Jesse Thorn discussed on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn


To won't you be my neighbor is an honest portrait of one of the kindest most sincere people to have ever lived he talked with jesse thorn about the movie and how fred rogers lessons can make us better people today but before we get into that let's take a listen to a little bit from the movie in this clip we'll hear from margie whitmer who served as producer for mister rogers neighborhood she worked on more than two hundred and fifty episodes between nineteen eighty two in two thousand one we had a directed at once said to me you take all of the elements that make good television and do the exact opposite you have mister rogers neighborhood low production values simple set unlikely star yet it worked because he was saying something really important love is the root of every all learning all parenting all relationships love or the lack of what we see an ear on the screen is part of a week become morgan neville welcome to both sites great heavy on the show thanks for having me he made a lot of documentaries about rock and roll guys for a guy making a documentary about mister rogers kind of rock and roll though really yes how's that he had such it's funny as they by mr rogers such swagger it's amazing that he was so consistently who he was in every situation he was ever in and he had this attitude that he was going to try and change the world you know and it was radical in that way radical in the way that he was trying to get to the root of the thing back to the basics of things and i think that's how i thought of them you know that he was he was a rockstar it's almost scary to me the extent to which he appears to have been the man in his life who appeared to be on television i think maybe just because it makes me question the way that i the choices that i make in the world well it's funny i mean i think something that i'd say the majority of people expect is to be disappointed that i had many people when i told him i was making this film say to me please don't destroy my childhood basically please don't tell me there's something that's gonna make mr rogers fall from the alter like everybody else's phone from the altar and you know i didn't go into it with an agenda one way or the other but and it wasn't about that in the first place but you know the big secret about mister rogers is he's one of these rare characters who actually is not only as good as his television character but actually is more impressive than his television character but i think it says a lot about us that we have come to view people like that with suspicion because how could somebody be that good you know there must be some other shoe to drop on that and that in a way is kind of a lot of what the film's about which is how do we think about goodness you didn't call goodness him called kindness i think roger's would grace but those are the kinds of things that people kind of laugh at you know like being kind as like believing in rainbows and unicorns you know it's not it feels naive and quaint in a way and i feel like that is not how we should think about those things i feel like fred was a warrior for kind you you know know as he says in the film not pollyannaish stuff you know but honest to goodness pines that that's something that you have to fight for because we all take for granted that we're going to live in the neighborhood together and we can trade against that in how we behave every day but i don't think we should get on it there's a moment in the film a bit of archival footage of him being interviewed where he says you may think that.

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