Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks Volume 48
Monday, March 18, 2013 - 12:11 PM
A few of our favorite things this week.
This is a beautiful short film that condenses a day in New York City into three and a half minutes. “New York Day” was made by Samuel Orr, who shot hundreds of thousands of still images (and some video) and put them together into this beautiful time-lapse sequence. It is really breathtaking:
Really been getting into Home Movies - all the episodes are up on Netflix. It's about a kid (Brendon) who's one of those sensitive, artistic kids who is precociously aware but doesn't have any idea how he comes across to other people. Most of the episodes revolve around Brendon acting like a temperamental auteur. trying to make a film with his friends Melissa and Jason. Here, Jason (who's voiced by Jon Benjamin and isn't super bright) serves as Brendon's agent in heated negotiations over two different cuts of a musical about Franz Kafka.
And here's a sweet, nostalgic obit for the Boston Phoenix from Charles P. Pierce. Here's part of it:
I mean, Jesus Mary, where do you start with the newspaper at which you grew so much, and learned so much, and came to respect the craft of journalism with a fervor that edged pretty damn close to the religious? What memories have pride of place now? The fact that T.A. Frail, now at Smithsonian, suggested you might just like Dos Passos’s U.S.A. trilogy and it wound up changing your life? The day that Doug Simmons, now at Bloomberg News, snuck up behind you and stuck a pair of earphones on your head, cranked Black Flag’s “Six Pack” up to 11, and taught you that rock and roll had not calcified when you graduated from college? What’s the song that plays when you realize that you’re young when you thought you were growing old? What’s the prayer of thanksgiving for a hundred days of fellowship, drunk on words, all of us, as though there were nothing more beyond the next word, the next sentence, the next paragraph locked into place? Please say that the muse is something beyond the balance sheet, something beyond technology. Tell me that she’s alive the way she once was when you’d feel her on your shoulder as one word slammed into the other, and the story got itself told, and you came to the end and realized, with wonderment and awe, that the story existed out beyond you, and that it had chosen you, and you were its vehicle, and the grinning muse had the last laugh after all.
First I would like to pick this Busdriver song Imaginary Places. I can barely understand it. But it’s ambitious as hell.
If you’re into some weird ish, check out this subreddit called “brokengifs.” It’s seriously entertaining. Here’s just a sampling of the twisted stuff you can find there:
This is what the inside of my brain looks like.
I just saw a great, gripping, perfectly paced, deeply satisfying movie and I don’t think it’s out yet. (I saw a review copy.) It’s called “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” directed by Mira Nair (“Salaam Bombay,” “Monsoon Wedding”.)
Essentially, it’s the portrait of a young Pakistani Princeton grad who’s all set to reap the American dream by buying and destroying small companies until 9-11 happens and it forces a crisis of confidence and conscience. He winds up a professor of radical politics in Lahore, and a terrorism suspect.
The film is full of passion and politics, heat and heart, studded with rock-solid performances by Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland, but it’s anchored by its magnetic protagonist, played by Riz Ahmed. This guy is a star. Last time I saw him was in the hilarious black comedy called “Four Lions” about a group of hapless would-be bombers in London. (Definitely watch that.) "The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” drawn from the novel of the same name, is something else entirely. This one stays with for you for a long, long while.
Sometimes you just want to sing. And sometimes you just want to sing in a group. If this rings true, might I suggest shaped note singing? Belting out songs isn’t always pretty but that’s what democracy sounds like and you can be sure no one cares how close to your 10,000 hours milestone you are. It never fails to make me happy to listen to this.
Sherburne is #186 in your copy of The Sacred Harp. If you forgot yours you can always share with your neighbor:
My staff pick is very easy this week. I just finished The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane. It was phenomenally good, but also really, really hard to summarize. It's set in Boston in 1919, and it's sort of about the Red Scare, and sort of about the Boston police strike, and sort of about gangsters, and race, and power, and also kind of about how love and family will either completely doom you or completely save you.
Fortunately, I think this is one of those books that does a pretty good job of selling itself via excerpt. Here's the first chapter, where Babe Ruth's train breaks down and he ends up playing a pickup game against a team of black baseball players.
From the streets of Oakland, a tribute to a friend killed in a hit-and-run.