Boiling it down to the essentials.
October 12, 2010 8:55 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite interviews, talks, etc.?

The internet is an overwhelming place, and so many great people have been interviewed so many times that sorting through them all would be impossible. So which ones have stood out for you?
posted by Echobelly to Education (31 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
This talk by Kevin Smith is a pleasant little twenty-minute story about how he sort of almost had a hand in making the recent Superman movie, and the ways that Hollywood can get things wrong.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:04 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Feynman lectures, no question.

He comes across as arrogant and self-important, and thinks himself funnier than the reality... But he does have a certain brilliance, and a real gift at describing "hard" concepts in physics in a way that even the average Joe could understand and even enjoy.
posted by pla at 9:07 AM on October 12, 2010

Not an interview or a talk per se, but Frank Zappa's appearance on Crossfire in 1986 discussing censorship is amazing.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:12 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ah, just as an aside, I just realized that I have only heard the "best of" audio version... Which I didn't realize at the time differed from the whole thing. Cool, I'll have to pick up the books! Thanks, you've given me an expanded topic with your question. :D
posted by pla at 9:12 AM on October 12, 2010

It may have something to do with my extreme and unnatural love for Paul Auster, but this interview makes my heart flutter every time I watch it. His love of writing is palpable.
posted by litnerd at 9:13 AM on October 12, 2010

I loved this Russell Brand interview on Fresh Air from 2009.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:30 AM on October 12, 2010

TED Talks are great at getting people to give the essentials of topics or research in a short format. If you love watching people talk about what they love and totally nerd rock out, TED talks will eat up an afternoon.
posted by fontophilic at 9:31 AM on October 12, 2010

David Milch's podcasts on writing are fantastic.

Jeff Goldsmith's Creative Screenwriting Podcasts (available in iTunes by searching Creative Screenwriting) are always a treat. In particular, Michael Haneke (if you're a fan) and Chris McQuarrie (even if you're not) are good places to start.
posted by dobbs at 9:47 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

And I loved this Russell Brand interview with Jeremy Paxman from last week!
posted by nicwolff at 9:54 AM on October 12, 2010

Lawrence Krauss: A Universe From Nothing.

I was lucky enough to be present at this lecture. It fascinated me at the time and it still does.
posted by Decani at 9:59 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is going to be all over the map, but:

Tina Fey's Golden Globe acceptance speech (starts about halfway through that video).

Everything is amazing and nobody's happy.

Speaking of TED, I love Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity.

David Mitchell's Soapbox.

Merriam-Webster Ask-The-Editor: Octopus

Stephen Fry on the Late Late Show

Oppenheimer on the bomb.

Dan and Terry: It Gets Better.

The Pachelbel Rant (not sure if that counts as a talk, but there you go.)
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:12 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have watched this Charlie Rose interview with author David Foster Wallace probably more than three or four times, and every time I'm still impressed with Wallace's stunning intellect, ability to make me identify with him through his use of language, and sincere humility.
posted by aintthattheway at 10:16 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]

Just about anything involving Cornel West.
posted by griphus at 10:23 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

BBC Interview with a DOW chemicals "representative Just beautiful.
posted by hannahelastic at 10:28 AM on October 12, 2010

Sometimes less is more. I have sent numerous people to this incredibly disarming interview with Illeana Douglas about her insane path to low-wattage stardom.

This one with Elvira and this one with notorious character actress Beth Grant also make my brain spin.
posted by hermitosis at 10:29 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nellie McKay on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Delightfully quirky and offbeat.
posted by jph at 10:40 AM on October 12, 2010

nthing DFW on Charlie Rose.

Pretty much a lot of TED is freaking awesome, but Jill Taylor's talk is one of my all-time favorites.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:00 PM on October 12, 2010

Joseph Campbell on PBS discussing the Power of Myth:

John Lennon interviewed by a 14 year old who snuck into his hotel room.

John Cage interviewed by studs terkel:

Most Studs Terkel interviews.
posted by xammerboy at 12:42 PM on October 12, 2010

Whoops, here's the Lennon:
posted by xammerboy at 12:43 PM on October 12, 2010

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
posted by mmascolino at 12:58 PM on October 12, 2010

Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire.

I can't load youtube pages here at work, so that might not be the best quality video available.
posted by hootenatty at 1:08 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Stephen Fry talk on What I'd wish I'd known when I was 18 is a brilliant little interview.
posted by sarastro at 2:23 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]

you're a kitty! : The Pachelbel Rant yt (not sure if that counts as a talk, but there you go.)

Seconding - Both funny and very disturbingly true. Though don't watch it if you want to retain your ability to listen to 90% of pop music without hearing a certain song just barely beneath the surface.
posted by pla at 3:27 PM on October 12, 2010

Some of the episodes must be up on the web somewhere; the old Bill Moyers PBS series World of Ideas was one mind blowing interview with a genius after another.

If you don't need something to watch, just listen, subscribe to the podcast for the Commonwealth Club of California. Once a week, national or international figure talks for 30 minutes then takes 30 minutes of Q&A. Sometimes dull, but pretty reliable - a good commuter option.
posted by bartleby at 4:17 PM on October 12, 2010

I am a big fan of this interview with Albie Sachs, anti-apartheid activist and South African Constitutional Court Justice, from the UC Berkeley "Conversations with History" Series. His humanity, optimism, and capacity for forgiveness are incredible.

For a boat load of other interviews from the Berkeley Series, go here. I also recommend their interview with Philip Gourevitch, author of "We Wish to Inform You . . ."
posted by buddha9090 at 6:10 PM on October 12, 2010

I'll go a slightly different direction with this: Morning Becomes Eclectic is an interview/music program that's archived al the way back to 1995 or something crazy. Sometimes it's more music and less interview and sometimes it's the other way. I listen to the Beck with the Flaming Lips show fairly often. Beck does a tear-jerking cover of "Do You Realize" in it.

My only caveat is that sometimes the show makes a band seem better than they are and you might end up disappointed when you go to listen to them in their natural habitat.
posted by cmoj at 11:39 AM on October 13, 2010

If you are at all interested in comedy or acting, watch Kevin Pollak's Chat Show podcast. The interviews are very long, upwards of 2hrs per guest, but they dive deep into everyone's background, how they became an actor/comedian, and what their lives are like. It's super funny and entertaining, and you'd be surprised how quickly two hours flies by when listening to the shows.
posted by mathowie at 1:43 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

I'm working my way through this free online course from Harvard.

Lectured by Michael Sandel.
posted by 92_elements at 12:16 PM on October 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sorry should have added, it's a look at the theory of justice, using lots of philosophers from the past.
posted by 92_elements at 12:18 PM on October 17, 2010

« Older Yngwie Dragonclip Fogriffs?   |   Get us working Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.