Episode 5 of SUNLAND, by screenwriter, journalist and novelist Charlie Haas, about the brief desert flowering of a group of German artists, musicians, and free spirits who voyage to Southern California, “the America of America,” in 1914 to start the world over. They’re fleeing cops, city life, sexual norms, the oncoming world war, and the Internet of their time--the telegraph, telephone, and movies--in favor of naked farming, altruism, and wild new music. The main characters, a family of four who abandon Berlin in hope of a saner life--middling violinist-dreamer Anna, factory worker Gerhard, prototypical flower child Lilli, and budding tech futurist Benjy--branch out from the fields of San Bernardino to the real estate tracts of burgeoning L.A., at once wrestling with and setting in motion the longings and questions that have beguiled and bedeviled every American generation since.
Charlie Haas’s screenwriting credits include Over the Edge, Tex, Gremlins 2, and Matinee. His journalism has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, New West, The Threepenny Review, and Wet: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing, along with many other journals. Haas’s previous novel, The Enthusiast, was published by HarperPerennial in 2009. Follow his Twitter feed at: @Charlie_Haas.
Host Alan Rifkin's novels, essays and short stories of Los Angeles have been published widely. Find out more about him at www.alanrifkin.com.
Intro music is from the song "Slow," performed by Sally Dworsky. Written by Sally Dworsky and Chris Hickey. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and all other streaming platforms.
Closing credits songs for Season 2 are “Lullaby of Sunland,” composed and performed by Ben Rifkin, and “Trapeze Dress,” composed and performed by Dean Chamberlain. News and touring information about Dean are at therealcodeblue.com.
Podcast art by Ryan Longnecker.
Sound production by Ben Rifkin.