Chris Neary is a producer for On the Media.
Staff Picks Volume 28
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - 04:01 PM
OTM's weekly round up of our favorite things. This week we're shooting for something more like the Coltrane version of 'My Favorite Things" than the Julie Andrews version. Not that there's anything wrong with Julie Andrews.
My pick this week is a book, with photos, called ‘Redheaded Peckerwood’. The story goes something like this: a photographer named Christian Patterson becomes obsessed with the story of 19 year-old Charles Starkweather and 14 year-old Caril Ann Fugate, who murdered 10 people on a three day killing spree in 1958. For five winters Patterson retraced their journey, taking photographs and collecting extant material along the way. Patterson is hardly alone in his fascination, the murders have inspired Terence Malick, Bruce Springsteen and many others. What Patterson did though is to create a kind of dossier of evidence that blurs the line between fact and fiction, forensics and fine art.
In the 1930’s Dennis Wheatley published a series of mysteries that looked like case files – readers were enlisted to be detectives and sort through testimonies, letters and pieces of evidence with the option of opening a final envelope to see if they’d solved the crime successfully. Patterson's collection of images and ‘evidence’ is a much more sophisticated and affecting heir to this form.
Singapore is planning to build the world's largest stadium, leaving my hometown of Dallas behind. This must not stand!
I've been trying to get into soccer. I'm not going to start calling it 'football' or wearing those team scarves, but I think it's probably not a bad thing to have some familiarity with the world's most popular sport. Real Madrid and Barcelona will never have a hold on my heart like the Eagles (Philadelphia) or the Owls (Temple variety) -- but the game those two teams played a few days ago was remarkable. The best players in the world (I think, I shouldn't be interpreted as speaking with any authority), Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo each scored two goals in a game that ended in a tie. (Obligatory American joke about soccer games ending in a tie goes here.) Enjoy some highlights of the goals, along with some great announcing.
My pick is one line from an Oct. 5 A.O. Scott review of the movie "The Paperboy," which is evidently thick with characters who do what feels good when it feels good to do it.
"It is by turns lurid, florid, languid and stupid, but it is pretty much all id, all the time." I don't know how he missed "vapid," but I still nominate him for a Pulitzer.
I'm late on this, but I saw the documentary Searching for Sugarman yesterday and it was good. It's about a Dylan-esque 70's singer named Rodriguez who recorded two albums that were brilliant flops and then stopped recording and disappeared. In the meantime, legends of his dying by on-stage suicide circulated, and his albums went gold in apartheid South Africa. This is one of those movies you can ruin by reading Wikipedia for 5 seconds, so don't do that. Just go see it, you big dummy.
So John Lennon apparently wrote "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" (off Sgt Pepper's) after buying a Victorian circus poster from an antiques shop. Only one picture of the poster is known to exist, but an obsessive Beatles fan so desperately wanted a copy of it that he set about working with woodcutters and typesetters to re-create it from scratch. This absolutely beautiful short film shows how he did it.