Clive James' Inimitable Interviews to Appear on Slate
First Video Interviews Include Richard E. Grant, Ian McEwan, Michael Frayn, Ronald Harwood, Posy Simmonds, Stephen Bayley
NEW YORK, March 14, 2007—Slate, the daily online magazine, announced today that Clive James will bring his unique style to the site with a series of video interviews unlike any others on the web. The series, which James calls "Talking in the Library," includes conversations with Actors Cate Blanchett and Richard E. Grant, Novelist Ian McEwan, Playwrights Michael Frayn and Ronald Harwood, Literary Cartoonist Posy Simmonds and Design Critic Stephen Bayley. www.slate.com/clive-james
Clive James launched his video series "Talking in the Library" after leaving a successful career in mainstream television. James said of the interviews, "Being on the web loosens constraints on how long the interviews can run, allowing these fascinating people more time to enlighten us about their work and further share their lives. Ultimately, I believe that makes these interviews more valuable to the viewer."
"When I lived in Britain in the late 1980s, James was my favorite face on TV, so when I heard that Clive James was posting video interviews on the Web, I immediately began begging him to let us have them for Slate" said Jacob Weisberg, Editor, Slate. "Much like the founders of Slate a decade ago, he says he was simply curious about what his old medium might be like without all the blocking and heavy equipment."
Previous series of interviews also available on Slate, which included Bruce Beresford, Andrew Upton, P.J. O' Rourke, Simon Callow and Deborah Bull, were shot with a couple of digicam cameras in James' living room. The newest series of interviews debuting on Slate, while preserving the simplicity of the originals, are shot with three high-definition cameras enhancing the viewer's experience.
"Web video is in its infancy, but already some rules have emerged for Clive James to break," said Jacob Weisberg, Editor, Slate. "On YouTube, programs are thought most effective at around three minutes, with a lot of activity and a punch line at the end. "The Clive James Show" runs a discursive half-hour with only mental action and a bit of drinking. No one has done anything like this on the Web. I suspect that no one else ever will."
Clive James' wit and deep cultural insights are not new to Slate. Essays adapted from James' Cultural Amnesia, a re-examination of intellectuals, artists, and thinkers who helped shape the 20th century have been appearing on the site since February 5, 2007. Over the coming weeks, Slate will continue to run an exclusive selection of these essays, going roughly from A to Z, abbreviated for the site. http://www.slate.com/id/2160969/
Clive James, the author of numerous books of criticism, autobiography, and poetry, writes for the New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker. He lives in London.
Slate Magazine is an award-winning Web site that offers fresh angles on stories in the news and innovative entertainment coverage. Slate won the 2006 and 2005 EPpy awards for Best Internet News Service (over 1 million monthly visitors) and the 2005 EPpy award for Best Internet Entertainment Service (over 1 million monthly visitors). Slate can be found on the Web at www.slate.com and is owned by The Washington Post Company. Slate attracts over five million unique visitors each month.