We spoke to Demetri Martin, writer and director of the upcoming film Dean, about the things he’s been watching, reading and listening to recently.
“It’s a romantic story about a young Irish immigrant who’s come to the States. It takes place in the early 20th century. It’s a seemingly small story but I just think it was so very well told. The performances were excellent. When I saw it I felt it was kind of magical. I think a lot of us have become very savvy when it comes to consuming media because we have so many options and many of us have seen so many films, so many television shows; you can get a little jaded if you’re not careful.
“When I saw Brooklyn I felt surprised by the turns that the story took and I didn’t know the actors. There’s a little bit more magic when you don’t recognise an actor. It reminded me that telling a good story that moves people is hard to beat. Explosions are great but I think there’s still room for really human, true stories that are heartfelt.”
BOOK: Kurt Vonnegut Complete Stories
“It’s all of Kurt Vonnegut’s short fiction, chronologically laid out from the mid-century heyday of magazine writing. Some of the stories have a moral backbone which is kind of interesting because it’s around World War Two. Some of them feel like they’re substantial. They feel meaty.”
TV SHOW: Grand Designs
“The last time I was sick, I watched every episode. There was nothing American about it, which I always enjoy. It’s a window into a different culture. People seem so passionate about their homes. He [Kevin McCloud] seemed very candid. I can’t think of an analogous presenter in the States.”
ALBUM: Duke Ellington, Money Jungle
A couple of years ago I got the Ken Burns documentary about jazz [Jazz]; it was one of the few times in my life when I felt my taste changing or my palate expanding. I’ve never been into jazz and I can’t say I understand it but it put it in a different context for me and I realised that there are bits of jazz I might enjoy. When I’m writing on aeroplanes, I can listen to jazz and it takes me away from my surroundings enough but it’s not distracting.
I can never predict what the headlines are going to be but it’s such a release from the nightmare that we live in, certainly in America right now.
It’s a pop science podcast with very well produced, well told story segments along the lines of This American Life but more about science and uncovering smaller stories that are intriguing or somewhat mysterious.
Demetri Martin’s directorial debut film ‘Dean’ is available now on digital download in the UK