‘August 32nd on Earth’, a 1998 film by the same director of Dune (2021), is bookended by near-death experiences: it opens at a car accident and ends in a hospital ward. In between those is a bizarre premise and a surreal sequence of events: photo model Simone proposes to Philippe, her best friend of six years, to conceive a baby with him as a way of giving her life some meaning. Philippe reluctantly agrees, with the condition that they do the deed in the desert. Off they went to the one nearest in Montreal, the Great Salt Lake in Utah – pearl-white, serene and otherworldly. From here the film gets peppered with cosmic references, from the space-themed airport hotel that they stayed at to get drunk in mezcal (2nd pic), to Simone’s bare foot touching the salt lake (8th pic), akin to Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon. The film is airy, lofty and whimsical, the plot shaped by spontaneity than reason. It’s driven by possibilities and the suspension of reality: with blood dripping from her nose, Simone asked the man who picked her up by the roadside, ‘What day is it?’ ‘August 32nd’, the man said after a quick glance at his broken wristwatch.