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Indie music blogger Kamala Adams joins Mark to discuss all things modern indie, and to define what “modern” means. Kamala’s picks In order of discussion: Porridge Radio Despite Mark’s apparent ignorance, this band did crop up in the previous episode, but he had apparently forgotten. Regardless, Porridge Radio are Kamala’s current favourite band. Wolf Alice Initially on first blush, Kamala wasn’t a big fan of Wolf Alice, but they’re a varied band, and eventually they won her over. Blaenavon Named after a Welsh town but formed in Hampshire, Blaenavon make Kamala’s list after she saw blown away by their live set. The Vaccines They are the band that Kamala thinks of when she thinks “indie”. A good, solid band with a great track record, but probably difficult-to-Google right now. Courting Kamala picked Liverpool band Courting as her fifth pick. Highly praised by Anthony Fantano, these lads are ones to watch. Unless you’re reading this in the far future and they’re now massive, in which case, you’re welcome? Mark’s picks In order of discussion: The Corteeners Mark became of the band circa 2015, and especially enjoyed Concrete Love, although their lack of live chops might make them a less-than-stellar pick as an indie band. Maxiimo Park This band might deserve a higher place than Mark initially gave them, but he appreciates the stripped-back sound found in their earlier albums, and their ability to play a decent live set. Gerry Cinnamon Mark’s third pick is a solo musician with a strong Scots brogue and a real way with words. Possibly more folk than indie, but as a solo musician with a busker’s feel, he’s a good poster boy for the genre. Nothing But Thieves This in-yer-face, high energy band rock a little harder than Mark’s tastes usually allow, but he recognises the importance of his station and so wanted to leave some space for a reasonably well-regarded indie outfit. Courtney Barnett This laid-back Aussie pop-rock artist is Mark’s final pick, and something of an enigma since – to him at least – it feels like she’s better than the sum of her parts. Honourable mentions Arctic Monkeys Peace Slaves Royal Blood Fizzy Blood Spoon Radiohead More of Kamala Adams Kamala setup and writes for The Indie Scene, a blog championing new music, with articles by a number of writers.Special Guest: Kamala Adams.
45: Top 5 albums of 2020

45: Top 5 albums of 2020


Mark talks vinyl and hunts down new music to enjoy, with music podcaster Elliott Farrar. Elliott’s picks In order of discussion: Weird!, by Yungblud Elliott picked Yungblud’s second studio album for the way the artist’s message of “you do you” bleeds through. Girlfriends, by Girlfriends Pop punk is back, in the form of Travis Mills and Nick Gross’ project, which may have a limited shelf-life, given Mills’ busy career. Grime MC, by Joe Actually released right at the end of 2019 – but near-as-dammit to 2020 – Grime MC makes Elliott’s list for its interesting release, but its honesty and authenticity. Fake it Flowers, by Beabadoobee This debut album by Filipino-Brit Beabadoobee makes Elliott’s list for its soulful sound, undercut by rougher guitar riffs. Foolish Loving Spaces, by Blossoms Elliott’s final pick was a toss-up between a few contenders, but Blossoms’ 2020 album could not be permitted to slip through the net. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: RTJ4, by Run the Jewels Mark didn’t know people still made hip-hop like this, and was instantly up for the dirty beats and the smart lyrics. Women in Music Pt III, by Haim Mark likes to be taken by surprise, so the variation of songs in Haim’s latest album made this an easy second pick. Letter to You, by Bruce Springsteen Mark wanted the Boss for his list, which took him rather by surprise (Mark that is, Bruce doesn’t know about the podcast). Turns out the man’s still kickin’ it, and we must show respect. Saint Cloud, by Waxahatchee It’s a lazy Sunday mid-morning, you’ve got a coffee in hand and you’re sat on the sofa listening to some country-tinged indie rock. Shore, by Fleet Foxes Mark’s final pick is a band he’s enjoyed since 2008, although dropped off his radar a few years back. Shore has some tracks that feel like a return to that warm autumnal sound he enjoyed. Honourable mentions Working Men’s Club (self-titled) Dream Nails (self-titled) More of Elliott Farrar Elliott is one half of the Scratched Record Podcast, which you can find in all your usual podcast places, and which brings indie music artists out of the shadows and into your ears every Tuesday.Special Guest: Elliott Farrar.Links: Samara Ginsberg on YouTube Wonderwall x Smalltown Boy, a mashup by Deco
Guest Bryony Williams Your favourite rockstar with a watergun, once compared to a young Fiona Apple. @bryonywilliams | Linktree Mark is joined by super-talented singer-songwriter Bryony Williams. Bryony realised she could sing in her early teens, and spent most of her mid-to-late teens honing her craft. At nineteen she was in the electro-pop duo Field Harmonics, and has been recording solo since 2018. Bryony’s picks In order of discussion: Cleaning Number one – with not so much a bullet as a scented wet wipe – for Bryony, and for so many, is cleaning. It’s a great way to see a problem and eliminate it with extreme prejudice; perfect for those times when you just don’t want to tackle that spreadsheet. Spontaneous trips out with pals You’ve got a job to do, and then your friend calls you up and asks if you want to go on a day trip. Are you honestly going back to work, or are you grabbing your keys and heading out the door? At least if the job doesn’t get done today, you can chalk it off to research. The mobile Whether it’s watching videos on YouTube or TikTok, endlessly doomscrolling or looking at people impersonating the Simpsons, our phones are several-hundred-pound procrastination engines. Bingewatching Any kind of TV binge can be a great way to tell ourselves we’re feeding our souls. And perhaps we are, but maybe crime documentaries aren’t the thing are brain needs right before we’re supposed to write that tricky email. Mark’s picks In order of discussion Over-planning the task Mark is not necessarily a planner by nature, but make him anxious about a thing, or give him a thing to do that he really doesn’t want to, and watch him plan and research to the nth degree. Organising and taxonomising A great example of this is tagging faces and locations in digital photo collections, or fixing the metadata in your music library (if you’re still the kind of person who has one, and doesn’t get all their music from a streaming service). It’s horrifically addictive to a certain brain type. Putting the kettle on It could be making a pot of tea, putting on a pot of coffee, or just crunching through a handful of dry roasted peanuts, filling the face is an excellent way to solve a problem – that perhaps doesn’t exist – before you really get down to the task at hand. Pet-bothering If you’ve got cats, they probably don’t want your affection right now. They’ll let you know when that sort of thing is appropriate. Dogs are a different story of course, but almost any pet can sense when you’re paying them attention in order to avoid paying attention to the thing you don’t want to be doing. Honourable mentions Imagining hypotheticals Bargaining Gardening More of Bryony Williams You can get a limited edition copy of Bryony’s EP Growing / Fading, and follow her on Instagram or Twitter for more. Links Support the podcast Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost Share List Envy and get rewards Notion, Mark's second brain Soulver, the back-of-a-fag-packet calculator
Guest Ella Gregg Founder of artist management and development company 321 Artists. 321 artists Mark kicks off a music mini-season with artist manager Ella Gregg, who’s been supporting emerging music artists since she was a teenager. Tech has always been an important aspect of Ella’s work, including her early days helping artists get their work played in films or adverts. Ella’s picks In order of discussion Livestreaming Over the lockdown period, artists have needed to adapt in order to survive, and the ability to livestream gigs has been a lifeline. The fact gigs were no longer bound to a specific geography made them more accessible to audiences that otherwise might not have got the chance to see new artists play. But playing to a camera does bring its own challenges, which Ella can speak to directly. Multi-participant video calling We’ve all had it up to here with “Zoom fatigue”, but services like Zoom have been invaluable over the past year, and just as with livestreaming, voice and video over IP have given musicians, producers, and songwriters the opportunity to collaborate with people they wouldn’t have otherwise. Digital audio workstations DAWs are an important addition to the modern musician’s toolkit. You can go as simple as Apple’s GarageBand or as complex as ProTools and beyond. Ella picked the DAW as it gives emerging artists the chance to craft a great sound, or at least record a rough demo, without having to pay for studio time. Music recognition algorithms If you’re in your 30s, you might remember ringing a number on your feature phone, holding it up to a speaker in a pub or a café for 30 seconds, and then getting a text with the name of the song that was playing. Now, we take services like Shazam for granted, as music ID tech is pretty much built into our voice assistants, but to some of us it still feels like magic. Plus, services like it are incredibly valuable to emerging artists whose music appears on TV or in adverts. Social ads Advertising on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can put your work in front of exactly the right people, based on their likes and location. Ella uses social video ads successfully in her business, and has seen other artists do the same. Mark’s picks In order of discussion Loop pedal Mark picked this piece of kit for its ability to help solo musicians create layered sounds, with something as minimal as a guitar, or with a whole set of instruments being played consecutively. Handheld SD card recorder The best ones are made by a company called Zoom (not that one), and give musicians the chance to create high-quality recordings wherever they are, either by using the in-built mic, or by plugging in one or up to four mics. Music distribution services Mark was introduced to Amuse a couple of years ago, which is a mobile app based distribution platform that makes it super-simple to release tracks to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and everywhere else, completely for free. iPad Combining a handheld recorder and a DAW, the iPad gives musicians access to a portable multitrack recording studio, combined with the ability to release tracks to the Internet directly from the same device. YouTube Although the relationship between creator and platform is often contentious, YouTube has provided a megaphone to a raft of artists who now sell out venues. Honourable mentions Collaborative workspaces Social media scheduling More of Ella Gregg You can find Ella at 321 Artists, where you can sign up for her mailing list to get exclusive downloads you won’t find elswhere. Links Support the podcast Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost Share List Envy and get rewards
Guest Owen Stephens Librarian. “What else is there to say?” Overdue Ideas | Ideas linking Libraries, Computing, E-learning, and anything else that springs to mind. Many people are intrigued by the depiction of their profession in popular fiction, and none more so than librarians, like this week’s guest Owen Stephens. Owen’s picks In order of discussion: Bunny Watson The TV company researcher and librarian played by Katharine Hepburn in the 1957 film Desk Set is top of Owen’s list for her quick wit and style. The film itself is a story that could be told today, and has perhaps only become more prescient. Lirael “It’s better to be a librarian than part of the collection”, so goes the advice given to the librarian in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series of novels, who uses her place of work as a means of escape and exploration. Oswald Bates Played by Timothy Spall in Stephen Poliakoff’s Shooting the Past – because that’s exactly who you cast – Bates fights tooth and nail against property developers intent on turning the stately home that houses his library into a business school. Tammy Swanson Tammy II, as she is less-than-affectionately known in the US sitcom Parks and Recreation, is the Deputy Director of Library Services in Pawnee Indiana, played blindingly by Megan Mullally. Although she has broken Ron’s heart on multiple occasions, driven him to distraction and corn rows, the worst thing about her is that “she works for the library”. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: Horace Worblehat The Unseen University is the school of wizardry in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels, games and TV films. Its librarian is an orangutan who once purportedly went by the name of Horace Worblehat, but was turned into an ape via a magical accident in the first Discworld novel, and found that “being an orangutan has certain advantages”. Mrs Phelps Mark picked the kind woman at the desk of the public library frequented by Roald Dahl’s Matilda as his second choice, as she was the catalyst that propelled our heroine forwards, allowing her to explore and unlock more knowledge. Brooks Hatlen For his third pick, Mark went with the librarian at Shawshank prison, in the Stephen King short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption from Different Seasons. His [spoiler alert] death is what sets up the expectation of Red’s post-prison life Joe Bookman The “library cop” Lt Bookman, played by Philip Baker Hall is Mark’s sitcom pick. His job is to track down “library delinquets” like our hero Jerry Seinfeld. See him in action. Honourable mentions Rupert Giles Flynn Carsen Evelyn Carnahan Wan Shi Tong Twilight Sparkle Kaisa Mary from Party Girl More of Owen Stephens You can follow @ostephens on Twitter, or find him working on the Folio open source library project. Links Support the podcast Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost Share List Envy and get rewards
41: Top 5 biopics

41: Top 5 biopics


Guest Aaron Conway Co-host of The Third Wheel podcast. Aaron Conway | Developer, Designer, one or the other. The Third Wheel Whether they cover an entire life or centre on a pivotal moment, biopics are often Oscar fodder, and are frequently conic. In this episode, Mark and podcaster and web developer Aaron Conway get straight down to business, ranking the best biopics around. Aaron’s picks In order of discussion: The Social Network Aaron goes straight in with the Fincher/Sorkin collaboration that tells the story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg up until his court battle with the Winklevoss twins. It’s a top pick for Aaron as it helped pave the way for an interest and then career in tech. Rocketman While most biopics arguably strive for some level of accuracy, this Dexter Fletcher musical biopic of Elton John throws realism to the wind, while stillk eeping true to the man behind the piano and the massive glasses. The Wolf of Wall Street Aaron picks Scorsese’s Jordan Belfort for its fast pace and storytelling that both beckons you in but also makes you think “can this really have happened?” Dangal This big budget Bollywood film tells the story of former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, played by the director Amir Khan, who pushes his daughters into the world he wished he could have pushed his sons, if he had them. Marvellous This might be easy to overlook, but Aaron was taken with this story of the life of Neil Baldwin, which plays with the form by including the subject alongside the actor playing him (in this case, Toby. Jones), as the subject. It’s all very meta. You should watch it. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: Shadowlands This love story between author CS Lewis and poet Joy Gresham hit Mark right in the feels when he saw this at the end of 2019. It’s a quiet story about a quiet man who was given an all-too-brief glimpse of love. Stan and Ollie Although Laurel and Hardy mean increasingly little to younger generations, they’re part of a history we can trace back, and one that bridges the gap between the British variety scene and Hollywood’s golden age. Hillbilly Elegy This Ron Howard film, based on a young man’s memoir, is emotional at best and heart-wrenching at worst. A compelling story portrayed by Glenn Close, Amy Adams and Gabriel Basso, that has big and bold characters without drawing lines between heroes and villains. Lion Apart from linking nicely to Aaron’s first pick by way of Rooney Mara, Lion is a solid pick for Mark for the gripping retelling of Saroo Brierley’s return to India after he was adopted by a Tasmanian couple who found him in India a thousand miles away from home. Private Parts Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mark enjoyed a particular radio style growing up. In America, that style was epitomised by people like Howard Stern, and although society has largely outgrown that personality type, there are still some performances Mark cherishes, mostly from Paul Giamatti. Honouarble mentions Mark and Aaron discussed these after recording had finished, but they still deserve a mention. The Founder 42 Ray Walk the Line More of Aaron Conway You can follow @aaronconway7 on Twitter and on Instagram, and make sure to check out his podcast, The Third Wheel. Links Support the podcast Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost Share List Envy and get rewards
Guest Eliza Lita Europe Editor for The Meridian magazine. Top writer in Books and Reading on Medium. Eliza Lita – Editor and freelance journalist Journalist Eliza Lita is a self-confessed bookworm, but her early reading focused more on non-fiction work. As a result, she’s picked up a wide variety of useful knowledge, and kept her curiosity alive. She and Mark share an appreciation for good crime fiction, and Eliza has some tips to help Mark finish the books he keeps starting. Eliza’s picks In order of discussion: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Eliza’s first pick is life-changing for her, in a less-than-subtle way. This book can help you connect with your reason-for-being, and could even help you live to 100. The Face: A Time Code How many times do you really look in the mirror? In this book, author Ruth Ozeki does just that… but for a really long time. Sleep Well: Everything You Need to Know for a Good Night’s Rest This book helped Eliza navigate through her sleep procrastination. It has a lot of useful, practical advice for improving your sleep hygiene, including a powerful visualisation technique. Beyond Mars and Venus: Relationship Skills for Today’s Complex World This book unpacks the differences between the way men and women think, and a more constructive manner than the “men are from Mars” style books of the previous generation. Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown Eliza’s fascination with the British royal family is piqued with this memoir by peeress Anne Glenconner. If you’re ready to take another look at the stereotypes and the lives behind The Crown, this book comes highly recommended by Eliza. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness This self-help book is Mark’s top pick as it had a dramatic effect on the way he approached the part of the brain that keeps us safe, but also keeps us mired in shame and self-doubt. Self Compassion This book challenges the hitherto lauded notions of “self-belief”, instead demonstrating that we’re all worthy of love and compassion – even when we make mistakes – because we’re human. The Infinite Game This Simon Sinek book helped Mark concentrate less on his small business competitors, and focus more on his ultimate aim. Three Men in a Boat Although this might not be everyone’s first thought when it comes to non-fiction, Jerome K Jerome’s travelogue has some hilarious moments that opened Mark’s eyes to a style of humour he’d previously been unaware of. Alexander Hamilton The book that inspired the smash hit musical is Mark’s final pick, as the work it inspired changed his life in a less than subtle way. Honourable mentions History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life More of Eliza You can read Eliza’s writings on Medium, and follow @lita_eliza on Twitter. Eliza is also Europe Editor for The Meridian magazine, and you can read some of her contributions there. Links Support the podcast Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost Share List Envy and get rewards
Guest Sue Burlton Paediatric ICU nurse passionate about her career and her children. Mark is joined by nature lover and avid walker Sue Burlton, and together they uncover the joys of a good stretch of the legs. If you’re planning a stroll, this will make excellent accompaniment. Sue’s picks In order of discussion: Wildlife You might be surprised how much wildlife is available for you to see, even in an urban space, so let the dog off the lead for a bit and take a look through the trees and the hedgerows and see what you can spot. Green space Trees are good for us, berries are often plentiful, and flowers are pretty. Look, it needed to be said, and now it has been. Flowers are pretty, dammit. Look at the flowers. (Not in a Walking Dead sense, just look at them all pretty like they are.) The canals of Birmingham It’s an oft-recited — and completely wrong — boast that Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice, and it’s usually spoken by people who’ve missed the point of Venice entirely. But Birmingham’s canal network is a lovely thing to be part of, whether in a bot, on a boat, or near a boat. Seven Wonders walk In the mid-2000s, a group of young environmentalists created a circular walking trail that brings walkers in contact with some of the lovely things Sue’s local area has to offer, from the mill pond to the Dingle. Discovering history Walking tours and trails give us a chance to discover and reconnect with aspects of our history. You might have to venture further online than a quick Google search as so much is buried in local knowhow passed around orally, but it’s worth it. Plus, a savvy Internet-connected individual such as yourself could be just the person to help preserve it. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: Time to yourself A long walk gives us the chance to get away from the world for a few minutes, and be unproductive (in the traditional sense) through the disconnection from the Internet and the occupation of your hands and eyes. It doesn’t have to be a means to an end If you don’t like the thought of exercise, for whatever reason, a walk has good practical value too, as you can stroll to the shops instead of catching the bus or jumping in the car. You can also use walk as play, and take part in a geocache. Time offline It’s not often you have a good excuse nowadays to not be available. The benefit of taking a long walk is that, even if you’re reachable in a workplace catastrophe, there’s probably not much you can do about it, and even if you could, you have a ready-made excuse. Collecting things Whether you’re collecting pinecones, conkers, or in Mark’s case, sounds, collecting is a good way to give purpose to a walk, or add a few extra achievement points to your exercise. Spend time with someone Although there are great benefits to walking alone, you can get even more by walking with someone you love, or at the very least you like. In times of social distancing, it’s a great way to safely meet someone you might normally only see in the pub. More of Sue Burlton You can follow Sue on Twitter @sueburly. Links Support the podcast Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost Share List Envy with your friends James Brindley Time to Walk on Apple Fitness+
Guest Valerie Paris Creator of games, immersive media, and broken dreamthings. Valerie Paris - Developer of horror video games including Butterfly Collector, Valerie Paris joins Mark to discuss point-and-click adventure games you’ll remember, and one or two you’ll never forget, no matter how hard you try. Valerie is too young to have played many of these games when they originally came out, but has made up for that Valerie’s picks In order of discussion: Grim Fandango This wildly popular and hilarious swashbuckling RPG from LucasArts is close to so many hearts, and it is to Mark’s eternal chagrin that he has still yet to play it. Go north, pick up thing, put thing in other thing, and hope for a resolution. Myst Perhaps one of the most well-known and well-regarded games of the genre and era, the atmospheric Myst is Valerie’s second pick because of its genre-defining quality and because it ran everywhere. Still Life A slightly more modern pick, Still Life is set in two different time periods, allowing you to play as two different characters — a police detective and her grandfather — solving related murder mysteries. Valerie describes it as “if David Fincher directed a serial killer murder mystery point-and-click”. Loom Perhaps one of the more obscure LucasArts offerings, Valerie’s fourth pick is a beautifully colourful and innovative game that turns the verbing-the-noun trope on its head, allowing you to perform spells and control time by playing musical notes in a particular direction. Bad Day on the Midway This game is meant to be a little bit scary and creepy, but there’s a chance its uncanny valley nature has propelled it from creepy to nightmare-inducing. In order to complete the game, you have to play through as a number of different characters, to get the full horrifying perspective. It’s also possible to kill off the main characters, thus making the game impossible to complete, so that’s fun. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: Day of the Tentacle Mark’s list kicks off with another LucasArts classic, a story told in the past, the present, and the future, in which you play as three characters who have to save the world from the invasion of slimy tentacle creatures, hell bent on taking over the world. Little Big Adventure Not to be confused with Little Big Planet, LBA (or Relentless: Twinsen’s Adventure) as it was for some reason known in North America, is a pretty chilled-out, cozy adventure in which you play a sort-of dissident whose prophetic dreams of your planet’s discovery make the ruler nervous. Discworld This funny, very long and often infuriating point-and-click adventure set in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is perhaps better than it has any right to be, based on the voice talent alone. Under a Killing Moon This strange point-and-click first-person interactive movie combined slapstick comedy, gratuitous use of green screen and a Blade Runner aesthetic to create a detective film noir experience like nothing… except perhaps its sequels (one of which is still in development). Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers In this funny sequel within the popular Space Quest series published by Sierra, you play as space-janitor Roger Wilco. It is your job to avoid the Sequel Police who are intent on putting a stop to your existence, which sees you chased throughout space, ending up in a mall where you make burgers and try on women’s clothes. Honourable mentions Laurie Anderson’s Puppet Motel Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle Shivers Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis Gobliiins Simon the Sorcerer Starship Titanic Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong Nou More of Valerie Paris You can follow @UncannyVallerie on Twitter and on Itch to experience her games, and look out for Apolysis when it arrives. Go deeper Haunted PS1 Demo Disc 2020 Petscop Frog Fractions Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail Halt and Catch Fire (TV series) Syncro-Vox Guys from Andromeda LSD: Dream Emulator Links Support the podcast
Guest David Webb Creative Director at WeAreBeard. WEAREBEARD - Design, branding & development Worcester Mark is joined by the Creative Director at Worcester-based design, branding and development agency WeAreBeard, Dave Webb, to share his top tips for working in the kind of field that your mum told you you should have a backup for. Dave remembers the first day he was praised for drawing something good, instead of being made to feel like he was falling behind academically, which is where his affinity for creative work began. A creative person’s priorities often don’t fit in with a “professional” culture, which can lead to clashes, of which both Mark and Dave have experience. Dave’s tips In order of discussion: Don’t have a plan B Make an achievable, flexible plan and work towards it. Consider subsidising it if you can’t make a living at it, and keep a record of your success so you can measure how far along you are. Be childlike, but not childish A child’s enthusiasm is an inspirational thing to keep around, as it gives us curiosity and wonder, making us more receptive. A child’s attitude to criticism… not so much. Be excited by your work If you’re not excited about your work, you can’t expect anyone else to be. That goes not only for the work that you create from whole cloth, but the ideas presented to you, or even professional briefs. If you enjoy working on a project, that enjoyment shines through, but the inverse is also true. Failing is learning Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, because chances are you’ll make lots of them as you’re starting out, but making those mistakes, figuring out what went wrong is what equips you to do better next time. It’s a numbers game Looping back to Dave’s original point, your time will come if you stick at what you want to do, and wait out the competition who give up too soon. Mark’s tips In order of discussion: Be supportive If encountering others’ work, whether you’re being asked to critique or not, focus on the things that matter, rather than what might be elements of technique alone that can be improved. Be stubborn Some people ask “why?” instead of “why not?”, so in those moments where someone doesn’t see the worth in what you see, maybe it’s time to dig your heels in and advocate for your thing. Run your own race If you’re running a race ,while you need to keep half an eye on your competitors o you know when to push ahead, your primary focus should be on the finish line. With creativity, we need to compare sparingly and in context. Use what you have to hand If you can’t afford the latest up-to-date music creation software, or the most-expensive DSLR camera, that doesn’t make you less of a musician or photographer — your work is in you, not your tools. Yes, they can make the creative process easier, but “XKCD isn’t successful because it looks great”. Take all advice with a pinch of salt Your goal is to improve on the work you did yesterday, not to improve on someone else’s. This is your art, your work, your creativity, and your choices. Honourable mentions Dress for the industry you’ll be working in, not what you think you’re supposed to wear. Show your work in an email; don’t send a precursor and wait for an invitation. If you’ve sent a legitimate email, don’t be afraid to follow up (this doesn’t apply unless you know the full name of the person you’re emailing, and you have their permission to email). More of Dave Webb Follow Dave on Instagram and @illustratteddave, and check out the wonderful WeAreBeard, of which he is Creative Director. Go further Compare the Meerkat Share this show with friends Mark’s meme thing @obscurestvinyl on Instagram Links Support the podcast
Guest Karl Hodge University Course Director, and former tech journalist, currently researching VR and narrative. Time-travel films are often about fixing the big things, so says this week’s guest, Karl Hodge, but time-travel romance films address the small things that keep us awake at night. Mark and Karl begin by looking at some of Christopher Nolan’s work, from Memento to Tenet, and trying to figure out whether they qualify as time-travel films. Groundhog Day This early time-loop film has not only spawned films in a similar vein, it’s effectively become its own genre, spanning TV and film. Back to the Future Yes there may be better films in the trilogy, but Mark picked the first because, well, it’s the first, but also because it has some unique romantic, and anti-romantic plot dynamics. The Time Traveler’s Wife Karl chose this 2009 film, adapted from the book, partly as it countered his worry that it wouldn’t match up to the wildly popular source material. Its placement in Karl’s list obviously puts paid to that. About Time As much as it is a Richard Curtis film with all the trappings of a Richard Curtis film, this ranked highly in Mark’s list because of its sweetness. But it does have some holes, as the pair explore. Kate & Leopold Karl picked this fish-out-of-water story as a bit of an undiscovered gem. You could do worse than pick up a pint of a frozen dairy product and enjoy this sweet film. Safety Not Guaranteed Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza star in this as-yet-unseen-by-Mark pick, but the good news is Karl has seen it and can totally vouch for it. The Lake House While time-travel feels like a character in most of the pair’s picks, this film from 2006 takes a more subdued approach, focusing on the conflict the distance in time creates. Happy Accidents Mark’s final pick is from 2000, in which a woman meets a man from 470 years in the future. It’s one that had passed Karl by, so consider the homework set! Time After Time Also known as Time Freak, Karl’s final pick teaches us that any film or TV show called Time After Time – whether that’s its original name or not – is worth checking out. This one is particularly worth checking out as it focuses, not on the needs of the time-traveller, but on the chaos that can be left in the wake of someone without regard for proper time-travel etiquette. Links Support the podcast
Guest Rusty Nails Musician, DJ, producer, dreamer! One third of Titans of Doom. Rusty Nails | Free Listening on SoundCloud This week’s guest is musician, DJ and producer Kevin Kerr, and on the list is top people from Birmingham in the UK, or as we have them, Brummies. Benjamin Zephaniah Kevin’s first pick is the poet and performer who might be best known to non-UK listeners as the priest in Peaky Blinders, but Benjamin’s words have touched both he and Mark, which is why he features highly on both of their lists. Stewart Lee Mark’s pick was instrumental in British comedy from the 90s onwards, and remains one of the UK’s most well-respected stand-ups. It also gave the pair the opportunity to reminisce about an obscure and overlooked TV gem, called Time Trumpet. Tony Iommi If Mark had allowed Kevin to pick Black Sabbath as a whole, then perhaps he would’ve, but as that would cause incalculable damage to the podcast format, he picked this superhuman heavy metal legend. John Cadbury What better Brummie could Mark choose than the inventor of chocolate, and the father of the inventors of Bournville (sort of)?… even if Mark never got to go to Cadbury World, the closest thing that passes for a theme park in Birmingham. Mike Skinner Kevin reopens old wounds for Mark with this pick, the front man – or only man? – of the Streets, and one of Mark’s mortal enemies (although Mike wouldn’t know it). Can Mark keep a clean streak and knock Mike off the final list? John Oliver Arguably one of the most successful Brits working in the US today, Mark’s pick is a surprise-Brummie. Host of Last Week Tonight, and former guest-host of The Daily Show, former co-host of the Bugle podcast, former Smurf, and current Zazu… you get it. Pat Malloy Originally from Galway in Ireland, Pat moved to Spark Hill in Birmingham, and was the linchpin of Irish music within the centre of the city. He makes Kevin’s list by virtue of the quiet influence he exercised throughout the community. Janice Connolly Janice’s character Barbara Nice has made it to national TV on multiple occasions, and she is a mainstay of the Birmingham comedy scene. Joe Lycett Kevin’s choice is people’s champion, regular Channel 4 panel-show contributor, hilarious stand-up comic and extremely local-to-Mark-boy, Joe Lycett. Honourable mentions Alan Napier Julie Walters Rob Halford Jamelia Moeen Ali Barbara Cartland Arthur Darvill Fred Dinenage More of Rusty Nails Follow @RustyNailsBeats on Twitter and listen to Titans of Doom’s latest single, Rise Up, in aid of the Northfield Community Partnership food bank. Go further Gary Sambrook eats big dinners Links Support the podcast
Guest Liam Barrington-Bush Helping keep neighbourhoods undesirable. Hip-hop. Anarchism. Community is the answer. more like people » Anarchists in the Boardroom | more like people This week’s guest is Liam Barrington-Bush, a Bristol-based activist who helps organisations think more like people, and has loads of real-world experience of how people can govern themselves, build their own systems, and get closer to achieving what they want, without having those systems handed down to them. After years of community activism and disillusionment with political systems, Liam discovered that people were capable of remarkable things when they weren’t being told what to do. Mark and Liam discuss the way the Internet has enabled or changed activism, but allowing information to spread to places that wouldn’t ordinarily be affected or invested. They also examine what happens after the dust has settled. Argentine Occupy Factory movement In the early 2000s, the Argentine economy tanked, and capital fled, so a number of factory workers began to challenge the notion of why they needed bosses in the first place, forming democratic assemblies to determine how to run the factories and even what they should produce. Indignados movement Following mass unemployment in Spain, a group of bloggers put together a manifesto calling for a demonstration. Thousands turned up, making camp in a Madrid square, and refusing to leave. The protests turned into a political movement with the English-translated name of “We Can”. People’s uprising in Oaxaca, Mexico In 2006, a teachers’ strike was exacerbated by the Mexican government dropping tear gas from helicopters onto the strikers. Although public will wasn’t initially behind the teachers, protests began to form in reaction to the government’s heavy-handed approach. Protesters eventually ousted the police and military forces from the city of Oaxaca, built their own barricades against the country’s military, and started holding twice-daily community assemblies. Singing Revolution In the mid 1980s, the then USSR was relaxing its laws on free speech in the hopes of quelling unrest. Meanwhile in Estonia, fear and anger over the dumping of phosphorite led to protests in which people would gather and sing Estonian protest songs. The movement spread to other baltic countries, until 1991, when Estonia regained its independence from Russia. Sweets Way regeneration In 2015, Liam was involved with a community in Barnet, London, who were fighting eviction and forced relocation to housing outside of the city. Once evicted, property developers who owned the buildings would make the flats unliveable, by destroying fixtures and fittings, so as a group, the remaining residents decided to occupy and rebuild the homes, together, as a way of demonstrating that these properties were still fit for purpose. Within days, people who’d been forced to relocate banded with the current residents, community members and squatters, using whatever they had to hand to give the properties the attention they needed and maintain dozens of them as homes for over 7 months. Inner-London squatting in the 70s At the height of housing shortages in the 70s, over thirty thousand people were living in squats in London, which led to the formation of the Advisory Service for Squatters which published the Squatter’s Handbook, and were instrumental in the Sweets Way occupation. Rojava devolution From his Turkish prison, guerrilla Marxist and Kurdish freedom fighter Abdullah Öcalan began reading writings on communalism by New Yorker Murray Bookchin, and developing a model for building a free society for the Kurdish people, which involves making decisions as close to the ground as possible, and has led to greater empowerment of women, a focus on environmentalism, and transformations in the justice system. Even in the midst of a warzone in Northeast Syria, hundreds of thousands of Kurds (and other regional residents) have managed to practice a direct and localised form of democracy for several years, while being at the forefront of the succesful fight against ISIS’ advances in the region. Sous les pavés, la plage! In May 1968, protests at a Paris university led to its shutdown, with students refusing to leave, and as the conflict escalated, the French government responded with aggression. Sympathy with the protesters spread, leading to workers striking in solidarity, calls for a new government, and the fleeing of then President Charles de Gaulle. A full-on revolution was prevented after the government collapsed, and the message, translated into English as “under the paving stones, the beach!” became emblematic of the protests, as people tore up the paving slabs to find sand beneath. Viome factory occupation After a factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, was set to fold following the bosses’ desertion in the wake of the financial crisis, the workers took it over, and renamed it to Viome, bringing in some of the people who’d help reform the factories in Buenos Aires. The people fought off attacks from the returning factory owners and the local community rallied around them. As a result, they transformed the output of the factory from toxic adhesives to affordable, eco-friendly household cleaning products. Rage Against the Machine for Christmas #1 Following years of ITV shows deciding what should be the UK’s Christmas #1 — back when that felt important — a Facebook campaign was setup to encourage people to buy or download Rage Against the Machine’s 1991 hit Killing in the Name, so that it could beat the then X Factor winner Joe McElderry’s single The Climb. In some ways this was a spiritual successor to 2005’s story of Nizlopi whose JCB Song was, contrary to Mark’s memory, kept from the top slot by that year’s X Factor winner. Honourable mentions Mass trespass of Kinder Scout Toppling of Edward Colston’s statue More of Liam Barrington-Bush Follow Liam on Twitter @hackofalltrades, and check out his website. Go further David Graeber, anthropologist, anarchist activist, and author Accidental Anarchist, a film by Carne Ross Teaching Rebellion Anarchists in the Boardroom, Liam’s book Links Support the podcast
Guest Nicholas Bond Creator of the Retrogame Deconstruction Zone, focusing on early 1982. Retrogame Deconstruction Zone Today Mark is talking the golden age of arcade games, which ran from 1979 til around 1983. Mark and Nick start with their own childhood arcade memories, and Mark gets quizzical about the American quarter as a “unit of fun”. As this was recorded during the Quarantimes, conversation inevitably turned to the decline in in-person entertainment like arcades and cinemas. Pac-Man Nick’s first pick is the 800lb gorilla in the arcade, a game in which many other video game historians aren’t in love. Nick tells Mark about how he discovered a later-in-life love for the game, and gives a little behind-the-scenes colour on the game’s nascent AI. Space Invaders Mark’s first pick is almost the quintessential video game, but this iconic selection raises complex feelings in our listmate, due to its incredibly repetitive nature. Defender You can write a book on how many different strategies that can be used to play this 1981 shooter. It would go on to influence a great number of side-scrolling shooters in arcades and in the home. Pole Position Mark remembers sitting in a Pole Position cabinet, many years after the game has passed its peak, but this simple prototypical racer was a firm favourite and lived long into the 90s. Mario Bros Rather than picking its predecessor Donkey Kong, Nick elected to go with the beautiful, joyous Mario Bros. Can you believe Mark has never played a Mario platformer? Sacrilege. Paperboy From back when the pinnacle of video game destruction involved knocking over someone’s garden furniture or perhaps smashing in a window, Paperboy is Mark’s third pick Galaga At a time when many arcade games introduced random elements to make them operate a little more like slot machines, Galaga gave players the chance to learn and improve with each new pass. Asteroids Mark’s final pick is a classic to those who remember it, but hasn’t perhaps been passed down through the generations like some of the others discussed. The physics in the game are pretty impressive, and it does give us the chance to learn a little more about vector graphics. Robotron 2048 Nick describes this as possibly being the single best action game of its era, but the maximalist explosions bely the deep strategical nature of the game. It was an early innovator in that it employed two joysticks: one for moving, and another for firing. Honourable mentions Berzerk Qbert More on Nicholas Bond Nick blogs at the Retrogame Deconstruction Zone, and you can find him on Twitter @MrVGBrow. More links High Score documentary series on Netflix Psygnosis (the video game publisher with the owl logo Mark was trying to think of) 10 hours of arcade noise Masters of Doom Podcast My Startup Links Support the podcast Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost
Guests Catherine Turner Cat presents Cat’s Cabinet of Curiosities with Tom Clabon, a show about conspiracy theories, cults, cryptozoology, crime and conundrums. Cat's Cabinet of Curiosities Cat's Cabinet of Curiosities (@catscabinet_pod) | Twitter Tom Clabon Co-producer of Cat’s Cabinet of Curiosities. general comedy/films/music person. Tom Clabon (@tom_clabon) | Twitter Mark is joined once more by Cat Turner and Tom Clabon to swap spooky stories. If you haven’t already checked out part one, you can do so now. The call is coming from inside the house Turns out this old teenage favourite – that feels like it could only happen in the 90s – may be based on some true events. The Boston Dynamics robot fights back Corridor Digital presented this video to the world, which shows a Boston Dynamics robot finally rising up against its human oppressors. It was of course later revealed to be a very good fake. Or was it? Yes, yes it was. OR WAS IT? Yep. Petscop Petscop is a supposedly haunted Playstation game from the late 90s or early 2000s, whose gameplay is chronicled on YouTube. Either that, or it’s a creepypasta ARG. The Young Ones’ fifth housemate If you remember this anarchic comedy from the 80s, you might not be aware that there existed, in a few shots, a creepy-looking silent housemate sat in a corner with hair over their face and hands on their knees. Little would the show’s directors know that twenty-some years later this would become a symbol of absolute terror. Links Support the podcast Listen to Cat's Cabinet of Curisoities Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost The Beware of the Leopard Christmas special
Guests Catherine Turner Cat presents Cat’s Cabinet of Curiosities with Tom Clabon, a show about conspiracy theories, cults, cryptozoology, crime and conundrums. Cat's Cabinet of Curiosities Cat's Cabinet of Curiosities (@catscabinet_pod) | Twitter Tom Clabon Co-producer of Cat’s Cabinet of Curiosities. general comedy/films/music person. Tom Clabon (@tom_clabon) | Twitter List Envy is back in the new year with a new slate of guests and lists. To get us back into the spirit, Mark called up previous guests Cat Turner and Tom Clabon to swap “scary ghost stories”, as is tradition, according to It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, which is a Christmas song. Mothman Cat has an enclyopaedic knowledge of this cryptid, and covered him… it?… at great length in an episode of Cat’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Cropsey Cropsey was a New York urban legend, but according to a 2009 documentary, there may be some truth behind it. Talking Angela This smartphone app from 2012 had certain corners of the Internet aflutter, and forced the company who mae it to put out a rather unusual, and bold, statement. Olivia Mabel Spoiler alert: this one isn’t real, but it’s really spooky… apart from one dead giveaway. Good job on the website though. The body under the bed Turns out this common childhood fear might not be entirely unfounded. Try not to have nightmares, and also don’t let your dogs lick your hand sight unseen. Russian sleep experiment Another piece of creepypasta, but a good one, especially if you’re in no rush to get some shut-eye. Links Support the podcast Listen to Cat's Cabinet of Curiosities Follow Mark on Twitter Find more shows from the Outpost
Guest Suzy Buttress Birdwatcher, nature lover, and host of the Casual Birder podcast. The Casual Birder Podcast Suzy Buttress (@suzybee_2) • Instagram photos and videos Mark chats with casual birder Suzy Buttress about features, song and flight. Suzy has specific criteria she uses to judge the quality of birds (which makes her a List Envy natural): song, plumage, behaviour and impact on the garden. She also provides some great advice if you’re looking to feed the birds, without becoming the crazy pigeon lady from Home Alone, or spreading plants that shouldn’t be spread. Honourable mentions Dunnock Sparrowhawk Suzy’s picks In order of discussion: Robin This nearly didn’t make Suzy’s list as it’s not obscure enough for a bird lover, but she appreciates the “gardener’s bird” for its beautiful song, iconic plumage, and its personality. Blue tit A small acrobatic garden bird with striking plumage, the blue tit provides good alarm calls for other birds, but you’ll want to keep them away from your fruit trees if you’re precious about your fruit. Blackbird Confusingly, only the male of the species is black, whereas female blackbirds are in fact brown. Regardless, their song is beautiful and you’ll hear it from rooftops… even if you’re trying to sleep (especially if you live in an area of light pollution). Bullfinch Although the male’s plumage is much brighter in northern Europe, they’re still striking in their red and orange, with the females a coffee colour. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: Goldfinch According to Suzy, goldfinches were originally kept in cages because they had such a beautiful song. If you’re maintaining your garden during the autumn, you might want to think about leaving thistles and dandelions around, as they provide seeds. House sparrow The UK has lost 70% of these little pinstriped birds, but have been introduced worldwide thanks to good old colonisation. Suzy especially appreciates listening to their gossipy tones, and thinks we need to do more to value them. Chaffinch Once the most populous bird in the UK, this David Dickinson lookalike — to Mark’s eyes, at least — has a distinctive trill towards the end of its call. If you’re planning a visit to a stately home, you might see some chaffinches, so why not bring along some sunflower hearts? Magpie These are smart, mischievous little blighters, that can attack, but have an interesting, chattery song that is often a warning of a looming threat. Song thrush They can be mistaken for juvenile blackbirds, and Mark has notes on their call, but the way they kill snails is pretty dark. More of Suzy Buttress Listen to the Casual Birder podcast, and get all Suzy’s contact details on her website. Links Support the podcast
Guest Nick Moreton Coder, teacher, punk, tea lover. You Don't Look Like A Runner Nick (@NGMoreton) on Twitter Mark is joined by podcaster and self-confessed computer nerd Nick Moreton, to talk about films where people talk about mainframes and UNIX systems. There are quite a few swears in this episode, and more than a little discussion about a mutual friend, co-host of Nick’s podcast and Mark’s, and previous List Envy guest, Jon Hickman.. Honourable mentions Her The Terminator Independence Day Sneakers Blade Runner Big Hero 6 The Imitation Game Hidden Figures Nick’s picks In order of discussion: Hackers This 1995 cyber thriller starring Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie is essentially the only film Nick wanted to talk about, which he describes as being like the Matrix but if someone spilled coloured paint all over it. It also has exactly the kind of depiction of a computer system you would expect from a mid-90s film. The Social Network This 2010 Fincher/Sorkin collaboration is Nick’s second pick because it tells the simple story of someone who created something in their bedroom that then went on to change the world. The Internet’s Own Boy This 2014 documentary tells the story of Aaron Swartz, to whom we as Internet denizens owe a debt of gratitude we’ll sadly not get the chance to repay. He co-founded Reddit and helped architect the Creative Commons licensing framework, worked with John Gruber on the text system Markdown, and was involved in the spec that is used to deliver podcasts to millions of people every day. Wreck-it Ralph This 2012 CGI kids’ film from 2012 makes Nick’s list purely on merit… no ironic liking here. It’s got video game nods, good performances and a simple, solid storyline. What’s not to love? Jurassic Park This 1993 blockbuster might not, at first glance, seem to be about computers. But think about it… it’s a UNIX system, you know this. Like all good films about computers in the 90s, there’s a 3D operating system, unnecessary bleeps and bloops and animation that, had the developers spent as much time on park security as they had on taunting other developers, they might have saved that guy from being eaten off of the toilet. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: The Matrix Mark’s first pick is a film he knows almost by heart, to the point of being more than a nerd about it. It took him a few go-rounds to fully grok — as the cyberkids say — this ’99 classic, but grok it he did. eXistenZ Proving that the mid-to-late 90s is where all the best computery films happened, eXistenZ is a less-than-mainstream adventure through a fully realistic virtual reality game. There are tropes to watch out for if you’re familiar with gaming, and a decent cast. The Net Mark was probably in his second year of secondary school when this Sandra Bullock cybercrime thriller came out. Mark didn’t really know much about the Internet when the film came out, but neither did the writers. Ex Machina This sizzling near-two-hander between Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac — with a stand-out performance by Alicia Vikander — makes Mark’s list for its drama, acting, staging, and tension. Flight of the Navigator If you’re unfamiliar with this Disney adventure from 1986, think 2001: A Space Odyssey, but more fun, and for kids. David is a boy who gets taken up in a tiny, beautiful shiny ship, and whips around the world at high speed. More of Nick Moreton You can keep up with Nick on Twitter, and listen to his running podcast, You Don’t Look Like a Runner Links Support the podcast
Guest Thom Peterson Humour, mystery and downright stupid stuff! That’s his middle name….erm…..names. Thom Peterson (@AmazingGuyMagic) on Twitter We look down the barrel of a gun, at a besuited comedy magician called Thom Peterson. He enters centre-frame, aims his gun and fires. Red washes over the screen. Fade to black. Thom maintains that magicians just want to be Bond, and who can blame him? He and Mark talk about their favourite — and least-favourite — Bonds, the trouble with the E-on canon (which is not a villainous super-weapon), and much more. Honourable mentions go to Mr Wint and Mr Kidd from Diamonds are Forever. Mark also reveals that he’s looking forward to seeing Rami Malek as the next villain, when No Time to Die hits cinemas in April 2020. Expect swearing, Bond trivia, an extraordinary amount of incorrect information, and spoilers. Thom’s picks In order of discussion: Francisco Scaramanga The titular Man with the Golden Gun, played by Christopher Lee makes it to the top of Thom’s list, for deeply personal reason. Also he shot people with gold, was an equal-opportunity employer and liked to bone down before a kill. Gustav Graves / Colonel Moon The entrepreneur from Die Another Day is Thom’s next pick for one specific line, which you’ll hear in the episode. (Try and ignore the fact that Mark then launches into talking about GoldenEey, which is a different film). Xenia Onatopp If you gotta go, why not get strangled to death by Famke Janssen? Thom enjoys the character and Janssen’s portrayal on merits of psychopathy alone. Max Zorin Christopher Walken’s outing as the villain from A View to a Kill is next on Thom’s list, and is a perfect opportunity for them both try out their impersonations. It’s not necessarily a Bond highlight, but it’s Walken, so it makes the list. Rosa Klebb Played by Lotte Lenya, Klebb was part of the blueprint for Frau Farbissina, of Austin Powers fame. Thom likes the fact she can go from warm and caring to entirely on fire in the blink of an eye, and she can attack a man with a shoe-blade. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: Ernst Stavro Blofeld Blofeld has been played by a number of bald men, and Thom suggests that maybe it’s the cat thing that Mark likes about this iconic villain… or is it that Blofeld is very much the archetypical supervillain? Incidentally, Donald Pleasance is the actor Thom is thinking of, who portrayed Blofeld in /You Only Live Twice/, and the film Mark is criticising for having a “bad Bond” is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the George Lazenby one.) Alec Trevelyan Mark’s second pick (who he keeps calling Alex) is a 006 agent played by Sean Bean. The character has a good death, which is one of Mark’s criteria for judging Bond villains. Auric Goldfinger Goldfinger had the simple scheme of eradicating all the gold in Fort Knox, exercising his entirely logical belief that if he couldn’t have all the money, no-one should have any of the money. Hugo Drax Mark’s next pick wants to build a new moon kingdom and press people to cucumber sandwiches. He also gave viewers the chance to be reunited with Jaws, one of the best henchpeople (which is perhaps a list for another day). Renard Victor Zokas, more commonly konwn as Renard, was portrayed by Robert Carlyle in The World is Not Enough. Mark enjoyed the Carlyle of it all, but also found the character’s backstory interesting. He also had a very good death. Incidentally, Thom is thinking of Denise Richards (not Linda Hamilton) as the woman behind Dr Christmas Jones. More of Thom Peterson You can follow @AmazingGuyMagic on Instagram, and find out more about him and his work from his website. Links Support the podcast
Guest Karin Robinson Host of the Primarily: 2020 podcast. Former Democrats Abroad UK Vice Chair. Edelman UK Planning Director. Mum. Cat lady. Primarily: 2020 • A podcast on Anchor Karin Robinson (@karinjr) on Twitter Mark gets to the truth, with political podcaster Karin Robinson, as they share their lists of films about the people who keep the presses running. Karin hosts the Primarily 2020 podcast, which tracks the ongoing story of the Democratic primaries (the thing where they elect the party’s Presidential candidate). She feels that films about journalism tell the best stories about people engaging with public life. Honourable mentions Adaptation Citizen Kane Zodiac Frank Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Nightcrawler Karin’s picks In order of discussion: Spotlight This double Oscar winner from 2015 is top of Karin’s list partially as it tells a story not far from her original hometown of Boston, but for the performances and of course for the difficult subject matter. His Girl Friday This romantic comedy from 1940 is Karin’s second pick, featuring a fast-talking masterclass from Rosalind Russell, and the peerless Cary Grant. If you only see one film about two people using journalism as a sex substitute, make it this one. Good Night, and Good Luck Karin’s third pick was Oscar-nominated six times, and was directed and co-written by George Clooney. It follows the story of legendary broadcaster Edward R Murrow (played by David Strathairn) and is, for Karin, about standing up in the face of bullshit. All the President’s Men Only a year later than Mark’s first pick, this 70s classic won four Oscars. It’s quiet and considered, and on paper — at least for Karin — should not work, but it earns every breakthrough. The Post This is the most-recent of the films in both lists is Karin’s fifth pick, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. It tells the story of a wealthy heiress who takes over the family business (which happens to be a massive newspaper) whilst the paper works on its biggest scoop ever. Mark’s picks In order of discussion: Network Mark’s top pick from 1976 won four Oscars including Best Screenplay. He describes it as a collection of bombastic speeches, and its “mad as hell” line is oft-quoted, especially among media studies students. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Those playing the Dagon Tattoo drinking game can take a drag now, as this 2011 Fincher remake of the Swedish original (based on Stieg Larsson’s book) is second on Mark’s list, not necessarily because it’s the second-best journalism film ever, but it’s a great story with journalism at its heart. Frost/Nixon This simmering drama starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen retells the story of the now infamous meeting-of-minds between disgraced president Nixon and former light-entertainer turned journalist David Frost. Almost Famous Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, Mark’s fourth pick is considered by many as something of a coming-of-age classic. It’s a film about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, all told from the point-of-view of a young — very young — music journalist. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas This 1998 psychedelic film was written and directed by Terry Gilliam, based on the book by Hunter S Thompson, who is credited with inventing the genre of “gonzo journalism”, which puts the writer in the frame of the story, instead of as a passive observer. More of Karin Robinson You can follow Karin on Twitter, and make sure to check out her podcast, Primarily 2020, available wherever you get podcasts. Links Support the podcast
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