Name: Kel O’Neill
Location: New York, United States of America
The reports from New York are co-produced by Eline Jongsma.
What is your favorite Metropolis item? Why so?
I really like Stef’s “Hunting for Corpses with Calulo” and Huang’s “The Hooters Girls of Beijing.” The Calulo film is a shot of adrenaline, while the Hooter’s piece succeeds both as a piece of reportage and as a laid-back satire of American culture.
What kind of image do you want to present of your country?
Every person in the world already believes that they are an expert on American culture, and there’s very little that I can do to change that. I understand why people abroad think they know so much about my country: the US has made a concerted effort to involve itself in the world at large for as long as I’ve been alive, and our chief exports (Coca-Cola, Hollywood blockbusters and illegal wars) are of increasingly dubious quality. If Eline and I have any goal with our Metropolis films, it is to remind people that there are actual PEOPLE living in this country.
Which of your fellow countrymen should the world really know about? Why?
You already know our celebrities and politicians, so I’d suggest meeting people outside of the spotlight.
What will you be doing in 10 years time?
Hopefully the same things I’m doing now, albeit on a larger scale.
What is your favorite television show in your country? What is it about and why is it so great?
I say “The Wire.” David Simon set out to make a televised novel about the decline of the American city and succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.
Eline says “Generation Kill” (also by David Simon) because, in her words “it’s awesome.”
Also, we both like “First Person” by Errol Morris.
What characteristic of your country would you like to export to other countries?
Our brilliant healthcare system. Unlike Europe, we don’t have death panels. Choice and competition, baby!
What characteristic of your country would you like to get rid of?
The lobbying system is insane. If corporations didn’t have the ability to legally bribe politicians, we might see real changes here.