Planet Zapffe has been through a lot the last couple of months, both bottoms and peaks weirdly enough. Its a very big project and it has not been an easy movie to try to produce. At the moment its on an hiatus. Still there’s been good news too.
Sci-fi Legend in Norway Tor Åge Bringsværd recently read the script and liked it. He called it “highly original and worked-through”, and said the movie could become “different, exciting and provocative”. Thanks to him! Its quite humbling to get feedback from people you look up to.
The Manusscript For Planet Zapffe
The biggest update is a re-working of the script.
I’ve had several script-feedbacks. The film got some criticisms of not being more personal towards the maincharacter, and therefore the viewer might feel to distanced to the topic. I agreed with this after some thinking it through and I’ve been rewriting the script.
There’s now added a new character, and the story is tightend and somewhat shortened.
I think the script is a lot better now. I also feel I now know more about what I want to say with the movie. Earlier it was kind of was a bit of an openended film that I think I hoped the viewers would bring their own feelings along in a scenario where an intelligent species had gone exctinct by their own choice. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say with it besides that, and paradoxically I wanted to say way too much at the same time.
I favored a very subtile approach towards it.
I wasn’t even sure if I should say something at all in fact. Its probably the most sensitive topic to be had. As someone I know said, who disagrees with antinatalism, thinks its still fascinating as it really questions the value of everything. Everything has to be defended in the light of antinatalism, because it itself defends a negative stance on existence and every human activity, and within a myriad of reasons. I also know a lot more about antinatalist thinkers and pessmistic philosophy now than when started and it of course affects how you think about it. Finding myself agreeing with it more and more.
After re-writing the story I finally understood better what the story is about, and equally important what its not about, and it works better now. The story is supposed to challenge the main character and the viewer about the ethical question of bringing a child into cosmos on a personal level, but also supposed to view a society on a bigger level gone extinct. So it works on two levels now: 1. About the personal question and the 2. larger question of the potential end of humanity. Before it was probably just about the larger question.
I of course do this in the sci-fi scenario of humanity finding this on an alien planet, but the purpose was obviously about questioning what humanity found on the planet.
To me it makes a lot more sense now. Its probably still too much dialogue, and perhaps it could be shortened down here and there a bit still, but the initial goal was to finish a pilot in the spring and see how it goes from there, so I’ll have to leave the final version of the script a bit for now and focus on other aspects of it. A movie production has so many parts, and all them equally important.
Other works I’ve been doing
1. In Defense Of Depressive Realism
In a bit of inspiration of Colin Feltham’s upcoming book on Nine Banded Books “Keeping Ourselves In The Darkness”, a book from a retired psychology professor about the topic of Depressed Realism, I made a little documentary about it which was originally a response to a debate on youtube from the critic of it Anekantavad. It involves topics such as synthesized happiness, optimism bias, the pollyanna principle and clips of our two favorite norwegian pessimists Herman Tønnessen and Peter Wessel Zapffe. I think it turned out quite good.
2. In Memory Of Kirk Neville / Derived Energy
Sadly Derived Energy, existential thinker and friend, took his own life at an Indonesian Drug Rehabilitation Center a couple of months back. The story about what lead up to it is quite unreal. He was a teacher in an Indonesian school for teaching english, and took a bullet for a friend when she was raided for some drugs, and he ended up in the horrible Indonesian jail and sentenced for what could be ages. I talked with him briefly just a little bit over a week before and he told me he was going through a lot of emotional distress over his last months. The weird thing was that he was seemingly free to go, but instead newspaper articles from Indonesia wrote he had drowned himself.
I was very saddened by this, as he was one of the least persons deserving anything like what he went through. I made a little documentary about him based on his videos on youtube in his memory. He was a funny and talented man, and he will be missed. He was also earlier added in the Antinatalism Hall of Fame.
3. Music videos for BKS
I made a bunch of music videos for my friend and artist Bjørn Kristian Strige. None of them is about anything related to Zapffe or the move. Me and him tried to do a vampire movie about Nosferatu in 2007, but it ended up being a non-finished project, but leaving some footage too good to be unused. Since Bjørn Kristian also is a musician, we got the idea of using the material for a music video instead. I ended up making a few.
Can be seen here.
Also check out his music, as he its quite good and sometimes very good!
The Book Project
For people interested in the Peter Wessel Zapffe book project(to translate Zapffe to english) I really can’t say much at this point. All people involved are still in fairly high spirit, but at this point we have to obtain the rights and its been a delayed process. We’ll see, but the project has had a great response so far, and a lot of people have helped and wants to help and we’re grateful for that. We really hope to get Zapffes thoughts and ideas out there for a wider audience. Its a mystery why it hasn’t been done already.