Saturday Morning for Saturday 1 August 2020
8:10 Should we be worried about the rise of QAnon?
QAnon, an intricate conspiracy theory which suggests US President Donald Trump is secretly waging war on a well-connected Satanic paedophile ring, should not be dismissed as a harmless oddity, according to an article by Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor of The Atlantic.
Conspiracy theories are growing in support and visibility on social media, and in political life, and she thinks the rise in "a mass rejection of reason" signals a dangerous new phase for society.
At least one of QAnon's followers could be elected to Congress after the November elections and the group has been linked to the spread of Covid-19 conspiracy theories.
8:40 Hong Kong democracy activist in exile: Nathan Law
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law left the city recently and decamped to the UK.
A long-time thorn in the side of the Beijing government, Law has been arrested many times and also imprisoned once, since he became involved with the so-called Umbrella Movement with Joshua Wong and others back in 2014.
The imposition of new security laws that criminalise just about any form of political protest was the final straw and forced his departure.
With New Zealand this week deciding to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong over the controversial law change, we ask him how valuable these kind of actions by the international community are, and what his hopes and fears are for the place he once called home.
9:05 Director Oliver Stone on his rocky road to Platoon
Multi award-winning director Oliver Stone is a controversial figure in American cinema.
The Vietnam veteran's portrayals of war and violence have proved contentious, as have his political views and frequent criticism of US foreign policy.
His new memoir Chasing The Light focuses on the first 40 years of his career, and ends with him receiving a Best Director Oscar for Platoon in 1987.
In it he shares stories from inside the making of classic films like Midnight Express, Scarface, and Salvador, and about some of the larger-than-life characters he's met along the way.
10:05 Culum Brown: Fish are way smarter than you think
Most people think that fish aren't as intelligent or sophisticated as land animals. We joke about their poor memory and many still believe they don't feel pain in the way other animals do.
Australian biologist Professor Culum Brown strongly challenges these ideas, based on his years of research into fish behavior and learning.
He's found that even the smallest fish are capable of learning and can retain memories for months, they display complex behaviour including forms of bullying, and that stingrays can even tell when it's the weekend!
Professor Brown is based at Macquarie University in Sydney, where he runs the Fish Lab - the Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution of Fishes Laboratory. Current studies are looking at manta rays, smooth stingrays, rainbow fish and Port Jackson sharks (which he likens to "puppies of the sea").
10:30 Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield on her revealing portrait of Imelda Marcos
Imelda Marcos' vast shoe collection (anywhere from 1,200 to 3,000 pairs) became an emblem of the corrupt and lavish regime of her husband, Philippines’ President Ferdinand Marcos. It's estimated that together they siphoned off US$5-10 billion of public money between 1965 and 1986.
The now 91-year-old former First Lady is the subject of Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Lauren Greenfield's latest documentary: The Kingmaker. Greenfield managed to negotiate extraordinary access to her subject - who remains defiantly remorseless.
Greenfield's previous films The Queen of Versailles and Generation Wealth also examined consumerism, gender and obscene wealth.
The Kingmaker shows as part of Whānau Marama: New Zealand International Film Festival and is available to watch online until 11pm on Monday 3rd August.
11:05 Pablo Larraín: Chilean director on Ema
Chilean film-maker Pablo Larraín, whose previous films include No, the Oscar-nominated Jackie, and Neruda, teams up Mexican actor Gael García Bernal and newcomer Mariana Di Girolamo in Ema.
A story about family, dance, passion and the pressures of parenthood, Ema is visually striking and set to a powerful 'reggaetón' soundtrack in the Chilean port city of Valparaíso.
Ema has its online premiere on Friday 31 July as part of Whānau Marama: New Zealand International Film Festival and is then available to watch online from Saturday 1 August through to Thursday 6 August. It also shows at selected Auckland cinemas until Tuesday 4 August. Screening info here.
11:40 Kate's Klassics: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
"I am an invisible man.... I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids- and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me".
Poet and writer Kate Camp returns to discuss another classic work of literature.
This week it's Ralph Ellison's pioneering 1952 novel Invisible Man, a work that (to use the words on the Ralph Ellison Monument in Upper Manhattan) "...details the struggles of a young African-American man in a hostile society". It's a book that seems even more pertinent after the events of the past few weeks.
Books mentioned in this show:
Chasing The Light: How I Fought My Way into Hollywood - From the 1960s to Platoon.
Published by Monoray
Published by Vintage
Music played in this show
Song: Tracks Of My Tears
Artist: Smokey Robinson
Played at 9:05
Song: Please Don't
Played at 10:05
Song: Move ya Body
Artist: Nina Sky
Played at 11:05
Song: Mellow My Man
Artist: The Roots
Played at 11:45