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History Film / Nightfall1988

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* {{Arcology}}: The TropeNamer no less -- Aton's city was filmed in [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcosanti Arcosanti]] in the Arizona desert.


* PsychicGlimpseOfDeath: Because Kin suspects a PsychicLink connects Ana and the snake, he takes her and snaps her spine, killing the snake and throwing it away. Ana is twisted and cries out in pain. It looks like [[{{Synchronization}} her back is broken, too]], but it's only the pain because she her will is broken and when she goes back to the city with Kin, she's perfectly healthy again.

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* PsychicGlimpseOfDeath: Because Kin suspects a PsychicLink connects Ana and the snake, he takes her and snaps her spine, killing the snake and throwing it away. Ana is twisted and cries out in pain. It looks like [[{{Synchronization}} her back is broken, too]], but it's only the pain because she her will is broken and when she goes back to the city with Kin, she's perfectly healthy again.

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** In this case his blindness is plot-relevant, as thanks to EndlessDaytime only the blind have learnt to navigate a world where they can't see. He even blinds his followers to prepare them for the coming Darkness.


* AlienSky: The planet orbits three suns; yellow, red, and bluish-white stars. People of the city have seen clouds, but had [[EternalDaylight never lived without sunlight]]. When Boffin invents a "telescope for the blind", it works by making sounds, and she discovers a "dark sun", what we would call a moon.

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* AlienSky: The planet orbits three suns; yellow, red, and bluish-white stars. People of the city have seen clouds, but had [[EternalDaylight [[EndlessDaytime never lived without sunlight]]. When Boffin invents a "telescope for the blind", it works by making sounds, and she discovers a "dark sun", what we would call a moon.

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A 1988 ScienceFiction film (80 minute duration) directed by Creator/PaulMayersburg, he based his screenplay on the {{Novelette}} "Literature/Nightfall1941" by Creator/IsaacAsimov.

The movie opens with a {{Montage}} establishing the white, red, and yellow stars around a brown desert planet. [[OpeningMonologue Narration]] (by Creator/JamesBarryBlakely) and a {{Montage}} of characters establishes Sor (Creator/AlexisKanner), the BlindSeer, and Aton (Creator/DavidBirney), the [[ScienceHero city leader and scientist]], as well as their conflict, which smoothly segues into Sor's archeological discovery; a sealed metal casket he claims dates from a mythical "eighth nightfall". Zol (Creator/RussellWiggins), Sor's assistant, shouts at Bet (Creator/StarrAndreeff), Aton's daughter, who has been eavesdropping during their discovery, that this is proof of what the ''[[TomesOfProphecyAndFate Book of Illumination]]'' claims.

Ana (Creator/AndraMillian), known as "that woman" for most of the film, has walked into the city from apparently nowhere and Aton has been mesmerized by her. Aton's supporters kidnap her and exile her to the desert to get Aton to focus on his duties as city leader. Roa (Creator/SarahDouglas), Aton's ex-wife, has joined Sor's religion. He elevates her to his level by having hawks [[EyeScream peck out her eyes]] and teaching her to read the ''[[TomesOfProphecyAndFate Book of Illumination]]''. Boffin (Creator/SusieLinderman) has been working on a new type of telescope, one that makes sounds based on how far away objects are. With this "telescope for the blind", she discovered the "dark sun", a new celestial body alongside the known white, red, and yellow suns.

Tensions rise, crowds of people grow frightened of the growing cold, and the two city leaders fight frequently. The only thing that everyone agrees on? [[TheNamesake Nightfall]] is coming, and it will be TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
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!!''Nightfall'' provides examples of:
* AdaptationDeviation: The film changes the cast of characters dramatically (two characters use names from the original, but [[AdaptationPersonalityChange really aren't the same at all]]), and the NewAge technology really helps sell the "alien world" concept. Turning the planet into a desert, adding in PsychicPowers, and [[EverybodyHasLotsOfSex lots of sex]] divorces it heavily from the original story.
* AdaptationNameChange:
** There is still an Aton and Sor from the original story, but they are [[AdaptationPersonalityChange wildly different from their original characterization]] and [[OnlyOneName no longer have last names]].
** The ''[[TomesOfProphecyAndFate Book of Revelations]]'' has also been changed to the ''Book of Illumination'', to match with the temple being the Temple of Illumination.
** The city's original name is Saro, and the planet was named Lagash, but in this film, [[NoNameGiven everyone calls it the city or our planet]].
** Because this film only has half as many stars, they are named based on their colour (white, red, and yellow) instead of Greek letters.
* AdaptationPersonalityChange:
** Aton, astronomer and scientist, is now the local city leader. He spends the first part of the movie obsessed with a mysterious woman, and stubbornly insisting that they live in a city of light.
** Sor, religious leader and off-screen antagonist, is now given screentime equal to Aton. He seems to encourage archeology and preparations for the coming Darkness, but he is still obsessed with his cult, and ritualistically blinds his followers by having hawks eat their eyes.
* AffectionateNickname: Bet's mother calls her Betta as a sign of affection.
* AlienSky: The planet orbits three suns; yellow, red, and bluish-white stars. People of the city have seen clouds, but had [[EternalDaylight never lived without sunlight]]. When Boffin invents a "telescope for the blind", it works by making sounds, and she discovers a "dark sun", what we would call a moon.
* ApocalypseCult: Sor teaches his followers that it is only through prayer and faith that they will survive the ninth nightfall despite the planet being swallowed by Darkness.
* BlindSeer: Sor, the leader of the religious cult, is a blind man (who even dons the occasional blindfold). His prophecy of Darkness is believed by many, making him the second most important person in the city. One of the characters points out that the power of prophecy isn't in how accurate they are, but in how much they are believed.
* EverybodyHasLotsOfSex: Multiple sexual encounters are shown on-screen, with several more [[SexyDiscretionShot implied]]. An impressive feat, given the lack of romance and female characters in the original story.
* EyeScream: One of the rituals practiced by Sor's religion is tying down a member and letting hawks peck out their eyes. Roa's screaming indicates that they're not likely to have any sort of anesthetic.
* FemmeFatale: "That woman" genuinely isn't trying to harm anyone, but her attractiveness and sensuality drives first Aton, then Kin, into becoming madly in love with her. She's exiled from the city by Atom's supporters during the first act because he's no longer providing the leadership they want from him. Kim is sent out into the finally manages to learn her name is Ana.
* {{Foil}}: Sor and Aton have a number of similarities. Sor is a [[BlindSeer blind man leading a religion]], while Aton is a [[ScienceHero visionary scientist who leads the city]]. Aton privately admits to "that woman" that when he was younger, he used to have poor vision and blackouts. He noticed that his eyesight improved as he studied astronomy by watching the stars. This is the inverse to Sor, who deliberately blinds the people who follow him so they won't see the Darkness during the upcoming [[TheNamesake nightfall]]. The two leaders give charismatic speeches to their followers and engage in debates multiple times throughout the film. Roa used to be married to Aton, but Sor has seduced her away and makes her his equal in their religion.
* {{Montage}}: During the [[TitleSequence opening credits]], a variety of three star arrangements are shown against a dark background. There's a white, red, and yellow star around a brown planet. The montage continues by showing short pans across the desert landscape of "our planet", then switching between characters until the end of the OpeningMonologue.
* AMythologyIsTrue: The Book of Illumination predicts that the three suns will set and the planet will enter a cave of Darkness. Sor, the [[BlindSeer blind prophet]], is leading archeological excavations to prove accuracy of the prophecies.
* NewAge: This production dressed the characters in robes, created machines from crystals, shells, and strings, and built up the idea that [[RomanticismVersusEnlightenment strong emotional ties were opposed to scientific pursuit]]. Dr Asimov's reaction to this style was to distance himself from this movie as much as possible.
* OneWordTitle
* OnlyOneName: Despite Aton having a daughter and an ex-wife, all of those relationships are revealed through dialogue, rather than family names. Even Sor, the [[{{Foil}} opposite of Aton in most ways]], who essentially marries Aton's ex-wife, doesn't have any name other than Sor.
* OpeningMonologue: After the [[TitleSequence opening credits]], narration over {{Montage}} establishes [[{{Exposition}} Aton and Sor as the people in control of the city, and their conflicts]].
* PsychicGlimpseOfDeath: Because Kin suspects a PsychicLink connects Ana and the snake, he takes her and snaps her spine, killing the snake and throwing it away. Ana is twisted and cries out in pain. It looks like [[{{Synchronization}} her back is broken, too]], but it's only the pain because she her will is broken and when she goes back to the city with Kin, she's perfectly healthy again.
* PublicBathhouseScene: Aton and the mysterious woman (Ana) have sex in a large outdoor bath. It might even be Aton's private bathhouse, to show rich he is.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: Aton represents Enlightenment through his optimism and scientific devotion, while Sor represents Romanticism through his [[TheEndIsNigh doomsaying]] and religious devotion. The film itself pulls firmly towards Romanticism by having Sor be unquestioned in his authority while Aton's supporters undermine him by insisting science is fiction and betraying him to Sor. It also shows Aton's over-indulging in lust/love through his obsession over "that woman".
* ScienceHero: Aton is definitely charismatic, but his charisma is geared towards inspiring people towards building and preserving, rather than to persuasion or violence. Sor is able to convert Aton's followers to the Temple of Illumination, but Aton builds machines out of kites.
* SuckOutThePoison: After sex, Kin and Ana have fallen asleep in a cave, when a snake comes around and bites Kin on the leg. Immediately Ana sucks and spits the venom out to save him.
* TitleDrop: Sor, the religious leader, has come to argue with Aton, the scientific leader. Aton insists that he be told what Sor has planned, and Sor talks about the stories in the Book of Illumination, identifying the upcoming eclipse as nightfall. The secret holy book tells him that this event has occurred several times before.
--> "This... night... fall... will be the ninth nightfall and the darkness one of all."--Sor
* TitleSequence: The opening starts with a {{Montage}} of three star arrangements shown against a dark background. There's a white, red, and yellow star around a brown planet. The montage continues by showing short pans across the desert landscape of "our planet" while the last of the credits are shown before the OpeningMonologue begins.
* TomesOfProphecyAndFate: Sor's ''Book of Illumination'' is written in a sort of Braille that holds the record to previous nightfalls, and Sor is able to convince people that the future is recorded as well. Halfway through the film, he blinds Roa and begins teaching her the writings of the book so that she can be a BlindSeer like him.
* TwoScenesOneDialogue: While Sor and Aton are rallying their respective followers about the upcoming nightfall, the movie switches between the two monologues, creating plenty of DramaticIrony as Aton encourages his followers to prepare by creating an underground sanctuary and Sor encourages his followers to prepare by praying to prove their faith.
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