Saturday, April 10, 2021

Hollow earth theory isn’t so funny anymore

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Owen Egerton, director of horror films such as Mercy black and Blood festival, is also a talented novelist. In his recent book Hollow, a religious studies professor who mourns the loss of his son becomes obsessed with the idea that the center of the Earth is inhabited by an advanced civilization.

Hollow is the intersection of two obsessions, one being the book of Job and the other being Hollow Earth Theory», Egerton said in episode 444 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast. “Who knew these two were crossing each other?” But I think they were meant to be.

The idea of ​​a Hollow Earth may sound ridiculous, but the theory was once taken seriously by scientists and politicians, and even today it still has a few die-hard followers. “Almost all the reading events I have organized Hollow, there would be a couple of people in the back of the room, and they would be really happy that I wrote this book, and I think really disappointed when I started to say that the Earth is not hollow, ”says Egerton.

To get to the bottom of the theory, Egerton even volunteered to sail to the North Pole on a Russian icebreaker as part of an expedition to locate an entrance to the Hollow Earth. (The Hollow Earth tradition contains these giant holes, known as Symmes holes, are located at either pole.) Unfortunately, the trip never took place, at least to his knowledge.

“It was kind of in and out of the possibility of happening,” Egerton says. “It was funded, and then it was going to have to be funded by people sending money, and it kind of went up and down. But who knows? We may not hear them for a few years, then they will come out of the South Pole, and the world will have changed.

While writing the book, Egerton viewed the Hollow Earth Theory as a bit of harmless fun, but recent events have caused him to reconsider that view. “When I was writing about Hollow Earth, I celebrated the ability of people to believe what clearly wasn’t true,” he says. “But as the book came into being and Donald Trump was elected, I found more and more conspiracy theories weren’t so cute, that this power could move in different ways – and in dangerous ways.

Listen to the full interview with Owen Egerton in Episode 444 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Owen Egerton on the Alamo Drafthouse:

“It introduced me to a community of like-minded idiots, and it was also my film school. I would stay and watch these weird movies, some of them movie classics and other driving movies that Tim League had bought. There was a time when Tim League basically heard about a drive-in going bankrupt, and he had just bought all of their movies. He didn’t know what they were. He drove all the way to – I think – Oklahoma, drove back, smashed the van that he loaded all these fingerprints into, and basically he said, ‘Once a week people can come for free. – because I don’t know what these movies are, because they aren’t tagged – and we’re just going to watch them, and we’ll find out as we go.

Owen Egerton on the making:

“I got a call one day, and it was Jason blum, and Jason Blum was like, “Yeah, we want to buy this script.” And I said, ‘This is great. There is only one thing. Another group is sort of interested, and they were going to let me lead. And he said, ‘Oh, you wanna realize, huh?’ I said, “Yeah”. And he said, ‘Have you ever done it?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, my first movie just played at Fantastic party A week ago.’ And he said, ‘Send me a link. I’ll watch it during lunch. So I did, and I have to tell you that it was not an easy day for me. I was like, ‘What’s going on? Jason Blum watch my movie! And he called me back later that day and said, ‘We’re going to make a deal to you. We can find a way for you to lead this. Let’s do it. ‘”

Owen Egerton on horror:

“I think a lot of times when the big studios get really excited about horror, when they see what a low budget movie can do – it breaks the rules and scares people into giving them something outside of the box. lines – too often the studio rushes in and says, ‘Let’s take this, and we’re going to clean it up, and we’re going to polish all the rough edges, and we’re going to give people something a lot safer and a lot more commercialized. . And you find it happening over and over again, with different franchises and different horror IPs. But overall, I think the horror is well placed. Horror is far from dead. It’s alive and dynamic. It’s kick ass. And I don’t mean just to say that it makes money. I mean there are more voices, more diverse points of view in these stories, which makes the buffet even more delicious.

Owen Egerton on Hollow:

“The ideas that I think work best for me start with a question, a nagging question. And for me that question was: what is at the heart of the universe? These horrible things are happening, people are hurting, people are alone, people are lost to each other, and there is such beauty too – there are sunrises and babies. The two exist exactly at the same time, and I was trying to figure out, “Well, what does that mean? Is there a heart at the center of the universe? Which turns out to be the question the Book of Job asks. … I read different translations –Translation of Stephen Mitchell really touched me, and his essays about it. Lots of different writings and thoughts on this. I always come back to this question: what does it mean that the universe is both so painful and so beautiful? “


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