Our only truth is narrative truth,
the stories we tell each other and ourselves.
~ Opening Narration of The 50 Year Argument
Poster for The 50 Year Argument
A new documentary about The New York Review of Books, titled The 50 Year Argument (HBO, 2014), premiered in the United States at the end of September on HBO. The documentary about the storied periodical, co-directed by Martin Scorcese and David Tedeschi, examines — via archival and original verite footage, contemporary interviews, personal anecdote, and excerpts from published long essays and poems — how NYRB came to occupy a special place among thinkers, the well-read, and the curious.
Among the writers, musicians, critics, historians, and politicians who appear in the film are Joan Didion, Colm Toibin, Norman Mailer, Derek Walcott, Susan Sontag, Vaclav Havel, James Baldwin, Gore Vidal, and NYRB's founding editor Robert Silvers.
Here's the trailer.
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Read an interview with Robert Silvers in The Guardian (June 7, 2014). Silvers has been NYRB's editor since 1963, its launch year.