Iconoclasts

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At Cal Newport's recommendation, I've watched three episodes of Iconoclasts, a television series that runs on the Sundance Channel. Each episode is 45 minutes and juxtaposes two iconoclasts from a range of fields who engage in conversation about each other's lives and work. Instead of a one-way interview from a journalist, each all-star is eager to ask questions of the other. This creates a dynamic conversation that gives you a unique window into the lives and minds of accomplished people.

My favorite so far has been NBA star Steve Nash and uber-movie director Ron Howard. It opens in Chicago where Howard is shooting The Dilemma, and the two of them talk about the creative process of film making. They compare the thrill of victory and disappointment of defeat in basketball to filmmaking. They play a game of one-on-one hoops. Howard comes off as humble and thoughtful. Nash comes off as articulate and wise. Nash's closing lines about the meaning of life were especially impressive.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, and Norman Lear, Hollywood legend, were also interesting, although less philosophical and more biographical. I'm looking forward to watching Steve Penn and Jon Krauker next.

You can buy episodes on iTunes. Some are free on Comcast On Demand. Easy to watch, stimulating, inspiring. Recommended.

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Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary that made me think a lot about the business of art. I recommend it highly.

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