Monday, June 12, 2006

Christopher Lockett, MA (Master of Arts), PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), MW (Media Whore)

So this was interesting.

Somewhat less than a week ago, I received an email out of the blue from someone who produces the TV show Books Into Film, which airs occasionally on Bravo (actually, I'm reasonably sure it airs regularly -- I've only seen it occasionally). The email said that they were preparing to do an episode on British author Nick Hornby and his books High Fidelity, About a Boy and Fever Pitch and the movies that had been made about them, and would I be willing to be interviewed about my thoughts on the subject?

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I said sure, I'd be happy to make the drive into Toronto for the interview (thank god they asked while I was in London -- the logistics from Newfoundland would have probably precluded me doing this), but seriously -- why me? Where in the name of all things holy and interesting had they got my name?

Well, apparently, googling the right combination of subjects on Nick Hornby, popular culture, literature and film will cause my name to pop up. Which is still a little baffling to me, given that my professed areas of expertise only vaguely overlap with that grouping, and the writings of Nick Hornby have not ever entered the orbit of my research interests. I did teach High Fidelity the last time I taught Popular Culture at UWO, but I'm pretty sure that would not have made it onto a web source ...

At any rate, in spite of my sneaking suspicion that this might be a practical joke, it all turned out to be on the up and up, and an interview in TO was scheduled for this afternoon. So of course I spent the last four or five days actually reading and watching all the stuff I was supposed to be an expert on -- I'd read High Fidelity and seen the film (I actually own the DVD), and I've seen About a Boy ... but I'd never read the novel, nor had I read Fever Pitch, or seen either of the films based on it.

I suddenly understood why so many "experts" interviewed on news programs seem to be talking out of their asses ...

BUT ... not willing to be a complete stuffed shirt, I naturally bought the relevant books and rented the relevant films -- or rather, film. Alas, the original, British version of Fever Pitch, starring Coling Firth, was not to be found (though I did get the screenplay from the library), and so I had to suffer through the American version starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, in which the Arsenal football club becomes the Boston Red Sox. Ick.

(On the other hand, the book Fever Pitch was by far the best thing Hornby has written -- I highly recommend it).

All of which culminated in about forty minutes of me blathering at the camera this afternoon, which will (mercifully) be cut down to five or ten minutes of sound bytes for the actual show. I'm not sure when it will air, though the cameraman seemed to think it will be sooner rather than later -- he guessed within a week.

So stay tuned. Updates to come.


jer said...

If you need a suitable style model before your next gig, have a look at Stephen Fry in the sketch "Language Conversation", or in any of the Fry and Laurie "critics" sketches. Fry, as one "Simon Clituris", is exactly the kind of stuffed shirt you refer to.

Laurie: What did you make of the two central performances?

Fry: I'd have welcomed them. (both laugh knowingly...)

Tina Chaulk said...

Wow, I watch that show (I watch anything to do with writers or writing). Let us know when it's coming on. I look forward to it. Especially since I am a big Nick Hornby fan. I am reading Long Way Down now.

Lesley said...

That is so cool! And don't sell yourself short. You're an expert. At least to me. And I'm sure there are plenty more of us uneducated losers who would rather watch the movie than read the book and would take your opinion on a Bravo show to be the utmost of the highest of the utmost highest opinions there are. And yes, for the record, I DO watch Bravo. Even when they play something other than the West Wing!

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