The next podcast—a conversation with Antony Rotunno on "Propaganda in the COVID Era"—should be posted some time next week. It's recorded, but I'm just trying to find the time to edit out the "coughs and sneezes" and process it for posting, which means it won't be out this weekend. Middle of next week, I estimate.
For the 10th of our TMR Movie Roundtables we welcome back our good friends Mark Campbell, Frank Johnson and Antony Rotunno for a four-way discussion on the 1978 conspiracy thriller, Capricorn One, starring Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Branda Vaccaro and Hal Holbrook, written and directed by Peter Hyams.
About to embark upon the first crewed mission to Mars, three NASA astronauts (played by James Brolin, Sam Waterston and OJ Simpson) find themselves suddenly removed from their command module, minutes before lift-off, and flown to a secret desert base. There they learn of an outrageous plan, hatched by establishment conspirators, to fake the Mars landing using a TV studio, props and themselves as actors—a deception in which they are forced to be complicit. Picking up on the trail of the conspiracy is news reporter Robert Caulfield (Elliott Gould), who goes further and further down the proverbial Rabbit Hole as tries to make sense of the increasing anomalies. But not all goes well—(or, perhaps, not all seems to go well)—with the plan. Upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, the astronauts' (crewless) module breaks up. Now, they are officially dead—their existence a threat to the lying narrative. Their only hope is to escape and reveal the plot to an incredulous world.
Join us as we discuss the film's production, ponder its the "conspiracy" themes, and ask the question: Did "we" really go to the Moon?
We shall be joined again by our good friend Antony Rotunno for a conversation on the subject of "Propaganda in the COVID Era".
Antony is the host of three podcasts—Film Gold (https://anchor.fm/filmgold); Glass Onion : On John Lennon (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/glass-onion-on-john-lennon/id1473867166); Life and Life Only (https://lifeandlifeonly.podbean.com/)—and a musician whose work can be sampled via Bandcamp (https://antonyrotunno.bandcamp.com/).
Antony has joined us many times on the show over the last several years.
In-between interviews, we shall continue the TMR Movie Roundtable sessions with a growing list of titles that connect with themes covered on the podcast over the last several years.
On the list at the moment—in no definite order—are: Minority Report (2002), the conceptual-science-fiction action film, starring Tom Cruise; Fahrenheit 451 (1966), directed by François Truffaut; THX 1138 (1971), George Lucas's first feature film, starring Donald Pleasance and Robert Duvall; Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), starring John Hurt; and (oh yes) The Sound of Music (1965), starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer (for which treat we shall certainly be joined by Johnny Iron!).
Our roundatble guests will be drawn from the usual talented crew—Frank Johnson, Mark Campbell, GK, Johnny Iron, Jenifer Thyssen and Anthony Rotunno—but you never know, the guest list keeps growing, so there's no telling what will happen.
We shall welcome once again the one and only Alan "Howling Laud" Hope, leader of the UK's Official Monster Raving Loony Party, for an interview on his new book "The Great White Hope : The Life and Times of Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope".
"Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope – Hampshire lad, father, grandfather, Rock and Roll star, hotelier, publican, Mayor of Ashburton, and Leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. The longest serving Party Leader in Great Britain in over 150 years. A man who has rubbed shoulders with Prime Ministers and Rock Stars, and everyone in between. A man who enjoys life. A life of many highs, and some lows. If you have an interest in politics, are excited by Rock and Roll, or both, you should read this book and trace Alan’s life from the birth of Rock and Roll to today’s political confusions. And for the very first time, you can read the full story of when Alan sent The Beatles packing with their tails between their legs in December 1961. Alan has lived his life to the full. Or better, has lived all his lives to the full. Some might say that Alan takes the ‘P’ out of ‘Politics’. But Alan would just say: “It’s all been ‘Sutch’ good fun!” "—Publicity
We hope to be joined once again by the theologian and lecturer Dr. Martin Erdmann, Director of the Verax Institute, for an interview on Volume Five—"A Religious Quest for an Ideal Society"— of his massive five-volume magnum opus, The Triumph of Progressivism.
"American Civil Religion is the most effective rival religion to true Christianity in the US"—Martin Erdmann
As a fish is unaware of the water in which it swims, so the majority of Americans do not perceive that there exists in the US today a state religion, incompatible with true Christianity, yet not openly opposed to it. Feeding on the many symbols, events, ideals and heroes of America's history and public life, and borrowing from the language and metaphors of Christianity, this state religion vies for the allegiance of every citizen. Arguing that every state cultivates its own particular brand of civil religion, Dr. Erdmann encourages us to stand firm when our allegiance to Christ is challenged by the state, and advises us to remain vigilant as we approach the days of a global civil religion.