Saturday, September 6, 2008


I am just getting into this new television program on the Sundance Channel that is absolutely riveting. It's called Iconoclasts, a show where celebrities who are connected in some way (or not) interview one another. The stars naturally interact as they would normally and have a genuine conversation.

What I like about this show is that it is a very informal, natural interview. You get to watch celebrities go about a normal day and talk as they would as if they weren't just receiving a Q&A. They are just talking as they would except there is a camera recording it, and we get the privledge of watching.

The Sundance Channel is amazing to begin with; this show is just another gem among the other documentaries, specials, and independent movies. If you get the channel, check it out every once in a while. You can learn a lot from their programs. They also have nice specials on how to go green. They're very up-to-date and intelligent.

The first episode I saw was with Eddie Vedder (from Pearl Jam) and Laird Hamilton (famous surfer). They went surfing and had the most down-to-earth conversations about surfing, music, and the state of the world.

This show is great because it takes away the non-authentic part of the cut and dry interview and lets the interviewee actually have a real conversation. It's such a smart idea.

The best episode I saw was with Maya Angelou and Dave Chappelle. I am astounded at how brilliant Maya Angelou is. She is so wise about so many things; someone should just record everything she has to say before she dies. She has known so many great people and has been through so many historic events. We should listen to her wisdom as much as we can because she makes so much sense and is so intelligent.

The story she told in that episode that I will never forget is as follows: She was on a movie set a while ago when she saw a fight break out between two African American teenagers. She separated them and tried to talk to one of the fighters. The young man kept swearing back at her, but Angelou persisted in telling him, "Has anyone ever told you how important you are?" She said it over and over again until he listened. She explained that he was important because his ancestors laid in slave ships, in excrement, menstrual fluid, sweat and tears, just for him to be alive. They suffered just so he can live free as he does today. Then she noticed he started to cry and walked away.

Then, Janet Jackson walked up to her and said, "Ms. Angelou, you just met Tupac Shakur!" She had no idea who she was talking to. She was astonished. Later on, she received a letter or phone call (I don't remember which) from Tupac's mother who thanked her for telling him that and that she had changed his life forever. How insane.

Dave Chappelle commented that Angelou depicted him as he really was, a troubled gentleman with a lot of talent. He wasn't necessarily the violent African American rap artist as the media depicted him. Very interesting side note.

The episode with Quentin Tarantino and Fiona Apple was difficult for me to watch. I love Quentin, but he's so over-dominating and flamboyant. He is a genius, and you can tell, but he's just crazy. He couldn't stop talking about himself, which is kind of agitating. Fiona would start to talk about her life and he would say, "yeah, and.." then he'd continue on something with him. I despise that characteristic in people, but I can see how he is just a phenomenon of our culture.

Sean Penn's episode with Jon Krakauer was incredible if you are a fan of Into the Wild. That's a must-see episode, for they go to Alaska to the places that Chris McCandless (Alex Supertramp) actually traveled.

Anyway, check out the episodes. Here are the list of people in the seasons:

Season 1

1. Samuel L. Jackson and Bill Russell (November 17, 2005)
2. Tom Ford and Jeff Koons (November 24, 2005)
3. Brian Grazer and Sumner Redstone (December 1, 2005)
4. Renée Zellweger and Christiane Amanpour (December 8, 2005)
5. Mario Batali and Michael Stipe (December 12, 2005)
6. Robert Redford and Paul Newman (December 29, 2005)

Season 2

7. Eddie Vedder and Laird Hamilton (October 26, 2006)
8. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alice Waters (November 2, 2006)
9. Quentin Tarantino and Fiona Apple (November 9, 2006)
10. Isabella Rossellini and Dean Kamen (November 16, 2006)
11. Paul Simon and Lorne Michaels (November 23, 2006)
12. Dave Chapelle and Maya Angelou (November 30, 2006)

Season 3

13. Sean Penn and Jon Krakauer (October 25, 2007)
14. Alicia Keys and Ruby Dee (November 1, 2007)
15. Mike Myers and Deepak Chopra (November 8, 2007)
16. Howard Schultz and Norman Lear (November 15, 2007)
17. Wynton Marsalis and John Besh (November 22, 2007)
18. Madeleine Albright and Ashley Judd (November 29, 2007)

Season 4

19. Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson (October 16, 2008)
20. Stella McCartney and Edward Ruscha (October 23 , 2008)
21. Tony Hawk and Jon Favreau (October 30, 2008)
22. Bill Maher and Clive Davis (November 6, 2008)
23. Venus Williams and Wyclef Jean (November 13, 2008)
24. Cameron Diaz and Cameron Sinclair (November 20, 2008)

What do you think of Iconoclasts? What is your favorite episode and why?


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