Creating an account with gives you access to more features and services, like our weekly newsletter and other special features just for the film community.


Jurors Answer Life's Questions: 4

The 2009 Jurors are an amazing group of talented people. Today, Rachel Maddow and AJ Jacobs answer questions about life, art, movies, and inspiration.

The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival's 32 jurors are at the top of their field in acting, directing, writing, journalism, and art. This fantastic group of people will decide the winning films in the World Narrative Feature Competition, the World Documentary Feature Competition, the Best New York Narrative Competition, the Best New York Documentary Competition, the Narrative Shorts, the Documentary and Student Shorts, and the Tribeca All Access Competition.

In an effort to get to know these artists a little better, we asked them to submit their answers to some questions about life, art, films, and inspiration. Next up? Newscaster Rachel Maddow and editor AJ Jacobs, who are judging the Documentary and Student Shorts Competition.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow is the host of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and has been a presence on Air America since its inception.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Investigative reporters. And public servants.

What piece of art (film/book/music/what-have-you) do you recommend to your friends?

The Queen & Country graphic novel series, because I'm trying to cultivate among my friends an appreciation for the value of a really good spy service. I'm that annoying to be friends with.

Are there any movies that you find yourself quoting all the time?

Sadly, I still quote Sixteen Candles without trying to - it's in my circuitry. Married?? Married!

What's your earliest memory of seeing (and loving?) a movie in the theater?

My earliest memory of going to a movie theater was to see Star Wars when it first came out, in Hayward, California. I remember being happy that my dad was so excited.

What gets you up and going in the morning?

Fear of failure.

What's your chief characteristic?

See above.

AJ Jacobs

AJ Jacobs

AJ Jacobs is the editor of Esquire and the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My dad. For one thing, he holds the record for the most footnotes in a law article: 4,743. I'm inspired by that kind of dedication.

What piece of art (film/book/music/what-have-you) do you recommend to your friends?

My cousin Cass Sunstein wrote a book called Nudge, about how irrational humans are, and how we can become a little less irrational. We need that more than ever!

Are there any movies that you find yourself quoting all the time?

Life of Brian, the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

With what movie character do you identify most?

Al Pacino in Insomnia.

What gets you up and going in the morning?

Usually a screaming two-year-old demanding something with high-fructose corn syrup.



What you need to know today