Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks, January 17th, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 05:08 PM
The staff of On the Media pick a few of our favorite things.
Sarah Abdurrahman: In honor of the Republican Primary race, I’m picking this old video from Da Ali G Show, where an in-character Sacha Baron Cohen interviews current presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.
Bob Garfield: I saw Gomorrah (2008, Matteo Garrone) last night. It's an ultra-verite look at Neopolitan organized crime, focusing mainly in block housing in the city of Scampia. Critics used words like "unflinching," and that's fair enough. The astonishing thing, though, is how the interwoven narratives demonstrate how utterly pervasive the mob is in every level of society and the economy, right down to children. It thus serves as a morality tale for corruption that doesn't necessarily involve gunmen on Vespas but equally taints everything it touches.
Alex Goldman: My pick for this week is a speech given by Charlie Kaufman for the British Film Institute’s screenwriters’ lecture series. It’s always nice to see that an author that I admire and look up to is as much a self-loathing, uncertain, conflicted mess as I am. My favorite (of many) quotes from the speech: “The world needs you. It doesn't need you at a party having read a book about how to appear smart at parties - those books exist, and they're tempting - but resist falling into that trap. The world needs you at the party starting real conversations, saying, ‘I don't know,’ and being kind.”
About the writer, Frederica Sagor Maas:
Still, Hollywood gave her stories to tell: about meeting Crawford, whom she called “a gum-chewing dame,” and helping her find the sort of tailored clothes she herself favored; about seeing Clara Bow dancing naked on a table at a Jazz Age blowout. Sex, she wrote, became as “humdrum as washing your face or cleansing your teeth.”
About the shark app:
Welcome to Expedition White Shark, the world's first app designed to track adult white sharks in real time! To make this possible, scientists at the Marine Conservation Science Institute (MCSI) attached custom satellite tags to the dorsal fin of adult Great White Sharks, allowing us to follow their movements from satellites orbiting the earth. Expedition White Shark allows you to receive real-time Great White Shark tracking data at the same time as the research scientists.
Here’s a link to a video proposal to arm sharks with lasers.
Katya Rogers: I saw an amazing play this weekend at the public theatre – El Pasado Es Un Animal Grotesco. I don’t have anything particularly insightful to say about the play itself, I chose it as a staff pick to make one point. In most of the reviews I read, the fact that the play is in Spanish with supertitles (subtitles projected onto screens at the sides of the stage) was mentioned as a real downside. That you have to make a conscious decision to either watch the actors on the stage, or read what they’re saying. First of all. Didn’t happen. I found it very easy to read the words and follow the action, with the major plus that listening to Argentinians speak Spanish is such a pleasure. Is there a fear of reading and watching? Is that why Hollywood had to remake “girl with a dragon tattoo”? Everywhere else in the world, people enjoy the media in the form it is presented...and they read the subtitles. I have a sneaking suspicion that we English speakers are being treated like morons…
PJ Vogt: My staff pick this week is short, sweet, AND DEEPLY CREEPY. This very unsettling Stephen King short story, about an old man recalling the time he met the devil as a young boy. Read it late at night so that you don't have to sleep anymore.
Jamie York: I spent the last week in a beautiful Polish city that I'd never heard of before I went. And it got me thinking about New York City and why I live here, in this place whose charms can often be very well hidden. There are a lot of visions of NYC that answer this question for me, that see the city the way I see it, but perhaps none is better then Jem Cohen's film Lost Book Found. Cohen is a kind of relentless chronicler of the city, part documentarian, part visual poet. I haven't seen the film in a long time but I think about it often; it's one of my favorite translations of this city.