Robert Eggers‘ first trip to Sundance was rewarded with a little thing called the Best Director award. Since then, he’s seen his New England-based independent horror film soar, earning a fervent critical backing and loads of support. But not everything has been roses. I chatted with the first-time director to discuss the years-long journey of making and releasing The Witch, the current state of horror movies, religious zealotry and the history of American witchcraft, the modern equivalent of witches, working with children actors to elicit believable performances, and how to deal with negative reactions to the film. Read More
Jeremy Saulnier emerged from the shadows last year with his not-quite-cult independent smash Blue Ruin. About a man fatally ill prepared to strike justice on the man responsible for his parent’s slaying, Saulnier managed an original voice in a familiar setting. With this year’s Green Room, he’s managed to strike the sweet spot once more. An uncompromisingly violent tale of a hapless punk band (played by Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, Callum Turner and Mark Webber) who come head to head with a Neo Nazi club owner (an intimidating as hell Patrick Stewart) is shrouded in viscus and plays like a violent assault to the senses. Visceral and mean, Saulnier has sharpened his edge as a filmmaker to craft a siege film set in a seedy underbelly society that’s absolutely boiling with tension. Read More
Director Jeff Nichols faces his biggest obstacle yet this upcoming weekend: the general public. Reviews for his fourth feature film have been largely favorable so far, with a very warm SXSW debut reception, but Midnight Special launches the Arkansas filmmaker into the spotlight in a big way. With a considerable marketing push behind it and general critical support (the film is “certified fresh” at a lofty 86% on Rotten Tomatoes as of writing this), the cards look good for Nichols’ biggest picture yet. Read More
Lovely Sarah Gavron arrives on the scene with Suffragette, a wanna-be prestige picture with award’s contender written back-and-front. Though I had a fair share of issues with the film itself [our review], Gavron provided a right compelling interview. Sarah and I talked the casting process, getting Meryl Street onboard, women in the film industry, transitioning into larger-scale projects, directorial influences and the battle between historical accuracy and narrative tread. Read More
Lesyle Headland couldn’t give a lumpy shit what bad things you have to say about female directors and she won’t stop herself from telling you so. The verbose talent provided some nasty good times when we sat down to discuss her latest film, the truly hysterical Sleeping With Other People [review here]. Leslye proved not only the most crass interview we’ve sat down to but also one of the most candid. We talk being a female director in a male world (with lion and lioness allegories), the film’s infamous bottle scene, her favorite scene that she cut from the film, casting Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie, crying on set, the misnomer of improvisation, the shift from Bachelorette , movie references and what you would find in her
VHS Blu-Ray player. Read More
I like to consider Jason Schwartzman and I best buddies. Now as to whether he feels the same way, I can only speculate a resounding “Yes.” The following interview took place during the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, where I first acquainted with the dapper star of Bob Byington‘s secretly hysterical 7 Chinese Brothers and took to asking him soul-searching questions pertaining to his preference for cats or dogs. Join us as we discuss injecting himself into the role, if he’s as snide as the characters he plays, his preference for a lazy day and what it’s like co-starring in a movie with his dog.
*This is a reprint of our SXSW 2015 interview
For all the schmaltzy young love that pollutes our movie screens (*cough* If I Stay, Fault in Our Stars *cough*) there comes the ocassional tale of youth and young love that actually merits a watch. 6 Years is that movie. And now that it’s been picked up by Netflix, you’ll actually probably watch it. How novel! From our review; Read More
Greta Gerwig first appeared in film in 2006 with a supporting role in Joe Swanberg‘s LOL (not to be confused with the Miley Cyrus film of the same name). Today, her name is synonymous with a strong independent, feminist voice, her presence, one that cannot be ignored. Though Gerwig’s mainstream debut could be traced back to No Strings Attached, most probably know her from her eponymous role in Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha in which she was nominated for many accolades, including Best Actress in Motion Picture Comedy or Musical at the 2013 Golden Globes. (If you don’t know Frances Ha, make it the next thing you see.) Read More
Meru, the new documentary by, of, and for the mountain climbers is a true labor of love [our review here]. In 2011, three lifelong friends, Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker, Renan Ozturk, set out to tackle one of the most death-defying peaks on t he planet, the Shark’s Fin on the Himalayas’ Mount Meru. And they brought cameras in their pockets. Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk were kind enough to take some time out of their un-relatably courageous climbing schedules to have a refreshingly un-Hollywood, non-slick chat with me about filmmaking as a natural extension of the adventure, how to make sure the cameras don’t weigh so much that the rations suffer, what most mountain movies get wrong, and an old climbers’ lifehack for what to do with that last rind of Parmesan.
To promote his new film Cop Car, a thinly plotted but hugely enjoyable genre flick that mixes suspense and high violence with a coming-of-age bent [review here], Kevin Bacon was in town, hitting the Seattle International Film Festival red carpet in style. After talking briefly about who he’d choose to bequeath the honor of Six Degrees of Bacon upon (other Kevin actors: Spacey, Klein, etc.) Kevin and I talked being Kevin Bacon, playing cops, not being pigeon-holed or type-cast, crafting a character from little dialogue, jumping back and forth from movies to television and not watching his old movies.