POP ART: EPISODE 69, DEATH AT A FUNERAL/THE FUNERAL


POP ART, WHERE I FIND THE POP CULTURE IN ART AND THE ART IN POP CULTURE: PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNERALS

UPCOMING EPISODE (to be uploaded 11/26/21): “That’s not my father”. It’s fall. The leaves are dying. The plants are dying. The earth is dying. It’s nothing but death, death, death. But is that going to get us down? Well, we shall see. Sounds like it’s time for Episode 69 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/indie side of cinema with a connection to it. This time, I am happy to welcome back as my guest, film enthusiast, blogger, and host of the LAMBCast podcast Richard Kirkham, who has chosen as his selection the Frank Oz farce, Death at a Funeral, while I have chosen the perhaps more subtle, but no less effective Japanese film by Juzo Itami, The Funeral, two films that put the fun in funerals.

And in this episode, we answer such questions as: What’s so funny about funerals? Why did Juzo Itami make so few films? Where have I seen that actor before? Why was Japanese comedy so oxymoronic for such a long time? What is Frank Oz’s best film? Who is Itami’s brother-in-law? What are the here remakes of Death at a Funeral? Where does 55 Days at Peking and Lord Jim come in? What married couple play a married couple in what film? Who was Itami married to?

Check out the LAMBcast at http://www.largeassmovieblogs.com/

Check out Richard’s blog at https://kirkhamclass.blogspot.com/?fbclid=IwAR3YYgDVY-42zT8hsDDo5ECSNe1xyPP9x2bvUAmm_XsVDDjtUjp3Aj8smCQ

Check out my blog at https://howardcasner.wordpress.com/

My books, More Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, The Starving Artists and Other Stories and The Five Corporations and One True Religion can be found at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=howard+casner&ref=nb_sb_noss

Meanwhile, like, follow or comment on my podcast. I’d love to know what you think. And check out the other episodes. On ITUNES and PODOMATIC. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pop-art/id1511098925 & https://hcasner65579.podomatic.com/, Anchor: https://anchor.fm/howard-casner, and Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/5jX4noVGArDJdmcFtmrQcG , Sticher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/pop-art, Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/…, Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/pop-art, Pocketcasts: https://pca.st/vfjqj6j6, Radiopublic: https://radiopublic.com/pop-art-GExxNb and other streaming sites

Check out my Script Consultation Services at http://ow.ly/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

ROGUE ONE, PASSENGERS ZERO: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Passengers


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
rev-1In film, Sci-Fi has often been divided into two categories: adult science fiction, stories that capture the mind and are more philosophical and questioning in nature; and pop culture Sci-Fi, stories that are more escapist and less challenging where the grey cells are concerned.
Perhaps no better year can define this dichotomy than 1977 when the original Star Wars was released the same year as Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Critics often claim, or have a prejudice, that adult sci-fi is inherently superior or preferably to pop culture sci-fi. And I do have to admit, if truth be forceably told, I tend to prefer the former to the latter. But there is never a guarantee that one is going to be better than the other. In fact, in the end, the one that is better is simply the one that is better, and the reason why it is better is because, when all is said and done, it’s the, well… better one. Continue reading

WIIGING OUT: Welcome to Me and About Elly


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
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
welcome to meWhen Welcome to Me, the new comedy written by Eliot Laurence and directed by Shira Piven, began, I instantly became a bit wary. The central character, Alice Kleig (played by the quite funny Kristen Wiig) is bipolar and has just gone off her meds. I felt in these opening scenes the filmmakers were exploiting her condition for laughs and I became a bit uncomfortable.
But then something intriguing happens. We stop seeing Alice through the eyes of the director and writer, but through the eyes of her friends, who love her very much, as well as her therapist, who is very concerned for her and also likes her very much, and suddenly all those things she does (like starting any explanation by whipping out a piece of paper and saying, “I have a prepared statement”) now seem charmingly eccentric.
We like Alice and have affection for her and her foibles and are concerned for her because her friends have affection for her and are concerned. Continue reading

WHAT HAPPENED TO ONE THROUGH FIVE: Big Hero 6 and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya


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

 

Warning: SPOILERS
big heroI’m sure you’ve heard the old joke, the one about the guy who said, “I’m not going to see Henry V because I haven’t seen the first four yet”?
Well, don’t worry, fair filmgoers, Big Hero 6 is not a sequel (though believe me, to paraphrase Paul Thomas Anderson, there will be sequels). It’s more an origin story of a group of X-Men like super young adults set in a city named San Fransokyo (so called because it’s an alternative future where Japanese immigrants rebuilt the city where I left my heart after the 1906 earthquake).
Big Hero 6 is a fun and satisfying enough animated movie, especially in the first half where it tends to show a bit more heart and emphasizes emotional resonance over the more prevalent action oriented approach of the second half.
True, it’s fairly familiar and almost Disney paint by number. I mean, c’mon, you gotta know that a mother or father or mother figure or father figure to the central character is going to die early on because, well, it’s Disney, and the only thing that studio likes more than making animated movies that rake in a ton of money is trying to traumatize pre-teens in the first fifteen minutes of their films (unless it’s about a dog, then they wait until the last fifteen). Continue reading