Thursday, September 29, 2016


Not too long ago I read Suki Kim‘s article “The Reluctant Memoirist” in The New Republic. In the article, Kim, an investigative journalist who spent six months posing as a teacher at an evangelical university in North Korea — culminating in her 2014 book Without You, There Is No Us: My Time With the Sons of North Korea’s Elite — voiced her frustration at having to promote her nonfiction work as memoir. Her essay struck a chord.

To find out why visit The Rumpus.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Careers Outside Major Media Centers: Surviving--and Thriving--in Flyover Country

After over two decades of living in New York City (half in the Village, when "no-man's land" began east of Avenue B; half in Greenpoint, when it was still a Polish majority), this film writer/maker/programmer had had enough. The combination of rising cost of living in the midst of disintegrating infrastructure—and, not incidentally, my inability to bear another Northeast winter without wanting to slit my wrists—proved crucial in my decision to leave the Big Apple behind. Yet, strangely, due to the fact that we're now firmly in the online age, I never truly did. I simply packed up all my East Coast connections along with my possessions and moved them with me out West.

So I was indeed curious to learn how fellow film folks survive, both creatively and financially, outside the usual NYC/LA bubbles. Speaking with a handful of documentary filmmakers, I found answers as far-reaching as their regions.

To read my article visit the fall issue of Documentary Magazine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser on Command and Control

Based on Eric Schlosser’s book of the same name, Command and Control marks the second time Peabody and Emmy-winning director Robert Kenner has worked with the NY Times bestselling author – the first being on Food, Inc., Kenner’s Academy Award-nominated documentary inspired by Schlosser’s seminal Fast Food Nation. In their latest collaboration, though, the perils of agribusiness have been replaced by the too true tale of a near miss nuclear accident.

Weaving together archival news footage with present-day, first-hand-account interviews, the doc details the nail-biting events that occurred one September eve in 1980 at a Titan II missile complex in Damascus, Arkansas after a maintenance worker innocently dropped a socket – which subsequently punched a hole in the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile. I spoke with Kenner and Schlosser just prior to the film’s September 14th premiere at NYC’s Film Forum.

To read my interview visit Global Comment.

Friday, September 9, 2016


As a first-time author back in 2007, I was fascinated by the court case of Laura Albert, a San Francisco musician and phone sex operator who dreamed up a genderqueer alter ego by the name of JT LeRoy. LeRoy — who was thought to be a real person, not anyone’s persona — went on to woo everyone from Dennis Cooper and Mary Gaitskill to Asia Argento and Gus Van Sant with his harrowing writing. After LeRoy received much fame and acclaim, Albert was not only outed as the creator of LeRoy, but ultimately she was sued for fraud by Antidote Films, the production company that had optioned the rights to LeRoy’s Sarah.

Now, nearly a decade on, Albert finds herself in a much more positive spotlight as the subject of Jeff Feuerzeig’s Sundance-premiering documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story. Though I’ve corresponded with the often-polarizing writer over the years, we never actually sat down to do a formal interview. With the documentary hitting select theaters today, September 9, I figured it was due time to catch up, reflect, and reconsider the saga of JT LeRoy.

To read my interview visit Bitch Media.