Friday, June 14, 2013

"Goodbye World" -- or -- "Goodbye, World"

"Goodbye World" is a movie that is going to be screened at the LA Film Festival.  It is sort of a modern-day-hippie-apocalypse story.

I have seen a few trailers for this movie, and it is rather appealing.  It also has Ben McKenzie in it.  "Ah-ha," you are now saying.  "Now I get it," you are thinking to yourself.  And you would be right.  I like Ben's projects, though.  They tend to be interesting and funky.  That is also their downside, because his projects -- being so off-beat and quirky -- seem to have a hard time making it out of festivals or being expanded beyond a 6- or 10-episode television season.  This is unfortunate, at least for me, because he is greatly talented and brings a lot to his roles.  Sometimes I think he chooses these types of roles because he was, maybe, a little bit traumatized by his whole Ryan Atwood experience.  I suppose it could be rather difficult for somebody who is rather private and comes from a very intellectual background to become a teen idol virtually overnight.  Maybe his brothers teased him.  So, I can understand why he would choose these more "artsy" types of projects.  They would allow him to express his creativity while staying off the paparazzi radar.  There is one thing, though, that I would mention to Ben, and that is this:  You should do at least one blockbuster project in which you get to play a guy of the age that you are now so that people will recognize you as being famous apart from "The O.C."  For example, they could say, "Oh, there's James Bond!" instead of "Oh, it's Ryan Atwood!"  Of course, I am not a showbiz person, so there is really no reason that Ben should actually pay attention to me.

Anyway, I am no expert on this movie, but that's not going to stop me from writing down my thoughts and opinions about it.  As uninformed as they may be.  Being uninformed about something has never once stopped me from voicing my thoughts and opinions, so why should I start hesitating now?  "Goodbye World," as I said, involves an apocalyptic theme.  I don't think Jesus comes back in the movie, though, so it is a secular-type of apocalypse.  As I understand it, there is a cyber-attack which brings society to a halt, so a bunch of Stanford alumni go to stay with their Stanford alumni friends (a married couple with a little girl) who are living "off-the-grid" somewhere in the vast northern regions of California.  This, in itself, makes me smile.  I am from Redwood City, CA, which is not far from Stanford University.  I have had many friends, acquaintances, and teachers from that well-known institution.  And I have to say -- from the trailers I have seen of this movie -- that they totally hit the Stanford "personality" right on the head.  Not that there is one Stanford "personality," because Stanford attracts a diverse population.  And Stanford purposefully admits a great diversity of people, as they want to be a school known for its diversity.  But, still, Stanford people take on a certain Stanford air.  I mean, for one thing, its students are all freaking brilliant.  And their brilliance is enhanced and their personalities shaped by being in that cultural melting-pot known as Stanford University, and so -- in my life experience -- there is such a thing as a "Stanfordite."  And -- I repeat -- "Goodbye World" gets it totally right.

So, here is this group of friends, reunited by calamity, eating and smoking different organic substances, trying to survive a worldwide the apocalypse while simultaneously sorting out their past histories with each other, all amidst the beautiful natural environment that is Northern California.  Sounds pretty fascinating to me.  And I think it's cool the way the writers of the movie have taken into consideration and researched what these people would actually need in order to survive this type of catastrophic event.  There is talk of energy and water and food supplies and rationing.  Although, it is apparent that not all of the friends take everything as seriously as they might.  For example, Ben's character seems more preoccupied with his feelings for the woman who appears to be his ex-girlfriend -- who is now married to the guy who owns the off-the-grid-property -- than he is concerned about the practical situation at-hand.  Now, if Ben's character was as smart as a true Stanford alum would be, he would realize what side his bread is buttered on, and not piss off the guy who knows how to work all the generators and grow all the food and purify all the water.  If I were Ben's character, I would be extra respectful to this guy, otherwise I would worry that people would find my mangled body after I had an "accident" with the water pump.  But, Ben's character seems oblivious to these possibilities.  Another cool thing is that Ben's character shows up at the off-the-grid property with a lovely young woman, who is also a Stanford alum and was acquainted with the owners of the property when they were in school.  Although, they don't recognize her at first, because I guess she was rather unpopular -- a fan of Christian rock and sort of a "goody-two-shoes."  I get a big kick out of her because that is what I was like in college, and it gives me satisfaction that Ben's character shows up with her.  I'm not sure whether or not he is her boyfriend, but it seems like maybe he is, so I'm all like, "SCORE for us Amy Grant-loving, studious squares! Woo-hoo!!!" Although, I have to say, she seems much quieter and more polite than I ever was.

In thinking about this movie and its well-informed research and presentation of an off-the-grid, post-apocalypse survival situation, there is one question I have, though.  I hope to eventually get to see "Goodbye World" and maybe my question will be answered.   But, anyhow, here is what I am wondering.  There are all these good-looking, healthy young people living on this property.  There is at least one married couple.  There is obviously a lot of attraction going on.  So, what about birth control, or "family planning," or whatever you want to call it?  Will there be a midwife around?  Because no matter how much "family planning" you do, by whatever method, young, healthy, attractive women have a tendency to get pregnant when spending a lot of time with young, healthy, attractive men.  This might be especially prone to happen in an apocalypse because of all the stress and boredom.  Why will there be boredom?  Because Twitter probably won't be functioning.  That's why.  People talk about the apocalypse all the time these days.  They talk about food and water and energy and evil government activity.  But, nobody ever takes sex into consideration, and I think it is very important to do so.  Because -- frankly -- there probably won't be birth control pills readily available.  Or any other prescription birth control methods, for that matter.  Should people be stockpiling condoms or spermicidal foams and jellies?  And how long does it take before the rubber starts degrading?  What is the expiration date of the foams and jellies?  Should people be collecting massive piles of Natural Family Planning charts and basal body temperature thermometers?  And I'm not talking about the newfangled battery-operated thermometers, because we will run out of batteries in an apocalypse.  I mean the old-fashioned thermometers that you had to shake down by hand and leave in your mouth for AT LEAST 3 to 5 minutes.  (Don't ask me how I know this.)  Or are people supposed to give up sex in an apocalypse?  That might be for the best, at least for a while, but it doesn't seem like anybody told the "Goodbye World" characters this.

So, if you are in the LA area, I hear there still might be a few tickets left for one of the screenings of "Goodbye World" -- or -- "Goodbye, World."  (I'm unsure about the comma, and I'm too lazy to check it on Google.)  And since I have probably totally piqued your interest, you might want to buy yourself one of those tickets.  Or two -- and bring a friend along.  And then you can tell me the answers to the stuff I am wondering about.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)