Last May, Christopher Tolkien, a resident of the South of France since 1975, granted a rare interview to Le Monde. Naturally, the interview and article are in French. For those of us who don't read French, American ex-pat Sedulia Scott provides an English translation. [more inside]
Eater DC's monthly interview series, 'The Gatekeepers' talks to the hosts and hostesses at some of the city's most prestigious restaurants, discussing hard-hitting topics such as securing lucrative reservations, choosing the best table, and the favorite dishes of the famous dignitaries that pass through Washington. Their most recent interview, however, went a bit differently, perhaps revealing a bit more than intended about the world of fine dining -- a world where bribes are de rigeur, black customers are not seated next to each other, and well-dressed patrons are given preferential service. Though few in the industry will admit to it, bribing the host appears to be the fastest way to get a table (unless you're a tourist, or the Maitre d' happens to be the CEO of Groupon). HuffPo and the City Paper react.
Your Breasts Are Trying To Kill You: Slate reviews Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence WIlliams (an edited excerpt from the book re: breast milk in The Guardian - includes breastfeeding photo). NPR interview with Williams (41 min. audio and text highlights); a brief interview with Williams in The Star and a long interview in Maclean's. A recent piece by Williams in Slate: A new set of reports shows that federal policy on chemicals testing neglects breast health. Subject found via a post on IBTP discussing the ban, and then partial retraction of that ban, on allowing breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks to swim topless at a Seattle public pool - includes topless photo. Some may consider the photos noted NSFW.
Spike Lee on New York, Obama, film, Hollywood, reality teevee, marriage equality, Taylor Lautner, and so forth.
Four Men. Forty Years. An interview with Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox about Deliverance, on the film's 40th anniversary. Additional interviews: Collider. THR
Stanley Kubrick didn’t like giving long interviews, but he loved playing chess. So when the physicist and writer Jeremy Bernstein paid him a visit to gather material for a piece for The New Yorker about a new film project he was writing with Arthur C. Clarke, Kubrick was intrigued to learn that Bernstein was a fairly serious chess player. The result was an unusually long and candid recorded interview for the New Yorker. (77 min)
"Can doctors and investment advisers be trusted? And do we live more for experiences or memories? In a SPIEGEL interview, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses the innate weakness of human thought, deceptive memories and the misleading power of intuition."
FaceTracker is an example of a complex technique that builds on top of a series of computer vision, image processing, and machine learning functions in order to achieve its result. Here's an interview with Kyle McDonald, artist and researcher in New York with a background in computer science and philosophy. He released FaceOSC, a tool for prototyping face-based interaction. Kyle has a growing body of work that uses face tracking in an artistic context, notably Face Substitution.
In one short clip from the Between Two Ferns TV special Tina Fey torpedoes and turns out the cringe/awkward humor genre by refusing to play along with Zach Galifanakis' shtick [alternate link]
Renaissance man of animated comedy and heavy metal music Brendon Small sits down with Gibson for a four part interview to discuss his writing process, the new season of Metalocalypse, working with Gibson to create the Gibson Dethklok Thunderhorse Explorer, and the release of his debut solo album Galaktikon, of which Small says,
This album should be thought of as an audio comic book, an over acted chamber drama, a ridiculous premise that takes itself way too seriously all the way to the end.
A Stephen King interview: by Neil Gaiman "I interviewed Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine. The interview appeared a few weeks ago. The Times keeps its site paywalled, so I thought I'd post the original version of the interview here. (This is the raw copy, and it's somewhat longer than the interview as published.) I don't do much journalism any more, and this was mostly an excuse to drive across Florida back in February and spend a day with some very nice people I do not get to see enough. I hope you enjoy it."
Larry Cohler-Esses from the Jewish Daily Forward interviews Abu Marzook, Hamas' deputy political director. The interview captures Hamas in a state of transition and includes a segment (with audio) of Cohler-Esses explaining to the confused Hamas leader that the 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is a Russian hoax.
Shortly after his concert in December 2011 inaugurating Katara amphitheater in Doha, Qatar [facebook photoset, available to the public], Vangelis sat down with Al Jazeera English anchor Tony Harris to spend a half hour talking about music, philosophy, the state of the world, and his career. It was his first television interview in about 20 years. [more inside]
Scott Harrison, the founder of charitywater.org, was in many ways "uniquely qualified" [his words] to set a life goal for global clean water with 100% of the donations to this charity transparently and deliberately accounted for via GPS photos and the random live stream of a well-digging! Interview [Warning: Kevin Rose inside] [more inside]
"Fahkin' hate green screen. Pay significant amounts of money never to do it again. You cannot fake adrenaline." - The man, the legend, Jason Statham.
"They just remove all awkwardness from the teen experience. It’s an awkward time. You’re not this sexual dynamo."
"The thing that is unique about [Britta Perry] is that she is never the subject of slut shaming. Like, she’s one of the only female characters that doesn’t ever get punished for having an active sex life." The Daily Beast interviews the female stars of Community (and one of its female writers).
"Whether writing as herself, or through one of the many voices she heard in her head, Previn's sinister riverboat chansons revealed the pain, games, lies and loneliness behind the L.A. free love myth. 1971's Mythical Kings And Iguanas was, perhaps, the peak point of Previn's eerily confessional style containing the searingly honest Lemon Haired Ladies and The Lady With The Braid, both of which recount encounters between young men and single older women in chilling detail. Her third album, Reflections In A Mud Puddle was a concept album based upon her life with her father, and contained the astonishing Doppelganger, a Weillian Sympathy For The Devil in which the world's evils are found to lurk in all of us. " Singer-Songwriter Dory Previn has died. (previously on Metafilter).
Alfred Hitchcock takes us inside his creative process in this fascinating 1964 program from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “A Talk with Alfred Hitchcock” is part interview, part master class in the craft of telling stories on film. (via Open Culture) [more inside]
First Person was a TV series that ran during 2000 and 2001 featuring interviews conducted by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris using his (patent pending) Interrotron. Episodes included an exploration of the mind of an expert on cattle slaughter techniques, the story of a parrot who may have witnessed a murder, a professional high school student, a serial killer groupie, and other strange and eccentric people. (Previously: The smartest man in the world.)
"I said before the film has historical importance (and it does), but it's relevance was more recognized in 1978 than the present day. The YouTube generation will be unable to comprehend what purpose the film served thirty years ago, and thus it's difficult to ignore how hopelessly dated Faces Of Death really is." It's relevance may have faded, but the intrigue remains. Deadspin recently interviewed the writer and producer of four compilations of death and gore, John Alan Schwartz. And of course, they discuss the fake gore in the monkey scene (interview clip with special make-up effects creators Allan Apone and Douglas White, with the memorable scene). And what is Schwarts up to today? He and his wife post videos of their movie reviews on YouTube (Tumblr, YouTube profile page, their website).
Day at Night was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury, actress Myrna Loy, medical researcher Jonas Salk, singer Cab Calloway, writer Christopher Isherwood, nuclear scientist Edward Teller, comedian Victor Borge, tennis player Billie Jean King, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, composer Aaron Copland, actor Vincent Price and boxer Muhammad Ali.
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders attempt to read a poorly translated Hungarian interview with Madonna (allegedly re-retranslated for USA Today).
In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these. The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth -- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect," a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger. More: Table of Contents - Publishing history - Technical discussion - Buy a paperback copy - Podcast interview - Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" - possible sequel discussion
"In all other circumstances we praise non-violent activities and when people, for whatever personal reasons, enjoy sexual violence even in a consenting context I think we shouldn't just say “whatever turns you on”. We should say “There's something wrong here”. But people on the left are so terrified of being accused of moralising and therefore of being oppressive that they've abandoned their critical faculties in this area." Clive Hamilton on God, Sex, and the Left (Part 2).
This summer, The Paris Review interviewed two science fiction writers at length, Samuel R. Delany and William Gibson. Below the cut there are two passages, one from each interview. They aren't representative, they are just two of the many, many passages which have been going around in my head for the last few days. [more inside]
Trevor Paglen (aka Agent Plorver) has work featured in Belgium's z33 House for Contemporary Art's current exhibit, Architecture of Fear. Paglen's work includes tracking and photographing 189 classified American satellites in orbit around Earth as well as locating and photographing US-run 'black sites' in Afghanistan. We Make Money Not Art (previously w/r/t Architecture of Fear) sits down with Paglen over Skype for an interview.
The Fall have a new record out, Ersatz GB. It's their 29th studio album. An excellent interview with Mark E Smith from The Independent. [more inside]
Sucks To Be A Straight Guy. Stepping away from the microphone, Jesse Thorn interviews Dan Savage, advice columnist of Savage Love.
Snuff, Sir Terry Pratchett's 50th book (and 37th Discworld book) will be released in the U.S. tomorrow, and Neil Gaiman has interviewed him for Boing Boing. [more inside]
Fans of National Lampoon Magazine circa 1970 might remember the iconic Trots and Bonnie comic strip. Recently Jeff Kay (previously) asked the cartoonist, Shary Flenniken for an email interview. She unexpectedly answered his questions in a 4 part video response. PT1 PT2 PT3 PT4 [more inside]
Music is a book/app/documentary film by photographer/film-maker Andrew Zuckerman (previously). Similar in format to Zuckerman's film Wisdom, Music features interviews with musical luminaries both fully- and not-so-luminous. [more inside]
Phil Collins' solo efforts seem to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying in a narrower way, especially No Jacket Required and songs like "In the Air Tonight" and "Against All Odds"
"Patrick Bateman was me. I was Patrick Bateman…" - Bret Easton Ellis interviewed.
Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth
Style Like U features an exhaustive video archive of people talking about their clothes and history and what personal style means to them and the power of self transformation. [more inside]
Dumbo Feather is an Australian quarterly print magazine which features five "extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, science, politics, fashion and the arts." They're only just establishing an online presence. Profile archive is slim at the moment, but does include a lengthy interview from their current issue with Chris Anderson, curator of TED. A blog entry asks readers to submit their favorite TED talks, and an ongoing feature: Harnell Fletcher's Interviews with Children is taking submissions, too.
"I can’t imagine a nonfiction writer who wasn’t influenced by the fiction he or she had read. But the “thriller-like pacing” you find in my writing may come more from my own beat than from thrillers. I walk fast and am impatient. I get bored easily—no less with my own ideas than with those of others. Writing for me is a process of constantly throwing out stuff that doesn’t seem interesting enough. I grew up in a family of big interrupters." Janet Malcolm interviewed by Katie Roiphe in The Paris Review.
On the heels of the newest volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and the recent completion of the controversial Neonomicon, which Moore suggests may be his last non-League comics work), Alan Moore (previously) gives Wired a lengthy interview that includes his thoughts on DC Comics' upcoming reboot (also previously) and the dilemma of the fan-turned-writer.
After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?! That's right. The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer -- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences (including the iconic animal puppets): "ABC" by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance" by Irene Cara, "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka" by Shakira, "Men in Black" by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant" by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!, "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)" by Tino Rossi. Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious -- he responded to Arthur's "homáge" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
This Is Your Life was not always about famous people being surprised with nostalgic reminisces and old friends. Early in the series, the spotlighted guests included ordinary people who had lived though extraordinary circumstances: most controversially, a survivor of Hiroshima, brought on stage in front of a live audience, to be face-to-face with the man who had dropped the atomic bomb on his city. Further background on the meeting. The show did not end its daring there, bringing in a Holocaust survivor in 1953, and ambushing Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a hotel room for their only appearance on television together. Semi-related: a remarkable interview with Johnny Lee Clary, a former KKK leader, regarding his interaction with (and eventual peaceful defeat by) Reverend Wade Watts. [more inside]
BLVR: This is all a pretty analytical approach to improvisation, where I think a lot of people consider Phish’s music to be just “made up on the spot.”
TA: We’re the most analytical band, in some ways. We’d talk and talk for hours about this stuff. I see improvisation as a craft and as an art. The craft part is important. There’s a lot of preparation and discipline that goes into it just so that, when you’re in the moment, you’re not supposed to be thinking at all.The Believer - Interview with Trey Anastasio