Thursday, August 3, 2017

Reuters: The Trial of Jeronimo Yanez

In June 2017, Reuters hired me to cover the trial of Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed a black motorist, Philando Castile, during a traffic stop.

Selected stories are below.

Minnesota patrolman acquitted in traffic-stop slaying of black motorist

Jurors in manslaughter trial of Minnesota cop review videos

Minnesota cop's fatal shooting of black motorist not justified: prosecutor

Minnesota policeman feared for his life in fatal traffic stop: lawyer

More here.

Photo by Todd Melby

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Drunk Projectionist, Episode 4


The Drunk Projectionist is my film podcast. In Episode 4, I interview Frederick Wiseman. As a law professor in the 1960s, Wiseman took his classes on tours of the State Prison for the Criminally Insane in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

When he quit teaching to pursue filmmaking, Wiseman got permission to take a camera and microphone inside Bridgewater. He spent weeks there documenting the lives of prisoners, guards and psychiatrists. The result is "Titicut Follies," a film that is widely considered essential viewing for documentary film lovers. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Drunk Projectionist, Episode 2

Not many documentary films win Academy Awards. Fewer still are archived at the U.S. Library of Congress. Barbara Kopple's Harlan County USA has been awarded both distinctions. And it wasn't easy. While recording coal miner's on a picket line, she and the workers were attacked. She frequently ran out of film and had to beg her father to send more. And her life was threatened. Listen to learn more and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Drunk Projectionist, Episode 1

I've started a film podcast. It's called The Drunk Projectionist. Episode 1 features Kelly Reichardt, a director of quiet movies about the interior lives of women. And sometimes men.

In the podcast, we talk a lot about her love of trains, sound design and how the two are connected in her movies, which includes "Wendy and Lucy" and "Certain Women." (Photo: Lily Gladstone in Certain Women.)

Subscribe at iTunes and Stitcher.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In Bob Dylan's hometown, an awkward embrace of it Nobel son

On the morning the Nobel Prize folks awarded Bob Dylan, formerly Bob Zimmerman, a Literature prize, I headed to his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. After meeting one of Bob's old high school friends and bandmates, I filed this report for Reuters.

Monday, July 18, 2016

We Don't Talk Like That: 'Fargo' and the Midwest Psyche

The 1996 movie "Fargo" stirred widespread curiosity about snowy winters, funny accents and bloody mayhem on the frozen tundra of North Dakota and Minnesota. The film won two Oscar awards and inspired a popular television series of the same name. But how well did it actually capture and reflect the region? In this documentary, 2 below zero producers Diane Richard and Todd Melby unravel the mystery behind the parkas, prowlers and wood chippers in interviews with actors William H. Macy (Jerry Lundegaard), John Carroll Lynch (Norm Gunderson), Stephen Park (Mike Yanagita), Tony Denman (Scotty Lundegaard), dialect coach Liz Himelstein, women in law enforcement, and many more. Narrated by Bruce Bohne (Deputy Lou). Essential listening for diehard fans of "Fargo." (Photo courtesy Gramercy Pictures.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Minn. governor walks through crowd of protesters

I shot this video for The Washington Post of Minn. Governor Mark Dayton walking through a crowd of protesters after meeting with family members of Philando Castile, a black man who was shot by police in Falcon Heights, Minn.