From the Stacks: April 27, 2007

Utne Reader‘s library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500
magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively
dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box
bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights
(and occasional lowlights) of what’s landing in our library each
week in ‘From the Stacks.’ Check in every Friday for the latest
edition.

Before
watching Money Talks: Profits Before Patient
Safety
, I suspected the documentary would tell me what I
already knew: that the pharmaceutical industry is sleazily
convincing Americans that we need a pill for every mood, every
intimation of discomfort. But Money Talks filled the gaps
in my knowledge with compelling details, suggesting that things are
far worse than I suspected. The 50-minute documentary is directed
by John Ennis and Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, a former sales
representative for a pharmaceuticals company. They turn their
camera on a group of well-spoken critics of big pharma, including
doctors and an investigative journalist. The facts and figures
these sources cite are startling. For instance, pharmaceutical
companies now employ one representative for every four doctors in
America. What’s more, these companies can legally protect
potentially damning results from drug test trials as ‘trade
secrets,’ as though nasty side effects are part of the drugs’
secret recipes. — Evelyn Hampton

Published by the Documentary Organization of Canada,
Point of View (POV) magazine is a good
source to turn to for the latest on ‘the art and business of indie
docs and culture.’ POV‘s summer edition features ‘Aerial
Perspective: A Window on Reality for the 21st Century,’ written by
documentary filmmaker Kevin McMahon. With honesty and sincerity,
McMahon examines the pitfalls of documentary filmmaking while
setting the stage for what he describes as the most exciting new
advent in the industry: interactive media. — Natalie
Hudson

Global Journalist reports on those who
report the news. The cover of the spring issue depicts a
cameraperson, armed with an M16, filming a wall of flames. The
image evokes the kinds of intense situations that journalists
encounter throughout the world. As the magazine describes,
violent conflict zones are not the only dangers confronting
journalists; they also face restricted freedoms in countries
like Venezuela and China (both profiled in the issue). The
University of Missouri-based publication also tracks the recent
deaths of correspondents in its ‘Death Watch’ department, and
tallies global freedom-of-the-press violations in a section
called ‘World Watch.’ — Natalie Hudson

Since it was founded by Ralph Nader in 1980, the
Multinational Monitor has been digging up
the dirt on the world’s corporate giants. The ad-free bimonthly
features stories on business’ relationship with labor, development,
and the environment. The issue that arrived this week,
November/December 2006, lists the 10 worst corporations of 2006,
with retail behemoth Wal-Mart, pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and
aircraft manufacturer Boeing all making the cut. Also in the issue,
writer Charlie Cray lists the 10 worst war profiteers ‘not named
Halliburton’ who have ‘gotten fat feeding off the public trough.’
— Mary O’Regan

Culture, published twice yearly by the
Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (IASC) at the University
of Virginia, used to be known as the INSight newsletter.
According to editor and cofounder of the IASC Joseph E. Davis, both
the magazine and the institute are undergoing some major changes.
The spring issue excerpts a revamped vision statement explaining
the institute’s commitment to understanding cultural change and the
concept of ‘good.’ The organization plans to welcome
interdisciplinary conversations and receive insight from existing
scholars and ‘overlooked sources.’ The new issue also features book
reviews and an interview with director Paul Wagner in which he
discusses his new film The God of a Second Chance, made
with the help of the IASC, about the role of religion in a poor,
primarily African American community in Washington, DC. — Mary
O’Regan

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