Sarah Abdurrahman is a producer for On the Media
OTM STAFF PICKS: October 3rd, 2011
Monday, October 03, 2011 - 02:28 PM
Time for another round of On the Media staff picks. Feel free to make some of your own recommendations or give us feedback in the comments section!
Sarah Abdurrahman: The timeless "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." It is impossible not to love that movie. And this scene with the Marxist peasant, which might be my favorite part:
Doug Anderson: The March by E.L. Doctorow is one of the most gripping pieces of historical fiction I’ve read in a while. It’s unpeels the incredible complexity of Sherman’s March to the Sea as only a novel can.
Bob Garfield: "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father" is a 2008 American documentary film in which Kurt Kuenne commences to create a record someday to be viewed by the son of his murdered friend. What follows is a series of events so chilling and heartbreaking as to defy belief. And to defy our beliefs. Kuenne is a stylized filmmaker and chooses hectoring when reporting would have done the trick. But this is nonetheless a devastating film.
Brooke Gladstone: I am always in the market for online serendipity - a place to encounter stories and information not in my usual media diet. To that end I’ve mightily enjoyed boingboing, Arts & Letters Daily and 3 Quarks Daily. Now I’m recommending The Browser. It’s a relative newcomer in this genre. Its focus is news, well-curated information across a wide range of topics from politics to animals, from business to philosophy. Actually, its less about bumping into new stuff you never knew you care about, than catching up on cool stuff that that you probably missed. Check it out – you’ll find it hard to leave
Alex Goldman: I only watch shows on Hulu, so I’m really late to this, but I’ve been really into season 2 of "Louie". I have a hard time describing what it is that makes the show so amazing, but Louis CK has tapped into something way beyond comedy, that touches on the human condition in a really novel and fascinating way.
If, like me, you’re a voracious fan of the show, you will love these interviews from The Onion AV Club (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) in which CK walks through the making of every episode in the second season.
Laura Mayer: Snag Films-Think of it as Hulu for documentaries (and, as of September 21st, narrative films). There are over 2,500 titles in the Snag collection – including 646 documentaries about "fascinating people." Here are three faves from that category:
"Third Avenue: Only in America"- A harrowing urban survival tale chronicling six people's lives as they live and work on Third Avenue - a stretch of roadway running through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx.
"The Thousand Yard Stare"- Tony has suffered from night terrors for 12 years, ever since he came home from serving in the Falklands War. By day he is a loving father and husband but at night Tony walks in his sleep, acting out the horrors that are inside his head.
"51 Birch Street"- Filmmaker Doug Block had every reason to believe his parent's 54-year marriage was a good one. So he isn't prepared when, just a few months after his mothers' unexpected death, his 83-year old father, Mike, phones to announce that he's moving to Florida to live with "Kitty", his secretary from 40 years before.
Chris Neary: My staff pick this week is the funny/dark "The Guard." It stars Brendan Gleeson (an enigmatic small town Irish cop on the trail of drug dealers) and Don Cheadle (an out-of-water FBI agent stationed in Gleeson’s Gaelic speaking region of Western Ireland). The movie manages to create a hero without using all the clichés movies use to create heroes. It also gets the most out of Gleeson’s warm, doughy and malleable face.
Gianna Palmer: This week I've been reading Recording Collecting for Girls, a book by Courtney Smith, who has spent her adult life working for the music industry and obsessing over music. It's both a memoir and a field guide.What the book lacks in terms of awe-inspiring prose, it makes up for with its smart perspectives on both historic and contemporary bands and music trends. Though I'm not done reading yet, I've especially appreciated the matter-of-fact feminism Smith brings to the table in her insistence that being a music lover or music maker is not just a guy thing. Smith's playlist suggestions sprinkled throughout the book are an added bonus, too.
Katya Rogers: My pick is "Luther" with Idris Elba…its Stringer Bell like you’ve never seen him before. Instead of a hood from Baltimore, Elba plays a hard bitten cop in London in this excellent BBC show. Well, I say excellent but what I mean is, Elba’s acting is excellent, the show itself is pretty good. And the shots of London are enough to make me want to go home (just kidding. Sorry mum).
PJ Vogt: If you don't live in the New York City metropolitan area, first of all: great job! The traffic here is awful. But also, this pick will not help you at all. Peter Pan Donuts in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It is an old-timey Polish bakery that makes delicious, fluffy donuts for a dollar. They are little grenades of sugar and creme that explode and make you happy, or at least happier. Lastly they're great for you, nutritionally.