Our favorite content from Word of Mouth's weekday show...all wrapped up in one gratifying and glam program.
This week: The emerging forum for high school confessions on Facebook; a sunny picture for the relationship success of online daters; a documentary looks at the life of experiential journalist George Plimpton; Dr. Who's potential recast as a woman; and Glam Rock...it matters more than you know.
If there was ever a man who knew how to fail fabulously, it was writer, journalist, and editor George Plimpton. Ten years after his death, and sixty since he helped launch esteemed literary magazine The Paris Review, Plimpton is probably best known for his amateur antics among pro athletes – taking hits from light-heavyweight champ Archie Moore, playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and taking the mound at Yankee Stadium. His accounts of these stories, now acknowledged as the beginning of participatory journalism, effectively transformed Plimpton one of the greatest everyman writers in modern memory.
For the new documentary Plimpton!, directors Tom Bean and Luke Polling combed through countless hours of footage to create a film posthumously narrated by its own subject. Already out in select cities, Plimpton! opens Friday, June 21st at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The Pentagon has often played a role in shaping blockbuster films…at least those featuring tanks, ships, and other military gear. We wondered about the relationship between Hollywood and the D.O.D.…what do filmmakers have to do to get access to all that firepower?
To find out, producer Taylor Quimby called Sean McElwee. He’s a freelance writer who blogged about what studios that collaborate with the military have to give up – in terms of creative – and even ideological – control of their movies.
Lance Rice is a brewery historian, who for forty years has been becoming an expert on all things beerish. He plans to write a book about North American breweries and their history, based partially on the trip he hopes to take with his nephew, Aaron. The kicker in all this is that Lance has autism.
We dug up this interview from 2008 with Jason Crigler, the composer of the musical score forMake Sure it’s Me.
In August of 2004, Jason Crigler, a highly-regarded guitarist, suffered a brain hemorrhage during a gig in New York City. His pregnant wife rushed him to the hospital and got the bad news: doctors told Jason’s family that he might not live through the night, and if he did, little of the Jason they knew would be left.
Last year we interviewed Pamela Yates about her documentary Granito: How to Nail A Dictator which details the indictment of General Efrain Rios Montt, believed to be responsible for the murder of 200,000 mostly indigenous Mayan Ixil people during the Guatemalan genocide.
Nate Silver opened the public’s eyes to the power of predictive statistics… now, having already conquered politics, marketing, and social media, data-crunchers are taking on their next big challenge: Hollywood. Brooks Barnes is a media reporter for the New York Times – he recently wrote about Vinny Bruzzese, a statistician and former professor who’s using big data to slice and dice Hollywood screenplays
Hand-painted signs once dotted the landscape. They brought color, style, and distinction to stores and products, and were the nation’s first form of advertising…and today, with computer graphics and large-scale printing available for cheap, they are pretty much going the way of the horse and buggy… But a number of hand-painting holdouts are sticking with brushes – and are the subject of Sign Painters, a new documentary film about the craft directed by Sam Macon and Faythe Levine.
Testimony by victims and military officials in front of congress this month has shed light on the scope of sexual assault in the military service. Men and women who sign up for military service put their lives on the line for our country. Yet a woman serving in the military is more likely to be sexually assaulted than killed by enemy fire.
“Girl Rising” is a new documentary directed by Academy-Award nominee Richard Robbins and the centerpiece of a global campaign called 10X10 (“Ten Times Ten”), which is dedicated to educating and empowering girls. The film is premiering this Thursday, March 7th, at hundreds of simultaneous public screenings across the U.S, including one at Fox Run Stadium in Newington, New Hampshire.
Ai Weiwei is China’s best known artist and the sharpest thorn in the side of its government. He’s a humorous and clever digital dissident, whose installations, viral videos, and tweets mock Chinese censors, and have made him an international symbol for freedom.
After years of attempting to cozy up to him with bribes and favors, the Chinese government turned on Ai Weiwei, charging him with tax evasion and bulldozing his freshly built studio in Shanghai. Then, on April 3, 2011, he disappeared.
The Tuareg have been fighting the government of Mali on and off for more than a century. Their rebellion intensified when the fiercely independent Tuareg allied themselves with Islamic Jihadists to fight the government and made huge territorial gains in the north of the country.
This week, the French launched a military intervention in Mali- once a French colony. The U.S. State Department is also considering limited involvement, including logistical support and training for intervention forces in the region. The Tuareg, however, just want to continue eeking out their lives in the desert.
Filmmaker Ron Wyman tracked Bombino down in Burkina Faso, where he was living in exile. That was the beginning of a creative collaboration that produced the iTunes best-selling album, Agadez and the feature film, Agadez: The Music and the Rebellion. We spoke with Ron in March about discovering Bombino, and we thought hearing him again would provide a timely window into a little known tribe of nomads who are now in the news.