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Entries in interview (71)

Saturday
Nov022013

Interview / Giveaway: "Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait"

TFE's Vivien Leigh Centennial Celebration (November 2-6) 
Here's David with an interview and book giveaway 

Vivien Leigh was only nominated for two Oscars, but she won both of them. More impressively, both of her winning performances are still frequently said to be among the finest of all-time. If she’d done nothing else in her career, that would be a legacy to be proud of. It’s even more extraordinary when you consider the personal struggles that the actress went through: constantly striving to feel worthy of acting alongside the love of her life, Sir Laurence Olivier, and an undiagnosed and mistreated bipolar disorder that increasingly overtook her. In Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, Leigh scholar Kendra Bean digs into the actress’ dramatic life story, using a myriad of photographs both legendary and rare to imbue Vivien’s life with the vulnerability of her delicate beauty.

book contest and interview after the jump

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Monday
Sep302013

Interview: Actress Dánae Reynaud on "Club Sandwich"

Dánae ReynaudThe 51st New York Film Festival continues with Jose's interview with Dánae Reynaud, co-star of Club Sandwich

In a relatively short time, the young director Fernando Eimbcke has become one of the most original voices in Latin American cinema. With a mere three movies to his name, he's one of the few auteurs working outside the standard subjects of drug trafficking, crime and magical realism. His movies tend to focus on young people living ordinary lives and coming to terms with impending adulthood. To call them coming-of-age films wouldn't do justice to the larger truths they carry. His latest, Club Sandwich, is no exception; it deals with a single mother (María Renée Prudencio) who takes her son Hector (Lucio Giménez Cacho) to a resort during the low season.

The first part of the movie finds them bonding over sunscreen application, discussing Prince's sexiness and ordering the title meal. Things change when more guests arrive to the hotel, one of them being Jazmín (Dánae Reynaud), a sixteen year old who catches Hector's eye. Suddenly he doesn't want to be with his mom for long, he starts noticing he's growing a tiny mustache and secretly washes his underwear so that his mother won't notice the accidents he's been having at night. The film is a delight made even more special by the naturalistic performances of the three lead actors. Reynaud in particular brings a sense of mischief to a character that could've been villainized by a lesser actress. I asked the charming Dánae about working with Eimbcke and when she realized she wanted to act. You'll relate to her profound love of movies (after the jump). 

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Wednesday
Sep042013

Interview: Brie Larson Does Not Want Her Own Reality Show

Short Term 12 opens in 9 more cities this Friday and 30+ more the following week. Time to talk to its star Brie Larson.

This is not going to be one of those interviews where I describe what the actress is wearing. This is not going to be one of those interviews where I talk about what the actress was eating. This is not the kind of interview that The Film Experience does which is just fine with Brie Larson. As it turns out we're completely sympatico on the subject of actresses and fame. She loves the work and prefers retaining her mystery to indulging in her celebrity. Or as she puts it.

I enjoy being confusing."

But here's the catch. When you do consistently great work as an actor as Brie Larson has done in roles large (United States of Tara) medium (21 Jump Street, The Spectacular Now) and small (Scott Pilgrim, Rampart), and then you hit a new peak with a revelatory personal best (Short Term 12) celebrity will often follow.

Brie frames this rising stardom predicament more memorably than I could while munching on a very green salad in a very blue dress (oops) in a day full of interviews. Morning Joe and Sirius XM were also on the docket that day:

I think with my age and gender --  it gets very easy for the conversation to go in the direction of 'What is your summer salad?’ It doesn’t matter. It’s not important. If we’re going to talk about stuff, let’s talk about stuff."

Which is exactly what we did from her Short Term 12 triumph to the chameleon wonders of United States of Tara to her feelings about Best Actress Oscar buzz. We'll skip ahead past my incoherent gushing about how Short Term 12 is the besty-best to the rest of the interview after the jump.

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Thursday
Jun272013

An interview with Nick Davis, on "The Desiring-Image"

Tim here. Just in time for Gay Pride Month, sometime Film Experience contributor and generally terrific film writer Nick Davis had his very first book published, The Desiring-Image: Gilles Deleuze and Contemporary Queer Cinema. After having torn through my copy a little bit faster than the densely academic arguments necessarily deserved, I sat down with Nick to chat about some aspects of the book.

(Disclosure: not only are Nick and I friends, I make an appearance in the acknowledgements, as does Nathaniel, our host. But that’s why this isn’t a “review”)

Tim Brayton: Just to clarify: for you and for the book, “queer theory” and “queer cinema” is complementary to, but not necessarily the same as, gay and lesbian cinema.

Nick Davis: Yes. “Queer” both as a scholarly term, and a term that filmmakers are using for their work, is sort of bringing a more political edge to gay or lesbian or bisexual storylines, and doing so in such a way that it’s hard to talk about sexuality without also talking about other forces and other aspects of your social situation that impact who you relate to, how, what you know about yourself, whether you think you have a sexuality, or whether it’s something that changes or goes by another name.

TB: The book is an investigation into queer theory and the writing of Gilles Deleuze, using them to comment on each other. I gather that Deleuze is not somebody who crops up often in queer discussion very much, so what started you on this line of thought?

ND: Probably two moments...

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Friday
May032013

Interview: Steve Hoover, Director of Oscar-Buzzing "Blood Brother"

Amir here. When Steve Hoover's debut Blood Brother, won both the audience and jury prizes at this year's Sundance Film Festival, it automatically became one of my most anticipated documentaries of the year. Lucky for me, I didn't have to wait long to see it. Hot Docs brought it to Toronto. Having now seen the film twice, crying through and laughing with it both times, I am confident this is one of the year's best films and deserves all the plaudits that will come its way.

a scene from Blood Brother

Blood Brother is a personal close-up of the director's best friend, Rocky - affectionately referred to by Indian children as "Rockyanna" - who has spent the past few years living in India in an orphanage where HIV-positive children and women are cared for. It is a character study of a man whose strength, humility and grace are unparalleled. Needless to say, the environment of the film is absolutely heartbreaking, particularly at the climax where we follow the story of a young boy named Surya and his experience with AIDS. What I didn't expect, however, was to leave the film filled not with sadness, but with joy and a new found appreciation for every little moment of my life. Hoover's film is anything but a tear-jerker. It maintains a fine balance between "extreme joy and extreme pain", as he put it, and in that balance finds a way straight to our hearts. 

On the occasion of Blood Brother's Hot Docs premiere, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve Hoover for a chat. Understandably, most of you haven't had the chance to see it yet and the intimate details of the films discussed here probably won't mean as much to you as they do to me, but this film is an absolute must-watch. I hope you'll seek it out and check back on this interview again then. 

AMIR: I’ll admit upfront that I’m a bit jealous of you, both because you’ve made such a wonderful film at such a young age and because you get to be friends with Rocky.

STEVE HOOVER: Thanks! You know, I’m 30. You still have a few years to get here.

AMIR: I’m not optimistic about my chances! But let’s get to your story. I want to ask you a bit about your relationship with Rocky prior to the film...

Steve Hoover (director) and his best friend Rocky (subject) in "Blood Brother"

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Tuesday
Apr302013

American Lone Wolf in Linking

YouTube Edgar Wright talks to the cast of American Werewolf in London, one of his favorite films.
Vulture the latest Mad Men episode in 5 gifs - yeah, I know I'm late writing this one up (and there was so much movie business, too)
Guardian great prickly interview with Judy Davis who, rather shockingly, does not like her work in Husbands and Wives (only one of the great supporting actress performances of all time!)

Moviefone interviews Anthony Mackie who will play Falcon in Captain America Winter Soldier. And bless them for asking him about rap battles with Eminem in 8 Mile.
The Ochre has an interactive movie-oriented video. You choose once choices come up. Short and quite random. 
IndieWire film critics and the 20 minute rule 
Slate the purge of Netflix Instant Watch features and queues. I'm so sad about this. Why does Netflix hate us? I don't want to go back to the world pre-Netflix when every movie cost me money and movies were so hard to find.
and
... on Twitter and Facebook we've been we're talking about Kirsten Dunst's best work today on her 31st birthday. You'd know that if you were "following" or "liking" so join us.

Three More Things About The Tony Award Nominations Today Starting With This Tweet That Made Me LOL

 

 

That's for you "Smash" fans... those of you who remain
The Film Experience I filled out that messy post on the nominations (sorry about that) with a little more commentary and a few photos
The Onion sticks a fork in the Awards with this hilariously titled piece "Loud Desperate Need For Approval Leads Tony Nominations" 

Finally...
Over at Towleroad I've interviewed the director Yen Tan about his new gay drama Pit Stop which has already picked up a couple of prizes at film festivals even before the LGBT film festival season (which starts in May) kicks off.  One of those was from my own jury at Nashville (previously discussed). The film stars Bill Heck and Marcus DeAnda as two gay men who are struggling to extricate themselves from failed relationships in rural Texas. We talked about the trials of "gay panic" when you're casting for LGBT films, realistic sex in movies and authenticity in dialogue when English is your second language. You can see a list of upcoming screenings here (festivals in Boston, Maryland, Oklahoma City, Ann Arbor, and San Diego are next). 

Tuesday
Apr162013

Fringe! Interview: Alan Brown on 'Five Dances'

David here, with an interview from Private Romeo director Alan Brown on his latest film Five Dances, which opened this year's Fringe! Film Festival in London, a celebration of multiple queer films and artists.

Chip (Ryan Steele) and Theo (Reed Luplau)

‘I purposely wanted to test myself – I wanted to work in a freer environment. And it was terrifying -  purposely so!’ Alan Brown laughs as he describes the genesis of his latest feature. Five Dances received its European premiere as the opening night of the third London Fringe! Film Festival, a volunteer-run festival that has quickly grown in stature since 2011.

Five Dances is Brown’s fourth feature, following the great success of his homo-Shakespeare adaptation Private Romeo, currently available to watch instantly on Netflix. Brown slides together dance and drama as he tells the story of Chip (Ryan Steele), a young dancer who’s moved from smalltown Kansas to the bright lights of New York and joins a small dance company rehearsing Anthony’s (Luke Murphy) new choreography. [more]

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Monday
Feb182013

Interview: Rich Moore on His Long Journey With "Wreck-It Ralph"

The Animated Feature Oscar race has been unusually competitive this year. In the final week of voting (ballots are due tomorrow) FYC ads and toys were still showing up in the mail. Which to play with first: Brave bow and arrows, Frankenweenie stuffed animal, or Wreck-It Ralph hands? That is the question. When I spoke with Rich Moore, a long time animation force who made his theatrical directing debut with Wreck-It Ralph, a few weeks back he was very contemplative. Awards season has been a "surreal" experience especially nomination morning.

You hope that they will but when they really do... it was fantastic!"
-Rich Moore on the surreal joy of Nomination Morning 

Moore never quite equated his own story with that of Wreck-It Ralph's but I couldn't help projecting and connecting the dots when he told his story. There was a sturdy sweetness to it, not unlike Ralph's own, as he repeatedly expressed loyalty and gratitude for each of his past projects and opportunities. After graduating from CalArts in the late 80s he went to work for 70s animation legend Ralph Bakshi on The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse -- which might not seem like a prime gig to us in retrospect but back then it was. "Those days there were not a lot of jobs for young animators," he explained.

"We were very very lucky to be hired onto that show by Ralph. Several of the people, my friends went on to form Pixar. [Bakshi] opened our eyes. If you could dream it it could happen because we would see Ralph do that on a daily basis. He is so passionate. And so crazy!" 

After his time with Bakshi he found himself at work on The Simpsons. And the experience still sounds shockingly fresh to hear him recall it. "I was 25 years old and somehow had the wherewithal to recognize that it was the chance of a lifetime - 'If I do not give this everything I've got I will not be able to live with myself.' It was gold."

He went on to marvel at how "antiquated" the idea was at the time -- it hadn't been done since The Jetsons. And I kept thinking of Wreck-It Ralph... an 8 bit game in a whole new world. Throughout his experiences with The Simpsons and then Futurama his CalArts friends who founded Pixar kept trying to woo him over. Finally the 'annual call' worked and he did some soul searching and stopped resisting, said a tough goodbye to one animation family for his original one. 

But, I wondered. How long had the Wreck-It Ralph idea been with him and how possessive did he feel about it animation being a hugely collaborative process and not exactly an auteurist medium. 

He calls it a "fine line to walk." Your precious idea, you have to let go and allow others to raise the child as strong as it can be. Here's how it worked. Moore pitched an idea for a story about a world of videogames where an old school character (then unnamed) had lost his passion for his work, and wonders about his station in life. "It began pretty much that simply," he explains. From there it shifted into a two person project for a year with he and screenwriter Phil Johnston. "From there it just begins to grow exponentially. You add more and more people to the mix. Last September there were up to 450 people - artistis, technicians, managers -- working on something that started as a pitch between John Lasseter and I four years ago."

Moore is suddenly contemplative and sounds a little sad. "To be the guy who walks through the whole thing from beginning to end is an interesting seat to have. When people talk about 'oh, it's journey'. It really is. it's a strange kind of trip you take. I find myself now at the end very reflective about the whole thing and appreciative to have been able to bring to Disney my contribution to this long line of films they've been making since the '30s. It's a very kind of profound feeling." 

As to that long line of films, Moore names Dumbo and Pinnocchio as his favorites from animation's early years and Toy Story 2 and The Iron Giant as his modern favorites. But as for his contribution -- he isn't quite ready to put Wreck-It Ralph behind him. He has dreams of a sequel and there's still Oscar night to get through. 

"I hated Christmas or Halloween to be over. oh no it's going to be done," Moore says recalling himself as a child. "I hate to let it go. That's where my head is right now. The 11th hour on Christmas day. You hate to see it come to a close but it's been a beautiful experience. It was so satisfying."

more on animated films
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