Landing Strip In The Jungle, A

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A Landing Strip In The Jungle[1]
Work In Progress
Original Broadcast Date
Joe Frank, Lester Nafzger, Fred Coffin and Arthur Miller
1 hour
Preceded by: Another Country (Part 3)
Followed by: No Show

"The first day I arrived there I checked into an odd looking hotel."

Landing Strip In The Jungle, A is the name of a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Work In Progress. It was originally broadcast in 1986."


  • Joe is staying in a hotel in Sri Lanka, becomes involved with Ali, a young street hustler and drug dealer. Joe eats a bundle of hashish the kid sells him, then goes to dinner and is overcome by the drug. He flees to his room, his mind reeling, and has a reveletory insight: life is utterly meaningless. The next day he gives the rest of his money to Ali.
  • Monologue: Disjointed thoughts and images.
    • The city at night.
    • Wrapping fish in the bible.
    • "I recently went to Venice to buy the larynx of a famos tenor; it's something new I'm into now."
    • Dressing statues, swinging dead birds on strings, an old woman and child investigator sitting in an oil drum at the airstrip, waiting for things.
    • A beautiful woman is transformed into a manservant in a brothel.
    • "A fish will never understand my fear of drowning, will it?"
    • Joe is a wealthy colonial businessman tricked into facilitating the overthrow of the government.
  • Monologue: wanting, longing, needing - is anyone fulfilled?
  • Panel: Joe moderates a survival contest - being swallowed by a whale, attacked by vampire bats. This is a competition to see who can describe their most harrowing ordeals. Arthur Miller, playing "TC Jones", is interviewed by Joe on his adventures in Brazil. Another actor or two chips in, disputing the importance of the story. Lester Ainslie tells of being swallowed by a whale. TC frequently interrupts.
  • Schopenhauer: theory of the will. Desire is infinite, fulfillment limited.
  • Joe rapidly describes a third world city, interspersed with threats of violence and dice rolling, set against intense, energetic music.
  • Joe is repeatedly robbed in the stairway of his apartment every few weeks, meets the mugger years later in Manhattan.
  • Watching a prostitute with an abnormally large rear who specializes in old men.
  • Joe is awarded a $5000 grant for filming a piano dismantled in timelapse, but uses the money to move out of town.
  • Rapid absurd monologue: the most enigmatic of deities, filling a bowl on one's head by walking into a river, using one's third eye to cheat at cards.

Interesting Facts

The line about collecting the larynx of a famous tenor is repeated in Philosophy.



Please see guidelines on commentary and share your personal thoughts in this section.


Not much of the older stuff works for me, but this wasn't too bad. Panel discussions are almost universally lost on me, and this was no exception. I really liked the "intense, energetic music" near the end.

Work In Progress

Another Country (part 1) | Another Country (part 2) | Another Country (part 3) | At the Border | Bad | Best, The | Building a Church | Case Studies | Cocktails Before Dinner | Dear Annie | Dictator, The (part 1) | Dictator, The (part 2) | Dictator, The (part 3) | Dreamland (1986) | Dreams Of The River | El Cholo (The Beginning) | Emerald Isle | Emergency Room | Five Part Dissonance | Great Lives | He Hesitated | Highways West | Home | Iceland (part 1) | Iceland (part 2) | Iceland (part 3) | I'm Not Crazy | In the Dark (part 1) | In the Dark (part 2) | In the Middle of Nowhere (part 1) | In the Middle of Nowhere (part 2) | In the Middle of Nowhere (part 3) | Islands | Landing Strip in the Jungle, A | Let Me Not Dream | Lines | More I Know You, The | Nausea | Night | Nightride | No Show | On the Edge | Pact with God, A | Performer | Photography | Pilot | Policeman's Ball, The | Pretender | Rain (1986) | Redneck Rounder | Rent a Family (part 1) | Rent a Family (part 2) | Rent a Family (part 3) | Road to Hell | Rose | Sleep | Stories for Nothing | Street, The | Summer Notes (remix) | Talking About Love | Tell Me What to Do | Thank You, You're Beautiful | To the Bar Life | Truth About Women, The (part 1) | Truth About Women, The (part 2) | Two Babes | When She's Asleep, She Looks Like an Angel | Why I Don't Love You Anymore | Words