Category Archives: Tiki

Robert Stark interviews Montgomery Markland about his movie Malibu Road

Robert Stark and Matt Pegas speak with filmmaker, Montgomery Markland, about his film Malibu Road, which he both directed and starred in. Malibu Road is available to watch for free on Tubi, and for purchase on Apple TV and Amazon. While the pandemic delayed Malibu Road’s theatrical release, Montgomery has further plans for multipicture deals.

“Fast living Los Angelenos are targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency during Operation Midnight Climax, part of MKUltra. The experience takes a turn for the deadly during New Year’s Eve 1960 and now a professor, a starlet and the workers at a hotel with a questionable reputation must rediscover reality or be trapped in an endless cycle of sex, drugs and murder in ‘paradise.'”

Malibu Road (2021) IMDb 

Montgomery Markland has an idiosyncratic resume. Originally from Dallas, Montgomery was a state and local reporter in Austin, worked in the Texas state legislature on policy, was  then a producer, president, and CCO at a number of video game companies, before working in Hollywood. Follow Montgomery on Twitter.


Applying videogame design principles to Cinema
The Meisner acting technique
MKUltra connections to university professors and Hollywood (eg. Irvin Keshner)
Timothy Leary’s prediction that video games had the potential to recreate psychedelic trips
The History of the Albatross Hotel in Malibu and connections to Old Hollywood
Cinemaphotographic techniques used to capture the psychedelic aesthetic
Distorting reality in stories as representations of dreams (eg. traumnovelle), and influences from David Lynch
Influence from soap operas, telenovelas, and 90s Cinemax
The set design, recreating the aesthetics of the 60s and 70s
Influences from Jungian archetypes, as well as Ancient Greek, Hindu, and Buddhist mythology (eg. Timothy Leary on the Tibetan Book of the Dead)
Hunter S. Thompson
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo
Malibu Road’s filming locations, including Malibu State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park
The politicization of entertainment, and why overtly political conservative media fails
Reasons to be optimistic about opportunities in entertainment via niche markets
The Banking crisis, Economic Death Spiral, and narratives of collapse

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Robert Stark interviews Sven Kirsten about Tiki Culture













Robert Stark talks to Sven Kirsten about Tiki Culture. Sven Kirsten is a Director of Photography, urban archaeologist and self-admitted “visual junkie.” Sven has spent over 20 years researching and documenting the world of  Tiki and Polynesian Pop. Sven’s four books on Tiki include The Book of TikiTiki PopTiki Modern and The Art of Tiki.


Sven’s background as a cinematographer and his work on music videos for Madonna, Bill Joel, and The Cramps(IMDB Filmography)
The West’s fascination with Tiki, originating in Polynesia, from the explorer James Cook to the artist Paul Gauguin
Tiki’s popularity in Southern California in the Film Industry and in 50’s design
The Current Tiki revival
Sven’s favorite bar Tiki Ti
History of Trader Vic’s, the venue at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, and Sven’s upcoming book
The handcrafted wood carvings of Tiki venues
Tiki Neon and the building as a sign
The difference between Tiki and Hawaiiana
Devolution of Tiki style to the “Fantasy Island”/Fern bar style in the 70’s
Historic preservation losses and victories
The Tonga Room in San Francisco, it’s preservation, and the Tiki lounge as an urban oasis
The Tiki Room and defunct Tahitian Terrace at Disneyland
Exhibition at the Musee de Quai Branley in Paris
Sven’s upcoming book “Aztec Hotel” about Art Deco Mayan and Aztec revival

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