I Wish I Made That is a segment where we invite some of our favorite voices in pop culture to dive deep into a work of art they did not make but they really wish they did. This time around we are joined by John Wilson.
John is a filmmaker. He’s the host and creator of the HBO series How To with John Wilson. Each episode of the show makes a simple, straightforward promise to the viewer: to teach them how to make small talk, how to cook the perfect risotto, or how to appreciate wine. But the show is much more than that.
He attempts to use video recordings, usually filmed in the streets of New York City to teach his lessons – and each episode inevitably veers off course when interviews and found footage take him in different directions.
He gets bogged down in his personal life. He stops to look at a big pumpkin. On the subway, the camera is pointed at a loaf of bread hanging from the handrail. In the park, a person is hanging from the tree. In another scene, a woman puts a pigeon in a paper bag. It’s New York, anything can happen!
How To with John Wilson is a staff favorite here at Bullseye – nobody makes television as strange, compelling, funny, and fascinating as him.
When we asked John about the thing he wishes he’d made, he picked a documentary: 2003’s Los Angeles Plays Itself. The film is a three hour video essay by Thom Andersen that takes a look at footage of Los Angeles from more than a century of cinema. It’s beautifully narrated and makes astute observations about archival footage and clips from other films to examine Los Angeles’ cultural significance on the big screen. The film shares some threads with John’s work.
The final season of How to With John Wilson and its previous seasons which we can’t recommend enough are available to watch on MAX.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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