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The /Filmcast Interview is a series of conversations with actors, directors, and other key figures from the entertainment industry. In this episode, David Chen speaks with legendary director James Cameron about his attitude towards technology, the theme of environmentalism in his films, the acting benefits of performance-capture equipment, and the potential of movies to create social change. Cameron’s new film Avatar is out in theaters today. Listen to the interview below, or read a transcript after the jump.

Special thanks to Matt Singer from the IFC News Podcast and Dan Trachtenberg from the Totally Rad Show for helping me put together the interview questions. Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to be interviewed on the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a voicemail at (781) 583-1993.

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boondock-saints-2-posterThe /Filmcast Interview is a series of conversations with actors, directors, and other key figures from the entertainment industry. In this episode, David Chen speaks with director Troy Duffy about Overnight (the documentary chronicling his rise and fall in Hollywood), and about the long, winding, arduous path to getting the Boondock Saints back onto the big screen. The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day will be in theaters on Friday, October 30th.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to be interviewed on the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a voicemail at (781) 583-1993.

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a_serious_man_trailer

The /Filmcast Interview is a series of conversations with actors, directors, and other key figures from the entertainment industry. In this episode, I spoke with actor Michael Stuhlbarg about his role in the new Coen Brothers’ film, A Serious Man. Peter reviewed the film at TIFF this year, calling it his favorite Coen Brothers film of the past decade. I’ve also seen the film and I believe Stuhlbarg’s performance as Larry Gopnik is masterful for its subtlety and its remarkable capacity to evoke sympathy and empathy from the audience. I chatted with Michael about how he came to star in the film, his approach to the character of Larry, as well as his thoughts on the film’s ending (with verbal SPOILER warning provided during the interview).  A Serious Man is out in limited release and expands wider today.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to be interviewed on the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a voicemail at (781) 583-1993.

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bigelow

The /Filmcast Interview is a series of conversations with actors, directors, and other key figures from the entertainment industry. In this episode, David Chen speaks with writer Mark Boal and legendary director Kathryn Bigelow about the process of creating their exciting new film, The Hurt Locker.

From the film’s production notes: “The Hurt Locker is a riveting suspenseful portrait of the courage under fire of the military’s unrecognized heroes: the technicians of a bomb squad who volunteer to challenge the odds and save lives in one of the world’s most dangerous places.” I’ve seen the film and think that it’s remarkable, functioning  as both an gripping action film and a moody war movie. Certainly for any /Film readers out there, it’s definitely worthy of your attention. The movie is out in theaters today in NY/LA and will expand wider in the weeks to come.

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Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to be interviewed on the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a voicemail at (781) 583-1993.

The Brothers Bloom

It’s been a long few years since Rian Johnson’s first film Brick but Johnson’s follow-up, The Brothers Bloom, is finally about to hit theaters, with a limited release in NY/LA on May 15 and expanding wider in the weeks following. My full review of The Brothers Bloom won’t be published until the 15th, but in the meantime, I can tell you that I’ve seen the film and was completely blown away. Rian Johnson has successfully crafted what I would call a con film with a heart, and continues to live up to his promise as one of the most exciting directors working today.
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winnebago-man-wide

About two decades ago, Jack Rebney filmed a Winnebago commercial that would change the world of viral video forever. In the punishing heat of an Iowa summer, Rebney’s two-week Winnebago shoot made Rebney extremely irritable, which consequently made the entire video crew miserable. In fact, the crew got so incensed with Rebney’s oppressive treatment that they made a blooper reel of the shoot, which was then unleashed upon the world. The video shows middle-aged Rebney screaming profanities and other nonsensical statements. It is, in a word, remarkable. In the years before internet video, this reel was passed around from person to person using VHS tapes, but since the advent of Youtube, the clip has been seen by over 1 million people online. I could continue describing how funny it is, but instead, here it is for your viewing pleasure [Warning: THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY NSFW]:

Director Ben Steinbauer’s hilarious and powerful new documentary, Winnebago Man, asks the universal question that many of us have probably wondered about: What happens to people like Aleksey Vayner and Ghyslain Raza after they became viral video sensations? Steinbauer was fascinated with Rebney’s video and became determined to track him down to find out how the video had changed his life, if at all. Along the way, he interviews people involved with the actual Winnebago shoot depicted in the video to find out exactly what happened that fateful summer that resulted in the creation of the blooper reel (the dissemination of the reel resulted in Rebney being fired). He also talks with people who have enjoyed Rebney’s video; if you’ve seen the video yourself, you know that there’s something cathartic, even therapeutic, about watching an old man completely lose his shit. In watching the film, I got the sense that there’s also something a little bit profound about sharing that experience with millions of other anonymous viewers out there in the world.
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weliveinpublic

According to Ondi Timoner’s We Live in Public, Josh Harris is “the greatest internet pioneer you’ve never heard of.” Timoner’s documentary paints Harris as a man keenly attuned to the rapid advancements of the internet age, always one or two steps ahead of both the conventional wisdom as well as the prevailing technologies of his day. Harris made millions when he started internet data-analysis firm Jupiter Communications, then parlayed that money into other ventures, such as the short-lived internet TV studio Psuedo. Psuedo was launched before Hulu, revision3, justin.tv or uStream; hell, this was even before broadband was as widespread as it is today, making streaming, high-quality television a reality (Psuedo’s programs were a bit choppy).

After Pseudo, Harris launched perhaps his most ambitious project of all: an experimental community/art project called “Quiet: We Live in Public.” Harris rounded up over 100 artists into an underground bunker, offering free food, drink, and firing range access (with a huge of assault weapons to choose from, no joke). Using an intricate system of cameras, he recorded their every move and provided each of them a TV monitor so they could watch the activities of others. When FEMA shut down the bunker, Harris launched a different, more intimate version of “We Live in Public,” installing dozens of cameras and microphones inside his apartment to record the actions of himself and his girlfriend, Tonya. He then broadcast the results onto the internet, to the pleasure of many an internet chat room participant. As the second iteration of “We Live in Public” progressed, Harris found that constant internet surveillance had the ability to drastically affect his psychological condition and, perhaps, the course of his life.
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childrenofinvention

Last night I saw Tze Chun’s film, Children of Invention, at IFFBoston. Children of Invention follows the plight of an Asian American family in Boston, grappling with poverty. As the single mother of two children, Elaine Cheng (Cindy Cheung) is forced to resort to some desperate measures in order to provide for Raymond (Michael Chen) and Tina (Crystal Chiu). When Elaine, who’s ever-searching for a way to be financially independent, becomes embroiled in a pyramid scheme that spirals beyond her control, her children are left to fend for themselves.

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