dead pigs release

Dead Pigs is the kind of directorial debut that declares a new voice is on the scene. “Pure” is a word that comes up in our conversation with filmmaker Cathy Yan, whose first feature-length film is just that. It called to mind a Danny Boyle quote, that first movies often represent your best work because you never know if you’ll get another shot, so why not try everything you’ve dreamed of seeing in a movie?

Dead Pigs plays exactly like that – an unfiltered dream. It has a strange magic to it. There are the dead pigs; skyscraper’s bright lights contrasted with the streets and country life; a heroine (played by Vivian Wu) in a lone house dedicated to respecting the past and fighting the future; and both a singalong and a wonderful reference to the 2006 film Step Up. Yan’s debut is inspiringly brazen and bursting with life and personality. That personal style made Yan’s sophomore effort, Birds of Prey, one of the hipper comic book movies in recent years.

Yan’s debut caught the eye of Margot Robbie, who was impressed by the scope of the characters and world Yan captured. “You can’t pull off a film in China for as little money as she had, and make it look so incredible, and still care about the characters more than anything,” Robbie said. “She just — in my mind — nailed it.”

After years of limbo, Dead Pigs is finally available to stream on Mubi today. We spoke to Yan about revisiting her debut film years after she shot it and the joy of having a movie that shows who she is finally out in the world.

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On the February 4, 2021 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson presents an interview with WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer and a separate conversation with WandaVision actor Randall Park. Read More »

wandavision emma caulfield interview

There was a near-universal flash of recognition from fans watching the second episode of Marvel’s first Disney+ series, WandaVision: “Hey, that’s Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Emma Caulfield played the vengeance demon turned high school student in the beloved ’90s supernatural drama series, but in WandaVision, she plays your regular old neighbor from hell, Dottie Jones. Or so it would seem.

Having such a recognizable face from another beloved genre show set off the alarms in Marvel fans’ heads, who immediately jumped to speculate that Dottie may be more than she appeared. Popular theories suggest that she’s actually playing the extra-dimensional demon/devil Mephisto (due to the frequent “hellish” comments made about Dottie by Kathryn Hahn‘s nosy Agnes), or that she’s Arcanna Jones, a member of the alternate-universe super team Supreme Squadron. Caulfield loves all those fan theories, she told /Film in an interview over Zoom, but she obviously can’t tell us if they’re true or not.

“I can’t answer any of them! But they are good. They’re very entertaining, I love all of them,” Caulfield said.

But will she be able to tell us whether that scene with the rabbit was actually an Easter egg for Anyanka fans? “No, I think it was just purely coincidental,” Caulfield said.

Okay, how about if we’ll see her or Dottie in the Marvel universe again? In response to that question, Caulfield only glanced at the camera and took a long drink of water.

Fair enough.

Read our interview with Emma Caulfield below.

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WandaVision Trailer

On the January 12, 2021 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson is joined by writer Hoai-Tran Bui to introduce her interviews with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and WandaVision director Matt Shakman. Read More »

Brad Bird's Musical Movie

Michael Giacchino has a swanky workplace.

Due to the pandemic, the Oscar-winning film composer is working from his personal studio, which looks straight out of the 1950s at first glance – it’s filled with instruments, warm colors, and nostalgia. Childhood toys from Spider-Man, Star Trek, Speed Racer, and Planet of the Apes are present in his cabinets, which help keep the composer inspired.

Earlier this year, Giacchino went into his studio to produce his debut album, “Travelogue Vol 1,” along with the Nouvelle Modernica OrchestraFor his long-awaited debut, the composer crafted a throwback to old radio shows, mixing together a science-fiction narrative and lively lounge music. The album is melancholic fun. During our conversation with Giacchino, who recently released a holiday single, we talked about the album. But he also told us about his listening habits, concert experiences, the music he relaxes to, dances to, and draws inspiration from. It’s now time to share that latter part.

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Ryan Coogler Soul

If you pay close attention during the closing credits of Pixar’s Soul, you’ll spot one name that may come as something of a surprise: Ryan Coogler. The director of Black Panther and Creed was never announced as part of the creative team for this film, so what did he do to earn a “special thanks” credit in Pixar’s newest movie? We spoke with the filmmakers behind the movie and asked them that very question, and they explained the Ryan Coogler Soul connection. Learn the answer below. Read More »

Once Upon a Snowman Director Interview

What happened to Olaf the talking snowman in the window of time between his creation and his first meeting with Anna during Frozen? The new Disney short Once Upon a Snowman answers that question. It turns out that Josh Gad’s warm hug-loving character had a bit of an adventure, full of hijinks and existence-defining moments. And according to directors Trent Correy and Dan Abraham, it was all inspired by Back to the Future Part II.

Once Upon a Snowman is streaming now on Disney+, so before or after you watch it, you can read our interview with the filmmakers, who shared their inspiration for the short, how they made Olaf work as a central character, and whether there’s a bit of Looney Tunes in their Disney character.

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Stephen Tobolowsky

On the October 21, 2020 episode of /Film Daily, we have a special episode of the podcast: David Chen has a discussion with Groundhog Day and One Day At A Time star Stephen Tobolowsky about how the pandemic has changed his job as an actor.

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raised by wolves season 2

Raised by Wolves is a hardcore slice of science-fiction. From showrunner Aaron Guzikowski and director Ridley Scott, the series effortlessly blends thought-provoking drama and the fun of watching androids obliterating humans with the awesome power of their voice. It’s a show that doesn’t feel alien to Scott’s own sci-fi universes. Consider Raised by Wolves to be Blade Runner or Alien‘s cool cousin.

The epic series began as a spec script from Guzikowski, who generally writes movies, not shows, with the exception of The Red Road. The screenwriter’s breakout script was Prisoners, which caught the eye of Mark Wahlberg and led to Guzikowski’s earliest writing gigs, including Contraband. Guzikowski’s most ambitious project, without question, is Raised by Wolves. It’s epic in scope, although not without intimacy.

When writing the series, Guzikowski was listening to “a ton of John Carpenter,” the Nosferatu score, and “a lot of ’70s Tangerine Dream,” and it shows in the series. Recently, the showrunner told us about the experience of crafting his immersive sci-fi series with Sir Ridley Scott.

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Dean Parisot interview

Bill & Ted Face the Music is a very kind-hearted movie. There’s not a single mean-spirited bone in its body. With its unironic heroes, its passion for music, and most importantly, the love between best friends and family, Bill & Ted Face the Music appreciates the best in life.

Whatever obstacles came in the way of the sequel, director Dean Parisot and everyone involved kept going. Parisot, known most famously for the classic Galaxy Quest, delivered a pure sequel with its heart in such the right place. The director, an NYU graduate who won an Oscar for best live-action short film in 1988, told us why he never gave up on Bill & Ted 3 and more.

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