documentary

Inside Pop Ep. 128- Luke Cage Season 2, Won't You Be My Neighbor

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Show: 
Inside Pop

We're heading straight to Harlem for this special Luke Cage edition of Inside Pop. We've seen the second season of Marvel's Luke Cage and we're bringing you an exclusive preview of the first two episodes. We'll also provide some fascinating behind the scenes info about the show's music and production crew and theorize why vocal fans of the first season may have inspired the more volatile Season 2 Luke Cage. Plus, we question why we're anti-shipping Mariah and Shades.

Then, Amita reviews the new documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor, about legendary children's TV host Fred Rogers.

Plus, we have a brand new Big Sell that tackles one of the ugliest, and sadly most prevalent problems in Hollywood.

Fans of Luke Cage will want to check out our interview with showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker.

Visit our site www.insidepoppodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders

Pop Rocket Ep. 177: The Passport Edition

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Guy, Karen, Katherine
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Katherine Spiers
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

This week, Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler and Karen Tongson are joined by Katherine Spiers, host of the podcast Smart Mouth, which asks people about their favorite foods. The gang will discuss international travel and all the best things that come from it, including people, food and pop culture.

Katherine is all about the actress Jameela Jamil, who criticized Kim Kardashian for advertising appetite suppressing lolly-pops, in spite of the wrath that Jamil may incur. Margaret is all about the first episode of Patrick Melrose, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a heroine addicted man whose life is hard to watch, but who is so strongly portrayed that it’s hard to look away. Guy is all about the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG, which he hopes will finally help people understand why she was such an important woman. Karen is all about the the recent series finales, even the ones for shows that aren’t confirmed to return and ended on huge cliffhangers like NBC’s Timeless.

It’s going to be Summer soon and that means peak travel season is almost here! The panel will discuss some of their favorite places to travel abroad, what they look for when they have two weeks to spend in a new location and

With Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler, Karen Tongson and Katherine Spiers .

That’s My Jam:

Katherine Spiers - Charlie Puth - Done For Me.

Karen Tongson- Backstreet Boys - Don’t go Breaking My Hear

Margaret Wappler - Henry Green - Something.

Guy Branum The We Knows Parenting podcast.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Julian Burrell.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Errol Morris & Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Errol Morris
Guests: 
Merrill Garbus

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Errol Morris on his new Netflix "hybrid" documentary series 'Wormwood'

Errol Morris is a legendary filmmaker with dozens of tv and film credits. In 2004, his film "The Fog of War" won an Oscar for best documentary film. Perhaps Morris is best known for his unique interview style, and his invention of the interrotron, which allows his subjects to see him while they are being filmed straight on. And of course, he is known for yelling questions off screen to his subjects.

Morris has a way of painting portraits of people in his films that's incredibly vulnerable. A perfect example of this is his first documentary "Gates of Heaven" released in 1978. It’s a film about pet cemeteries, and the connection people feel to their deceased pets. The documentary told through interviews of pet owners, and it's unnarrated. Some of his films, like "The Thin Blue Line" try to find objective truth. That film ultimately helped secure a innocent man's freedom from prison.

His films are nuanced, they're funny, they're tragic, and always fascinating. His latest project is a six-part miniseries for Netflix called "Wormwood." The series explores the CIA LSD experiments in the late 1950's, and the effects on a man named Frank Olson, a CIA employee and biochemist, who inexplicably jumped out a window to his death from a New York Hotel room in 1953. The story is mostly told through interviews of Frank’s son, Eric, who's worked for years to uncover the truth. The series is kind of a departure for Errol's signature style -- it blends dramatic reenactments and real life interviews.

Errol sits down with Jesse and they discuss the nature of truth, camera angles, and his new documentary, "Wormwood."

Listen to Errol's interview on YouTube!

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons:
Jason Perss

Song That Changed My Life: Merrill Garbus of the band Tune-Yards

Merrill Garbus of the band Tune-Yards on the song that changed her life -- "Moliva" by Johnny Clegg. Tune-Yards will be touring this Spring, and their new album "I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life" will be released on January 19. For more information visit their website.

Listen to this segment on YouTube!

The Outshot: The Commitments

Finally, for this week's Outshot: "The Commitments." Jesse tells us about a film his father and stepmother loved. Jesse never saw the film as a teenager. Few weeks ago, Jesse bought the VHS tape at a thrift store, and it turns out his dad and my stepmother had every right to love the 1991 film "The Commitments."

Inside Pop Ep 95: Blade Runner 2049, Riz Ahmed, Vegas Baby documentary, Big Sell 30

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Show: 
Inside Pop
Guests: 
Amanda Micheli
Guests: 
Kevyn Fairchild

This week we dive inside Box Office Busts, a bold new doc and #BigSell30 is underway!

First up, Sean and Amita examine why the highly anticipated, sure fire hit Blade Runner 2049 actually failed at the box office. Why did the masses stay away from Denis Villeneuve's artistry and Ryan Gosling's baby blues? And are the masses actually missing out on a great film? We'll discuss!

Also, Amita was in the same room with her celebrity husband, Riz Ahmed, and didn't faint! Find out how she got to see him in person and what happened.

Then, Amita interviews Oscar nominated director, Amanda Micheli about her new documentary, Vegas Baby, which follows multiple stories of women and couples and their struggles to have a child.

Plus, Amita reviews last week's Big Sell from Sean, an early film from Ava DuVernay, Middle of Nowhere, and then sells him on a new single from Lin-Manuel Miranda featuring a slew of popular Latino singers and hip hop artists, who came together to raise funds for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. And we review some of our favorite Big Sells thus far in the Big Sell 30!

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders

Like us on Facebook

And lots of stuff on our website www.insidepoppodcast.com

The Turnaround: Werner Herzog

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Show: 
The Turnaround
Guests: 
Werner Herzog

New to The Turnaround? Subscribe in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get two new interviews a week through August 11th.

This week Jesse is in conversation with German filmmaker Werner Herzog, the man responsible for films like Grizzly Man, Tale of Forgotten Dreams and Lo and Behold. If you have not seen one of Werner's films, they might be described as intense, extreme, maybe even dark. But they are also very insightful, and this depth can be credited to the way that he interacts with the people he is interviewing. He chooses his subjects carefully, often times based on whether or not he thinks that they can handle his line of inquiry.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Werner's career spans more than 50 years, and he has released work almost every year since he began. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2009 documentary Encounters at the End of the World, and has been nominated for and won many other awards during his long career. He is one of the most celebrated figures in documentary film making, for both the final product and the processes by which he makes them.

Jesse and Werner talk about how he gets people to talk to him, and why he asks questions that he knows he won't get the answer to. They talk about his 1996 film, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, and why he thinks his dramatizations of his subject's lived experience aren't manipulation, but actually the way to get to the truth of the matter. They also talk about the interviews that take place on, and off camera, and why the latter often involves deeper and more meaningful conversation.

You can watch Werner's Emmy nominated film Into the Inferno on Netflix now.

Jesse will be hosting an AMA on Reddit this Friday August 11th at 12 noon PST to talk about what he's learned from this project. Go to iama.reddit.com/ to join in the conversation and ask Jesse anything you'd like.

The Turnaround is a production of Maximum Fun in partnership with the Columbia Journalism Review. Visit their website to learn more about their "mission to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society," and to read edited transcripts of our other Turnaround episodes.

Hosted and created by Jesse Thorn
Produced by Kara Hart and Nick Liao
Senior Producer: Laura Swisher
Managing Director: Bikram Chatterji

Music for The Turnaround provided by Mobius Van ChocStraw.

Special thanks to Kyle Pope and his team at CJR, Darrel Frost, and Emilie Erskine.

Inside Pop Ep. 84 - Comic-Con Trailers, Insecure Season 2, An Inconvenient Sequel, Way Into Idris Elba, Atlanta

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Show: 
Inside Pop

We've had a busy pop culture filled week- starting with an exclusive screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power followed by a Q&A with Former Vice President Al Gore! We weren't sure if we should bow or curtsy upon seeing him on stage.

Then, we analyze some of the most talked about trailers featured at San Diego Comic Con- including The Defenders, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League and Star Trek: Discovery. Do they stir up excitement or fall flat?

Plus, we chat about the season two premiere of Insecure - guess how many times Amita mentions Lawrence?

And we bring you another installment of "Way Into . . ." with our guide to get way into one of our favorite Brits- Idris Elba.

And Amita gets her wish- Sean FINALLY watches one of her favorite episodes of the critically acclaimed Donald Glover FX series- Atlanta in The Big Sell.

Subscribe, listen and find bonus content, including links to our Way Into . . . Idris Elba Guide at www.insidepoppodcast.com

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @PopInsiders

Magic Lessons Ep. 202: "Make the Brutal Into the Beautiful" Featuring Brandon Stanton

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Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert #BigMagic
Guests: 
Brandon Stanton

This week on Magic Lessons Elizabeth Gilbert advises Anne, a photographer in Pennsylvania. For the last few years Anne has been documenting her brother's life. He's a veteran with PTSD and a recovering drug addict. She imagines turning all this material into a photo-essay exhibit or book, but she's afraid to take the next steps to make it happen. To help guide Anne, Liz calls up her friend Brandon Stanton, the photographer and creator of the photo series "Humans of New York.” Several weeks later, Anne reveals what she's been up to since getting all this advice.

Special Guest: Brandon Stanton is the photographer and creator behind Humans of New York. He is also the author of two number 1 New York Times-bestselling books, Humans of New York and Humans of New York: Stories. Find out more about him at HumansofNewYork.com

Getting Curious Episode 18: What's Life Like in Brazil?

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Show: 
Getting Curious
Guests: 
Jonathan Van Ness
Guests: 
Carla Dauden

Jonathan sits down with director Carla Dauden to talk about Brazil's political parties, life in favelas, and Carla's new documentary, The Discarded: A Tale of Two Rios. Plus, Jonathan finds out about the Bernie Sanders of Uruguay.

With Jonathan Van Ness and guest, Carla Dauden.

Produced by Christian Dueñas for MaximumFun.org

Getting Curious: Episode 6 What is Agent Orange?

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Courtney & Jonathan
Show: 
Getting Curious
Guests: 
Jonathan Van Ness
Guests: 
Courtney Marsh

Jonathan sits down with Academy Award nominated film director Courtney Marsh. He wants to find out more about the chemical Agent Orange and about Chau, the subject of Courtney's documentary short, Chau: Beyond the Lines.

The film profiles Chau, a teenager living in a Vietnamese care center for young people disabled by Agent Orange, struggling with the reality of his dream to one day become a professional artist.

Find Courtney on Instagram, Twitter and at CourtneyNMarsh.com.

You can view and commission Chau's art at BeyondTheLinesFilm.com.

Produced by Christian Dueñas for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Baron Davis & Paul Dano

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Baron Davis
Guests: 
Paul Dano

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo credit: Jesse Thorn

"How Hard Are You Willing to Play for Nothing?" NBA All-Star Turned Documentarian Baron Davis on 'The Drew', LA's Pro-Am League

Baron Davis is a two-time NBA All-Star. He was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, and went on to play for several other teams before his most recent stint in the New York Knicks. He was barely middle-school age when he started playing in the Drew League, a pro-am league named after Charles R. Drew Junior High School in South Los Angeles. The Drew was a place for amateurs to play competitively, to begin careers, and help build existing ones. A number of NBA players, including Baron Davis, have returned to the Drew in the off-season to hone their skills. The Drew has also fostered a sense of community, and created a safe haven away from gang activity.

Davis joins us to talk about his early days in the Drew, recovering from injury, and why he turned to filmmaking.

The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce has its world premiere at the LA Film Festival this week.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.


Photo credit: Jesse Thorn

Paul Dano on Capturing Brian Wilson's Essence, Slapping Daniel Day-Lewis and Turning 30

The new biopic Love & Mercy shows Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys during two different periods of his life. Paul Dano plays Wilson during the production of the critically acclaimed album Pet Sounds, as Wilson experiments with drugs and descends a bit into darkness. John Cusack plays Wilson in the late 80s and early 90s, as he suffers under the control of his legal guardian and struggles to wrest himself free.

Dano takes on Wilson's quiet spirit and gives us a glimpse into the mind of a musical innovator. His past work includes a breakout role as a silent teenager in Little Miss Sunshine, a novelist in Ruby Sparks, a power-hungry young preacher in There Will Be Blood and an overseer in 12 Years a Slave.

He joins us to talk about how physically playing music helped him connect to his character, feeling out the dynamics of Wilson's relationship with his father, playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood and what's changed since he turned 30.

Love & Mercy is in theaters now.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.

The Outshot: Finding the Heart of a Song in Five Notes with "The Plum Blossom"

Jesse explains why he loves "The Plum Blossom", a beautiful song Yusef Lateef wrote for an instrument that only produces five notes.

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