Corpus Callosum (2007 film)
|Directed by||Sarah Nagy|
|Produced by||Sarah Nagy|
|Written by||Sarah Nagy|
|Music by||John Garcia|
|Edited by||Sam France|
Apple Mescaline Productions
Corpus Callosum is a 2007 film by Sarah Nagy and Bryan Felber. It debuted in the United States on December 13, 2007. It is named after the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibers connecting the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
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The film follows Cross Carlton, a Los Angeles teenage millionaire with an extraordinary gift for investing in stocks. However, to Cross's dismay, this gift is abused by the press, her friends, and even her therapist. As this pressure continually erodes any of Cross's creative thoughts or attempts to the point of relegating her to a "stock picking machine," a journalist named Kyle Hutchinson enters the picture. Kyle is the exact opposite of Cross: a fledgling journalist for the school newspaper derided for his articles, which are creative and interesting but have nothing to do with the school. In order for him to pass journalism, Kyle must interview Cross for a single-page biography spread. Through her interactions with Kyle, Cross's creative side begins to take control of her brain as she prepares to cross over from the purely logical to the creative, from the left side of the brain to the right. Whether or not Cross can recognize the difference between the American Dream and her own ambitions is up to whether or not she can make this transition; that is, to cross the corpus callosum.
Cast and characters
Cross Carlton's first name was inspired by the Cross brand of pens, which were symbolic of Yuppie culture of the 1980's, and also by the character Cross Sugarman from Curtis Sittenfeld's novel Prep. During several scenes in the movie, Cross can be seen drinking TaB cola and holding a Cross pen, both symbolic of the 1980s (although the film takes place in 2007).
The characters of Kyle Hutchinson and Francisco Stanley were written with actors Evan Lewis and Sam France (respectively) in mind after writer/co-director Sarah Nagy met them while they all were in the cast of a production of Sweeney Todd at Nagy's alma mater, Agoura High School. Francisco's first name comes from the street of the same name in Los Angeles.
|Evan Lewis||Kyle Hutchinson|
|Sarah Nagy||Cross Carlton|
|Sam France||Francisco Stanley|
|Bryan Felber||Rob Hathaway|
|Jonathan Rado||Mysterious Guitar Player|
|Mike O'Connor||Homeless Man|
|Steve Bacharach||History Teacher|
|John Garcia||Painter in Library|
Sarah Nagy and Bryan Felber first met at the Agoura Film Festival in 2007, where both were premiering short films: Parallel Dreams and Metronome, respectively. Soon after, Nagy wrote a twelve-page prototype for the script, which was originally titled, The Cross Conspiracy. After reading it, however, Felber suggested the title Corpus Callosum, which Nagy liked better.
The film was shot with a Panasonic AG-HVX200 camera on both MiniDV tapes and P2 cards to lend contrast to the dual themes of the left and right sides of the brain. Production lasted over eight months due to complications involving Nagy's decision to attend UCLA in the fall.
The score was arranged by Edwin Telford, John Garcia, and Shaun Fleming (lead singer of the band First from the Sea), both of whom Felber knew from Agoura High School. Unconventional recording methods and instruments, such as the rhythmic sound of water droplets falling, were intended to give Corpus a spacey, surreal feeling.
The symbol of the corpus callosum is represented in most shots involving Cross and Kyle, with Cross on the left and Kyle on the right, each representing their respective sides of the brain. The show Rob Hathaway: Interactive Children's Programming eventually addresses the corpus callosum in one of the episodes Cross watches later on in the film.
The recurring theme of TaB cola was conceived due to the hot pink color of the can. Nagy thought that hot pink was the most unnatural color of the spectrum, so Cross's constant consumption of the cola is intended to convey her mental status as robotic. The robots that Cross begins to hallucinate also reflect her resentment against the machine-like status society has relegated her to.