Episode 184: Michael Apted, Sundancing, and Coaster Cocktails

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Michael Apted/Courtesy the artist

This week: Filmmaker Michael Apted (“7 Up”) talks about renewing his landmark documentary series… Writer Manuel Gonzales tells us how NOT to bury a body…Etiquette all-stars Lizzie and Dan Post on the protocol of the communal newspaper bin… Sundance Fest director John Cooper shares some behind-the-screens stories… Britain’s latest food fad is (wait for it) American food?!… Josh Bearman – whose article inspired the film “Argo” – tells three other film-worthy tales… Plus, Drew’s brews, Cold War Kids, and the birth of the roller coaster.

Icebreaker: Youth Lagoon

Trevor Powers, the musician also known as Youth Lagoon, tries not to tell us a bad joke…but we worm it out of him. (This week he released the first single off his forthcoming album “Wondrous Bughouse.”)
Small Talk: Richard Lawson
Richard Lawson, senior editor for The Atlantic Wire, catches us up on Drew Barrymore’s latest blissed-out escapades.

A History Lesson With Booze: The Birth of the Roller Coaster and “The Thunderbolt”

This week back in 1885, one-time hosiery salesman LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented the roller coaster. Hear about his invention’s rickety ride from coal country to Coney Island, and then get your thrills in liquid form:

“The Thunderbolt,” as thrown down by James Quigley of Peggy O’Neil’s, in the heart of Coney Island…

In a 8 oz glass with ice, add:

  • 2 oz. orange-infused vodka
  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • A splash of Red Bull

Stir, shake, and rattle it all together, then ride it down and feel the rush. (Caution: Do not attempt BEFORE riding a coaster.)

Guest List: Features, Filmed

Journalist Josh Bearman has written for Harper’s, Rolling Stone and many other outlets; you may have also heard his stories on This American Life. But he’s best known for a Wired magazine piece called “Escape from Tehran: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Iran.” That article inspired one of the year’s most celebrated movies, Argo. Here he is with a list of other must-read features that should get the big-screen treatment.

Etiquette: The Posts

Every week you ask us questions about how to behave. Sometimes we have celebrities take a crack at them, and sometimes, when the going gets tough, we call for back-up. That would be Lizzie Post and Daniel Post-Senning, the great-great-grandkids of Emily Post herself. They’re co-authors of the 18th edition the Emily Post manners manual, and they help run the politest place on earth – the Emily Post institute in Vermont. This week, they tackle silent partings, boorish tablemates, and paper “thieves.”

Feel free to send us your etiquette questions here. Thanks!

Eavesdropping: Manuel Gonzales

Writer Manuel Gonzales has published stories in Esquire and The Believer. He also directs a youth creative writing center called the “Austin Bat Cave.” This month, his debut story collection “The Miniature Wife: and Other Stories” earned wide acclaim for its offbeat scenarios and dark humor. Today we overhear him give us a taste, from his story “Cash to a Killing.”

Main Course: British-American Food Relations

Amazingly, the latest food trend in Britain is…American food. That’s right, according to a recent blog post in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, things like gourmet hamburgers, barbecue, hot dogs are cropping up on more and more menus. Rico hopped on the line with the Katy Salter, and asked her why us…and why now?

Chattering Class: The Sundance Film Festival

This week, cinephiles are flocking to Park City for the annual Sundance Film Festival – probably THE foremost showcase for independent film in the US. Over the years, talents ranging like Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, and Sofia Coppola have major gotten boosts from Sundance showings. Longtime festival programmer – and current Festival Director – John Cooper joins Brendan to chat about a few lesser-known elements of the festival. (The 2013 festival began this week, and runs through the 27th.)

Guest of Honor: Michael Apted

Michael Apted has directed several notable narrative films over the years, like Oscar-winner “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and installments in the 007 and Narnia franchises, to name a few – but his defining work is a documentary fifty-plus years in the making: The “Up” series. Every seven years since 1964, Apted has revisited the same group of 14 Britons, updating us on their families, careers, hopes and fears. It’s become a long-form movie landmark. After garnering raves on British TV last year, the latest installment, “56 Up,” is just making its way to into U.S. theaters. Apted tells Rico about working with real-life characters, gender issues, and what drives him to madness. (You can catch up on the earlier movies on DVD, or stream them on Netflix.)

One for the Road: Cold War Kids – “Miracle Mile”

L.A. band Cold War Kids will be releasing its new album “Dear Ms. Lonely Hearts” in April. Here’s the first single from it, a relentless pop-rock anthem called “Miracle Mile.”

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

John Philip Sousa – Josef Franz Wagner: “Under the Double Eagle”

Railroad Jerk – “Rollerkoaster”

Baby Bash featuring T-Pain – “Cyclone” (instrumental remix)

DJ Ras Sjamaan – “Afro, Tribal & Deep House Music Part 7”

Hugo Montenegro – “For A Few Dollars More”

John Barry – “From Russia with Love (Main Theme)”

Arling & Cameron – “Music for Imaginary Films”

Poolside – “Why you Wanna”

Johann Johannsson – “Elevator I”

Theme de Bob – Jo Boyer / Eddie & Son Orchestre Barclay

Waldeck – “Why Did we Fire the Gun”

The Cobramatics – “Puddings and Pies”

Cliff Martinez – “Garbage” (from “Sex Lies and Videotape”)

Cold War Kids – “Miracle Mile”