Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't Mess With Public Radio Hosts - You'll Be Sorry

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UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Jodie Foster talked about playing Erica Bane on NPR's All Things Considered on Wednesday - read and listen here

She's definitely one of the most intelligent actors today! What a pleasure to hear her expounding the intricacies of fear and darkness in the soul.

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FINALLY! The public radio host becomes Hollywood action hero!!

The Brave One, directed by Neil Jordan, opens this Friday, and stars Jodie Foster as public radio host Erica Bane.

According to the New York Times, the choice of Erica's profession was Ms. Foster's idea.

"In the original script Erica Bain was supposed to be, of all things, a reporter for The New York Times, and Ms. Foster, who confessed to being a “serious N.P.R.-head” — the sort of person who will sit in her garage listening to the car radio until a show is over — changed her to the host of a public radio show." (New York Times review)

Ah! so Jodie Foster's prone to NPR driveway moments!

As she listens to these mellow public radio announcers, does she wonder what lurks in their souls once they switch off the microphone? (Well, don't you?)

"With her caressing alto, Erica guides listeners around New York with the suggestively titled program “Street Walk,” mapping the city like a cross between the radio performer Joe Frank and Walt Whitman. She sounds like a woman in love, and she is — with the city, with her fiancĂ© (Naveen Andrews). But she loses all this love before we can watch her fully experience it."

I know little more than this, but plan to watch the movie. After all, how many plots involve a public radio host? The last time a movie featured a public-radio type announcer, that I know of, was the dreadful Requiem for Murder (1999).

Okay, she wasn't exactly in public radio, but Molly Ringwald's character Anne Winslow is a classical music announcer - close enough, right? She works at "one of the top five classical stations in the metro area." That line made me laugh so hard I had to stop the tape. Did the writers even bother to do their research on classical music stations? TOP FIVE? Out of how many? In one metro area? Oh come on!

Anyway, some of Anne Winslow's listeners die as they're tuned in to her program.

Think about it.

THEY DIE LISTENING TO HER.

Did I mention Requiem for Murder wasn't supposed to be a comedy?

(If you simply must know more about the movie, check out this review of sorts. Skip past the first five paragraphs to get to the synopsis.)

NOTE: SCROLL TO THE END OF THIS POST TO VIEW A TRAILER OF THIS STINKER.

I'm fairly sure that Jodie Foster's character will be stronger and more interesting than Anne Winslow. She's certainly not passive and whiny.

This is Erica's story:

“One evening, while (Erica and fiancĂ© are) walking their dog in Central Park, the lovers are savagely attacked. He dies; she lives. She buys a gun. She points. She shoots. Again and again and again."

I'm not sure if the movie deals with her station's first pledge drive following her killing spree, along with new numbers for Average Quarter Hour and Time Spent Listening (numbers by which many a station lives or dies!) Maybe in the sequel. Who did Foster have in mind when she created Erica Bane? Nina Gun-Totin' Berg? Ann "So-What-If-You're-An-Insurgent-I'll-Kick-Your-Derriere" Garrels? (Any ideas?)

And here you thought public radio announcers were a mild bunch.

We're not all Margaret Jo McCullen or Lynn Vershad or Teri Rialto (aka Ana Gasteyer, Rachel Dratch and Molly Shannon) from The Delicious Dish on Saturday Night Live. (Watch the skits in which they interview Alec Baldwin aka Pete Schwedy here and here. WARNING: strong innuendo - follow the links at your discretion!)

Let's see what "The Brave One" does for our image!

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Here's the trailer for Requiem for Murder:

1 comment:

Buckboard said...

I like to think that you NPR folks are always taking out bad people and telling it like it is and starring in movies. Or was that taking out the trash and telling it tastes like cheese and staring at movers.
:)