Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

Alienation, Mysteries, Imagination, and the Green Sea w/ Randal Plunkett, 21st Baron of Dunsany

October 11, 2021

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On this edition of Parallax Views, a new movie called The Green Sea tells a story that combines straightforward drama with the magical realism reminiscent of authors like Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore, Norwegian Wood) and elements of the kind of ghost stories bringing to mind M.R. James. Its writer and director has an interesting lineage, to say the least. Oliver Plunkett is the 21st Baron of Dunsany, one of the oldest continuously lived in estates in all of Ireland. He's the ancestor of the fantasy writer Lord Dunsany (aka Edward Plunkett, the 18th Baron of Dunsany), who influenced such authors as Cthulhu mythos creator H.P. Lovecraft and The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. He's a noted fan of black metal and death metal, has directed numerous zombie and horror films, and environmentalist. In terms of the latter he has gained both praise and scorn for his notorious decision to rewild the Dunsany estate, turning it into the Dunsany Nature Preserve.

With the recently released The Green Sea, Plunkett made his feature film debut as a director. And, as it turns out, the film has many deeply personal and even autobiographic elements in it that shed light on Plunkett's views on creativity, isolation, alienation, the mysteries of life, the importance of social relationships, finding solace in nature, regret and redemption, self-expression, and the power of the imagination.

From the IMDB Plot summary for The Green Sea:

Simone (Katharine Isabelle), an American writer living a solitary life in Irish countryside, is haunted by visions of her past which begin to intertwine with the fantasy world of the novel she is writing, blurring the lines between reality and the fantasy. Her life changes, when the protagonist of her book, known only as "Kid", played by up and coming Irish actress Hazel Doupe (Float Like A Butterfly), appears to her as a victim of a drunk driving incident that forces the pair together. This sets up the beginning of an unlikely relationship, ultimately setting off a chain of events that will force Simone to face her sinister past.

Randal Plunkett joins us on this edition of Parallax Views to discuss this exciting new film that can only be described as a mysterious hybrid of genres. In addition, our conversation allows us to delve into the history of the Dunsany family estate, the musical genius of musicians Scott Conner of the infamous black metal and "doomgrass" one-man-bands Xasthur and Nocturnal Poisoning as well as Justin K. Broadrick of the industrial metal act Godflesh and the post-metal pioneers Jesu, the brilliance of The Green Sea's lead actress Katharine Isabelle (know for her title role in the innovative werewolf movie franchise Ginger Snaps as well as appearances in Freddy vs. JasonAmerican Mary, and hit TV shows like Hannibal and The Order among others), the rewilding of the Dunsany estate and the backlash it has caused against Randal, the difficulties of making an independent film that blends different genres, and The Green Sea's themes of alienation, the powers of the imagination, alienation, the mysteries inherent to life and consciousness, and how it all relates to Randal's own philosophy and experiences. All that and much more on this jam-packed nearly two hour long edition of Parallax Views.

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