Robert Benton

Bonnie and Clyde. Kramer vs. Kramer. Nobody's Fool. As a screenwriter, and often as a director as well, Robert Benton has had a hand in more than a few landmarks of American cinema. His latest, Feast of Love, is an adaptation of a novel by Charles Baxter, recommended to him by novelist Richard Russo.

Sean Axmaker talks with Benton about his genre-tweaking background, about what all he owes Robert Altman, about the ongoing debate over violence in movies and about what he's after in Feast of Love: "My interests have shifted away from film and more toward life, and that what interests me are those things that I don't understand. Love is one of those things."

Blog entry 09/24/2007 - 3:12pm


Cruising is one of the most controversial films in American cinematic history. Protests fired up once word got out that it was being made, carried on through its initial theatrical release in 1980 and fired up all over again when it was revived in 1995. But this year it was met with a standing ovation in Cannes.

When director William Friedkin recently attended a special screening in San Francisco, Jeffrey M. Anderson sat down to talk with him about what's changed, about "the existence of good and evil in all of us, which is what all of my films are about," and about the connection between Cruising and The Exorcist.


Blog entry 09/18/2007 - 3:21pm

By Michelle Devereaux

Celebrated French auteur Francis Veber is nothing if not a gentleman-perhaps even to a fault. The writer and director of films like The Dinner Game, The Closet, and Le Jaguar (he also wrote the screenplay to La Cage Aux Folles) is so amenable, in fact, he'll even let you call him by the wrong name. In an interview the 69-year-old Veber gave to a radio station the same day he talked to GreenCine, a journalist kept calling him "Francois." But Veber didn't correct him once-and even referred to himself in a promo by using the incorrect name...

La doublure (The Valet) is now out on DVD.

Blog entry 09/18/2007 - 9:31am

Interviewed By Jonathan Marlow
[At the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival]

Her first short film was selected for International Critics Week at Cannes. She received an Academy Award for her third short. She was awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes for her first feature and later dominated the BAFTAs in Scotland (winning the Best Director, Film, Screenplay, Actress and Actor awards). Such a sequence of achievements is essentially unheard of, admittedly, but Andrea Arnold is not your average filmmaker.

Jonathan Marlow Spoke with Arnold about her films. Her first feature Red Road, is now out on DVD.

Blog entry 09/13/2007 - 9:27pm

Lav DiazThe last day of the Venice Film Festival sees the screening of surely one of the most unusual films in its lineup, Death in the Land of Encantos, by the Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz. Unusual, even if only in terms of length. The film runs around ten hours.

Tilman Baumgäel asks Lav Diaz, widely recognized as one of the most important filmmakers working in the Philippines today, what has led to such a radical aesthetic and talks with him, too, about the unique blend of documentary and fiction in his latest work.

Blog entry 09/07/2007 - 6:51am

Patricia RiggenLa Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon) [official site] was met with a rousing standing ovation when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Now this moving tale of a mother and son separated by the US-Mexico border is opening New York's Latinbeat series and screening at the Toronto International Film Festival before hitting theaters in March 2008.

James van Maanen grabbed a chance to talk with director Patricia Riggen.

Blog entry 09/07/2007 - 1:56am

Barbet Schroeder "There is plenty of violence and intrigue, but it seems likely that had Mr. Schroeder pitched the project to a Hollywood studio, the story would have been dismissed as crazily implausible," wrote AO Scott in the New York Times from Cannes back in May. He'd just seen Barbet Schroeder's Terror's Advocate, a documentary about one of the most controversial - and mysterious - lawyers of all time, Jacques Verges.

The film has just screened in Telluride, where David D'Arcy spoke with Schroeder, and is now on its way to Toronto.

Blog entry 09/06/2007 - 12:28am

Interview By Andrew Grant

Joe Swanberg follows up his previous efforts, Kissing on the Mouth and LOL, with the clever and endearing Hannah Takes the Stairs; a film about a recent college graduate and aspiring playwright, struggling to find happiness in her life through various relationships. Swanberg's feature is a collaborative work that involved prominent indie filmmakers such as Mark Duplass, Ry Russo-Young, Todd Rohal, Andrew Bujalski and others. The film opened at SXSW and there Andrew Grant had a moment to speak with Swanberg about his films.

LOL is now out on DVD.

Blog entry 08/28/2007 - 1:42pm

Jason Kohn

Winner of the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year (as well as the Cinematography Award), Manda Bala "has a lot more to do with fiction filmmaking than with journalism or with much that we expect from documentaries," notes David D'Arcy in his introduction to his long and fascinating talk with director Jason Kohn. This stylized approach may have put off a few critics, but not Kohn's mentor, Errol Morris, who has told him, "This is not a movie about Brazil. This is a movie about the United States in five years."

Blog entry 08/22/2007 - 3:30pm

"Every novice filmmaker aspires to have their first feature praised by their peers. If they're extremely fortunate, their earliest work will be embraced by critics and well-attended by audiences. Less often, their first feature will even be lauded with awards in their home country and abroad." remarks Jonathan Marlow of Florian Henckle von Donnersmarck whose remarkable new drama The Lives of Others has won several German Lola's and has been nominated by the Academy. Marlow had a chance to talk with Donnersmarck here in San Francisco.

And now the film, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, is out on DVD.

Blog entry 08/21/2007 - 5:06pm

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