Just coming back from seeing Jessica Yu‘s (POV’s In the Realms of the Unreal) new doc Protagonist and want to know more about her other work? Rented Sicko and want to hear Michael Moore‘s opinions on healthcare and the ’08 election? Can’t stop thinking about the Grey Gardens musical you saw last season and want to know more about the Maysles brothers? You could turn to Google for help.
Want a different place to turn for insight? Turn on the (online) radio. Scores of stations around the country regularly interview doc newcomers and legend alike, and many offer the discussions on their websites for live listening or on-the-go podcast downloads. Here’s a smattering for your consideration.
New York’s WNYC produces a plethora of local and national talk shows, nearly all of which are available online. On one show, Studio 360, there’s a nice piece with Albert Maysles talking about the lost art of the “sustained moment” in documentary film. The Leonard Lopate Show features a recent conversation with Michael Moore on the current state of health care. Finally, the nifty search box on the WNYC website delivers show results from other local NPR stations, like WBEZ’s (Chicago) This American Life, which has a story from 2004 on Jessica Yu’s early film Men of Reenaction, that follows a California-based troop of “reenactors” (men who dress up in period costume and re-enact Civil War battles) as they prepare for the 130th anniversary re-enactment of the battle of Gettysburg.
Los Angeles’s KCRW is home to a few nationally syndicated shows, like Elvis Mitchell’s The Treatment, a weekly talk show about the film industry. The KCRW website features a bunch of great interviews, including doc stalwarts like Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, U.S.A.) on her Woody Allen film Wild Man Blues, and Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky on their Metallica doc. The Democracy Now! radio (and TV) website also has a piece on Kopple, covering her most recent doc about the Dixie Chicks, Shut Up and Sing, that includes video of the interview and clips from the film.
There’s also National Public Radio’s website which features access to archives of NPR shows like Fresh Air, where you’ll find a fascinating story on the Warner Herzog documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly, and on POV’s Hearts of Darkness, the story of the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.
So whether you’re looking from something specific or unexpected, try a radio site search for surprising results and good listening.