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

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: Lion and Jackie


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation 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?  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
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
rev-4About a third of the way through Lion, the new film from director Garth David (he worked on the TV series Top of the Lake) and screenwriter Luke Davies (Candy), the central character, Saroo, has a Proustian moment when he sees a plate of jelebies, a lusciously bright red sweet popular in India. He suddenly has a memory of being a boy less than six years old, deeply desiring such a confection while out working with his older brother in a remote Indian city.
This has a profound effect on him, because as a child he got separated from his brother and ended up on a train that took him to New Delhi where he ended up in an orphanage, subsequently adopted by an Australian couple.
He hasn’t thought about his early life much at all. He doesn’t even really consider himself Indian. But the rush of memory has a profound existential effect on him and he becomes obsessed with finding his way back to his birth mother and family. Continue reading

SOUL SEARCHING: Knight of Cups and Confirmation


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 1 Knight of Cups, the new film from art house fave writer/director Terence Malick, begins with some excerpts from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, spoken, I believe, in the dulcet tones of Sir John Gielgud.  The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory about a man who is weighed down by his sin and must seek a path to righteousness, but he finds many dangers, toils and snares along the way. 
I suppose the allegory in that classic is supposed to also be an allegory for Rick, the central character in Malick’s drama, and his journey.  Rick is a screenwriter who basically just drifts from place to place, observing the world he encounters while avoiding screenwriting as much as possible.  It’s sort of like a movie by Federico Fellini, 8 ½ or La Dolce Vita, character studies of a men who are spiritually lost or have writer’s block, set against dwarfing architecture and a somewhat impressionistic view of the local’s lives.
I have to say I liked Knight of Cups, though I also have to say I’m surprised that I did.  In Malick’s last film To The Wonder, the filmmaker told an almost impossible to understand story, made almost impossible to understand because it was not told in chronological order.  And since you were spending so much time just trying to understand what was going on, it was difficult to become emotionally involved in the movie.  And it didn’t help that when you did figure it out, it was a pretty bland and banal story line.

Continue reading