Ep. 314: Brian Raftery – Movie and Pop Culture Journalist and Author

Brian Raftery is an author, journalist, and podcaster who covers popular culture, and he's the guest on Ep. 314 of the Jon of All Trades Podcast debuting December 22, 2021.
Brian Raftery is an author, journalist, and podcaster who covers popular culture, and he’s the guest on Ep. 314 of the Jon of All Trades Podcast debuting December 22, 2021.

Brian Raftery is the author of Best. Movie. Year. Ever. How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen, which was one of my absolute favorite reads from this year. Here’s a couple of snippets from the description from Brian’s website:

In 1999, Hollywood as we know it exploded: Fight Club. The Matrix. Office Space. Election. The Blair Witch Project. The Sixth Sense. Being John Malkovich. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. American Beauty. The Virgin Suicides. Boys Don’t Cry. The Best Man. Three Kings. Magnolia. Those are just some of the landmark titles released in a dizzying movie year, one in which a group of daring filmmakers and performers pushed cinema to new limits—and took audiences along for the ride.

Best. Movie. Year. Ever. is the story of not just how these movies were made, but how they re-made our own vision of the world. It features more than 130 new and exclusive interviews with such directors and actors as Reese Witherspoon, Edward Norton, Steven Soderbergh, Sofia Coppola, David Fincher, Nia Long, Matthew Broderick, Taye Diggs, M. Night Shyamalan, Brendan Fraser, David O. Russell, James Van Der Beek, Kirsten Dunst, the Blair Witch kids, the Office Space dudes, the guy who played Jar-Jar Binks, and dozens more.

We spend a great deal of time talking about the book, the films of 1999, and pop culture in general. We also talk about the podcast series he masterminded for The Ringer called Gene & Roger, an 8-part podcast series about the last cultural impact of Siskel & Ebert. This is a caffeinated, energetic chat about all things pop culture as you have two guys with deep wells of pop culture knowledge and a shared sensibility teeing off on whatever arises for an hour. In short, it’s one of my favorite ways to spend an hour, and I’m thrilled I got to talk to a writer I deeply admire.

You can find Brian Raftery at his website or on Twitter. You can find Best. Movie. Year. Ever. How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen at the link. Gene & Roger can be found here. Brian would also like to point you to Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused by Melissa Maerz, a book he calls “really fucking good.”

This episode is available on iTunes, streaming on Spotify, on podcatchers everywhere, or at the Jon of All Trades homepage.

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