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About Paul

Paul Varner through his numerous books has established his expertise in film criticism and history--particularly as it relates to film westerns and avant garde culture. He and his wife Jeanine share their time between Oklahoma City and Abilene, Texas. Of their two grown children one is a professional musician and the other a philosopher.

Now Varner is turning his attention toward screenwriting at the encouragement of the Executive Producer Harvey Rochman.

Screenplay: Zig Zag
Zig Zag is to be a feature film about the Beatniks, the Beat Generation of the 1950s.

Beat Alice looked around at her generation and threw it away in a spectacular leap in 1962. The Beatniks were gone. She left too. The Beats—the famous coming-of-age generation from the 1950s whose art and poetry first established American postmodernism. The Beatniks, coolest of the cool. Yeah, but for their women, for their chicks, not so much. The women of the Beat generation were invisible, were battered, were beaten down by their men despite their own genius and their own great but forgotten art. Zig Zag tells the story of the most enigmatic of all Beat chicks, Elise Cowen, part of the Ginsberg-Kerouac crowd but not part of it. What if all the suspicions were true that she was more than a muse for Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac? What if her story was the real story of the Beatnik era? Zig Zag finds out the answers in a story loaded with great music from bebop to contemporary. This is no nostalgic, sentimental story. Zig Zag, a film aimed squarely at the coming-of-age generation of today, shows the dark side of the Beatniks. It looks behind the dark shades and all the black garb and searches for answers to questions only a few generations care to ask. Questions being asked again today. This film needs the right director, one sympathetic to its feminist themes and radical interpretation of well-known historic occurrences, and the director. Contact me for more information on the story and the screenplay at psv07a@acu.edu.

Loglines

  • ZIG ZAG

    ZIG ZAG Drama Beat Alice looked around at her generation and threw it away in a spectacular leap in 1962. The Beatniks were gone. She left too.  The Beats—the famous coming-of-age generation from the 1950s whose art and poetry first established American postmodernism. The Beatniks, coolest of the cool. Yeah, but for their women, for their chicks, not so much. The women of the Beat generation were invisible, were battered, were beaten down by their men despite their own genius and their own great but forgotten art. Zig Zag tells the story of the most enigmatic of all Beat chicks, Elise Cowen, part of the Ginsburg-Kerouac crowd but not part of it. Only about 40 of her poems survived her seven-story leap. The rest were destroyed. But what if the papers and poems of Elise were rediscovered? What if the fragments of her surviving poems were really part of the greatest epic poem of the 20th century? What if all the suspicions were true that she was more than a muse for Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac? What if her story was the real story of the Beatnik era? Zig Zag finds out the answers in a story loaded with great music from bebop to contemporary. This is no nostalgic, sentimental story. Zig Zag, a film aimed squarely at the coming-of-age generation of today, shows the dark side of the Beatniks. It looks behind the dark shades and all the black garb and searches for answers to questions only a few generations care to ask. Questions being asked again today. Executive Producer Harvey Rochmann.    

Education

  • The University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
    (1981)

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