Posts Tagged ‘I Decline’

PODCAST:

S4E11M – 2001: A Space Odyssey (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we ride this cosmic starship past the moon and head straight for the rings of Saturn—rather, Jupiter. Once more round the sun I am accompanied by musician John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline, Theurgy) and sci-fi fan Richard Bacon. We three arrive, at last, to stare in perplexed amazement and wonder at this speculative fiction masterpiece.

It was no surprise that this film received universal praise from all three of us. While Ryan tended to cite examples of contributions by others including the co-creator of the story and the recruitment of clever forerunners in the special effects field, the guests were more focused on the director’s vision. Dole greatly appreciated that in the film everything was not explained for him and much was left to the viewer’s interpretation—though, he admitted the book provided a new perspective. Rich agreed and recounted a screening of the work he attended while in university that was introduced by actor James Earl Jones who provided some historical context.

Like, as before, we closed out this episode with another teaser track from Dole’s “Theurgy” band project (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Theurgy-233634134183768/) called “Dreamcatcher”. Check out this preview of dark wave music at the end of the episode!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)” by Stanley Kubrick (movie)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…an ode to space travel and mankind’s cosmic destiny that takes painstaking attention to scientific detail with deft poetic breath and all around general sense of contemplative bewilderment and awe…

Dole: 5 Stars “…mind-blowing…I mean it’s so influential on any sci-fi film ever since created…

Rich: 5 Stars “…a cinematic masterpiece—a must see, for anyone who wants to appreciate serious films…

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

On this episode Ryan mentioned a collection of audio interviews of the director which included a collage of still photos. You can watch “Stanley Kubrick: The Lost Tapes” on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/QsSV6yZZIVk.

Some other podcasts about our subject work mentioned (maybe not by name) on our episode were the
Now Playing Podcast (http://www.nowplayingpodcast.com/episode.htm?id=1222) and a June 2018 interview of Michael Benson author of “Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece” by Martin Bandyke for Under Covers and the Ann Arbor District Library (https://aadl.org/node/377257).

There were two short documentaries which inspired the special effects for this movie and where the director curated some of his crew. One was “To the Moon and Beyond” which was part of the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair Exhibit and narrated by Rod Serling (Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_the_Moon_and_Beyond). The other film was titled “Universe” and put out by the National Film Board of Canada (Wiki: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe_(1960_film)), and that one can be seen on the film board’s website or YouTube here: https://youtu.be/48gIN4hGOdI.

As noted on the show the author and director sought the help of other noted science fiction writers during the evolution of this unique project. Here is an article by Michael Moorcock for the New Statesman America titled “Close to tears, he left at the intermission: how Stanley Kubrick upset Arthur C. Clarke.” – https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2017/01/close-tears-he-left-intermission-how-stanley-kubrick-upset-arthur-c-clarke. Another article about Carl Sagan by Stefan Andrews for The Vintage News concerns how “Carl Sagan advised Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick on extra-terrestrial life for their masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey”” – https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/03/10/carl-sagan-advised-arthur-c-clarke-and-stanley-kubrick-on-extra-terrestrial-life-for-their-masterpiece-2001-a-space-odyssey/.

Ryan talked about noted special effects guru Douglas Trumbull who was recruited to work on the film. Although Trumbull couldn’t get effects together to make the rings of Saturn to the satisfaction of this director, he did it later for his own directorial effort in the science fiction film “Silent Running,” which starred actor Bruce Dern. Here is a forum discussion related to this topic: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/177/why-is-the-destination-of-the-discovery-in-2001-a-space-odyssey-saturn-in-the-b.

With regard to the final stargate sequence of the movie Rich couldn’t help, but cite the line “They went plaid!” spoken by comedy actor John Candy as Barf the Mog (half man/half dog) from the ultimate science fiction Star Wars parody movie “Space Balls.” Watch that full scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk7VWcuVOf0.

It should also be stated that “Douglas Rain,” who provided the voice for the computer Hal 9000 died after the recording of our podcast episode, but before it’s release so it was not mentioned during the show: https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/douglas-rain-voice-of-hal-in-2001-a-space-odyssey-di-1830379580.

Lastly, Dole mentioned his new band project “Theurgy,” which is a post-punk dark wave band. You can check out rough cuts of their music on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/theurgyband/sets/exit-strategies-rough-mixes?fbclid=IwAR13ja8J6euwpSHXAS05aIFnFuKcbd4z18TGWrMu0JK3c_-4vVW8VDBJlxw. At the end of the podcast episode their is a fully mastered teaser from their forthcoming song “Dreamcatcher.” They hope to have their music available on bandcamp soon: https://theurgytransmissions.bandcamp.com/. Until then follow them on facebook and instagram.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E11B – 2001: A Space Odyssey (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein I am joined by NDIOS theme composer John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline, Theurgy) as well as previous guest Richard Bacon (speculative fiction fan). This month the three of us dissect the concurrently developed piece of literature from speculative fiction’s, perhaps, most  famous and influential film.  

Ryan felt that the economic prose had an almost poetic quality to it in the way it was organized and written. Rich found the writing clear and technically proficient, but read this novel chiefly as a way to better understand the movie. While Dole highly recommended this book for any science fiction fans he didn’t think he would ever read it again himself. In counterpoint and assent Rich expressed that he would not necessarily recommend the book to others, but it did inspire him to check out more of this author’s stuff. Our discussion went pretty long, but that seemed appropriately timed for a uniquely written collaborative work that will be forever associated with (and overshadowed by) such a significant visual expression. 

Additionally, Dole generously allowed us to include a teaser track called “Walk Away,” from one of the songs off his “Theurgy” band project (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Theurgy-233634134183768/). Preview this song of dark wave music at the end of the episode!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)” by Arthur C. Clarke (book)

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “…A future-perfect scientific adventure through the solar system which bears all the hazards of an early and epic exploration toward evolutionary destiny…

Dole: 4 Stars “…a space drama that explores humanity and how we evolve and how we are pushed…in interstellar overdrive into the outer reaches of imagination…

Rich: 3 Stars “…this book was written by a man that was concerned with telling us how we were going to achieve wonders through the different ways that we would use technologies…but it was good technical writing, it combined good practicality with some aspirational evolution…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Another podcast about this subject book mentioned by Ryan was “Nachos and Books” and their June 02, 2014 episode can be found here: http://www.booksandnachos.com/episode.htm?id=133.

During our talk we stated that the idea for this novel was based on two previously published short stories by the author. If you want to check out these stories go here:

Ryan mentioned how the author was a popularizer of the concept of geostationary satellites due to his circulation of a private paper and an article he wrote on the subject titled “EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL RELAYS: Can Rocket Stations Give World-wide Radio Coverage?” published in Wireless World in October of 1945. Find it in HTML here: https://lakdiva.org/clarke/1945ww/1945ww_oct_305-308.html or PDF here: http://clarkeinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ClarkeWirelessWorldArticle.pdf.

Underwater ocean diving was a passion of Arthur C. Clarke. He wrote a few books on the subject including one regarding the discovery of an ancient temple “The Reefs of Taprobane (Blue Planet Trilogy)” which he was involved with: https://www.amazon.com/Reefs-Taprobane-Blue-Planet-Trilogy/dp/0743445023/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+Reefs+of+Taprobane&qid=1573478788&s=books&sr=1-1The author also had his own diving school and though we could not verify its continued existence we did find articles about it here: https://www.lightmillennium.org/3rd_april_03/bu_hekanayake.html and here: https://www.timeout.com/sri-lanka/things-to-do/underwater-safaris.

Arthur C. Clarke was no stranger to television. Among other appearances we mentioned that he hosted at least three of his own programs and even commented on the moon landings. His TV programs included: “Mysterious World,” “World of Strange Powers,” and “Mysterious Universe.” Previous NDIOS subject Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke were both interviewed by Walter Cronkite for CBS News to comment on the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PLTkYJ7C40.

There is an award given under the author’s name: Arthur C. Clarke Award. “The annual Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.” (from https://clarkeaward.com/).

In a humorous moment during the show Ryan and Dole a cited movie character “Large Marge” (he actually mistakenly said “Big Bertha”) from 1985’s “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pee-wee%27s_Big_Adventure. In the scene, Pee Wee hitches a ride from a truck driver named Large Marge who recounts the worst accident she ever seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPMSGTfK4Aw. Ryan also brought up the short-lived grammar correcting robot “Linguo” who appeared first on the episode “Trilogy of Errors.” Neither of the other guests knew what Ryan was talking about, however, the character was real and his main story arc can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmMaEUl-6DU.

While Dole bemoaned the length of the recording process of our episodes, Rich delightfully mentioned that he got to catch up on some shows. One was Berwyn, Illinois’ very own Svengoolie who hosts a local horror television program and can be found here: https://svengoolie.com/. Rich’s also wanted to plug his efforts making a customized Christmas train. However, his efforts to keep his children from attacking it failed. Even still he did provide us the brief video below of what he was referring to:

 

Music played a big role in this movie and has in other works of literature. On the episode we mentioned Pink Floyd‘s album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” which was taken from a chapter of Kenneth Grahame‘s “The Wind in the Willowsand the song “Childhood’s End” which was taken from Arthur C. Clarke’s eponymous book title “Childhood’s End“.  We also mentioned David Bowie‘s song “Space Oddity” which was inspired by the film adaptation.

Lastly, Dole mentioned his new band project “Theurgy,” which is a post-punk dark wave band. You can check out rough cuts of their music on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/theurgyband/sets/exit-strategies-rough-mixes?fbclid=IwAR13ja8J6euwpSHXAS05aIFnFuKcbd4z18TGWrMu0JK3c_-4vVW8VDBJlxw. At the end of the podcast episode their is a fully mastered teaser from their forthcoming song “Walk Away.” They hope to have their music available on bandcamp soon: https://theurgytransmissions.bandcamp.com/. Until then follow them on facebook and instagram.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E4M – Solaris (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein musicians John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline) and John Bombher a/k/a Jaxon (Bury the Machines, I Klatus) return to join me to discuss the film adaptations of “Solaris.” Dole felt that each of the films had its own strengths and weaknesses, but neither really did it for him. Jaxon mentioned that he found himself multitasking while watching the 2002 film because he was bored, while he felt much more interested in the 1972 version despite its own slow pace and long length. Ryan couldn’t recommend a viewing of the Soderbergh movie, but found himself wholly taken over by the Tarkovsy one. 

Despite our appreciation for the acting efforts in the 2002 Soderbergh version, the three of us ultimately felt that the author’s blind assessment as “love in outer space” was a fair take on this film. We all had a greater appreciation for the 1972 Tarkovsky movie. That said, Dole expressed his frustration with the pacing of the 1972 film and he didn’t feel like it had enough going on to justify this. Ryan acknowledged that the older movie was indisputably slow, but felt it was worth it if you could be in the right frame of mind for a viewing. Jaxon appreciated the production elements in Tarkovsky’s film and he particularly enjoyed the supernatural portrayals of the alien-ocean, which were lacking in the newer movie. 

This episode was recorded in Berwyn, Illinois at Horse-Drawn Productions (where Jaxon sometimes records musicians and where Dole, Jaxon and their two other bandmates (Tony Hopper and Mike Fabiano) in “Theurgy” (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Theurgy-233634134183768/) recorded new tracks for their forthcoming debut album. They gave me permission to include another teaser from one of their new songs called “Crack of the Egg,” which is about cracking open your mind to new ideas. Listen in for this fun tune of post-punk dark wave at the end of the episode!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN MOVIE REVIEWS:

“Solaris (2002)” by Steven Soderbergh (George Clooney) (movie)

Ryan: 2 Stars “…Soderbergh focused too much on classic themes of love and somehow didn’t go far enough with advances in technology, reducing the script to a romantic play on a space station–though the actors did well with the material they were given…

Dole: 2 Stars “…It really annoyed me that now we are changing the whole story line of what is the whole point of this story into, ‘oh no, it’s us against the alien race’…

Jaxon: 1 1/2 Stars “…the acting was fine, but the story wasn’t true to the original book at all and if it was gonna stray that far from it–it at least should have been good…

*** * ***

“Solaris (1972)” by Andrei Tarkovsky (Donatas Banionis) (movie)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…Tarkovsky’s effort is patient, thought provoking and literary with excellent production in complete complement to the deep questions explored within the source material…

Dole: 3 Stars “…It’s hard not to compare this film to 2001…but there is not a lot happening…

Jaxon: 4 Stars “…there are some real slow spots…but I love the art direction, and I love the way that it looked, and I loved that overall theme of…trying to search for something human in something that is not human…”  

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

This episode was recorded at Horse-Drawn Productions a great recording studio located in Berwyn, Illinois near Chicago: “Horse-Drawn Productions is a multi-faceted music company that has existed for over a decade, and includes two commercial state of the art recording studios, an international production company, a complete studio design & construction team, and employs instructors for music, DAW and computer lessons for individuals and groups.” (from www.horse-drawnproductions.com)

Dole and Jaxon are members band “Theurgy.” You can check out rough cuts of their dark wave style music on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/theurgyband/sets/exit-strategies-rough-mixes?fbclid=IwAR13ja8J6euwpSHXAS05aIFnFuKcbd4z18TGWrMu0JK3c_-4vVW8VDBJlxw.

 

Below is a photo from Theurgy’s first official live show on April 14, 2019 at the Underground Lounge in Chi-town:

 

During the episode we mentioned the library scene and paintings hanging in the space station that characters live in above Solaris. For a further discussion on this and the film in general take a look at the article “Out of this World” by Jonathon Jones for the Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/feb/12/featuresreviews.guardianreview11.

Lastly, here is a trailer for the very first cinematic adaption of “Solaris (1968)” by Boris Nirenburg (Vasily Lanovoy) (TV movie), which was released in Russia:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E4B – Solaris (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein I am joined by returning special guest and musician extrodinaire John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline) along with his equally talented bandmate John Bombher a/k/a Jaxon (Bury the Machines, I Klatus). The three of us delved into this month’s translated work of philosophical speculative fiction from Poland’s Stanislaw Lem. I personally felt that “Solaris” was a trippy tale with a completely unique take on encountering aliens. Jaxon found various comparisons with mental illness in the way the alien-ocean of Solaris manifested itself to the main character and their interactions. Dole really enjoyed how this book made him think about his own life and take new perspectives. All around everyone thought this story was a short, easily digested masterwork that left us with infinite realms of thought and reflection. We highly recommend it for anyone at all interested in science fiction.

We recorded this episode at Horse-Drawn Productions — a great studio in Berwyn, Illinois where Jaxon sometimes records musicians or works on his own music, when he’s not out doing live sound. Horse-Drawn is also the place where Dole, Jaxon and their two other bandmates (Tony Hopper and Mike Fabiano) recorded music for the debut album of their new project “Theurgy” (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Theurgy-233634134183768/). They were gracious enough to allow me to include a teaser from one of their songs called “Hiding Your Face in the Wall,” which is based on a true supernatural tale regarding the fairy mounds of Scotland (Dole recommends checking out Season 1, Episode 1 of the Podcast “Unexplained” for more about this strange incident). Listen in for this awesome tuneage of dark wave (like “new wave” music, but DARKER!) at the conclusion of the episode!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Solaris (1961)” by Stanislaw Lem (book)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…An interplanetary philosophical oceanic alien acid trip—to funk your mind with…

Dole: 5 Stars “…Psychological isolationist trauma melted with the environment of space…

Jaxon: 5 Stars “…I felt like the relationship between humanity and the planet was metaphor for like a relationship between two people where one of them has an awful personality disorder…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

FUN FACTOIDS:

This episode was recorded at Horse-Drawn Productions a great recording studio located in Berwyn, Illinois near Chicago: “Horse-Drawn Productions is a multi-faceted music company that has existed for over a decade, and includes two commercial state of the art recording studios, an international production company, a complete studio design & construction team, and employs instructors for music, DAW and computer lessons for individuals and groups.” (from www.horse-drawnproductions.com)

During the show Ryan stated that the author was unhappy with the current written translation of his book, but that there was a new translation in audiobook format. You can find this definitive edition as authorized by the author’s estate here: https://www.amazon.com/Solaris-The-Definitive-Edition/dp/B0054N6KH0.

It was also mentioned that the creator of 1989’s famous city-building video game “SimCity” was inspired by Stanislaw Lem. The short story which helped give inspiration to this pioneering game was called “The Seventh Sally.” Read more about that in “Making City Planning a Game” a New York Times article by Julie Lew here: https://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/15/garden/making-city-planning-a-game.html.

Stanislaw Lem temporarily held an honorary membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) organization (responsible for issuing the prestigious  “Nebula” genre awards every year).  He was ousted just three years later after talking a lot of smack about American science fiction. Despite his noted general disapproval, Lem however was a fan of the American science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick. Conversely, PKD considered Lem a composite communist committee which threatened the “whole field of science fiction and its free exchange of views and ideas.” Read more about this wacky history in “Philip K. Dick: Stanislaw Lem is a Communist Committee” an article by Matt Davies for Culture.PL: https://culture.pl/en/article/philip-k-dick-stanislaw-lem-is-a-communist-committee.

Lastly, Dole and Jaxon discussed the formation of their new music project “Theurgy,” which is a post-punk dark wave band. You can check out rough cuts of their sounds on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/theurgyband/sets/exit-strategies-rough-mixes?fbclid=IwAR13ja8J6euwpSHXAS05aIFnFuKcbd4z18TGWrMu0JK3c_-4vVW8VDBJlxw. Dole was in early talks with the members of the group about creating this project while he and Ryan attended an intimate concert at Chicago’s “Empty Bottle” for american avant-garde metal group: Neurosis. Here’s a short video from that outing below:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E4P – Preview Episode (Solaris)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Solaris (1961)” by Stanislaw Lem (book)

“When psychologist Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds himself confronting a painful memory embodied in the physical likeness of a past lover. Kelvin learns that he is not alone in this and that other crews examining the planet are plagued with their own repressed and newly real memories. Could it be, as Solaris scientists speculate, that the ocean may be a massive neural center creating these memories, for a reason no one can identify?

Long considered a classic, Solaris asks the question: Can we understand the universe around us without first understanding what lies within?” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“Solaris (2002)” by Steven Soderbergh (George Clooney) (movie)

“A psychologist investigates mysterious happenings aboard a space station in this remake of the Russian sci-fi classic.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

*** * ***

“Solaris (1972)” by Andrei Tarkovsky (Donatas Banionis) (movie)

“Ground control has been receiving mysterious transmissions from the three remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is dispatched to investigate, he experiences the same strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew, sending him on a voyage into the darkest recesses of his consciousness.” (from Amazon.com)

 

*** * ***

“Solaris (1968)” by Boris Nirenburg (Vasily Lanovoy) (TV movie) ++bonus film++

“Kris Kelvin joins the space station orbiting the planet Solaris, only to find its two crew members plagued by “phantoms,” creations of Solaris. Kelvin is soon confronted with his own phantom, taking the shape of his dead wife Hari.” (from IMDB.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.