Sunday, December 03, 2006

Zardoz Redux

I think I am about two-thirds through the PRIMAL rewrite for director Michael Su and chugging along. For those tracking my propensity for writing shower scenes, this one pretty much takes place outdoors where there is no plumbing. So we had to settle for a sponge bath, naturally.

I finished listening to Paul Giamatti read A SCANNER DARKLY by Philip K. Dick, and it was a great audio book. I had picked up the paper version some time ago because SEX MACHINE FX person Leah Sharpe got a job working on the movie version down in Austin, and I figured I would check out the movie at some point. But it just got too depressing, so I shelved it. I came back to it a week or so ago on audio book and really enjoyed it. What I like most about what I call "hippie-fi" is how virtually everyone up until William Gibson wrote NEUROMANCER had no concept of what the wireless, internet, cell phone future would actually be. There are always rooms with huge banks of tape-spinning computers and guys (and women) walking around in plastic jumpsuits open to their navels. Drugs and sex always play a big part, a failure to forecast the Reagan Era. Just think Sean Connery in ZARDOZ, John Saxon in EARTH TWO, and Charlton Heston in PLANET OF THE APES to see the kind of future lantern-jawed, blue-chinned, hairy-chested leading men they were forecasting in the 60s and 70s. Were it that we could return to that (future) past.

I would love to write a screenplay that takes the stance that it was written in the 70s and forecasting the 90s (like A SCANNER DARKLY), then raid a Salvation Army and shoot it with all the sideburns and bell bottoms and plastic ray guns and giant computers still intact. There's something deeply appealing about that.

And I know I could do it, too. I remember shooting a Super-8 short in the early 80s that featured a guy talking on a phone in a car, and having to make sure that you could see the cord trailing off to the dash, because of course if the phone didn't have a cord it would look broken. And I was also the guy that thought CDs would never take off because, after all, they were just little records. Nostradamus, indeed.

Give me a shout at


Joe Sherlock said...

I have a movie project that has been bubbling for a few years and one idea is to set it int he 70's. A lot of it takes place in the woods, so it would just be sideburns and costumes. A few in town shots might be done with the aid of some 70s car club or something. Other than that, I'd jjust have to have lots of dark panelling, ferns and macrame to decorate sets with!

John Oak Dalton said...

I think the important thing would be to not only set it in the 70s, but do it as if you were shooting in the 70s, and set it in the 90s...


John said...

Picked up A Scanner Darkly on DVD this week. Not bad. Although I gotta say, without the look, it might've been painful.