The Man From Earth [film]

Here’s the plot synopsis:

After history Professor John Oldman unexpectedly resigns from the University, his startled colleagues impulsively invite themselves to his home, pressing him for an explanation. But they’re shocked to hear his reason for premature retirement: John claims he must move on because he is immortal, and cannot stay in one place for more than ten years without his secret being discovered. Tempers rise and emotions flow as John’s fellow professors attempt to poke holes in his story, but it soon becomes clear that his tale is as impossible to disprove as it is to verify. What starts out as a friendly gathering soon builds to an unexpected and shattering climax.

Anyone seen this yet? I saw it last night and thought it was quite well done. Thought provoking and somewhat exciting considering the lack of special effects and explosions and other Sci-Fi staples. Seems like it would lend itself very well to a small theater production.
Wikipedia page.

Never heard of it?

Well, check it out.

I haven’t seen it, but as a fan of Jerome Bixby, I’m aware of it, and will see it. He wrote it as he was dying, finished it on his deathbed, so says his son Emerson.

Its core plot sounds basically the same as his Star Trek episode, “Requiem For Methusalah.”

Sir Rhosis

With a bit of K-Pax mixed in.

Also reminds me of that “Twilight Zone” episode with – was it Kevin McCarthy? Who wrote that? I’d guess either Charles Beaumont or Richard Matheson. Why don’t I check?

Right: the episode was “Long Live Walter Jameson”, starring McCarthy as a college history professor who’s an immortal. Written by Beaumont.

If you haven’t seen the movie; intend to and don’t want it spoiled, you may want to skip this post.

The movie’s a half-baked exercise of a masturbation on epistemology.

First, there’s that repeated fallback to how his claims can never be proven or disproven, ignoring that they could gain a lot more confidence in his claims by performing some biological tests. How hard would it have been to accidentally pluck (or even collect) a few hairs for DNA testing?

But then, it gets a lot more implausible when John piles on that

he’s Jesus and also

he was a witness to the prehistoric cave painting(s) in France and finally

he’s the father of one of his colleagues

And if he changes his name often, how does he

demonstrate his credentials to become a university professor? Sure, he can maintain his name after one turnover, but he would have to be in school every other decade. Doesn’t he have to show his high school transcript?

He always corroborates history (my first spoiler doesn’t quite fall into that), but he’s never asked which major historical fact(s) he thinks is/are wrong. That would have been a natural query.

I saw it just a few days ago and I liked it a lot. Yes, there are plot holes you could drive a truck through and yes there are some potentially interesting areas that it didn’t go into but it’s still a fun rollercoaster ride. To me, it was a movie about how various people reconcile evidence that clashes deeply with their world view and I thought the director had a good eye for different characters. It was interesting watching the subtexts and hidden agendas and wounded egos play out over the scene.