Re-opening for Business in 1999

Posted on Jan 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

Hi there! In a few days, brianraftery.com will be getting a makeover. In the meantime, here’s a first look at my new book: BEST. MOVIE. YEAR. EVER.: HOW 1999 BLEW UP THE BIG SCREEN. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the revolutionary films of that year–The Matrix! Fight Club! Election!–told by the people who made them. It includes more than 130 new interviews with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Edward Norton, David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, Steven Soderbergh, Kirsten Dunst, and many more. It’s out in April, but you can preorder it here. More info soon!


I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe

Posted on Oct 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

Last year, I traveled to Budapest to report Wired‘s new October cover story, about the making of Blade Runner 2049 (a movie I deeply loved, by the way). For the piece, I spoke with Ryan Gosling, Ridley Scott, Denis Villeneuve, and, of course, Harrison Ford, whom I interviewed by phone from my kitchen, covered in a blanket, as I had a 101-degree fever. I wanted to postpone the talk, but the idea of canceling on the guy who played Rick Deckard, Indiana Jones, and Han Solo seemed like a weenie move. Anyway, the story’s about as spoiler-free as you can get, so don’t worry it dulling your Blade experience.


Funny Never Sleeps

Posted on Apr 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

For the May 2017 issue of Wired, I spoke with such comedy landlords as Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Between Two Ferns’ Zach Galifianakis for an oral history about the first ten years of Funny or Die. You can read the extended online version here. Apologize in advance for the “Fernin’ Sensation” pun.


Into the Portal

Posted on Feb 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

Oh, hey, here’s some cool news: I’m writing another book! It’s called Losing All Hope Was Freedom: How 1999 Blew Up the Movies, and it will dig into an anxious period that was full of social, technological, and pop-cultural tumult—all of which was reflected on the big screen, in what turned out to be one of the greatest movie years of all time: The Matrix, Election, Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, The Limey, Boys Don’t Cry, The Blair Witch Project, and so on. I’ll be writing about all of those films, plus a lot of the smaller-scale pleasures of that year (Cruel Intentions! The Best Man! DEEP BLUE SEA!)

Anyhoo, it will be out in 2019, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. And it’s due in, like, two weeks, so I’ll likely be off this site for a while. But I’m very excited about this, and hope to deliver a book with a lot of insight, humor, and verve (not to mention some Verve).


From Silicon Valley to “Silicon Valley”

Posted on May 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

If it seems like it’s been ages since I updated this blog, it’s because…well, it’s because it has, indeed, been ages since I updated this blog. But look: I’m lazy. And I have two kids, as well as a gazillion excuses that will only get progressively lamer as I reel them off. In my defense, I did take a nearly two-year-long break to work at Yahoo, an experience I can accurately and legally describe as [REDACTED], and which took me off the grid for a long spell.

Happily, I recently rejoined Wired, where I’m now working as a senior writer for both the magazine and Wired.com. You can read the recent cover story I wrote on Silicon Valley here. Or you can check these various goofy things I’ve been doing for the website. Sorry for the absence!


Movie Sign

Posted on Apr 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

For the latest issue of Wired, I wrote an oral history of Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you read closely, you can hear the engines roll now.



Posted on Apr 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

For the latest issue of Wired, I profiled Bran Ferren, the inventor and designer who’s spent the last few years building the most souped-up all-terrain vehicle imaginable–all to impress a girl.


Y’All Are Brutalizing Me

Posted on Oct 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

For the new issue of Wired, I profiled Mr. Show co-founder (and sketch-comedy mentor) Bob Odenkirk. Luckily, I didn’t have to pass a lie-detector test in order to interview him.



Posted on Jun 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


I have a new e-book out today: High-Status Characters: How the Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed A City, Started A Scene, And Changed Comedy Forever. It costs $1.99, and all you need to start reading it on your smartphone or tablet is the Nook app, which is free, and ridiculously easy to use.

High-Status Characters started out a few years ago, as a New York magazine oral history. This new version is more than eight times longer than the original, and features interviews with nearly 80 of the UCB’s friends, fans, and performers, including Amy Poehler, Conan O’Brien, Ed Helms, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, and Nick Kroll. I think it’s a must-read for comedy fans, but then again, I’m kind of biased.


Get In the Box

Posted on Mar 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

For the latest issue of Wired, I profile Shane Carruth, the creator of 2004’s baffling time-travel drama Primer. Nearly a decade since that film made him one of sci-fi’s biggest hopes, he’s finally back with a new film, the equally ambitious Upstream Color. You can read it all here.

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