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Making Dallas Even Better

The SAGA Pod 2.1: Matt Zoller Seitz and Jim Schutze

It’s Episode 2, Season 1 of the SAGA Pod. Okay, I fixed my biggest production problem with some sound foam, so that this week it doesn’t sound like I’m recording from my bathroom. (I still have sound-level fluctuation. One fix at time.) Which is good, because it allows you to concentrate on my two guests:

First we talk to Matt Zoller Seitz, who started his career at the Dallas Observer and who now is the TV critic for New York magazine and, as well as editor-in-chief of His new book, The Wes Anderson Collection (trailer above), is just out, and we talk about the relationship between Dallas and Anderson’s first feature, Bottle Rocket. (Your background reading: this 10,000-word Observer cover story on the making of Bottle Rocket. It’s completely worth it, if only for the opening scene when James Caan head-butts Luke Wilson.) Seitz explains how Anderson got away from his feeling that movie runtimes should be under 100 minutes, how Rushmore is like an egg, why the Life Aquatic is Seitz’s favorite Anderson film, why Bottle Rocket is the best “Dallas movie” ever, and how the Twitter “baby picture” reaction to Seitz’s book has overwhelmed him. You should listen to it and then go see Matt on November 7 at the Texas Theater for a big-screen presentation of Bottle Rocket. Bonus: My awkward interview dismount!

Then we talk to Jim Schutze about the semi-conclusion of the Mike Miles saga (it’s really like the end of a movement in a long, sad, crazy composition), and how the anti-Miles forces (half the school board, the teacher’s unions) have only just begun to fight. Also: We explore the conspiracy theories about who paid for the anti-Miles robo-calls, seniority pay vs. merit pay for teachers, and why one of us says “I hate rich white businessmen.” Then we chat about the city manager search. Bonus: Amazing Laura Miller story!

You should be able to see it listed here, but for some reason it’s not showing up yet, even though it is downloading if you’ve subscribed on iTunes or to the RSS feed. I’ll update when it’s showing in the iTunes list, but in the meantime just go into iTunes, click on Subscribe to Podcast under the File menu, and paste in the RSS feed It shows up then. Or listen here. 

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  • Tim Rogers

    On the technical side, to my ears, the podcast improved about 80 percent from Episode 1 to Episode 2.

    One suggestion: before you let each guest go, make him play some sort of zany game. Something like: “Jim, before I let you go, it’s time to play a super awesome good game. You have 60 seconds to name as many species of fish as you can. Ready? Go!” Then drop in some sound effects. Ticking clock, hockey buzzer at the end. This way, I could skip all the blah-blah-blahing and fast-forward right to the game part of the interviews. It would give me a reason to keep subscribing to the podcast every week.

    You’re welcome.

  • Brett Moore

    A little Kilbourney, but I like it.