It’s time for Storyboard’s three weekend picks. Here they are:
In honor of Roger Federer’s gritty performance in Thursday’s U.S. Open quarterfinal, it seems fitting to re-read David Foster Wallace’s 2006 essay about him in The New York Times. It’s David Foster Wallace, on tennis. That’s about all you need to know. But if you need a bit more, here’s one short excerpt, with a classic Wallace footnote:
The human beauty we’re talking about here is beauty of a particular type; it might be called kinetic beauty. Its power and appeal are universal. It has nothing to do with sex or cultural norms. What it seems to have to do with, really, is human beings’ reconciliation with the fact of having a body.(1)
“This American Life” recently re-aired a “driveway moment” story from 2013 that I had missed when it originally ran. The hourlong piece “Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde” initially generated some criticism about one aspect of its reporting (since clarified and don’t click here for details unless you want to spoil the ending of the story) but it’s a terrific example of the program’s patience with storytelling. The tale starts with a doctor’s discomfort at taking over a medical practice from another physician with the same last name who had committed a grisly murder. Then it ventures down a path that, while you may eventually suspect what lies at the end, allows you to take the same twists and wrong turns as the doctor, Ben Gilmer, and reporter Sarah Koenig.
The story you may not be able to shake after you watch it is this New York Times video report on a man who survived an ISIS massacre because the bullet missed. The facts alone are stunning but the account is also notable for how it uses the Islamic militant group’s own footage to reconstruct the event and the haunting image of a man watching his own “death” on a screen.