THE ROOM is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made. Yet ten years after its release, it is a cultural phenomenon and has even inspired a video game. We talk with Greg Sestero (Mark from THE ROOM) and Tom Bisssell, co-authors of THE DISASTER ARTIST, and probe into director Tommy Wiseau’s mysterious past. discussing the film’s unanticipated debt to Patricia Highsmith and the terror of shooting extremely long and extremely troubling sex scenes.
In the mid-20th century, nuclear missiles were maintained with flimsy safeguards and rapidly failing technology. How close were we to DR. STRANGELOVE? And how safe are we today? We talk with investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, the author of COMMAND AND CONTROL, to discuss our remarkably reckless military history, which culminated in several close disasters, and what this means in an age driven by terrorism and religious fundamentalism.
In the first of two related programs devoted to the American epidemic of gravitating to mainstream culture in an age of limitless choice, we talk with Kiese Laymon about how his novel, LONG DIVISION, and his essays have responded to this problem. We discuss hip-hop, the rich Mississippi tradition of storytelling, “the worst of white folks,” and why America is terrified of rich and variegated cultural engagement.