POP ART: Episode 78, Bull Durham/This Sporting Life–It Takes Balls


 POP ART, WHERE I FIND THE POP CULTURE IN ART AND THE ART IN POP CULTURE. Join me and podcaster, blogger and film enthusiast Richard Kirkham as we discuss Bull Durham and This Sporting Life, two films about athletes in existential crises.

I know what you’re thinking. What happened to Episode 77. Well, we recorded that episode on 2001 and Solaris twice, but Skype failed to download it. But everything seems fine now and we should be doing that episode in the near future. For some illogical reason, I decided to keep it Episode 77. Don’t ask me.  

IT TAKES A LOT OF BALLS: I believe in the Church of Baseball. It’s spring when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of…sports; or sport for our English listeners. Yes, sounds like it’s time for Episode 78 of Pop Art, where we find the pop culture in art and the art in pop culture. It’s 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 round, I am happy to welcome back, for the fourth time, Richard Kirkham, who has chosen as his film the Ron Shelton low key classic Bull Durham, while I have chosen the Lindsay Anderson’s angry young man, kitchen sink drama This Sporting Life, both films about athletes going through an existential crisis.

And in this episode we answer such questions as: What is it about sports films? What does it mean to win by losing? What do the writers of both films have in common? What happened during the Broadway production of David Storey’s The Changing Room that didn’t shock little old ladies? Where did the names come from? If a baseball player hits the bull do they really get a free steak dinner? How does Ron Shelton resemble his Bull Durham hero? How does Lawrence Olivier fit in? Who did the producers of Bull Durham want for Tim Robbin’s role first and how did Ron Shelton react? Why were young men angry in Britain?

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 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pop-art/id1511098925, 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

IS IT REAL OR IS IT MEMOREX: Brigsby Bear and Marjorie Prime


First, a word from our sponsors: 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
Brigsby Bear is basically the same story as Room (but not The Room), but though a comedy, is cleverer, deeper, better written, more original and more profound than the earlier critically acclaimed drama, which for my taste had a strong first half and then became a bit too predictable and formulaic in the second.
The film, a first feature for director Dave McCary and writers Kevin Costello and Kyle Mooney (Mooney also plays the lead role), is about James Pope, now 29, but who was abducted by a couple, April and Ted Mitchum, when he was five. Since then he has been kept in an underground bunker with his faux parents telling him he can’t go outside because the world out there is a apocalyptic wasteland and leaving the bunker means certain death. 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

HEAD CASES: Life of Crime and Frank


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
Life-Of-Crime-Movie-Trailer-635x316If it is true, as people say, that films influence how we act, then I’m not sure why people are still in the kidnapping biz. I mean, if there is one thing movies have taught us, from Fargo to High and Low to Taken to Misery, that kidnapping thingy just never works out well for those who take to it.
And now we have Life of Crime, written and directed by Daniel Schechter (based on a novel by the immensely popular as well as well respected author Elmore Leonard titled The Switch), the latest variation on the O’Henry short story, The Ransom of Red Chief, in which someone is kidnapped whom the one being extorted the ransom would be just as happy if they were never returned. Continue reading