chuck klosterman interview

Any pop culture writer today worth a scan online has a unique opinion on Chuck Klosterman. The renown American author and journalist made a name for himself in the aughts with witty, hyper-informed contributions as a former senior writer and columnist at SPIN. In 2003, he released a bestselling book of essays about “low culture” under the title, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, that dissected, exploded, and—in the case of Saved By the Bell—meta-ized topics ranging from internet porn to why there’s only “one important question a culturally significant film can still ask: What is reality?” To readers with an eye on the future, Klosterman signaled not only the arrival of an adored critic amongst hipsters, TV junkies, and geeks; he was the aware embodiment of the modern intellectual turned as voracious consumer of entertainment. And ever since many a beer has been consumed by writers arguing over or coveting this appointment.

Post-Cocoa Puffs, Klosterman’s bibliography has grown to include several works of non-fiction as well as last year’s Downtown Owl, a well-received debut novel benefiting from word-of-mouth, not unlike how Puffs did (but with Tweets on top). His latest book, Eating the Dinosaur, is a characteristic essay collection that can be burned through in a night but also raises several troubling philosophical questions. In the first part of Klosterman’s interview with /Film, he elaborates on the role feted director Errol Morris played in a few of Dinosaur’s themes. We also discuss his opinion of movie junkets, the accelerated culture of movie blogs, and the film most comparable to Guns N’ RosesChinese Democracy. For the second round of the interview, click here.

Hunter Stephenson: Hi Chuck. So, are you in California to speak about the book?

Chuck Klosterman: I’m doing The Jim Rome Show on ESPN, and it’s in Huntington Beach, California. And I gotta say, it’s creepy as fuck out here man.

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After several years of the best radio show ever produced, a none-too-shabby TV variant and a good handful of live engagements, Ira Glass and This American Life are finally getting into the movie business. Inevitable, perhaps.

Somewhat surprisingly, though, the screenwriters lined up for their first picture are the guys behind the script for Joe Johnston’s upcoming Captain America as well as the first two Narnia movies; yet perhaps less surprisingly for This Life collaborators, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely also wrote The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and collaborated with Cameron Crowe on a proposed, yet stalled, remake of the Ernst Lubitsch masterpiece Trouble in Paradise. (Who on earth thought Crowe would need assistance in adapting Lubitsch???)

It’s propped up between these different genre types that I suspect the American Life project will stand, though leaning somewhat on the latter.

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