POP ART: Episode 17, Face/Off/Mulholland Drive

“Lies, deceit, mixed messages… this is turning into a real marriage”. Not quite feeling yourself these days?  Do you suspect you might not be who you think you are? Maybe that you might even be…someone else? Just in time for Episode 17 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture and I select a film from the more art/classic side of cinema with a connection to it. This time, my guest, filmmaker and screenwriter AJ Bermudez, chose Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo’s over the top action thriller Face/Off while I have chosen David Lynch’s surrealistic neo-noir Mulholland Drive, both with characters who are not exactly themselves for most of the story. And here we answer such questions as: What happened to John Woo in America? What the hell is going on in Mulholland Drive? Is John Travolta better at playing Nicholas Cage, or Cage better at playing Travolta? What are the best scenes in each movie? What do I and David Lynch have in common and what do the French have to do with it? What is the weakest scene in Face/Off? Who or what is Harve Presnell and would you want to be one? In the meantime, listen to, like, comment on and follow other episodes 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.


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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

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.

Les Girls: The Girl on the Train, Sand Storm, American Honey and Under the Shadow

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Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck 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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rev-1A few films have opened of late with the deadlier of the species front and center.
The one with the most hullabaloo (that’s 1960’s speak for buzz) is The Girl on the Train, based on a best seller by Paula Hawkins that falls into the subgenre of girl novels (as in Gone…, …in the Dark, and …with the Dragon Tattoo).
In this story, an alcoholic takes the same train to and from New York every day. She is especially obsessed with two houses she passes each time, one where her ex-husband lives with his new wife and child (and the alcoholic used to live), and one with a couple she’s created a fantasy world about in which they live a fairy tale existence. When the one from the fairy tale home turns up missing (which is sort of oxymoronic), she tries to figure out what happened, even though there’s a possibility she is the cause of it since she often has drinking black outs and can’t remember everything she did.
Though the story revolves around a group of women and their attempt to take control of their lives, with sisterhood coming firmly in first place, the attitude of the film towards women feels a bit retro with the same old tired tropes: woman are emotionally fragile beings who can easily be manipulated by men because, well, that’s just the way women are, poor creatures, as well as their lives being defined by motherhood (who can’t get pregnant, who can, and who is).
We’ve come a long way baby from I am woman, hear me roar. Continue reading