A REFUGE FROM THE STORM a short story by Howard Casner


If you like this one check out my other story, a sci fi short, The Starving Artists http://ow.ly/ietQ30jF7ov

 

 

A REFUGE FROM THE STORM
               He woke up. No, he jerked up, like someone drowning who finally got some air.
               What the fuck? Where, what…he looked around, but his body sent a bolt to his brain and he frowned from the intense pain he felt and he thrust his arms against his eyes because it was so bright, why was it so fucking bright? Why is there so much fucking…
               And he took a moment, just a moment, just give me a fucking minute here, and then he gently opened his eyes and squinted and look around…okay, I’m in the car, that’s good, I’ve woken up in my car before, so no, no problem…and he leaned back against the seat and sighed and relaxed and closed his eyes again.
               And then he jerked up again, what was that, five minutes, ten, shit, don’t fall asleep again, you can’t fall…and he again looked around him and, oh, man, not again, I didn’t fucking… and he saw his windshield and it was cracked, okay, that’s not so bad, I can replace that easy, peasy, lemon…and he looked around for more clues, but everything felt a little distorted, I still…I can’t still be drunk, but as his vision focused and he looked ahead of…oh, shit, you’ve got to be joking… Continue reading
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THE STARVING ARTISTS: a short story by Howard Casner


No one was shocked when it happened. At the same time, it took them all by surprise.
Rumors had been spreading for some time that something was going to be done. No one knew what exactly, and they only spoke and speculated about it in very low voices and covered their mouths with their hands or whispered into their phones when they did speak about it, because they didn’t want, well, those they didn’t want to know that they were speaking about it, to know that that was what they were doing.
And when it did happen, it didn’t happen overnight at first. But one evening when everyone went to bed, suspecting nothing, though with some sort of inkling at the back of their brain, by the next morning, within eight to twelve hours, it was over. It had been done.
And then it really began. Continue reading

MOVIE MASHUPS or I Obviously Have Too Much Time on My Hands


American Beauty and the Beast: A woman having a mid-life crisis ends up stranded at a castle owned by a sexual predator. But it all has a happy ending when the sexual predator turns into Christopher Plummer.

 

Toy Story Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: When one of Mrs. Potatohead’s tater tots is mashed to death, she buys three billboards to ask why Sheriff Woody hasn’t found the culprit. With Buzz Lightyear as a racist cop who finds redemption.

 

Darkest After Hours: When Winston Churchhill’s subway car gets stuck in the underground because of the Blitz, he has only a few hours to make his way across London to Parliament so he can tell Hitler where to stick it.

 

The Post Always Rings Twice: The wife of a newspaper owner joins with the paper’s editor to kill the husband and collect double indemnity on his insurance. But a wily investigative reporter makes sure they’re the ones to end up in the headlines.

 

Colossus: The Forbin Florida Project: The computer at a second rate motel hooks up with other computers at other second rate motels in order to take over all the Disneylands there are and create a really, really small, small world.

 

Zorro, the Gay Blade Runner 2049: In the near future, when Zorro is injured, his previously unheard of brother who is pretty and witty and…takes over hunting down replicants while teaching people how to dress better.

 

Phantom Threads: After a nuclear holocaust, a fashion designer and his sister try to make haute courier out of the rags and rubbles, until a model upsets their lives.

 

Dunclerks: A convenient store clerk is stuck at a beach waiting to be rescued from the enemy. Frustrated, all he does is keep whining, I wasn’t even supposed to go to war today.

 

Lady Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): A student struggles to produce, write, direct and star in the school play while struggling with where to go for college and her problematic relationship with her mother. She finally shoots herself, but not soon enough for the audience.

 

Cococktail: On the Day of the Dead, a young boy crosses over to find his father. He is shocked to discover he is now a bartender, a Scientologist and has never had sex with a woman.

 

When a Strangers Calls Me By Your Name: While babysitting, a 17 year old gay teen is stalked and repeatedly phoned by a 24 year old stranger who is the handsomest man in the world. When the teen realizes the calls are coming from inside the house, they have sex.

 

Logan Lucky’s Run: A group of twenty somethings have to rob a racetrack before they turn thirty or they’ll turn into Peter Ustinov.

 

Get Smart Out: KAOS hacks into CONTROL to use the Cone of Silence in order to put one of their agent’s souls into Maxwell Smart. Hilarity ensues.

 

The Shape of the Waterdance: When the Creature of the Black Lagoon suffers an accident that prevents his penis from detracting, he asks his mute lover not to say a word about it, then realizes how stupid that sounds.

OSCAR PODCAST AND MY OSCAR PREDICTIONS


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
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
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
I participated in a LAMBcast podcast last week predicting the Oscars. I got in late because I had technical issues, but check it out.
http://ow.ly/f7Bn30iJyda
My Oscar Predictions
Best Picture                       –              Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Continue reading

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: The 2017 Howies


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
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
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
I’m a tad late this year, but no matter how long ago 2017 passed, how could it be complete without the Howies, my awards for the best films of the year. And 2017 turned out to be a very good year, much superior to 2016. In fact, coming up with the best this time was much more difficult and meant I had to leave some exceptionally good films on the cutting room floor.
But without further ado, let’s proceed.
Best Picture
(BPM) Beats Per Minute

Continue reading

…AND THE REST


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
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
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
I have now gotten so far behind in my film reviewing, I was despairing of ever finishing them for 2017. To remedy that, I will be writing quick and short reviews and include them all in this post as they are done.
Call Me By Your Name is an exquisite film with an exquisite story that has an unhappy ending because it wouldn’t be nearly as exquisite if it didn’t, and is based upon an exquisite novel by Andre Aciman (actually, I haven’t read it, so I’m just guessing). The exquisite screenplay, by James Ivory, the legendary writer/director/producer of the legendary films from the legendary Ivory/Merchant production company, is about an affair between a 17-year old Italian American from a scholarly family living in the Italian countryside and a 24-year old grad student visiting the family. It’s deeply felt, deeply emotional, and a deeply rewarding film experience. Deeply and exquisitely directed by Luca Guadagnino, deeply and exquisitely. With Timothee Chalomet as the teen, Arnmie Hammer as the older student and Michael Stuhlbarg as the empathetic father. Deeply exquisite. Continue reading

A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME: Coco, Foxtrot


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
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
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
In writer/director Samuel Maoz’s often deeply affecting film Foxtrot, one can say that the title is truth in advertising. Like the basic steps of that dance, the movie is structured in four movements, with a fifth one returning to the beginning as the movements begin to repeat themselves.
The basic story revolves around an Israeli family who receives news that their soldier son died at a roadblock he was stationed at. The grief here is palpable and broad. And then they discover that there is more to come.
The first step is the viewpoint of someone driving a truck; the second the revelation of the son’s death; the third, a dramatization of the son’s life at his outpost; the fourth, another scene with the family; and then back to the truck that began the dance in the first place. Continue reading