RS: You've been working through the Richard Price biography/filmography for "Priced Out," your Richard Price blog. I believe it can safely be called the definitive online resource for all things Richard Price. How did that project come about?
HM: Gradually. I first started checking out his work because he wrote for The Wire, which I love. So I read his book Clockers, loved it, then read more of this books, loved them too. He shares The Wire's focus on trying to authentically portray real life in a straightforward way, but his prose also has this super-sharp observational sense of humor. Then I started delving into the movies he worked on as a screenwriter, and those were really cool and interesting too. And there aren't many people who have done great work in three different media.
So I got the idea of doing a blog about his work as a conversation piece, a way to share my enthusiasm. I get hooked easily on geeky projects like that. Then I heard (from you) that he was going to have a new book out in February, and that set my timetable: OK, I can get through his whole catalogue if I do a post a week up until the new one comes out. And I'm on track so far.
People often ask how I found out about Brit Pack. I found out about it from you. You've been co-hosting one of the best comedy shows in New York at Brit Pack every month for years, HP5000. What's it been like to see the show grow over the years?
That show is amazing. It started out literally as small as you can get, with the whole audience being basically just the comedians who were performing, and the credit really goes to my co-host Lukas Kaiser for having built it into this packed-every-month event. The comedy scene in New York is like every other creative scene in New York: There's such a glut of talent that people take it for granted, so these hilarious comics end up performing at half-empty bar shows where no one gives a shit. So to have a show where the attendance and the enthusiasm matches the quality of the performers, and to get to perform on that show every month, is a real dream.
What's your favorite holiday movie/song?
I love the horror movie Black Christmas from 1974 (I'm hosting a screening at Brit Pack on Dec. 19th!), partly just because it's one of the best slasher movies ever made but also because it was directed by the same guy who did A Christmas Story, Bob Clark. The fact that Clark could portray the holiday through both a heart-warming family comedy and a creepy-ass slasher flick and do both approaches pretty much perfectly is very impressive, I think.