trolling is jouissance, a momentary transgression in the service of briefly feeling. Yet those readings are weightless if they stand alone. The alleged shooter’s interior life is relevant, certainly so for a conviction on murder, but studying the actually existing politics that shaped his positions and actions seems more important than base speculation.
In The Invention of Tradition the historians Terence Ranger and Eric Hobsbawm argue that traditions, far from the ancient wisdoms of old, are often nothing more than recent beliefs that help foster a common identity when – to borrow from Said – “organic solidarities” like the family or village break down. The inventions are easy to spot in the courts and parliament where British ritual connects the two institutions to a pedigree and past that their move half away across the world broke. In the neo-fascist movement the inventions are slightly more subtle, taking actual historical happenings like the Crusades and pick-and-mixing the symbols (Knights Templar), battles (Acre 1189), and language (deus vult) that they can contort around the various anti-Muslim bigotries.
The idea that traditions are a kind of stand-in where old connections break down seems especially apt in settler colonies where the relationship to the past and a present community often amounts to nothing more than a shopping list of shared habits and references. Gumboots as culture. I appreciate that description could come across as banal, or even malicious, but it gets close to the impulses apparently guiding the alleged shooter: the search for meaningful political connections and political community. As he saw it Australia had no identity to offer. Instead he found his connection in an “imagined community” – in violent European nationalisms – and online.
“I am a racist”, the man writes in his manifesto. His neo-fascists comrades were too.

2

One of the first inspirations he cites is Luca Traini, a 28-year-old Italian neo-Nazi who, with a 9mm glock, went on a drive-by shooting injuring six African migrants in Macarata in 2018. The racist rampage lit a fuse under that year’s Italian general election. The left went after Matteo Salvini, the League Party leader, the same party in which Traini stood as a mayoral list candidate, for inspiring his violent work. In an ordinary election a political leader would make an immediate climb down, condemning Traini and his crimes. But Salvini, best known in the English-speaking world for closing harbours to refugees crossing the Med, was surprisingly consistent. He said the left had “blood on its hands” for packing the country with “illegal migrants”. The unspoken implication: Traini was doing his patriotic duty.
The alleged shooter, watching on from another hemisphere, found a brother in arms. The two men had built their identities around all the same hatreds and had clothed their boogeymen in all the same threads. One stitch for migrant “invaders”. Two stiches for liberals and Marxists, and a needle for the “race traitors” among them. But where the twin gunmen’s hatred really met, transforming from online big noting to a real-life passion, was in protecting “their” women. Traini undertook his crime as an apparent act of revenge against the three Nigerian refugees in court for killing 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro.
In his manifesto the alleged shooter offers a similar provocation, taking 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund’s death as his red pill. In his self-mythologising, the Stockholm truck attack, a deadly terrorist attack that took Akerlund’s and four other lives, was his waking moment. “It was another terror attack in the seemingly never-ending attacks that had been occurring on a regular basis throughout my adult life,” he wrote. “But for some reason this was different”. What was that difference? Akerlund. An innocent. It’s a vile misuse – he doesn’t care for anyone or anything beyond himself – but the narrative demands an affect, the shooter turning in his coward’s rags for a knight’s armour.
For neo-fascists it’s essential to tell their origin stories through the opposite sex. For aspiring movement leaders like the alleged shooter it’s the fight to protect the “virtue” of “our women” against “Muslim rapists” that forces their hand. For lurkers, shitposters, and like-avores it’s the feminists and “Staceys” who never recognise the genius and vigour of their own race (plain meaning: “women don’t want me”) who lead them into fascism. Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger, a martyr for beta males, undertook his crimes and suicide as an apparent act of “retribution” against women for denying him the sex and love he thought of as his by right.
This, not the customary declarations of love for the race, or even the thrill of sharing the same enemies, is usually the heart of online fascism – it’s a reaction against women.
In Male Fantasies the German sociologist Klaus Theweleit argues the fascist men who fought against the Weimar Republic from 1918 to 1933, and who went on to prominent positions and a political home in the Nazi regime, were in their heads and hearts afraid of women. For the “Freikorps” there were two womanly classes: White Women, “the nurses” representing order and servitude to men and country; and Red Women, “the communists” representing disorder, whoring, and the end of patriotic men. The latter were the women the paramilitary movement were under an obligation to kill. In one speech a general complains that when “a few old girls get blown up the whole world starts screaming about bloodthirsty soldiers”.
“As if women were always innocent,” he said.
This is why every fascist movement purges women first – metaphorically and actually. In Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema the American historian describes how films under the Duce’s regime “remove the Italian woman from the colonial space”, portraying the colonies as where men might find purpose through trans-national thuggery, and attacking women’s emancipation at home as a “corrupting” force and a check on the people’s success. The alleged shooter undertook his killings with similar illusions. That he could forge a new identity in gun fire and blood, and that liberated women (and Jews) were responsible for his personal and racial decline. In his manifesto the opening line is “it’s the birth rates”, repeated three times.
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THE WELLINGTON 15/3 VIGIL HELD AT THE BASIN RESERVE (PHOTO BY ELIAS RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES)
It’s easy to diagnose the same pathologies in his comrades. Game developers Zoë Quinn, Brianna Wu and media critic Anita Sarkeesian – the victims in 2014’s Gamergate troll – were made targets for harassment for no other reason than they were women crossing the border between a man’s stuff (the spacies) and a woman’s role (sex and housework). In New Zealand the death threats against Golriz Ghahraman, our first MP who arrived in New Zealand as a refugee, are so frequent Parliamentary Services ensures special protection for the Green MP. The critics go after Ghahraman for everything from fakery (her “CV” is a lie, she isn’t a “real refugee”) to acting as part of a globalist conspiracy to wipe out the white race. It’s impressively stupid, of course, but the point isn’t the truth in the charges. It’s that an Iranian-born woman sits in our parliament.
The same trolls go for the prime minister on Twitter’s #TurnArdern hashtag too, condemning Jacinda as a lazy woman (#parttimePM) who coasts along on nothing more than her femininity (“she’s a pretty communist”). That’s hardly out of the ordinary, of course. In the 2000s print commentators were comfortable enough to throw equally chauvinist slurs at Helen Clark, using “Helengrad” for Clark as the controlling woman and “political dominatrix” for ball-breaking the men around her. The difference is today’s trolls serve their sexism with Islamophobia on top. Last year activist Rangi Kemara found a telling correlation between tweeters of Turn Ardern and tweeters of Islamophobia. The Christchurch man selling MAGA hats – “Make Ardern Go Away” – on TradeMe once wrote he would destroy “mosque after mosque till I am taken out”.
Give me the misogynist, to corrupt an old saying, and I’ll show you the Islamophobe.
Simone Weil, the French philosopher, would recognise in the turn to Europe – and the turn against women – a classic “uprooting”. In almost every country material comfort and security often rely on cutting the cord between a person, the past, and a present community: removing Indigenous people from their land; separating citizens from their homes and families in one place for work in another; and reducing people to their supposedly “innate” categories (race, gender, etc). These uprootings, in Weil’s words, are a “sickness of the soul” that leave men especially vulnerable to demagoguery. In their search for past and present connections they turn to “false conceptions” like patriotism and national greatness, and at the core of each in 2020: hatred for and fear of women.

3

What’s notable about this neo-fascist movement isn’t necessarily its reach but its mode. Online, yes, but more importantly: politically free. Other than finance, the alleged shooter had no political or bureaucratic restraints. He could post all the tell-tale things he apparently did, and it seemed neither the police nor the spy agencies would ever flag it. He could acquire the semi-automatic weapon the Crown charge him with using with nothing more than a gun licence – and the seller was under no obligation to log the purchase. And he could move between Australia and New Zealand’s practically open borders with only a passport and a straight face for the eGate.
I hope you register the irony in this. Borders were the very thing the alleged shooter was desperate to enforce against the Muslim hordes. After moving to New Zealand, ostensibly to plan an attack back home, the 28-year-old found instead that “the invaders were in all of our lands”. Even at the bottom of the world in formerly lily-white Christchurch. “Nowhere was safe”, he wrote. The alleged shooter, in a bonfire of pomposity and self-regard, actually did think himself at the centre of a civilisational struggle between the out-bred West and Islam. In the mind of the manifesto writer, massacring Muslims would enforce the borders the supposed sell outs in government wouldn’t.
But in allegedly killing the innocent people he did he wasn’t taking on a powerful soon-to-be majority. Rather, on one side is the 28-year-old with all his political and social freedoms, and on the other are the shooting’s victims who were living their lives under significant political and social restraints. The spy agencies were dedicating their resources to “Islamic terrorism”, not the alleged shooter’s terrorism. Police commit more resources to “street gangs” – that is, Māori – and barely even bother with the alleged shooter’s brothers and sisters in white power. The immigration department, as any anecdote can confirm, focuses disproportionate attention on non-white entries, and the only people who move freely between borders are people like the 28-year-old.
In short: non-white people live their lives under scrutiny and surveillance.
The government’s official response to the Christchurch shooting is to extend that scrutiny and surveillance to, well, white people. Jacinda Ardern is leading reforms to gun laws and the rules governing how online users share violent, racist, and other objectionable material. Last month the country’s top spies told a parliamentary select committee that they’re keeping watch on dozens of suspect characters. Police, even a year on, are still making home visits to destroy illegal weapons and otherwise interview lurkers and posters. The changes, taken together, rightly remove the freedom and options the alleged shooter had, and make it almost impossible for his comrades to organise.
Yet as good and necessary as those changes are some of the structural conditions that produce the racial distinctions the alleged shooter holds so dear are left intact.
In organised debating one of the famous moots is the “balloon debate”. In it each speaker, usually arguing on behalf of someone famous, proposes why the others shouldn’t toss him or her over the side of a hot air balloon in order to save the others. It’s a riveting hypothetical, placing six people in disaster’s mouth and exercising the collective choice to doom one and rescue the others. But for anyone who understands how it feels to have their apparent merits and demerits subject to “debate”, with someone else drawing up a balance sheet in red and black, it’s horrendous. The idea is we’re born equal, but after that all bets are off. This is what women, takatāpui, Māori, Muslims, and other deviations from the “norm” deal with most days.
Are we worthy?
It’s the same principle that organises immigration to New Zealand: who’s worthy? In our system the government literally attaches “points” to the world’s hopeful according to their potential for improving the lives of the hosts. Good English? Points. A tertiary qualification? Add to the tally. Assets? You’re basically in. The system’s political champions admire this approach for its rationality. Unlike the US where immigration sometimes relies on a lottery – eg the American Diversity Immigrant Visa – or just keen racism – i.e. the Muslim travel ban – New Zealand immigration is hassle-free and non-discriminatory.
It’s a self-serving argument, of course, because an immigration system where the purpose and function is defining inclusions and exclusions (who’s in and who’s out) is never neutral. When Winston Peters calls for tighter English language requirements, for example, that’s really an argument for conferring an advantage on applicants from the Anglosphere over people with equivalent skills or greater need from other parts of the world. This isn’t explicitly discriminatory, at least in the sense the exclusionary threshold doesn’t depend on a person’s race, but the impact is racist in that one group of people (mostly white) enjoy an advantage over another group (mostly non-white) thanks to nothing more than the great good fortune of being born an English speaker.
It’s a perversity. Yet this is what border systems, including our points system, do: they force you to think about inners and outers. The threshold between the worthy and the unworthy. This is one reason the refugee-led campaign to end the “family link policy” was so important. In removing the rule barring African and Middle Eastern refugees from settling in New Zealand (unless their family were already here) the campaigners saw to one of the worst racial exclusions our border system made. If you’re an optimist you might hope the other racist exclusions in our border laws – like The Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act, the legislation stripping Samoans of their Privy Council-confirmed New Zealand citizenship – are but a campaign away from abolition.
I’m a pessimist.
I suspect most people imagine borders as objects, a line in the ground demarcating our country from theirs. Yet the American southern border, as one example, is notable more for “the Wall’s” absence than its presence. The northern border is even less dramatic, a largely wide-open space with fences here and there to pen in the farm animals. In New Zealand airlines usually enforce the country’s borders thousands of kilometres from our actual line on the map. Under the Advance Passenger Screening programme carriers only board passengers with the appropriate documentation.
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A POLICE OFFICER DEMONSTRATES ILLEGAL GUN MODIFICATIONS. (PHOTO: RNZ / ANA TOVEY)
It’s another marvellous technocratic achievement, appointing airline staff as de facto border patrol agents. But like the points system the screening programme’s impacts can end up perverse and racial making it almost impossible for refugees and asylum seekers from “non-visa waiver countries” (i.e. the developing world) from ever making it far enough to lodge a claim for protection in New Zealand. The programme, more than anything else, exposes borders for what they really are – a list of biased inclusions and exclusions – and the structural violence borders perform are in whom they include (the English-speaking, the educated, the wealthy) and who they exclude (the desperate, the poor, the mostly brown and black).
The alleged shooter and the neo-fascist movement understand a struggle is happening over the nature and function of borders. This man recognised new borders – the “balkanisation of the US” – as the only way to guarantee “the future of the White race on the North American continent”. His comrades, like the neo-Nazi who went on a stabbing riot on a train in Oregon, claim their end goal is smashing the US into competing ethno-states. For them – and their king in President Trump – reconfiguring the borders, whether as policy changes to the inclusions and exclusions or new border lines entirely, is the best way to guarantee their political supremacy this century.
Are borders by their very nature racist?

4

I took my last trip to Christchurch a month and a half after March 15. I had a speaking engagement with Network Waitangi Otautahi, the local tauiwi Treaty group. I thought about putting it off. Post-March 15 the only conversations that seem urgent and necessary are about March 15. Taking up space felt wrong, and even stepping off the plane felt intrusive. The city was grieving. Even the affect was off. People were unusually quiet in public spaces. In private one person I spoke to was literally in tears. We weren’t talking about March 15 at all but she was thinking about it every day. Even that felt like I was taking up space. Am I here to grieve too? I thought about Sam Neill breaking down in a taxi when the news broke, openly weeping, and how he took comfort from his Muslim driver.
Hmmm.
I spoke, in the end. Not entirely comfortably, but an intervention of one kind or another felt right after the racism debate went from “individual hate” to “firearms access” to “the internet”. Each is its own valid connection, sure, but it felt as if all the most important connections were missing. In the English-speaking world it’s fashionable to name private, individual acts as “racist”. The intolerant, unfair, or simply racial things that fall out of people’s mouths. Like “cheeky darkies” on the 7pm telly. But it’s unfashionable, of course, to name racist systems. Instead bureaucrats and opinion-makers opt for euphemisms like “unconscious bias”, reducing racism to a state of mind and not a systemic design.
This is why I thought it important to issue a reminder, in the very small way that I could: racism is a social relation. It’s the principle governing the relationship between coloniser – the people who took this land and built the institutions to control and profit from it – and colonised, the people from whom the land was taken and the institutions built to protect and exploit the founding theft. The same principle shapes the relationship between citizens – people who enjoy all the rights the state confers – and non-citizens, outsiders who must prove their worth through their contribution to citizens.
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These are the systemic conditions that produce racism – unequal power relations – and it’s what makes it so easy to condemn the Māoris or the immigrants or whoever else. When one people are up and the other are down, and the scales are apparently resistant to any remedial attempts to balance them with Treaty settlements or an increase in the refugee and asylum seeker quota, it makes it seem as if their disadvantage is a state of nature and not a centuries-long project to exclude certain people from prosperity. To the alleged shooter his victims were by their very nature irredeemable, abusing the West’s generosity, and he understood himself as enacting the same permanent exclusions his ancestors made, from the Crusades to the war on terror.
In this sense, the alleged shooter was an individual racist. Of course he was. But in another sense he was taking our exclusionary systems to their logical end.
Is there any response to savagery like this? The government’s reforms are one. I entirely support them. And yet they fall so short. People will still define their identity in different nationalisms, just like the alleged shooter did, so long as there are racist border system to enforce them. Neo-fascists will still define their identities against women as long as there is an unequal “domestic sphere”, an unequal workplace, and a society where one group – men – accumulate and exercise disproportionate power over another – women, trans people, non-binary people. That makes the struggle against the alleged shooter’s politics longer than his trial, his probable conviction, and his probable imprisonment. It’s a generations-long struggle to destroy all the exclusions that make up our society and produce the conditions we know as racism.
On my read Simone Weil’s original, vital insight is that as people and communities we find our identities in the obligations we owe – and in the obligations owed to us. In those reciprocal relationships we find meaning and purpose. In the give and take, in its delights and frustrations, and in the everyday work of making a home in these islands. This is where we find our roots, connecting to each other in different ways – whether as Māori or women or Muslims – but never excluding. “They are us” is an inclusion. They are us is an affirmation. They are us is also an urgent and uncomfortable call to action. As New Zealanders, it’s our responsibility to take on every exclusionary system, whether it’s racist borders or enduring gender roles. The memory of those who lost their lives on March 15 demands no less."
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[SPOILERS] The World of the Early Medieval Period and What to Expect from an AC Vikings Game

Since news broke about the next Assassin’s Creed title setting being within the Viking Era, I’ve seen hundreds of comments and questions pertaining to the early medieval setting. Today I want to break down a lot of information in regards to the era and how that can pertain to AC in terms of story, gameplay, and lore. To help make things simple, I’ll leave a map I made here to help show where everything is.
https://i.imgur.com/EfITZcF.jpg
DISCLAIMER - If I got anything major wrong, please let me know so I can correct it. I’ve spent hours searching through various online resources to make this as accurate as I can overall, though there is some speculation based on lack of resources and called out as what I think Ubisoft might do in cases of discrepancies. I did try to keep everything easy to understand even when diving deep into some subjects, so please let me know if you feel something was misrepresented from this. I also do have some inconsistencies with spellings. Many early records did not have standardized spellings, and Old Norse is a pain, so I keep things anglicized for the most part on purpose. For the sake of this, I do group several smaller germanic and slavic kingdoms such as Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland in with the Frankish empire due to the Frankish Influence in society, religion, and architecture. This was purely for ease of listing.
This post was actually written in a google document and is 40 pages long. I understand reddit can be harsh for reading such a long post, so you can read it here.

Second Disclaimer: This was WAY bigger than I thought. So I've split this into 5 distinct sections for ease of access.
  1. FAQ and The World of the Early Medieval Period - Current Section
  2. The People of the Early Medieval Period
  3. The Politics of the Early Medieval Period
  4. The Warfare in the Early Medieval Period
  5. The History of Vikings and What I expect from an AC Viking Game

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When is the Viking Age?
The Viking Age takes place from 793ce with the Raid on Lindisfarne, England to 1066ce with the Norman Invasion of England and expulsion of the Vikings
Q. When will the game be set within this era?
We currently can only speculate, but two settings in a Ubisoft Poll from a few years ago were during the Viking Era. The Invasion of England by the Great Heathen Army (865ce) and the Norman Invasion by William the Conqueror (1066ce). I’ll discuss more in depth below.
Q. Where will the viking game take place?
Based on polls from Ubisoft that included the viking settings of the Great Heathen Army and Norman Invasion, England is a relatively safe bet. It is also likely that at least some of Scandinavia will be available as well. From the map above, I believe the best guess would be the island of Britain (modern England, Wales, and Scotland), Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. I will be discussing all of Northern Europe that’s shown in the map, though.
Q. Why codename it Kingdom in the viking era, and what will the actual name be?
The codename Kingdom could be in reference to a number of things that could be present in the game. The vikings had several major kingdoms throughout the Age, the largest of which was the North Sea Empire ruled by Cnut the Great. It could also be in reference to the English Kingdoms that players may invade; or even a gameplay mechanic to making your “kingdom” stronger. While the official name has not been revealed, it’s widely speculated to be called “Ragnarok” as a reference to the end times in Norse mythology, due to the connection to Origins, popularity in media, and name being used in several unconfirmed and fake rumors plus a potential concept art leak from 2018.
Q. What evidence is there for the game?
While Kingdom has not been confirmed by Ubisoft, it was leaked by Jason Schreier, who has a perfect track record with AC leaks. It was followed up by a leak by french website xboxygen that many consider to be legitimate due to accuracy on Watch Dogs Legion leaks. We also have concept art from an artist at Ubisoft that was supposedly fan work for their portfolio, but named “michele-nucera-assassincreedragnarok-bay-09.jpg”. The naming convention and timing has many fans speculating heavily. This of course matches with at least one fake leak and several small 4chan rumors that have stated the next game will be named “Ragnarok” and follow Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons great army.
https://kotaku.com/odd-tease-in-the-division-2-spills-the-beans-on-the-nex-1833838193
http://www.xboxygen.com/News/29092-Assassin-s-Creed-chez-les-Vikings-nos-informations
https://gamerant.com/assassins-creed-ragnarok-ubisoft-concept-art/
Q. Will we play as assassins again with hidden blades?
Nothing is officially confirmed yet, but it is unlikely to be full assassins fighting Templars again. The term assassin did not exist until the crusades as a term used to describe the followers of Hassan Ibn Sabbah, who wasn’t born until about 1050ce. With the viking era ending in 1066, it’s unlikely his influence had been amassed and the Hidden Ones were rebranded within AC lore. Templars were in a similar state, with the Templar orders not existing until the early 12th century. Rather than playing as either a Hidden One and fighting the Order of Ancients, we may also play as a viking mercenary popular towards the end of the era called Jomsvikings to further capitalize on Odyssy’s success. I’ll discuss them more later.The hidden blade is a bit more likely though, with it having been invented around 460bce and popularized in 44bce.


The World
Vikings raided and pillaged most of Europe during their voyages, reaching from the Baltic States and Kievan Rus as far south as North Africa, Italy, and even vandalizing Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. I will, however, be focusing on Northern Europe for this discussion, breaking down regions to discuss their land, cities, and architecture. This map of viking trade routes may also be helpful though it isn’t 100% accurate.
Europe is filled with rivers and marshlands as seen here, which was easy for vikings to maneuver due to their longships. As a result, I do think we might see a few rivers enlarged in Kingdom/Ragnarok in order to make ship travel mildly easier and more conducive to gameplay, much like Rogue did.
England, being the most likely to appear, seems to be the best place to start off. England is the largest of the countries in Britain, with the map previously shared it taking up Wessex, Danelaw, Mercia, and Northumbria. I’ll be discussing the changes of those Kingdoms later. England is a largely low lying country, with the largest mountain range, Pennine Mountains, in Northern England. Much of southern England, however, are forests and rolling hills in the center of the country, with much of the outskirts being thick marshes that viking longships could navigate through.A good map of Mountains can be seen here:
Map of swamps here:
I have seen maps of wetlands from the Uk that indicate that there used to be wetlands in the Pennine Mountains, but it seems to be fairly speculative.
Wessex was the southernmost kingdom, and under Alfred the Great underwent a large change to fortify many of its towns or burhs. Stone was hard to quarry and come by at the time, with most of it being taken from Roman fortifications and used in defensive perimeters and churches. This did make abandoned roman forts a popular place to start burhs though. We see largely wooden fences with a trench in front surrounding many towns to help defend from vikings. Inside are mostly 1 story houses separated by a few fairly wide streets. A church was oftentimes a centerpiece of the city, and it wasn’t uncommon to have some farms within the walls itself along with the outside. While burhs like this were more numerous, they likely won’t be the focal points for our adventure in the next AC, instead looking at larger cities instead. They may appear as forms of PoI though or tied to a settlement system. Those closer to Roman ruins were sometimes repurposed to include the first Motte and Bailey castles (more on them in a few moments).
Our bigger cities will likely include Winchester, Canterbury, London, Chester, Bristol, and York. York was by far the largest city with about 15,000 people in its walls by the time the Great Heathen Army landed, with the other cities having 5,000 or fewer. These cities, however, unlike the other burhs had large Roman walls around them already. This did mean that the city size was restricted though, and rather than rebuild walls, the people began building up.
Following the collapse of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Dark Ages the early medieval peoples lost the knowledge on how to build out of stone well, and quarry for more stone, making it a very valuable commodity. As I mentioned, this meant many burhs and towns were built on top of Roman forts, stripping them for stone to build churches and walls. The rest of the buildings had to deal with cheaper architecture. The most notable of which is wattle and daub. This is thin branches are weaved together and placed into upright slats and then have a thick mud caked on and hardened. This was the most common form of architecture in the early medieval period due to how cheap it was. Timber was still expensive, and despite using cheaper woods to create floors (these often had be elevated slightly on stakes in order to help slow rot, but had to be replaced regularly), was fairly expensive. Timber frames still had to be used though to help keep the shape of the building. Not common early on, at some point around the Viking Era in Britain, we begin to see diagonal bracing added to help keep houses steady.
In the older Roman Cities, many of the roman buildings and forts were stripped early on. London didn’t have any of the original Roman houses left by 1000ce, and by 1100ce had stripped the fort itself leaving only the walls behind. This stone was largely used to create stable foundations for buildings, including along the forming of Thames Street and eventually London Bridge. This also meant that combined with improved timber framing, people could start building upwards and outwards. The process of building high floors larger than the first is called jettying, and became synonymous with the medieval era, becoming very popular in the latter half. While jettying had been around for nearly 1000 years, it was still relatively new for Britain, and by 1066, houses were just reaching 2-3 stories high. We do know that this was incredibly popular by 1100-1200, and began being restricted and regulated in London by 1300 due to some fires in 1133 and 1212 due to building proximity. As buildings couldn’t grow their first floors to impede foot traffic (regulated by law), having more room in upper floors became a necessity. Somewhere in this time we begin to see the creation of skywalks or covered pathways between buildings. I could not find an exact date for when these appeared, but there’s evidence they existed in China in 220ce, so it’s not unreasonable for them to have made it to England within another 600-800 years. Again, while jettying was new, we also have mention of the Shambles in 937, a street in York that is famous for its tilted jettying. Most buildings in that picture are from 1300 onwards due to fires, but it’s not unreasonable to believe it could look similar.
Roofing will likely be almost entirely thatching, or made out of dried straw, reeds, etc over a timber frame. There is some evidence for use of wooden tiles, red roman tiles, turf, and timber as well for roofs, but vary in cost and abundance. Many depictions of medieval england use slate or shale shingles, which while possible would likely be anachronistic, as the first records of those don’t appear until the 1300s, more than the few years for other anachronistic changes.
Castles were still in very early stages in this period. The remains of the Roman Forts not picked apart had been used by royalty such as in Winchester and Canterbury, sometimes having a church built into them. The other type that may be linked to the smaller burhs are the aforementioned Motte and Bailey castles. These are very early castles that originated around the 8th-9th century in Carolingian France. In them, we have a protected area within an enclosure called the Bailey, and that included the only real way up to the often wooden watchtower or small 2-3 story keep. The motte was a large fortified hill that the tower sat upon. This provided a nice advantage and lookout for guards, while making it difficult to storm. These really did not reach England until about 1066 with the Norman Invasion, though even if we have an earlier setting, I can see a mild historical inaccuracy occurring to push these through, as French and English dynasties did get along and travel to each other on numerous occasions.
Overall, Anglo-Saxon Architecture was fairly basic work in the beginning of the period, creating square churches and houses from retrievable stone, timber, and mud. It does appear that the Carolingian Renaissance and frankish styles began spreading to England by the 8th century though, allowing for some larger buildings to exist. Make no mistake, stone work though will be fairly basic within the title, with the most elaborate stone work being window arches and a few stone carvings. Larger sprawling castles, complex stone churches with arches, and even brick based houses will not be in game. These advances were primarily coming from the gothic period and early Tudor dynasty which cemented the traditional fantasy medieval style in most people’s heads of churches like Notre Dame, 5 storied jettying houses with plaster filling and timber and brick frames, and massive stone castles with knights in plate armor.
Celtic lands consist of several major areas in the British Isles, now making up the countries of Ireland (and North Ireland), Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales. The celts, while largely good stone workers, each had several unique flairs and differences across the lands due to different cultural influences.
Ireland is largely grasslands with a few major mountain ranges along the southern and northwestern coasts, as can be seen in this map. Within the inner part of Ireland and a few surrounding islands such as Mann and Skellig to as far away as Oakney, which were largely isolated from Britain became the home of the Celts, that - primarily in Ireland - lived in clusters of towns called Tuatha with a probable high king. More on his position later. In the neolithic through early medieval period we see the creation of stone huts called Beehive Huts. These may look familiar as the huts seen in Star Wars Force Awakens and Last Jedi which filmed on the Skellig Islands. The Tuatha meanwhile were a cluster of towns that each held 3000 people and 1000 large houses holding 30 people each. A good example of this is Rathcroghan. Smaller houses for single families could be seen too, and like the large houses were mostly circular wood and largely straw homes. Ireland was far less wooded than Britain, forcing the settlements to rely on wood, stone, and straw far more. Vikings began to settle in Ireland though, creating the first real large cities of Ireland by founding Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick which were used as ports and easy staging areas for future raids, especially to Britain.
Unfortunately Wales history has been extremely hard to research and understand the architecture of this mountainous and rugged country. Many fires and revolutions during the high middle ages destroyed the history, leaving behind stone castles built post Norman Invasion and records of political turmoil in the early kingdoms of Wales (more on that later). It’s highly suspected that despite the Celtic Influence from Ireland, the Britons of Wales, especially in the northern Gwynedd, had architecture similar to the Frankish and English. The city I can find the most on that definitely existed in this era was Bangor, which is one of the oldest Welsh cities overall. It seems there were Roman Forts at modern Newport and Cardiff, but the extent of the settlement there post Rome is unknown. Vikings did settle the town of Swansea as well in the early 1000s, but other than that held no permanent residence in Wales due to the Welsh Kingdoms power.
Scotland during its early years was made up of a few separate kingdoms which started to become United under Alba by the Viking Era. The records of many of the country’s cities were actually hill forts nestled into the rocky, mountainous, and ravenous terrain of the region that include Craig Phadrig, Aberdeen, Dunadd, Dumbarton Rock, Edinburgh, and Scone. What wasn’t Roman Fortress was largely low lying single story wattle and daub houses with timber frames, wooden churches, and a few stone beehive huts, most of which was described to blend into the hills.
Scandinavia contrasts heavily with medieval England though. Rather than being a single large Island or collection of isles, Scandinavia describes modern Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. To make it simpler, I’m going to break it up into Viking and NonViking Scandinavia, which was predominantly based on how far north the vikings went.
Viking Scandinavia is primarily Southern Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Norway is a very mountainous and hilly region creating massive and beautiful Fjords or inlets with high cliffs. Sweden is on the east side of the mountains being mildly lower but hilly and mountainous nonetheless. Both are mostly covered in a Boreal Forest, or a subarctic Taiga, a forest that is characterized by evergreens in a very cold climate, with tall but skinny trunks and wide but thin branches. This contrasts from the deciduous forests native to England and most of Europe including Denmark, the southernmost part of Scandinavia that’s a low lying peninsula known as the Jutland Peninsula with a collection of several large islands known as the Danish Archipelago.
The Jutland was home to three of the largest trading hubs in the Viking world, being Aarhus, Ribe, and the largest of Hedeby which contained about 1000 people. Most of the largest cities in Scandinavia were not founded until after the viking era was over, but several major cities weren’t far from them. The religious city of Uppsala and the nearby town of Birka were relatively close to modern Stockholm in Sweden and Roskilde near modern Copenhagen. Oslo (or Anslo as it was called) was founded around 1040, meaning it could appear in the title. Kaupung and Trondheim were larger hubs in Norway, with Trondheim towards northern Norway along the coast of the Norwegian Sea. Reykjavik and a few other towns were founded in Iceland in 874, so it’s not impossible to see them too.
There are many contemporary and modern sources on viking architecture, and while it was almost entirely wood and mud, I do want to discuss some common themes I’ve seen doing research into Viking Architecture styles. To begin with, some commonalities are that viking villages are generally flat with low single story buildings and wide streets. Ubisoft’s last foray into the viking era with For Honor had shown off a viking village with the opposite though, being taller 2-3 story houses, narrow paths on a hill. While undoubtedly visually pleasing, it’s certainly inaccurate. As we see from the potentially leaked concept art for Ragnarok, Bay 09 includes a sprawling viking city on a mountain side overlooking a Fjord, with high towers, multiple story buildings, and even a bridge with houses built onto it. Again it’s visually appealing, and would likely work well with parkour despite being on a more fantastical side of what we ought to see. The other big commonality is that most viking villages had a sizeable mead hall that was used for town religious and political purposes, often being a timber longhouse.
While most viking houses were wooden and had straw and mud roofs, it appears that some commonalities were more based on region. This bit is speculation, as I’ve had difficulty verify the veracity and historical accuracy of this architectural style, but based on the aforementioned concept art, it’s not unlikely to be seeing a more mythicized version of the world, meaning a few historical discrepancies are likely. From what I’ve seen, these largely wooden and more ornate buildings, despite being 1-1.5 stories were more commonly associated with Norway. I’d speculate that more mountainous terrain could make creating foundations for a house, especially longhouses, fairly difficult; thus forcing smaller and more stable homes to be designed out of primarily wood rather than earth works. Sweden, on the other hand would try to marry a larger footprint of longhouses such as in Denmark while being ornate and suited to the terrain, creating wood, straw, and mud houses that may have been similar to this. Denmark would largely focus on larger footprints using primarily longhouses within their city’s defenses, which likely owed to creating some of the larger cities of the viking era like Hedeby. During Harald Bluetooth’s reign and even as late as Cnut the Great, the Viking Ring Fortress became popular, especially in Denmark and Sweden, comprising of several longhouses and smaller houses in squares surrounded by a large earth wall, created by digging a trench along the outside of the desired hill. During construction the hill, 4 wooden passageways were left through the hill, with dirt and sod packed on top and to the sides, allowing people to freely move in and out of the fortress. The hill was then fortified with large timber siding on both the inside and outside, while allowing people from the inside easy access to the top of the hill, which now acted as a wall.
Iceland greatly differs from these areas though, with a far harsher environment. About 50% of iceland is covered in rough rocky volcanic lava deserts and glacial wastelands in a region called the Highlands. The rest of iceland is rocky and mountainous grassland surrounded by massive Fjords. While there were numerous viking settlements throughout the island, the largest and one of the first was the now-capital-city of Reykjavik. Unlike traditional viking settlements though, many homes were timber built but completely covered in mud and sod. This was to keep the heat trapped in the home due to the harsher environment, creating settlements that may have looked a bit like this.
Northern Scandinavia was left largely uninhabited by the vikings, having small tribes of the Lapps and Sami people control the regions, especially in what’s modern Finland. The farthest north of this area was of course marked by the arctic circle and boreal forest while the west was more mountains and forest from Norway and Sweden. Finland, though, has a massive area known as central lake plateau, which is a plateau in the center of the country that is full of lakes, swamps, and boreal forest. Going farther south to the Baltic coast will be met with a large swamp and “Archipelago Sea”. The Sami and Lapps never contained large amounts of wealth or large cities, creating only small settlements of Mud and Wooden huts, not dissimilar from American Indian Tipis.
Frankish territory extended far past modern France, making up modern France, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and a few other countries in what was the Holy Roman Empire. Prior to the viking age, the empire collapsed and eventually split into several regions marked on the map, more on the politics of this later. Seeing all of the Frankish Kingdoms is pretty unlikely, as is seeing any of them in the main game in my opinion, but they do hold some of the richest lands and cities in the Early Medieval Period in Europe.
The vast majority of this region is open grasslands, soft rolling fields, and forests scattered throughout the areas labeled as Brittany, West Francia, Normandy, Lotharingia, and Saxony. Frisia and part of northern Saxony were large swamp lands. Angers, Tours, and Orleans are the southernmost cities in western Francia and near the border of Brittany. Rouen was just inside the Duchy of Normandy, with Paris along the same river not far outside the borders. Frisia’s largest city was Utrecht, with many modern towns like Amsterdam only existing as fishing villages if at all. In Saxony and Lotharingia we’d see larger cities of Hamburg and Frankfurt. While the exact populations of many cities are unknown, by 1050 Cologne had around 21,000 people and Paris had 25,000 by 800, far more than any English city.
Just to the east we have the regions of Pomerania and Lusatia, both regional names for kingdoms of Bohemia and Moravia along with groups of people living in what’s now modern Poland. The northern area of Pomerania is a fairly flat and grassy area known as the Polish Plain, contrasted with the southern portion that has steeper rolling hills. Wolin was a major stopping and trading hub for Vikings, and likely related to the potentially mythical city of Jomsborg. To the south three major cities existed along separate riverways that fed back into the Baltic: Poznan, Prague, and Krakow.
Most of these areas had a very distinct architectural style known as Preromanesque, which as it sounds came before the architectural style Romanesque. The Merovingian Dynasty from the 5th century to 751 is what really inspired this architectural choice, which then split into 2 similar but different styles of Carolingian and Ottonian, after rulers in Carolingian Dynasty and King Otto. An example of the Preromaneque Architecture would be Charlemange’s Palace, which upon observation has clear Roman influence due to presence of arches and round structures, but overall left a fairly flat facade. This Carolingian Monastery has fairly few discernable differences to this Ottonian church in Frankfurt. We do see a large emphasis on the interior beauty though, as evidenced by this carolingian church. By the 11th century we start to see a shift towards being larger and more ornate buildings such as this church, which has an obvious emphasis on the facade. While this is the era in which castles and keeps started to be made, most buildings would not be above 3 stories, and real castles wouldn’t be built until after the Norman Invasions of William the Conqueror. For now, we’d likely just see more Motte and Bailey castles.
That primarily covers the big landmarks made by and for the kings and religious. Peasants, however, did not have such luxuries, often living in the stone houses left behind by the romans in these cities and forts. As the cities grew, due to walls existing, much like England, it became common (even earlier too) to start building up by using wattle and daub, stripping the stone as needed, though France (at least with the rich) had far less of an issue with acquiring stonework. Paris was subjected to multiple raids, though two really stood out and were encapsulated in art that can help show what the city may have looked like at the time. The first was in 845 at the hands of Ragnar Lothbrok, and as we can see, it had a decent sized Carolingian Palace in Ile de la Cite (please note that the larger cathedral attached to the palace and Conciergerie weren’t built until the 13th century, but the section with the lower roofs were updated around 800), juxtaposed by the Preromanesque churches and Roman Ruins on the outskirts. By 885, however, Rollo had to face walls on the other side of the bridges, helping defend the outer city more. The TV show Vikings actually did cover this as well, seemingly combining the two sieges and adding a more anachronistic flare such as the taller roofs on the towers and greatly exaggerating the size of everything, despite Paris definitely being more built up than English cities. It would not be unlikely to see cities largely built up as the classic fantasy medieval cities, though with mildly less stone and no bricks; not dissimilar to this (https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/medieval-port-3d-1144332). Even in that we see the Carolingian church rather than a larger gothic one, which is an important thing to remember for the early medieval period.
Kievan Rus was the most different to any region discussed so far. Like other Northern European areas, it’s largely plains, a few rolling hills, and mountains to the southwest of the region in what is now mostly Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus. I do include the modern Baltic States in the map of Kievan Rus territory though due to the area being primarily inhabited by small tribes, Slavs, and often being used as a hub for piracy and trade by the Varangians that inhabited Kievan Rus.
I want to discuss this group of people later, but their land was very important, being the easiest way for vikings to trade with people from Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East, as the Varangians controlled every major trade route in Eastern Europe from the Black to Baltic Sea.
This lead to what would be the most interesting architecture in the title though, as despite likely having roots from vikings, eventually turned to Eastern Orthodoxy based on Byzantine tradition, and developed the architecture as such. By about 1000ce, the capital of Kiev was decorated with large wooden and stone monuments with exotic and ornate domes inherent to the Byzantine Structure. Kiev, while the capital was one of the 3 major cities in the region, with the other 2 being Polotsk in the north west, and the original capital of Novgorad in the north.
TL;DR: There were several distinct regions and architectural styles in the early medieval era, ranging from the viking single story houses and longhouses, to multi story compact cities made of wattle and daub and timber frames which could be surrounded by large stone churches, juxtaposed by the exotic domes of the eastern Rus.
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Tour de France Betting Tips. Tour de France betting tips could be found all over the Internet. Geraint Thomas is last year’s winner, and according to Tour de France betting odds, he is also one of the top favourites to win in 2020. However, his performance before the race hasn’t been the best. He didn’t manage to complete the Tour de Suisse. The betting odds for the Tour de France are forecast by analysts, but problems arise when the bettors skew the odds by always placing bets on the favourites even though the stats may show differently. For the smart bettor this is a great opportunity to take advantage of the odds in their favour. Welcome to the ultimate Tour de France betting guide! The Tour de France is the grandest of cycling's three Grand Tours, coming after the Giro d'Italia and before the Vuelta a España. Betting on the Tour de France is the biggest event in cycling betting, offering odds on just about any eventuality in the gruelling 21-stage Grand Tour. Tour de France 2021 Betting . Welcome in order to the official Tour para France 2020 betting guide! The Tour de France is the grandest of cycling’ s three Fantastic Tours, going after typically the Giro d’ Croatia and before the Vuelta a Españ a new. The 2019 Tour de France betting market is wide open after Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) cracked toward the end of Stage 15. Alaphilippe still retains the yellow jersey and hold a 95-second lead over defending champion Geraint Thomas, but Thibaut Pinot is the new favorite after he moved into fourth overall and only 1:50

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