I Laughed, He Cried

In the wake of his mother’s death, country superstar Strings McCrane (Timthoy Olyphant) is a colossal wreck. He can’t play the guitar without crying. He can’t converse without crying. He withdraws from his engagement to a fellow country star to be with a hotel masseuse named Nancy (Jenn Lyon), drops Nancy after falling for his cousin Essie (Adelaide Clemens) at his mother’s funeral, then picks up Nancy again after she convinces him his misdeeds could sway the moral compass of the entire country. Amid all this romantic turmoil, Strings decides to buck the limelight, move home and work at the local feed store in an attempt to shed the ghost of his late mother’s disapproval. Continue reading “I Laughed, He Cried”

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Recognizing the Bones Underneath

Dodge (Ed Harris) sits in his living room, smoking cigarettes, sneaking whiskey, and violently emptying his lungs into a handkerchief.  From upstairs, his wife Halie (Amy Madigan) shouts down to him: about the rain, the religious implications of taking medication (“There’s some things the ministers can’t even answer”), and whether they ever raced thoroughbreds on Sunday.  She insists they did “before we were married,” and he repeats the phrase, eyes glazed, as if a time outside of this domestic prison was incomprehensible.  For the most part, his responses are dismissive—when she asks about the weather downstairs, he deadpans, “Catastrophic”—but he wakes up at the suggestion that their son Bradley (Rich Somner) might cut his hair.  “Last time he left me almost bald! … You had some fancy, stupid meeting planned!  Time to dress up the corpse for company!” Continue reading “Recognizing the Bones Underneath”

Data-Driven Dilemma

Say, for example, a very large group of people had to be systematically executed and discreetly disposed of for the greater good. How would you go about doing it? Would you hire a team to work out the logistics? How many teams? How much would each team know about the other teams? What chilling assumptions might they eventually reach about their assignment? These questions and more like them are the subject of Ideation, the story of a group of engineers and consultants tasked with a top secret and ethically treacherous assignment: designing an effective and cost-efficient way to “liquidate” millions of people should an extinction-level event virus ever threaten humanity’s existence. Continue reading “Data-Driven Dilemma”