Click here to listen to the interview on PRX.
Mel Eslyn has worked for Mark Duplass’s production company for many years, listening as he bounced ideas for movies off her, but when he pitched the idea that would become BIOSPHERE, something happened for Esleyn. We talked about that when we spoke via Zoom on July 7, 2023. Before we got there, though, Esleyn mused on why it’s better not to tell the audience too much, making a comedy about the end of life on earth (maybe), and the pleasures and perils of confining a film’s action to one relatively small set. We finished up on a philosophical note, how to live knowing that death in inevitable, even if the world itself isn’t going anywhere.
The story concerns two best friends, Billy, played by Duplass and Ray, played by Sterling K. Brown, who are the last two people on earth, surviving in the self-sustaining dome of the title along with some fish to which they have become very attached. Best friends since childhood, they find themselves at a crossroads in their survival plan, and in their relationship, when nature outsmarts science. To give away more would be a cinematic sin. Suffice to say that the story touches on the power of the penis, the minefields that come with change, and the special magic of fluidity.
Esleyn directed this, her feature film directorial debut, from a script she co-wrote with Duplass.