As Smart as They Are: The Author Project | Chicago Reader

As Smart as They Are: The Author Project

This 2005 video documents the ongoing collaboration between klezmer pop band One Ring Zero and the Brooklyn arm of the McSweeney's publishing empire, the most recent product of which is a CD that sets to music the lyrics of novelists Jonathan Lethem, Myla Goldberg, Paul Auster, and others. Director Joe Pacheco captures all the overweening self-regard of this narrow stripe of New York literati, though the video reflects little of McSweeney's lavish production values or flashes of humor. Band auteurs Joshua Camp and Michael Hearst come off as nice enough guys, nerdly and enamored of the accordion and claviola; borderline incoherent cameos by the shambling, greasy, possibly brilliant novelist and playwright Lawrence Krauser offer periodic relief from the bland, self-congratulatory tone. 63 min.

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