Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks, March 11th, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012 - 04:28 PM
The staff of OTM choose a few of our favorite things. Please leave us comments below and enjoy!
Bob Garfield: For the perfect meditation on the license granted art to exploit third parties, you must see "Shut Up Little Man," a film by Australian documentarian Matthew Bate. It tells the tale of two young San Francisco apartment dwellers who tape record the drunken ravings of their next-door neighbors, Ray Huffman and Peter Haskett. The clandestinely acquired tapes went viral long before there was an internet in a worldwide underground market for verite audio. Ray and Peter became cult figures without ever realizing, and have been the subject of theater, film, sampled audio and comic books -- because their personal living tragedy was so irresistably weird.
Alex Goldman: My staff pick this week is the theme to the second Dirty Harry movie, "Magnum Force," composed by Lalo Schifrin of "Mission: Impossible Theme" fame. Any four bars of this tune could be looped an make an insane breakbeat. It's hard to believe that this song hasn't been flipped for a hip-hop classic, but a cursory investigation reveals only a German rap group called "State of Departmentz" has availed themselves of this song.
Chris Neary: My four favorite days of the year are this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – the first four days of the NCAA basketball tournament. The games go on all day, and any bar with a TV is a fun place to be. Here’s this year’s bracket. At the end of the tournament each year, CBS puts together a montage of that year’s best/most heartbreaking moments set to ‘One Shining Moment.’ Here’s the one from 2009. It’s a ridiculous song, but I’m ecstatic to see it every year.
Katya Rogers: My staff pick is more of a question. I see movies on average about a year after they are in theaters…one of the downsides of having kids. So where other people have the opportunity to talk to each other about a perplexing movie and maybe sort through some weird plot points together (see: Inception), I am left to go through old movie reviews online and puzzle stuff out myself.
Having said all that, I watched Hanna this weekend – incase you all have already forgotten about this movie, it was directed by Joe Wright and stars Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. Anyway, here’s my question: why do Hanna and her father have to press the button at the beginning to alert the evil forces (shady American spy agency) as to their whereabouts? Why couldn’t they just slip quietly into normal lives? WHY???? Did you all talk about this at the mythical water cooler a year ago? Please tell me what you came up with. I’m confused and alone.
Jamie York: Teju Cole, a very good novelist and occasional journalist, has been using his twitter account to publish what he calls ‘small fates’. Cole lives in Brooklyn but is from Lagos, Nigeria and his tweets tell the (true) stories of Nigerians who have endured ordinary tragedies and darkly ironic misfortunes. In Cole’s hands these news items become the shortest of stories.
@tejucole “Knowledge is power. He graduated in business administration in Calabar, and Charles Okon has since administered sixteen armed robberies.”
@tejucole “Nobody shot anybody,” the Abuja police spokesman confirmed, after the driver Stephen, 35, shot by Abuja police, almost died.
@tejucole "An Air Force officer in Bayelsa who mistook himself for a cop mistook the baker Paul Wisdom for a thief and shot him in the head."
This would seem to be a form perfectly suited to the tweet, a pointillist portrait of unsung life in Lagos. But Cole is writing what he acknowledges are ‘fait divers’, a French term for tiny unusual news stories that have long-been popular (and influential) in France but never caught on here. A few years ago Luc Sante translated the work of Felix Feneon, a master of the form, who wrote 1200-odd faits-divers for a Paris newspaper in 1906. They’re beautiful poems, journalism, memorials, Memento mori, and koans all rolled into one and I’d highly recommend both Cole and Feneon.