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Paul Levinson's Open Salon Blog

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson
New York City, New York, USA
March 25
Fordham University
Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014) - the last three known as the "Sierra Waters trilogy". His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), New New Media (2009, 2013) have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into twelve languages. Paul Levinson has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010. He reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City


APRIL 28, 2012 11:15PM

The Third Returns with Exits

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Emon Hassan's The Third returns with its second episode - "Exits" - this Tuesday, May 1.  If ever there was a medium is the message movie, ala Marshall McLuhan, "The Third" would be it (even though McLuhan liked tetrads better than triads).   This is because the story, quiveringly, quietly terrifying, is told with not much content.

But I'll tell you a bit about the content, anyway.  An old woman is stretched out, eyes closed, in bed.  I thought she was dead, until she smiled.   Her son kneels by her bed, and cries.  Maybe she was dead, after all.

There's not much of the emotive actor Philip Willingham in this episode, except that haunting face, at the beginning.  But there's a guy who looks like an elderly Buddy Holly, or maybe Elvis Costello, if he'd continued with his Buddy Holly look.  And the woman and son.

The music by Kevin Mahonchak is superbly eerie and unsettling, as is the cinematography by Hassan.  The second episode of The Third premiering on the first (you knew that was coming) is just five minutes or so, with four more episodes to follow.  In case it's not apparent, there's a kind of music of the spheres, mathematical synchronicity to The Third, not only in its name but its presentation.

Reviewing last week's episode of Mad Men, I said it felt like it had been directed by some David - Cronenberg or Lynch.  The same could be said of the shot of other-worldliness to the cortex that is The Third.  You can catch the start of Exits (a rearrangement of exist) only on the Web, on Tuesday, over here - where you can also see all six episodes of last year's pilot, right now.  Click on the label "The Third" below to read my reviews of three of those.

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