When I first saw Stories We Tell I was stunned. When I saw it again, I knew that reaction was warranted. And when I talked to the film’s director, everything was further illuminated. That director is Sarah Polley, who is probably best known for roles in films like Go and Dawn of the Dead. Polley is undeniably great in those movies, but after seeing her third feature film Stories We Tell, there’s no doubt she’s an even better director.
Polley approaches Stories We Tell with brilliantly layered execution. On the surface, it’s a personal documentary about her family history, featuring accounts from her brothers, sisters, parents, and friends. The basic story follows how her mother and father met, and started a family. From there, Polley questions the construction of story and truth. She breaks down the structure, turning the camera on herself. Finally, Polley uses this pleasant, thought-provoking documentary to pose surprising questions regarding the essence of cinema. Stories We Tell is now playing in select cities nationwide, so you can finally see what I mean for yourself.
Which brings us to a warm May morning poolside at a Beverly Hills hotel. I was lucky enough to sit down with Polley to discuss her wonderful film and ask all the burning questions I had after seeing it. You can read the conversation below. Read More »
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Not only did J.J. Abrams stop by The Daily Show earlier this week, he popped by The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM as well. Talking to Stern, Abrams talked about all the usual stuff: Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars Episode VII, etc., but he also admitted to not watching every episode of his own TV shows. As one would expect from Stern, it’s an entertaining interview. Listen to the whole thing below. Read More »
A couple weeks ago I got the opportunity to sit down with Marvel head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 writer/director Shane Black.
We’ve run some of the answers over the last week as stand-alone posts, but you can read the whole interview transcript after the jump, including collecting Back to the Future memorabilia, Iron Man at Disneyland, transforming a superhero movie into a detective story, Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars/Marvel crossover rant, if it was weird for Black to direct Jon Favreau in an Iron Man movie, how Iron Man 3 sets-up future Marvel films, Tony Stark’s unexpected team-up with a child, how Marvel deals with leaks, misinformation and the rumors of the age of the internet.
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During my interview last week with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, I brought up Patton Oswalt’s awesome ad-libbed Star Wars: Episode VII pitch (a Parks & Recreation outtake) which involved a cross-over event involving Disney’s Marvel superhero and galactic universe.
While many of my colleagues were asking the softball questions like “will Robert Downey Jr come back for a fourth Iron Man” or “where will Marvel go in Phase 3?” I knuckled down with the much more important hardball question: when is Disney going to take Oswalt’s pitch seriously and give us that Marvel/Disney cross-over film? Find out the answer after the jump.
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Walking out of Oblivion, you’ll probably have a few questions. Not plot questions, mind you. Director Joseph Kosinski makes what happens in the movie very clear. The questions are more about the director’s process. His mindset. Was Kosinski deliberatly echoing sci-fi films of the past? How much input did uncredited screenwriter Michael Arndt (Star Wars Episode VII) have? How did he pull off some of the film’s seamless visual effects? Did changing studios alter the movie? Is he offended by the Wall-E comparisons? Has he started thinking sequel? And which Disney property is next for the director, Tron 3 or The Black Hole?
Luckily, Kosinski was kind enough to give /Film a few minutes on the Universal Studios Backlot the week before the film’s opening to answer those questions, and a whole lot more. Check it out below. Read More »
Primer and Upstream Color writer/director/star Shane Carruth is an exceedingly generous interview subject. You might expect the creator of two very thoughtful pieces of genre film to be aloof or overly cerebral. But in conversation he has a tendency to react with exclamations like “wow” and “that’s so great” followed by thoughtful and digressive answers.
Maybe it’s just that I spoke to Carruth partway through Sundance, after Upstream Color had been shown only a couple of times, and he was still processing audience reactions. The film is not a typical narrative, and while it is also not outrageously obscure or difficult to puzzle out, I can imagine that Carruth might have been concerned about how audiences would respond to the picture. The chance to positively converse with people about something you’ve crafted in a bubble must be a source of great relief, even oh exultation. Every “wow!” seemed to be like a moment where Carruth realized that his experimental narrative worked, rather than one where he was impressed by the question.
Be warned that the conversation that follows is full of spoilers for Upstream Color. I sought, originally, to talk about the film in a way that wouldn’t give things away, but that intention dissipated with Carruth’s very first answer. There’s no way to talk about this film without really getting into the details of it. Fortunately, even when talking about the details of the plot, there’s a lot of room for interpretation with respect to meaning — Upstream Color is a film that will provoke many different readings. Read More »
Everyone thought Roland Emmerich‘s next movie was going to be Singularity. But there we were, last year, on the Montreal set of White House Down, where even Emmerich himself is surprised. What happened? It’s a simple story of Hollywood going a little old school. A studio buys what they feel is a great script, and executives bend over backwards to get a huge star and director on board so audiences can see the movie as soon as possible.
On the set of White House Down, which opens June 28, the director who is well-known for destroying the White House in Independence Day talked about doing that again. He discussed how this film will look very different from his previous films, how his star Channing Tatum is doing his own stunts, the exhaustive research into showing audiences places in the White House we never get to see, and much more.
Click here for our full visit to the set, here for our interview with Tatum, and below for Emmerich. Read More »
Channing Tatum doesn’t act like he’s famous. Even on the set of his upcoming movie, White House Down, the star of G.I. Joe, Magic Mike, Step Up and 21 Jump Street is humble, down to Earth and honest about his career. We spoke to the actor in Montreal last September. He said, after he next few movies, he wasn’t going to make another movie until he could direct himself, though a list of great directors could change his mind. He said he was so impressed with director Roland Emmerich that he’ll make movies with him forever.
Tatum also talked about Magic Mike 2, working with Steven Soderbergh and doing his own stunts – all of his own stunts. Tatum also discussed how growing up watching Eighties action films influenced his desire to make this movie, which opens June 28, and what it was about the script that really sold him.
To read more about our visit to the set, click this link. But for Channing Tatum, click below. Read More »
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