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LARB Radio Hour

The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour is a weekly show featuring interviews, readings and discussions about all things literary. Hosted by LARB Editors-at-Large Kate Wolf, Medaya Ocher, and Eric Newman.
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Now displaying: December, 2022
Dec 23, 2022

Writer and curator Jordan Stein joins Kate Wolf to discuss his book Rip Tales: Jay DeFeo’s Estocada and Other Pieces. The book centers on the American artist Jay DeFeo who’s best known for her monumental 2,000 pound painting The Rose, which she worked on for eight years. Following her eviction, in 1965, it had to be removed from her apartment by a forklift after the building’s bay window was sawed off. At the time, DeFeo was in the process of completing another painting, Estocada, a piece on paper stapled directly to the walls of her hallway. Instead of removing it intact, she ripped the pieces of the work apart and over the next decades reanimated the fragments by way of photography, photocopy, collage, and relief. While Stein documents the many incarnations of Estocada in his book, its mutating quality also become a template for writing about other Bay Area artists — including Trisha Donnelly, Ruth Asawa, Lutz Bacher, and Vincent Fecteau — whose work similarly engages with risk, reinvention, absence, ephemerality, and community.
Also, Jamieson Webster, author of Disorganisation and Sex, returns to recommend The Case of Dominique by Francoise Dalto.

 

 

Dec 16, 2022

We made it to the end of the year... and our favorite episode! Kate, Medaya, and Eric share their favorite books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, music, and more in this look back at the year that was 2022.

Dec 9, 2022

A LARB Radio double header on two mavericks of independent cinema. In the first half of the show, Kate Wolf and Eric Newman are joined by Joyce Chopra to discuss her new memoir, Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television, and Beyond. The book traces Chopra's earliest inspirations as a young girl growing up near Coney Island to the projects that launched her storied career across TV news, documentaries and feature films, including the feminist classics Joyce at 34 and Smooth Talk. The memoir also engages larger questions about how women combatted sexism in the entertainment industry before the #MeToo movement and in its wake. Chopra's story offers a path for women in film and beyond to find creative achievement, and that moving target we call happiness.
Next, Kate Wolf speaks with Chris Smith about his most recent movie, Sr. It documents the career of the American underground filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., who’s best known for his 1969 farce Putney Swope, about an advertising agency in New York City. Downey made over a dozen other films, such as Greaser’s Palace, Chafed Elbows, and Hugo Pool, which stars his son, the actor Robert Downey Jr., who made his debut in another film of his father’s, Pound, when he was only five years old. In Sr. Smith follows Robert Downey Jr.'s experience of reckoning with his father’s wildly creative and unconventional life, his complicated parenting, and his painful decline as he struggles with Parkinsons, all while celebrating the work of a true iconoclast.

Dec 2, 2022

Kate Wolf speaks with the writer and psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster about her most recent book Disorganisation and Sex, which collects a decade’s worth of Webster’s essays on themes such as desire, pleasure, fantasy, and the unconscious, and the often uneasy relationships we have with them in our everyday lives. Sex, Webster writes, is sometimes felt as a curse, not a cure—and by extension its disorganizing force is both highly guarded and legislated against (as it was recently with the overturning of Roe vs Wade). In her writing and clinical work, Webster sees the role of the psychoanalyst as someone “who takes on the burden of disorganisation and tries, at all costs, to do something other than make it go away,” leaving room for its revelatory potential and power to change us.
Also, Hilton Als, author of My Pinup, returns to recommend Henry Green's Party Going.

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