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Articles

Past Articles view current articles

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Eddie Muller, Cultural Archaeologist
By Jonathan Marlow
October 28, 2005 - 9:37 AM PDT

Author of several books (as well as our primer on film noir), Eddie Muller is also a filmmaker, a programmer and lately a sought-after commentator on a series of DVDs. In short, he is, as Jonathan Marlow points out in the introduction to his extensive interview, a "consummate showman."  Full Article >>
 
Christopher Nolan's Realistic Superhero
By Sean Axmaker
October 20, 2005 - 12:22 PM PDT

More than a few were surprised when Christopher Nolan, director of such heady features as Following and Memento, was chosen to revive the Batman franchise. Sean Axmaker asks him about reimagining an icon and the challenges of directing an action adventure as big as Batman Begins.  Full Article >>
 
George A. Romero: "I've Had a Terrific Run of It"
By Sean Axmaker
October 18, 2005 - 5:25 AM PDT

In 1968, with Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero not only "turned zombies into metaphors for societal decay," as Liz Cole writes in her zombies primer, he also "[changed] the face of American horror for good." So says Sean Axmaker, who talks with Romero about that landmark film and his latest, Land of the Dead.  Full Article >>
 
David Strathairn: "Film is Our Literature"
By Sean Axmaker
October 14, 2005 - 1:50 AM PDT

"With a 25-year career in some 70 films and TV shows, the prolific David Strathairn is one of the finest contemporary actors who remains largely unknown to most viewers," writes Sean Axmaker, introducing his interview, before adding, "Good Night, and Good Luck. could change that."  Full Article >>
 
Robert Stone: "That's What Terrorism Is"
By Jonathan Marlow
October 11, 2005 - 7:46 AM PDT

If the Symbionese Liberation Army hadn't kidnapped the daughter of a media magnate in 1974, would anyone ever have heard of them? Jonathan Marlow talks with Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Robert Stone about his latest, Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst.  Full Article >>
 
Gretchen Wayne and a Family Legacy
By Jonathan Marlow
October 10, 2005 - 8:48 AM PDT

As Susan King noted recently in the Los Angeles Times, John Wayne "may have been a 'personality,' but he was also a highly underrated actor." Jonathan Marlow talks with Gretchen Wayne, widow of Wayne's oldest son, Michael Wayne, and president of Batjac Productions, a California company founded by Michael's father, about the restoration and release on DVD of several Wayne favorites.  Full Article >>
 
Stefan Jarl: "They can't destroy the soul"
By Jonathan Marlow
October 7, 2005 - 5:59 AM PDT

"One of the last great samurai who unyieldingly fights for ideals and convictions," Ingmar Bergman once said of Swedish documentary filmmaker Stefan Jarl. As his most recent film, The Girl From Auschwitz, screens at the Mill Valley Film Festival, Jonathan Marlow talks to him about his early work, global politics and working with Lukas Moodysson.  Full Article >>
 
Walter Hill: "Operate on your instincts"
By Sean Axmaker
October 3, 2005 - 11:41 AM PDT

Walter Hill is one of "the most underrated American directors working today," writes Sean Axmaker, introducing his chat with the screenwriter behind The Getaway, a producer of Alien and the director of a couple of dozen solid narrative machines. The "Ultimate Director's Cut" of his balletic urban nightmare, The Warriors, has just been released.  Full Article >>
 
Bennett Miller: On Capote
By Craig Phillips
September 30, 2005 - 11:00 AM PDT

As Capote, his first narrative feature, opens to widespread acclaim (leading to early Oscar talk for an unforgettable Philip Seymour Hoffman, among other contributors), Bennett Miller confesses to Craig Phillips: his fear of "getting it wrong," and why he waited so long before tackling his first feature. Apparently, for a film Rolling Stone's Peter Travers calls "a movie that doesn't pull its punches - a knockout," the wait was most certainly worth it.  Full Article >>
 
Dave McKean's Handmade Fantasies
By Jonathan Marlow
September 29, 2005 - 6:45 AM PDT

Dave McKean isn't merely wildly prolific; he's wildly prolific in a wide range of artistic disciplines: illustration, photography, comics, music, writing and film. Jonathan Marlow asks him about turning one of his many collaborations with Neil Gaiman into his first feature, MirrorMask.  Full Article >>
 
Bruce Campbell in Phase III
By Jonathan Marlow
September 27, 2005 - 7:34 AM PDT

There are the books, the latest being Make Love... the Bruce Campbell Way, the comic books, and of course, the movies, and Bruce Campbell's movie of the moment is Man with the Screaming Brain, which he's directed and stars in. Campbell writes (Phase I), directs, produces and acts (II) and, with equal vigor, promotes (III). As Jonathan Marlow discovers, he does it all with a healthy sense of humor.  Full Article >>
 
Mike Mills and "What 'Film' Is"
By Jonathan Marlow
September 20, 2005 - 3:48 PM PDT

Graphic designer, music video and commercial director Mike Mills has made his first feature, Thumbsucker. In a wide-ranging and candid talk with Jonathan Marlow, he recalls the challenges and triumphs, confesses to an obsessive love for one film and speculates about his wide open future.  Full Article >>
 
Kelly Duane's Monumental Task
By Jennie Rose
September 19, 2005 - 1:59 PM PDT

Ardent eco-activist David Brower didn't just leave behind a legacy of environmental legislation and preservation; he also left us exquisite, vivid footage of some of America's most valuable Western wilderness. Jennie Rose takes a look at Monumental, Kelly Duane's Brower documentary that tapped the Brower archives for what The Oregonian called "a feast of nourishing images - as well as a persuasive reminder of what exactly environmentalists are fighting for."  Full Article >>
 
Andrew Niccol Finds a World of "Macabre Absurdity"
By Sean Axmaker
September 16, 2005 - 1:13 AM PDT

"I was always just interested in arms trafficking because there is so much attention on drug trafficking, but this is so much more devastating," writer and director Andrew Niccol tells Sean Axmaker. Following the "social science fiction" of Gattaca, The Truman Show and S1m0ne, Niccol turns to the here and now in Lord of War.  Full Article >>
 
Albert Maysles's Reality Check: 50 Years of Documentaries
By David D'Arcy
September 12, 2005 - 9:51 AM PDT

As a sort of followup to his recent interview with D.A. Pennebaker, David D'Arcy speaks with another giant of the American documentary, Albert Maysles. With his late brother, David, Maysles has made some essentials of the genre - Salesman, Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens - and he's even now working on several films all at once.  Full Article >>
 
Laughing With Alex de la Iglesia's Demons
By Jonathan Marlow
September 9, 2005 - 1:21 AM PDT

"God bless Hitchcock. He never won an Oscar and never gave us a second of boredom," Alex de la Iglesia has said. No one would ever accuse the Spanish director of boring an audience. In his latest film, El Crimen Ferpecto (The Perfect Crime), he hits again on a striking mix of violence and comedy. Jonathan Marlow asks him where all those outrageous ideas come from.  Full Article >>
 
The Piersons' Road to Fiji
By Jonathan Marlow
September 2, 2005 - 5:25 AM PDT

John Pierson, a major mover and shaker at the dawn of the American independent film movement of the mid-80s to mid-90s, author of Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes and host of the IFC series, Split Screen, got it in his head to take his family to Fiji, run a theater there and show movies for free. Jonathan Marlow talks to John, Janet, Georgia and Wyatt Pierson about their adventure and the film that captures their story, Reel Paradise.  Full Article >>
 
Steve James: "The only honest way I can"
By Jonathan Marlow
September 2, 2005 - 5:23 AM PDT

In these days of penguins and politics, it's easy to forget that documentaries were once an extreme rarity in theaters. With Hoop Dreams, Steve James helped prove audiences would turn out for a great story, regardless of genre. Jonathan Marlow talks with James about how his latest, Reel Paradise, is unlike any film he's worked on before.  Full Article >>
 
D.A. Pennebaker: At 80, Looking Back and Ahead
By David D'Arcy
August 19, 2005 - 1:40 AM PDT

"The first time I ever held a camera with the intent of doing some real damage was on Daybreak Express." That was 1953. Bob Dylan eventually saw the five-minute short and agreed to have D.A. Pennebaker follow him around on his groundbreaking tour 12 years later. The result was Don't Look Back and the rest is film history. David D'Arcy talks to Pennebaker about his work and the future of documentaries in an age when nearly everyone has "a camera in their pocket."  Full Article >>
 
"Actors want to work": Peter Riegert
By Francine Taylor
August 12, 2005 - 1:37 AM PDT

In a summer when audiences are demonstrating their disapproval with standard Hollywood fare en masse, Peter Riegert (Animal House, Local Hero, The Sopranos) is offering them an alternative in the form of his first feature as a director, King of the Corner, featuring Isabella Rossellini, Eli Wallach, Eric Bogosian, Beverly D'Angelo, Rita Moreno and a host of other excellent yet underexposed performers. Of course, he's having to criss-cross the country to promote the film himself. Francine Taylor hears his story.  Full Article >>
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