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Entries in interview (211)

Wednesday
Feb142018

Interview: François Ozon talks "Double Lover" and the greatest French actresses...

by Murtada

It might be surprising to know that François Ozon likes to learn what children think of his films. He says their responses are clever and innocent, especially if they believe the world on the screen. Though he realizes that he can’t always get their feedback since his movies often deal with adult themes, like the psychosexual thrillers Swimimg Pool (2003), Young and Beautiful (2013) and his latest Double Lover.

Ozon’s films cannot be easily categorized, he has also directed the campy musical 8 Women (2002) and the haunting WW1 romance Frantz (2016). He says...

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Friday
Jan122018

Interview: Jamie Bell on falling in love with Annette Bening and his "Billy Elliot" reunion

by Nathaniel R

Jamie Bell has been famous since he was 14 years old. His debut film Billy Elliott (2000) about a young boy who discovers a passion for dancing that puts him at odds with his blue-collar community, became a global sensation. The charming film earned over $100 million (on a $5 million budget), received 3 Oscar nominations multiple BAFTAs, and eventually spawned a similarly popular stage musical which took yet more prizes.

The film also earned its young star the BAFTA for Best Actor in February of 2001. And, seventeen years later, here we are again. Jamie Bell is BAFTA nominated for Best Actor for his latest movie Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool. The romantic drama, now in limited release, is about the last days of Oscar winner Gloria Grahame's (Annette Bening) life and the young unknown actor Peter Turner (Jamie Bell) she falls in love with, and whose life she essentially takes over moving into his parents home (where they're both mothered by Julie Walter). 

I had the opportunity to speak with Jamie Bell a few times this season at events which was a gift since the actor is so charming and his talent somehow still undervalued 17 years later. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool should change that as his best performance yet. Our interview is after the jump..

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Thursday
Jan042018

Maysaloun Hamoud on tackling taboos, cinematic influences, and her homage to "Thelma and Louise"

by Murtada

In Between, Arab-Israeli director Maysaloun Hamoud’s debut feature, is about three young, independent-minded Palestinian women who share an apartment in Tel Aviv. Laila (Mouna Hawa) is a criminal lawyer who loves to burn off stress in the underground club scene. Her roommate Salma (Sana Jammelieh,) is an aspiring DJ and bartender who falls in love with a female medical intern. Their new roommate Nur (Shaden Kanboura, Sand Storm) is a reserved, religious university student with a conservative fiancé.

Away from the constraints of their families and tradition, they find themselves “in between” the unfettered lives they are trying to lead and the restrictions imposed on them by their conservative culture. The film has already won several awards including honors at the San Sebastian Film Festival and the 2017 Women in Motion's Young Talents Award at the Cannes Film festival, presented to her by none other than Isabelle Huppert!

 

 

The film is a funny and sensitive portrait of female friendship. Its depiction of the three women at the center, is explosive in its head-on tackling of taboo topics in Arab society, and warm in its care to present multi-faceted characters. We recently spoke with the director Maysaloun Hamoud in New York. [The conversation has been edited and condensed...]

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Wednesday
Jan032018

Interview: on the Ghostly Costume Design of "The Beguiled"

 by Nathaniel R

The costume designer Stacey Battat has, to date, worked mostly in female-oriented contemporary indies. That's quite a perfect niche to build a design career from. Or at least it is when the women who've visually helped define your early work are such stylish talented icons themselves. Battat first made her mark on two Parker Posey features in the late Aughts (Broken English, Happy Tears). Soon after she was deep in the Julianne Moore business (Still Alice, Freeheld, What Maisie Knew). Other credits include The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her and Him and Mozart in the Jungle but it's been her partnership with writer/director Sofia Coppola that's come to define her young career.

The two began working together on the LA dreamy Somewhere (2010). Battat proved invaluable to all the fashiongasms of Coppola's arguably most underrated feature The Bling Ring (2013). Then came an atypical challenge: a forgotten girls school deep in the Civil War era.

I spoke with Battat recently by phone to talk about one of the most visually striking films this past year, The Beguiled, and what she brought to it. Our interview, edited for clarity and length follows...

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Tuesday
Nov282017

Interview: Claes Bang on 'The Square,' the Monarchy and Being Starstruck at the Governors Awards

By Jose Solís.

photo src

Like Christian, his character in The Square, Claes Bang speaks with impressive assertiveness. Even when he’s poking fun at himself, he sounds like a man who’s never had any doubts or gotten himself into something he couldn’t get out of. Perhaps it’s this quality that makes his performance in Ruben Östlund’s award winning film so magnetic, and has also raised comparisons to Jon Hamm and James Bond. At age 50, the Danish actor who has mostly worked on stage and television, finds himself in the unlikely position of movie star. Position which he’s filled extraordinarily, having become the sensation of the Cannes Film Festival, as well as a dark horse for the European Film Awards where he’s competing against Colin Farrell and Jean-Louis Trintignant for Best Actor.

Watching Bang (even his name’s cool!) in The Square one gets the sense of both knowing Christian, but also feeling like he could deceive you at any moment. He’s the kind of man who seems so secure of his position in the world, that he could drag you with him without you realizing it. When I spoke to director Östlund he explained that he saw Christian as a man who, despite appearances, isn’t as free as we’d think. Earlier this fall, Bang took a break from his publicity tour to do a play in Denmark, and he also makes New Wave-like electronica - think darker Depeche Mode - under the moniker This Is Not America, making him the ultimate renaissance man. If awards season wasn’t so partial to English speaking roles, Bang would be a serious contender for Best Actor, since he delivers the kind of performance that combines unique thespian talents, with pure star power. I spoke to him about taking on a character as complex as Christian, his thoughts on the monarchy, and his favorite part of awards season so far. Read the interview after the jump...

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Sunday
Nov262017

Stage Door: The Hilarious Cast of "Desperate Measures"

by Nathaniel R

Before we plunge into the deep end of movie awards season, which tends to consume our every waking moment from right now through Oscar night each year, a wee theater break.

Though we love movies with all our hearts, the one thing live-action movies don't really have an equivalent of is the grand theatrical tradition of the musical comedy. I'm talking inspired silliness as goddamn raison d'etre. I recently fell hard for Desperate Measures, a hilarious wild west riff on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. The show has now been extended three times at the York Theatre in Manhattan and will close on New Year's Eve so get to it! (The York specializes in helping develop new musicals and I'm happy to call attention to this noble cause as a bonafide fanatic of the genre.)

I sat down recently to talk to with two of the musical's stars, strapping Peter Saide and rockstar feisty Lauren Molina, who both really "outta be in pictures" as they say though we're happy they're killing it on stage, don't misunderstand! The interviews are after the jump... 

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