Is Cristina Tzintzun Texas Democrats' Best Bet for the Senate?
The last Democrat elected to the Senate seat Cristina Tzintzun has her sights on was Lyndon Johnson. Republican takeovers are just a fact of life in the South. And yet in some places, there's light at the end of the tunnel for beleaguered Dems. It's in the Lone Star State that they hope to reverse the trend. Texas is urbanizing, and it's getting more educated and more diverse. Tzintzun -- a political organizer who's the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an Anglo-Texan -- tells Alec that by activating those Democratic base constituencies, she can win where others have failed. It's a trail begun by Beto O’Rourke, who almost won the state’s other Senate seat back for the Democrats in 2018, but it's a perilous strategy, too, in a state as conservative as Texas. Much of Beto's team has come over to help Tzintzun, and full disclosure: Alec, too, is a supporter, and hosted a fundraiser for her in October.
And Another Thing, with Errol Morris
Alec wanted to know a few more things about Errol Morris's work -- so he set up a call!
Errol Morris on Steve Bannon, Self-Loathing, and Life as a Private Eye
Errol Morris’s documentaries are visually unmistakable, whether they’re about pet cemeteries or the morally bankrupt "great men" of American history. Thanks to his optical invention, the "Interrotron," Morris's subjects’ are looking straight at those of us in the movie theater and, sometimes, lying. He’s one of cinema’s most distinctive storytellers. In conversation with Alec, Morris recounts his meandering path to the top, involving deep debt, a master's degree in Philosophy, and a stint as a private investigator. "Film-making saved me," he says. Morris also responds to the heated controversy surrounding his new documentary, American Dharma , about Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, rejecting the argument that it was wrong to provide Bannon a platform for his ideas.
Edward Norton on Directing – and His Directors
Edward Norton gets into every aspect of filmmaking, even when he comes to the set as an actor. He's helped rewrite scripts, and sometimes gets intimately involved in editing, as was the case with American History X . That has led to tension with directors, but Norton tells Alec that the Hollywood press has grossly mischaracterized many of those relationships. Norton himself directed Alec recently in his new film, Motherless Brooklyn. Norton stars alongside Alec's Robert Moses character, who tries to bend New York City to his will. Their shared experience on set sparks a conversation about directing, and all the great directors Norton has worked with, including Spike Lee, David Fincher, Tony Kaye, and Miloš Forman. A "cheat sheet" of all the movies and directors Edward and Alec discussed, in order, is available at .
Judith Light Once Told Her Agent, "No Soaps, No Sitcoms"
Judith Light has an unequaled emotional and tonal range as an actor. She also has a shape-shifting physicality that made her entirely convincing both as the shuffling yenta Shelly Pfefferman in Transparent and as the lithe, aristocratic Hedda Gabler. But she only got to exercise those talents by saying "yes" to a lot of less intricate roles -- most famously the housewife-prostitute Karen Wolek on One Life to Live and Type-A divorcée Angela Bower on Who's the Boss . Her manager (a former Psychology professor) helped her arrive at that place of openness. After a few bad auditions, he sat her down and said, "You have an expectation that people should just be giving you stuff, and it's untenable. People feel it. You walk into a room and nobody wants to be around you." "And so," Light tells Alec, "when I walked into the audition for Who's the Boss , I was in a very different place."