Guest 1: Stephen Miller
Guest 2: Matthew J. Van Deventer & Rafferty Baker
Music: No Sinner
This week’s show focused on terrorism, with actor & novelist Stephen Miller and filmmaker-journalists Matthew J. Van Deventer & Rafferty Baker. Miller wrote a book title the Messenger (see early blog post for book review), in which a woman, becomes trained as a bio-terrorist and tries to infect millions with a smallpox-like virus. Van Deventer & Baker as former journalism students at BCIT who made a documentary called the Occupation, which chronicled the 38-day tent city of Occupy Vancouver.
Miller, who was born and raised in North Carolina, is more well-known as an actor as has worked with the likes of Robert DeNiro, Hume Cronyn, Burt Reynolds, Laura Dern and Bette Davis. ‘t However, he had actually always planned on being a writer and even got his MFA in creative writing. At the time however, there wasn’t much opportunity was writers and he made his way to the theatre to look for work. Miller first got the idea for “The Messenger” shortly after 9/11. After the ameri-thrax scare, he thought about what makes a person do these kinds of deeds. After all, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
The conversation turned towards American Politics. The political landscapes are very different between Canada and the U.S. Stephen commented on how bio-terror is a real threat; if there is a big attack, it is likely to be biological in nature. He moved to Vancouver in the 1960s, because he was worried, even then about the political climate in the southern U.S. With the DNC wrapped up and the election just around the corner, the interview turned toward defense policy and terrorism. Miller, who voted for the president, claims it is unwise to blame Obama for many of the problems currently facing his country as Congress often impeded his progress. He was also very concerned about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
How does he feel about many calling George Bush a terrorist? He is an adjudicator he states, and is glad he does not have to go through that process. Going back to the messenger, he says he decided to write the story around a terrorist because he felt it was something new; nobody else was doing it. Now that’s the response of an actor. Who knows, maybe DeNiro will option it. By the way, Stephen has a great story to tell about improvising with Robert DeNiro during the shooting of ‘This Boy’s Life’.
Matthew J. Van Deventer & Rafferty Baker were journalism students at BCIT when the Occupy Movement struck with full force. Originally, they were just looking to make a short documentary for a journalism project. After a few days of filming however, they knew it was going to become much bigger. In order to remain as neutral as possible, they did not camp out, did not eat the food offered, and did not try to become friends with any of the occupiers, although a few – such as Sean O’Flynn-Magee – became the stars of the film.
The movie, titled “The Occupation”, was quite well made. Matthew & Rafferty let the campers the campers tell the story. As a result, it is not a Michael Moore, in-your-face film, but a much more down-to-earth tale. It could have easily become quite biased, something that Matthew & Rafferty became more difficult as the days wore on, but “The Occupation” makes sure to capture the good, bad, and the ugly. They are hoping to have a premiere in the near future.
No Sinner is Vancouver-based Blues-rock band fronted by singer & actress Colleen Rennison. (Her most notable role was sharing the screen with Tom Arnold, Rachel Leigh Cook and Rhea Perlman in “Carpool”). Their debut EP is Boo Hoo Hoo, with Colleen co-writing most of the tracks with guitarist Parker Bossley. Rennison’s voice is very sultry and she shows incredible range. As this interview was done with the full band, it was quite humuorous at times. Colleen states that one needs a certain amount of alcohol when performing, and given that their show was at 2:00, the band was getting day drunk. When asked about her celebrity connections, her best story comes from meeting Bruce Willis‘ daughter (I speculate it was Rumer) at a strip club in New York and buying her a drink. Ah the life an artist. “Boo Hoo Hoo” is a very good album. The title track is very bluesy and dance-able, while “Rise Up”, is a soulful ballad. Others, like “Love is a Madness” have a little bit of rock and roll. The album is available in print and off their website.
For the full show click here: http://www.cjsf.ca/pguide/rss.php?ID=250
Stephen Miller’s official website: http://stephenmillerwriter.com/
Matthew J. Van Deventer’s website: http://www.matthewjvandeventer.com
No Sinner’s album: http://www.matthewjvandeventer.com
No Sinner on Facebook
Next Week: Carrie Goldman, Thure Lindhart. Music: Victoria Duffield.