mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

March 28, 2018

Episode 359: ZPG (1972) & Children of Men (2006)

Special Guest: Mei Fong
Guest Co-Hosts: Keith Gordon, Christine Makepeace

While we often talk about a few movies on every episode -- one main film and some supporting works, sequels, and so on -- we're spotlighting two movies on this episode: Michael Campus's Z.P.G. (1972) and Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men (2006).

Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) stars Oliver Reed as Russ McNeil and and Geraldine Chaplan as his wife Carol. The film is set the near future where global resources have been strained and the environment has paid the price for the blight of human beings which have polluted the air so much that they live under a shroud of smog. "They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum where they charge people a dollar and a half just to see 'em." The film was inspired by Paul Ehrlich's 1968 clarion call, The Population Bomb which warned of overpopulation.

Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men is a very loose adaptation of P.D. James's 1992 novel. The film stars Clive Owen as Theo Faron who's biding his time on planet earth as the population is dying -- or killing itself off. No babies have been born in over 18 years which has exacerbated social strife, leading to terrorism, mass suicide, and refugee crises.

Furthering the discussion about population control, author Mei Fong discusses her book One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment while Keith Gordon and Christine Makepeace join Mike to talk about the two different approaches to similar sci-fi material.

Listen/Download Now:

Buy The Edict by Max Ehrlich
Read Nightmare for Future Reference by Stephen Vincent Benet
Buy Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison
Listen to The Feminine Critique podcast
Read Understanding Art In Movies: Children of Men Read China Wants to Abandon the Two-Child Policy from ThatsShanghai
Read about Forced Sterilization in Puerto Rico
Read ‘Children of Men’: Alfonso Cuarón’s Bleak but Genius Vision of the Past, Present and the Future

"Children of the Revolution" - T-Rex



  1. I was listening to this and when I heard the guest introductions I thought, "Heh, Keith Gordon. Oh, A Midnight Clear and The Chocolate War are two favorites of mine." This was a JOKE to myself, since I assumed this was some critic/podcaster who happened to have the same name. Then I heard the "fake" Keith Gordon mention "my film A Midnight Clear" and realized I had been duped by a fake fake and this was in fact THAT Keith Gordon. You can imagine my surprise and the further conversations I had with myself about this.

  2. Yup, he's the real deal. Keith's been on the show quite a few times. It's always great having him on.