POP ART: Episode 37, Annihilation/Stalker


WATCH THE SKIES. “It’s not destroying. It’s making something new.” When we’re visited from another world, how will it happen? Will it be with a bang or a whimper? Will it be a war of the worlds, a day the earth stood still, a close encounter? Or will it be a subtler arrival with a philosophical bent? Sounds like the perfect time for Episode 37 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. Today, I am happy to welcome director, writer, producer, Gustavo A. Garzon, who has chosen the female driven sci-fi epic Annihilation, whereupon I have chosen the Andrei Tarkovsky philosophical sci-fi art house classic Stalker, both about alien arrivals that resulted in the creation of a mysterious location the government has cut off from the general public. And in this episode we answer such questions as: What do these movies mean, or do they mean anything? Why did Annihilation flop? Why was Stalker filmed three different times? How does Annihilation support post-modernism and how does it address the ideas of female leads in film and the new era of genre meets diversity? How did Stalker contribute to the death of the director, the director’s wife and the lead actor?

Be sure to check out Garzon’s IMDB page and his many films and videos at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3126261/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Meanwhile, like, follow or comment on my podcast. I’ve love to know what you think. And check out the other episodes. On ITUNES and PODOMATIC. https://podcasts.apple.com/…/pop-art/id1511098925and https://hcasner65579.podomatic.com/, Anchor: https://anchor.fm/howard-casner, 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 , 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

Other 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; The Running Man/The Most Dangerous Game; Back to the Future/La Jatee; Snatch/The Twelve Chairs; Halloween III/The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T; Jurassic Park/Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein; Bridesmaids/Monsoon Wedding; Mad Max: Fury Road/A Boy and His Dog; The Longest Yard/The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner; Planes, Trains and Automobiles/Ballad of a Soldier; Big Trouble in Little China/That Man From Rio; Kiss Kiss Bang Ban/The Thin Man; Captain America: The Winter Soldier/Manhattan Melodrama.

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

IS IT REAL OR IS IT MEMOREX: Ex Machina and True Story


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
ex machinaA critic once said that when you get down to it, there aren’t that many plotlines; after all, Frankenstein and Pygmalion are basically the same story.
This came to mind as I was watching Ex Machina, the new sci-fi drama written and directed by Alex Garland (who also wrote the very involving Never Let Me Go and the highly successful 28 Days Later…). For my money, what he’s done is basically combined both Mary Shelley and George Bernard Shaw’s seminal works into one narrative.
It’s intriguing. But for me, I also found it a bit slow, unfocused at times and, well, to be ruthlessly honest, more than a bit creepy in ways that may not have been intended.
The last is because the more I think about Ex Machina, the more it seems to me that what the movie is about is not what the movie is about. And what the movie is really about made me very uncomfortable. Continue reading