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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jon Stewart: The New Spielberg?

Jon Stewart is taking a 12-week break from The Daily Show to...direct his first film?  Based on his own screenplay?  Yes,  and it will remark his return to Hollywood.  John Oliver will fill in, which could be painful (at least it's not Hodgman).

The film is titled Rosewater, but no, it's not the old Vonnegut book.  It's the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival, written by Maziar Bahari. The 2011 book details the author's experience leaving London in 2009 to cover the Iranian presidential elections. You may recall that the Daily Show itself figured in this drama and had some serious/fun with it.

Although this came as a bolt from the blue, Jon had actually tipped us off to it long ago.  When he had Bahari on his show in June 2011, he revealed at the end that they were working on a film together, and Stewart even joked that he planned to line up Matt Damon for the role of Bahari. 

Stewart tells the NYT:
“I am a television person who is accustomed to having a thought at 10 a.m. and having it out there at 6:30 p.m. and moving on, so this is a little scary, yes,” Mr. Stewart said by telephone.
“But one of the reasons we are in this business is to challenge ourselves,” he continued, “and I really connected to Maziar’s story. It’s a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free.”

Mr. Bahari’s ordeal is familiar to “Daily Show” fans – in fact, the comedy program played a role in it.  A Canadian-Iranian journalist and documentarian, Mr. Bahari was jailed in Tehran in 2009 for four months, standing accused of plotting to stage a revolution against the government. Shortly before his arrest, Mr. Bahari had participated in a “Daily Show” sketch, conducted by one of the show’s correspondents, Jason Jones, who was pretending to be a spy. Mr. Bahari’s captors used the footage against him.
Here's Bahari on the show (in Part I of the interview that I linked to above) talking about it:

Greg Mitchell's influential book "So Wrong For So Long," on the media and the Iraq war, was published today in an expanded edition for the first time as an e-book.

1 comment:

Peter S. López said...

More power to him. We need to use what happens in life in order to enlighten life so we become part of the news of life.