Chris Neary is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks Volume 29
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 11:25 AM
Presented for your approval, things the staff here at OTM approve of.
Jill Lepore, who was on the show last week, has the dubious distinction of having written the only book review that ever made me cry. I can’t fully account for this response, it’s not really in-character for me but just to be scientific, I read it again a few days ago and - though a year has passed – there it was again. Give it a read and see if you’re made of stronger stuff than me.
P.S. Whoever subtitled the photograph that accompanies the piece is really a master of understatement.
Satisfying thriller. Argo makes for a thoroughly entertaining movie night. And I do not agree with Gawker’s view that “Ben Affleck’s Only Weakness As a Director is Casting Ben Affleck.” His performance as CIA “extraction expert” Tony Mendez was buttoned-up but very intense. (Watch him drive through an enraged mob with excruciating focus.) He never lets the audience forget the situation’s gravity, stakes, and odds of success. This is altogether a well-paced, gripping (and leavened with John Goodman’s and Alan Arkin’s asides) thoroughly entertaining story based on a real-life event .
SPOILER ALERT: One of the most white-knuckly scenes happens at the airport – and it’s a stunningly effective Hollywood invention. As the original WIRED story [PDF] recounts: “Everyone breathed easier when check-in at the Swissair counter and customs went smoothly. The group made small talk as Schatz approached immigration, presented his passport, and got his stamp. The Americans were momentarily terrified when the officer disappeared with the rest of the crew’s passports. But then he absent-mindedly wandered back to the counter with some tea and waved the group on to the departure lounge without bothering to match the yellow and white forms.”
This part of the tale unfolds very differently in the film, but the story is no less jaw-droppingly audacious for that.
Did some fall cleaning around the apartment this weekend. Didn't take long to remember how horrible cleaning is. This clip from Wet Hot American Summer is a pretty good realization of what goes on in my head while I'm cleaning -- with Janeane Garofalo playing the responsible part of my personality and Paul Rudd playing my true self. (In the scene Garofalo is a summer camp director and Rudd is the coolest guy at the camp.)
Also, here's a song from Maxine Sullivan. It's an old, crackling recording but that really sets off her clear-as-a-bell voice.
This spoiler-candidate/shock-rocker did not get elected mayor of a Moscow suburb last weekend, but his campaign will endure as a historic highlight for pro-nudity, pro-German, pro-mechanical-animal, anti-forest politicians everywhere.
Last week, someone on the internet somewhere was talking about The Jesus Lizard. The band, not the animal. I listened to this band almost non-stop while I was in high school, and even though it’s no longer 1996, I find that the music still feels as raw and intense as it did when it was recorded.
A fun Jesus Lizard Inspired game you can play at home – growl into a beer bottle, and you sound just like lead singer David Yow!