drama

Bullseye: Pedro Almodóvar and Alexis Krauss

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Pedro Almodóvar
Guests: 
Alexis Krauss

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Pedro Almodóvar on his new film Julieta, Spain in the 1980’s, and why he never writes about himself

Pedro Almodóvar has been making art for almost 4 decades. Whether that be music, writing, or directing, he has a distinct, bold, and critically acclaimed vision to his art. Originally from a small rural town in Spain, Pedro moved to Madrid in his late teens to study film. His artistic endeavors flourished during the Spanish cultural revolution that followed Francos death in 1975. His first film of distinction was called Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, for which he was nominated for the 1988 Best Foreign Film Academy Award. Since then, he has won two Golden Globe and two Academy awards, among many others.

This week, Jesse sits down with Pedro to talk about his new dramatic endeavor Julieta, his new wave band, and his unseen ailment.

You can find more information about Julieta here.


Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Alexis Krauss on the song that changed her life

Alexis Krauss, one half of the pop-metal band Sleigh Bells has been a musician her entire life. Both of her parents are musicians, and some of her earliest concerts were with her dad performing on the Jersey Shore.

This week, Alexis tells us what song changed her life in a way that only this mid-90’s female pop-rock recording artist could for a young budding musician. You probably oughta know.


Photo: A Prize Bull In A Barn by Richrd Whitford, 1875

The Outshot: 19th Century Paintings of Cows

Finally, Jesse tells it to you straight: he's fallen hard for 18th and 19th century paintings of cows, and you should too.

Judge John Hodgman Episode 266: Exit, Stage Fright

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Guests: 
Andrew from JJHo Episode 151: Sic Semper Dramatis

If you want to purchase a Kung Pao Finance Factory t-shirt, inspired by last week's episode, TIME IS RUNNING OUT! You may purchase a t-shirt here, through June 22!

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Tom brings the case against his friend Trinity. Trinity longs to be discovered and believes she was “born for the theater.” Despite her enthusiasm for theater and performing, she refuses to try community theater. He thinks she should get over her fear and go for it. Who's right? Who's wrong?

This week, with Expert Witness Andrew from Judge John Hodgman Episode 151: Sic Semper Dramatis!

EVIDENCE

Submitted by Tom

Click here to watch the video of Trinity singing "Proud Mary" at Karaoke!

Thank you to Trevor Haworth & Eli Dennewitz for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

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Tickets for the Judge John Hodgman: Live Justice tour of the Northeast and London are on sale now and selling out quickly! Check out the right hand side of this page or JohnHodgman.com/tour for details!

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Zach Galifianakis & Michael K. Williams

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Zach Galifianakis
Guests: 
Michael K. Williams

If you liked this episode of Bullseye, you can help support our production by becoming a monthly member! It's our annual MaxFunDrive, the time of year we ask for your help. Visit www.maximumfun.org/donate today and help us reach our network goal of 5000 new and upgrading members, and you'll not only get the satisfaction of sustaining the show -- we'll send you some nice swag, too!

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: Jesse Thorn

Zach Galifianakis on Unlikeable Characters, Sudden Fame and Facing “Heartbreaking” Criticism on Public Radio

Zach Galifianakis is an actor, writer and stand-up comedian whose humor isn’t for everyone. His comedic observations and characterizations in television and film have made him a unique voice that some people love and others love to hate.

Galifianakis is probably most widely known for his role as Alan in The Hangover films, but he's also been in everything from Up in the Air, Birdman and Bored to Death. He's now the star and co-creator of the new FX series, Baskets. He plays a clown who can't keep up with the tuition or his classmates at his French clowning school, and returns to his hometown of Bakersfield, California to work in a rodeo.

Galifianakis sat down with Jesse to talk about creating a show that revolves around a mean and unlikeable character, how he contended with the sudden fame that came with The Hangover and what it’s like be dissed on public radio.

Baskets airs on Thursday nights at 10 pm on FX.


Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Michael K. Williams on His Club Kid Days, Breaking Ground with The Wire and Why a Pop Song Touches Him So Deeply

Michael K. Williams is an actor and dancer who broke out in the role of Omar Little on HBO’s The Wire. His characterization of a criminal “with a code” made the show a favorite among critics and viewers, one of whom was President Obama.

He was a club kid turned professional dancer, and later turned to acting. His resume includes everything from Boardwalk Empire to Twelve Years a Slave to Inherent Vice. He currently co-stars in the new Sundance TV series, Hap and Leonard.

Williams sat down with us to talk about his memories of being a New York club kid, the difference that playing Omar made in his life and others and the opportunity that led him to realize that being a performer could be a career, rather than just a job.

Hap and Leonard can be seen Wednesday nights at 10 pm on Sundance TV.

The Outshot: Gravediggaz’s Poetic

Jesse remembers the poignancy of rapper Poetic’s examination of his own mortality in the music he produced with Gravediggaz.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jason Sudeikis, Sarah Vowell & Paul F. Tompkins

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jason Sudeikis
Guests: 
Paul F. Tompkins
Guests: 
Sarah Vowell

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.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

Photo by Jesse Thorn

Jason Sudeikis on Mentorship, Fame and his Blue Man Group Aspirations

Jason Sudeikis is an actor, comedian and screenwriter, probably best known for time spent as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live.

His comedic skills were honed as a founding member of Second City Las Vegas and have been enjoyed by audiences on television shows including 30 Rock and Eastbound & Down as well as the films Horrible Bosses and We’re the Millers.

His recent work has taken a more dramatic turn, and includes his role in the film Race, which tells the story of track and field legend Jesse Owens' pursuit of the gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Sudeikis plays Owens' coach, Larry Snyder, who mentored and coached him through his time at Ohio State University and into the Olympics.

Race is in theaters now.

Sudeikis joined Jesse to talk about his aspirations to join The Blue Man Group, the role that his own mentors have played in his life and what it’s like to have his personal life serve as fodder for tabloid media.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.


Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"I Wish I'd Made That": Sarah Vowell on her Love of Randy Newman and "The World Isn’t Fair"

Artists -- the people that make stuff -- are always influenced by the work of others. And sometimes, something an artist sees is so good, so perfect that they wish they had made it themselves.

This happens so often to the people we talk to, that we made a segment about it. It’s called "I Wish I’d Made That". This week, we talk to author and social commentator Sarah Vowell who joins us to talk about the Randy Newman song, "The World Isn’t Fair".

You probably don't need us to tell you who Sarah Vowell is, if you're listening to an NPR podcast, but she's a frequent contributor to This American Life, and is the author of multiple bestselling books including Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes.

Vowell's latest book is about the Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who became a sort of adopted son to George Washington and fought in the American Revolutionary War. It's called Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.

You can find her other appearances on our show here and here.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.


Photo by Jesse Thorn

Paul F. Tompkins Talks Success, Podcasting and Improvising with Puppets

Paul F. Tompkins has a certain kind of fame. If you're a comedy fan, he is known and beloved for his appearances on comedy podcasts (including his own) or from his live stand up and improv comedy. But to the world at large, he's probably best known for his work as a writer and performer on the HBO cult comedy show Mr. Show with Bob and David.

In recent years, he's started his own improv podcast, Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins, and also currently hosts the show No, You Shut Up! on the Fusion network.

No, You Shut Up! is a talk show in the vein of "Meet the Press", if its talking heads were actually puppets from Henson Alternative. The show airs Thursday nights at 10pm on Fusion. Episodes are also available on YouTube.

Tompkins joined Jesse to talk about what it feels like to become more personal in his stand-up, the role of podcasting in his success and what it’s like to improvise with puppets.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

The Outshot: SNL’s Tales of Fraud and Malfeasance in Railroad Hiring Practices

Can a Saturday Night Live sketch change the course of your life?

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Downton Abbey: Unmissable.

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I've just finished watch the first season of Downton Abbey. It's currently running on PBS' Masterpiece in a slightly abridged form, and ran I guess last year on ITV in the UK.

Frankly, it's one of the best TV dramas I've ever seen. I'd put it on par with Mad Men and within spitting distance of The Wire.

It's a period drama, and an upstairs/downstairs drama, but it won't meet your expectations for either of those things. Well, maybe it will in part... if you're into that kind of thing, you'll enjoy it. But I'm not, and I was blown away.

Basically the first season is about an Earl and the danger to his estate. Because he lacks a male heir, the estate, including his American wife's fortune, will pass to a second cousin he's never met, who doesn't even want it. Because of the laws of the nobility, that's how it has to be. This is also a tremendous threat to his three daughters, who are thus forced to marry into the aristocracy or lose their positions in life, and to the entire household.

That hardly begins to describe how elegantly written, acted and directed the series is. It has all the twists and turns of a soapy TV drama (or at least many of them), but I found it absolutely compelling throughout. I never felt forced away from the material, which is usually my reaction to all but the best TV drama.

Do yourself a favor and watch it on PBS. Or buy the DVD, which is only $17 right now on Amazon, and is unabridged.

For those already on board, I've started a thread on the forum for discussion. Let's keep it spoiler free at least until the PBS run ends.

David Gordon Green, Director: Interview on The Sound of Young America at South by Southwest

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
David Gordon Green

David Gordon Green from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.

David Gordon Green is a director. His films have ranged from the touching indie drama George Washington (his debut) to his most recent, the stoner action-comedy Pineapple Express. He's also worked with college friends Jody Hill, Danny McBride and Ben Best on the HBO series Eastbound and Down, and on the upcoming fantasy comedy Your Highness.

He talked with us while visiting South by Southwest for a panel on Eastbound & Down. He discussed the parallels between his more dramatic and more comedic work, how he became a director of Big Movies, and about testing "Your Highness" and "Pineapple Express" for audiences.

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