THE DEAD OF NIGHT


DEAD OF NIGHT

I wake up in the dead of night.

I’m of that certain age where this is common circumstance.

Nothing to summon the doctor for.

The stars stare through my window as if daring me,

Challenging me to do something, anything.

Perhaps they are simply laughing at me.

Who knows?

But the dead of night is not for doing something, anything.

The dead of night is only there to be tolerated.

It’s a fierce and unforgiving blankness,

Something I must abide, endure…stomach until the morning arrives.

It is a standoff until I stumble back to sleep again

Or until the sun forces its way into the sky

And tells the dead of night to wait,

Wait until its time comes again.

POP ART: Episode 27, Snatch/The Twelve Chairs


NEW EPISODE: “Hope for the best, expect the worst.” Running short of cash? Need some extra income? Would some rare and precious jewels help out? But what if everybody else and their cousin are after them as well? Just in time for Episode 27 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture and I’ll select a film from the more art/classic side of cinema with a connection to it. This time, my guest is writer/director/producer Drew Hall (Convergence, now on Amazon), who has chosen Guy Ritchie’s British crime farce Snatch, while I have chosen the Mel Brooks film nobody has seen or heard of, The Twelve Chairs, both with a disparate group of characters trying to locate some jewels. And in this episode we answer such questions as: Which movie is a vending machine snack and which is a well prepared steak? What is the primary difference between Ritchie and Tarantino? Why did Woody Allen and Mel Brooks’ careers go in different directions? Why did Gene Wilder not do The Twelve Chairs? What is a Dennis Farina and would you want to be one? How well does Ritchie’s style hold up today? What is the source material for Spaceballs? Continue reading

THE OBJECTIVITY OF SUBJECTIVITY: A Defense of Making “Best of…” Lists


Howard Casner - Rantings and Ravings

First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
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vertigo
I’ve got a little list…
               The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan

Every once in a while, or more often than that, a discussion will arise over what are the greatest movies ever made.
You’ve been there, I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. And we weren’t even drunk or high at two in the morning either (well, okay, sometimes, but, you know, not always).
This type of discussion especially comes about every time Cashiers du Cinema and BFI Sight & Sound release their…

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A POEM: 6:30 in the Morning


6:30 IN THE MORNING

It’s 6:30 in the morning

And my body informs me that it is bored of lying in bed.

It tells me, yells at me to get off the pot and piss.

But my mind has no motive to move at 6:30 in the morning.

It has no future to forecast.

For it, the day will be the same as yesterday and yesterday the same as the day before that.

And tomorrow will be yesterday before it is today.

Even when the days are dissimilar, they are alike.

And at the dusk of them, I always find my body back where it began.

So why bother getting up and making the bed.

It will be unmade soon enough.

The flesh is willing, but the spirit is weak

At 6:30 in the morning.

POETRY


DEAD OF NIGHT

I wake up in the dead of night.

I’m of that certain age where this is common circumstance.

Nothing to summon the doctor for.

The stars stare through my window as if daring me,

Challenging me to do something, anything.

Perhaps they are simply laughing at me.

Who knows?

But the dead of night is not for doing something, anything.

The dead of night is only there to be tolerated.

It’s a fierce and unforgiving blankness,

Something I must abide, endure…stomach until the morning arrives.

It is a standoff until I stumble back to sleep again

Or until the sun forces its way into the sky

And tells the dead of night to wait,

Wait until its time comes again.

—-

A BLIND MAN BOARDED THE BUS

 

A blind man boarded the bus

Pulling a wheelchair weighted down with all his worldly possessions.

He sat and began to pass out pamphlets

And spoke of God and Christ and heaven and hell. Continue reading

POP ART: Episode 25, The Running Man/The Most Dangerous Game


NEW EPISODE “I don’t do requests.” Is there someone in your life you wish wasn’t? Maybe a group of people? Or maybe you’re just plain bored? I have a solution—how about taking up…hunting? Sounds like the perfect time for Episode 25 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture and I’ll select a film from the more art/classic side of cinema with a connection to it. This time my guest, writer and film critic, influencer and book reviewer, Hermione Flavia chose the perhaps bit too relevant Arnold Schwarzenegger dystopian action film The Running Man and I chose the pre-code adventure classic, The Most Dangerous Game, both films about men hunting men for sport. And in this episode we answer such questions as: What are the major differences between the films and their source material? Who is the first recorded black person to play a white character in film? Who are the saving graces of each film? What was Richard Dawson’s condition for doing The Running Man? How relevant is The Running Man to the world today? And where does The Family Feud and Scooby Do come in? What is pre-code? And what is it about those fashions? And have a look at Hermione’s blog at wildfiremotionpictures.com.

And don’t forget to listen to other episodes, as well as like, comment on and follow ON ITUNES AND PODOMATIC. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pop-art/id1511098925 and https://hcasner65579.podomatic.com/, as well as iheartradio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-pop-art-65365716/, Sticher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/pop-art Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5jX4noVGArDJdmcFtmrQcGm , Anchor: https://anchor.fm/howard-casner, Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xZWI4N2NmYy9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw , Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/pop-art, Pocketcasts: https://pca.st/vfjqj6j6, Radiopublic: https://radiopublic.com/pop-art-GExxNb

Previous episodes: Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; Goldfinger/The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; Monty Python and the Holy Grail/The Seventh Seal; The Great Escape/A Man Escaped; Best in Show/Series 7: The Contenders; Robocop/THX 1138; Singin’ in the Rain/Irma Vep; Star Wars/The Hidden Fortress; The Omen/Village of the Damned; Aliens/Attack the Block; Adaptation/Sunset Boulevard; Die Hard/District B13; American Psycho/Repulsion; Dumb and Dumber/Too Late For Tears; Get Out/Upstream Color; Galaxy Quest/The Seven Samurai; Face/Off/Mulholland Drive; The Karate Kid/Let the Right One In; Finding Nemo/The Searchers; Jaws/White Hunter, Black Heart; Constantine/The Wailing; The Blues Brothers/Silence (1971); The Goonies/The Bridge (1959); Hell or High Water/Bonnie and Clyde.

/HPxKE. I offer several types of service. Testimonials can be found at the blog entry.

Finally, I have published a collection of three of my plays, 3 Plays, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08478DBXF as well as two collections of short stories, The Starving Artists and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS91CKJ and The Five Corporations and the One True Church and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY5Z3CF.

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out the second edition of my screenwriting book, More Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader published on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1XP9Y

A NEW POEM: The Only Truth in Life is Lines


THE ONLY TRUTH IN LIFE IS LINES

 

The only truth in life is lines.

Lines to pay for groceries.

Lines to get on a bus.

Lines to buy a ticket for a movie.

Lines to listen to a customer service representative.

Lines to order a double latte, almond milk, half decaf, triple foam.

Lines to pick it up.

 

Little lines, long lines.

Lines of lethargy and lines of enthusiasm.

Lines of dullness, lines of ecstasy.

Lines of impatience and lines of Zen.

Lifelines and deadlines.

 

Lines of poetry.

 

When we are born,

We enter a line leading to an amusement park ride that we dread to board.

A line we can’t leave or allow someone to save our spot for us.

Though we can let people cut in.

 

And we even pay for the privilege.

 

All we can do is stop and look around a moment.

Hear the brash beauty of a carousel pipe organ.

See a child’s happy, frightened smile on a merry-go-round.

Smell the rich pungence of boiling hot dogs.

Touch the tender rough cloth of a clown’s costume.

Taste the brittle sweetness of kettle corn.

 

All recorded in pictures you have to purchase in order to remember what you did.

 

But we cannot pause too long.

If we do, then the person lined up behind us will poke us in the back

And point ahead,

Telling us we can move up and fill in a gap.

 

And so we do.

 

THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT: A short film script


EXT. RADIO STATION – NIGHT

A lonely radio station sits atop a hill overlooking a small city.

The station is smallish, white walls (paint beginning to peel) and a large picture window at the front, covered with bars to prevent break in, and with the curtains pulled.

Near it is a large radio tower with the call letters WLKM.

There are no cars.

BOBBY (O.C.)

And hello there lovely and local listeners and all those not listening as well. I’m not proud and I make no distinctions.

INT. RADIO STATION – NIGHT

The front reception room. Plain, the furniture not that new or impressive. There is a large desk and couch, some chairs. The walls white, the floor carpeted.

There is also a shopping cart.

There is a certain quietness here. There’s no one else to see and no signs of having seen anyone recently. Perhaps just a bit unsettling is the best way to explain it.

BOBBY (O.C.)

This is Bobby Morgan, the Doctor of Long Ago and Far Away, reaching out and touching, touching you, but only respectfully.

Continue reading