May 19, 2006

The Word I've Heard Bandied About Is "Star-Studded"

And let me put it this way: when you're talking about the films of James Mangold and you see the words "star," "stud," and "special" together that can only mean two possibilities: Joaquin Phoenix or Sylvester Stallone. And if either of them are a no-show Tuesday, I'm sure moderator Anna Deveare Smith'll be able to channel them as only she knows how. In one of my other lives, I'm the co-chair of this benefit for MoMA's Film and Media...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 04:06 PM

May 16, 2006

"ps - Manalo Blahnik [sic] made the shoes." [except for the Chuck Taylors]

Because I happen to know that she prefers the US spelling, "autarchically," I believe this interview with Sofia Coppola is translated from the French:SC/...I had been interested also by this period myself, the XVIIIth century in France, for quite a while, the atmosphere at Versailles, a place that functionned autarkically. I liked the idea of reconstituting that period, of doing a costume drama: to do that became then some sort of challenge for me. JML/ Did you first try to...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:43 PM

May 03, 2006

5/15: Matt Stone & Trey Parker Masterclass at NFT [London, En-guh-land]

After you sit back and digest the delicious hilarity that Mr. Hankey's creators will be appearing as "part of The Stanley Kubrick Masterclass series," peruse the NFT description of the event: In London for this 'Skillset Masterclass', Parker and Stone will explore the art of creating political satire, getting inspiration from Bruckheimer to Thunderbirds, the merits of puppet versus cell animation, the idea of absolute creative freedom and how far is too far.Since they offered to talk about absolute creative...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:54 AM

April 20, 2006

Wonder Showzen Guys Give Onion Interviewer Grief

Nice. If this guy worked for anyplace but The Onion AV Club, he'd have left this interview shaking like a leaf wondering how he's gonna get his story done.JL: My favorite moments are when you see someone lash out at the puppet, and then we have the guts, after he hits us, to move closer. There's so many times that someone hits us and we just run away like babies. There's a guy who pulled a knife on us, and...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:26 AM

March 21, 2006

Douglas Coupland Interviewed Morrissey

I like interviews with creatives as a way to learn more about their process and to understand better how a work came to be. Interviewing someone can be a chance to learn from someone I admire how he sees the world and how he goes about bringing his ideas to fruition. When I interviewed Sofia Coppola and she told me she'd never seen Caddyshack, I was stunned, but I didn't make a big deal about it at the time; she...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 11:36 AM

February 22, 2006

"The Left Bank Was Among Us."

JH: What was the germ of the idea for Metropolitan? WS:Like many things it started with annoyance at something I’d read in the New York Times...- Josh Horowitz does a phoner with the temporarily Parisian Whit Stillman on the occasion of the release of the Criterion Collection DVD of Metropolitan. [via greencine]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 04:21 PM

February 15, 2006

Dardenne Bros Interview at NFT

Wow, a fascinating, long interview with the Dardenne Brothers that was presented at the National Film Theatre in London last weekend. They really were a mess when they started out. Geoff Andrew interviews Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne [guardian via kultureflash]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:46 AM

February 09, 2006

Mark Romanek On Bubble DVD Commentary?

I find Soderbergh's DVD commentary tracks are consistently entertaining and enlightening. And now that it turns out he has Mark Romanek on with him for the director's commentary of Bubble, I think the question of which format--theater, ppv, or DVD--is best for me has been settled. Josh Oakhurst has transcribed some of the two directors' conversation on his blog; check it out. [ via robotwisdom]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:13 PM

January 29, 2006

Soderbergh On Fresh Air Weekend

Steven Soderbergh is on Fresh Air Weekend today, talking about the production and release of Bubble. Check out to find a live stream of the show on some public radio station or another. [] Later, check out the Fresh Air archives at []...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:27 PM

January 25, 2006

Jim Schamus On Brokeback On Towleroad

Nice. Andy has a very interesting interview with Brokeback Mountain producer and Focus Features co-head Jim Schamus. A lot of talk about the marketing for the film, a little about Larry Miller, not much about the production [perfect, easy, on budget, like a family] or the development [stalled for years, then bam!], but a lot of big, gay, award-winning fun.Andy: Yesterday, President Bush said that he hadn’t seen Brokeback. Do you plan to offer him a screening? Jim: (Laughs) Actually,...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 01:25 PM

January 04, 2006

Namaste Helsinki

Doesn't seeing this Nordic Brady Bunch Variety Hour-presents-Grease music video make you dream of what might have been, if only those machers in the Finnish film industry had stayed put, instead of moving en masse to Bombay? "I Wanna Love You Tender" [, via coudal]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 06:22 PM

December 06, 2005

My Dinner With Robbe-Grillet

Forget Louis Malle, my evening trying to catch up with with peripatetic curator Hans Ulrich Obrist for a few minutes at Art Basel Miami Beach last weekend felt like it was directed by Fellini. Or Scorsese [think After Hours]. Or John Hughes [Sixteen Candles] for that matter. It was hi-larious chaos all the way through, but somehow it worked. As our chat got pushed back and back, HUO ended up pulling together a "very small dinner in honor of Alain...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:35 PM

November 05, 2005

Speculating On The Absence Of Malick

Caryn James acknowledges that talking about Terrence Malick's career involves a lot of speculation--before she proceeds to speculate on his "20 year absence" from filmmaking:Logic and cheap psychology suggest that fear of success or fear of failure might be involved. He may never duplicate the artistry and acclaim of his early films, and it wouldn't be surprising if the prospect of competing with himself caused creative paralysis in a filmmaker who likes every blade of grass to be shot perfectly.Whatever....
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 11:46 AM

N.Y. Doll Revelations

Stuart, our man in Los Angeles, files this report from a KCRW-sponsored screening of N.Y. Doll last weekend where director Greg Whiteley and his producers Ed Cunningham and Seth Lewis Gordon, discussed making the film:Greg had known Arthur had been in a band as another church member had told him, but the film really started when Arthur told Greg that he had an email that his band was reforming. The first piece filmed was the recovery of the bass guitar...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 07:30 AM

October 30, 2005

Nicholson In, On Antonioni

On the occasion of the theatrical re-release of Michelangelo Antonioni's classic film, The Passenger, its owner and star lead actor Jack Nicholson reminisces about working with his mentor. It kills me that this is all we get from a 90 minute interview, though. Nicholson resurrects `Passenger' [lat/chitrib via robotwisdom] Manohla Dargis's article still packs more punch, I think: "Antonioni's Characters Escape Into Ambiguity and Live (Your View Here) Ever After" [nyt]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 09:12 PM

October 09, 2005

Buttkissing for Thumbsucking

On the occasion of the UK opening of Mike Mills' Thumbsucker, the Observer (their Observer, that is) gives the nearly aristocratic Tilda Swinton a good, hard, philosophical fawning over:I ask Swinton what were considered virtues in her family. She thinks for a while, then says, with an ironic smile, 'Not drawing attention to yourself. Not expressing an opinion. Stoicism. Being a good host - something that I still stand by. I'm very grateful for that genetic programming. Being able to...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:49 AM

September 29, 2005

Lots Of Squids In The News This Week

Noah Baumbach's latest film, The Squid And The Whale, gets the full court press this week in the Voice, not surprising since it's full of auteur-y Voice-y hooks (like Baumbach's mother Georgina Brown was a longtime film critic for the paper). Anyway, the film, as you know, is basically about Baumbach's parents' divorce in the mid-80's:"I did make sure I kept an emotional connection—that's why Jeff [Daniels] is wearing my dad's clothes and I used my mom's real books,"...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 09:33 PM

September 28, 2005

Mike Mills: The Kultureflash Interview

AB: Were you always going to adapt it [Thumbsucker]? MM: No, not at the beginning because I hadn't done it before but quite quickly on I thought, "Wait a second I can't imagine directing something I didn't write. Let me at least try." I made a deal with Bob: "Let me try the first thirty pages." And in that first time of adapting it, it really became clear how much cathartic mileage I was getting out of this and how...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:02 AM

July 16, 2005

Video Artist Guy Ben-Ner on WPS1

Guy Ben-Ner's in the zone these days; his ingenious video, "Elia - a story of an ostrich chick," made like one of those anthropomorphizing Disney nature documentaries from the 50's, is included in PS1's Greater NY show. Now, he's representing Israel in the Venice Biennale. At Venice, Ben-Ner talks with PS1 curator Bob Nickas about his work and how he uses adaptive techniques for shooting under directorial duress. He references silent film, in which the camera couldn't move, and nature...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:52 AM

July 06, 2005

VV Talks With Hustle & Flow Director Craig Brewer

Memphis's own Brett Ratner mouths off, which, after scoring $9mm for your film that'd been passed over by every studio dawg in town, is just fine."What is interesting is the 'indie blockbuster' idea; that Hollywood's going to buy cheaper movies and put the kind of money behind them that they would a blockbuster. What's wrong with that?" He cracks, "Look, we didn't make The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. [Hustle] has a commercial, mythological, hero's-journey structure to it. I have...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 11:20 AM

June 05, 2005

Thelma Schoonmaker on Editing on Fresh Air

I heard different parts of Thelma Schoonmaker's interview twice, and it was pretty great. It makes an impact when someone can be so articulate and lucid about her process; I imagine working with Scorsese will do that to you. The Woman in Scorsese's Edit Room [fresh air,]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 09:29 PM

May 17, 2005

Hiroshi Sugimoto: The Kultureflash Interview

Sherman Sam interviews the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto about his London show at Gagosian. Sugimoto's latest works, originally shown at the Fondation Cartier, are photographs of early 20th-century mathematical and mechanical study models from the collection of Tokyo University. Sugimoto provides some more background on the models, which were also photographed by Man Ray and studied--in their day, in the 1910's and 20's--by Duchamp, Brancusi, and others. By happy coincidence, the same series are on view at Sonnabend until June 11....
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:54 PM

April 17, 2005

Gimme Sweet, Pre-War Shelter

On the occasion of his cashing out on some serious equity (3,500 sf, Dakota, all orig. woodwork, bought around the time Gimme Shelter came out), Albert Maysles tells the NYT Magazine the first things that pop into his mind:Favorite household chore: Washing dishes, because that is what my father did. In his day, he did a lot of work a woman would do then. We were all very proud of him for that because it saved my mother a lot...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 07:00 AM

April 14, 2005

Marc Forster at MoMA: A Word Association Game

Typing the first thing that comes into my mind: Isabella Rossellini: [gulp] hi Ryan Gosling: unexpectedly wry David Benioff: composed (but watch out, the dude killed off Agamemnon) Will Ferrell's brother: his biggest fan, (but with the unenviable job of being nice to his richer, little brother for life) Maggie Gyllenhaal: good sport, Harvard Law material Maggie Lyko: one of the greatest women in America, who happens to have left for Mexico. Marc Forster: Sick. [flu-sick, not gross-sick. Both he...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:09 AM

April 11, 2005

An Interview With The Sundance Channel's Keira Alexandra

A few weeks ago, the new identity system for The Sundance Channel caught my eye. Built on a string of images and boxes that pulses, tugs, and scrolls leftward off the screen, the system cleanly embodies the idea of a TV channel as a programmer, a curator of a continuous stream of content in time. It also reminded me of a non-linear editing timeline like in Final Cut Pro, and of the timeline-like installation of artist Jeremy Blake's 2003 painting...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 06:46 AM

March 29, 2005

Finally figured out what Bjork and Matthew Barney have in common

They're Nos 1 & 2 on my list of "People I never imagined would live in New Jersey, ever." And yet, they do. [via Liz Hoggard's interview with Bjork: "We miss you in London! Do you miss us? Hmm? Cuz we sure miss you." in the Observer (UK)] Related: Bjork released a 2-disc DVD version of Medulla, with more acapella than ever and a making of documentary by Spike Jonze. It's only available in the rest of the world outside...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:10 AM

March 25, 2005

ReadyMade Interviews Brad Bird

I have to confess [or maybe I don't; just take a look back over the last couple weeks' posts], I've barely had a film-related thought or activity in far too long. It's to the point where I'm actually afraid to visit, where I'll be forced to acknowledge how much cinema is going on around me that I'm disconnected from. Then I read an intervew like Brad Bird's at ReadyMade, and it really charges my batteries. Brad Bird, How did...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 03:06 PM

February 11, 2005

That Guy From Interviews That Guy From The VW Commercial

Jason interviewed David Bernal, aka Elsewhere, the popping dancer who recreated Gene Kelly's Singin' in The Rain dance scene for a recent British VW GTi commercial: "...they had us watch the original Singing in the Rain scene so many times that I started unconsciously moving a bit like Gene Kelly. The director at one point even told me that I was moving too much like Gene and I needed to move more like me." Golf GTi Commercial and Elsewhere []...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:34 AM

January 28, 2005

Noah Baumbach on 'The Squid and the Whale'

The writer-director Noah Baumbach, 35, based the film on his own experience of his parents' divorce. He said that he had struggled for years to find his voice as a filmmaker after making Kicking and Screaming in 1995 but had an epiphany at a screening of the Louis Malle classic Murmur of the Heart, organized by his friend Wes Anderson (a Squid producer). "I thought I should deal with this moment in my life," he said after an early...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:49 AM | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

Quentin who? Uma Who? Now on WPS1

While the entire New York film world was focused on my Reel Roundtable screening of January 10th, the Museum of Modern Art, in a moment of magnanimosity, hosted a discussion with the obscure director Quentin Tarantino and one of his muses, the equally unknown Uma Thurman. It was the inauguration of their new series, "Great Collaborations." Here's hoping them all the best success, and that they'll eventually be able to rope in some recognizable names. Any-who, since I'm pretty...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 02:12 PM | TrackBack

December 21, 2004

Tribeca Filmmakers Report #1: Quentin Tarantino

So after playing softball with his own corporate overlords the Weinsteins at a MoMA Q&A last Thursday, Quentin Tarantino chased some skirt on his flight back to LA. Read the dovetailing eyewitness accounts below. [ making wiggling-thumb-and-pinky-as-phone gesture and mouthing 'I'll call you' to a fast-receding blackout Navigator.] Shill Bill [artforum diary] Tarantino's Airport Pick-Up Service [defamer] [update via GreenCine: Sheldrake publishes a complete transcript--or maybe you should call it a fanscript--at AICN. Yow.]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 09:33 PM | TrackBack

SoHo Filmmakers Report #2: Spike Jonze

I have removed the identifying information from this email, after assuring myself of the writer's veracity. If I can give the entertainment journalism world just one gift this Christmas, it'd be a sharp thunk on the melon of anyone who asserts that Spike Jonze is "the heir to the Spiegel Catalogue fortune":To: From: [name withheld] Subject: Spike Jonze is not a Spiegel heir at all Body:My name is [snip] and I live in [a Midwestern city... I am the...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:55 AM | TrackBack

December 14, 2004

The Junket Aquatic

Cinecultist Karen is at it again, this time working the crowd of above-the-line talent at the The Life Aquatic junket. No word on the buffet, which I would expect to contain smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, or some other agua-themed items. Gothamist on the [The] Life Aquatic Junket [gothamist] Cinecultist: Crazy For Movies [update: a-ha. the catering details are on Cinecultist. Fresh fruit and lukewarm coffee.]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 11:31 PM | TrackBack

December 07, 2004

Living The Life Aquatic

The Gothamist Life Aquatic contest is over, and Congratulations! Everyone's a winner. A few people won more than the rest, obviously. And G-mist and Cinecultist's Karen--whose brainchild this publicity coup was--got the big prize, a phone interview with director Wes Anderson himself. Eerily enough, it sounds like he's right there with her at Lucky Strike. Karen came to last night's Reel Roundtable screening of After Life [thanks, Elizabeth!], by the way; and on Jan. 17, she's starring in a Reel...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:21 PM | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

In case the last post wasn't long enough for you...

Gothamist has an excellent interview with Errol Morris about his Switch ads featuring former Bush voters who are now voting for Kerry. Morris talks at length about The Fog of War and its relevance today, his interviewing techniques, and how we're doomed to repeat the past--the only difference is whether we do it with irony or not. Errol Morris: The Gothamist Interview, as time closes in Errol Morris: see his ever-expanding Ex-Bush Voters For Kerry Ad Campaign Errol Morris: The...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:45 AM | TrackBack

October 22, 2004

I [Heart] Huckstering

My boy David O. Russell may be shooting negative karma beams at the back of Sharon Waxman's head, but that's not stopping him from spelling "P&A" with a capital "N-Y-T." It feels like those multimedia interstitials for I [Heart] Huckabee's have been running for weeks now (Seriously, what's the buy on those things? If it's entirely clickthrough-based, they'll have to start pushing the DVD before too much longer.) And if People Who Don't Skip This Ad wasn't niche enough, Fox...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:36 PM | TrackBack

October 18, 2004, heck yeah!

Wingnuts on both ends of the political spectrum, it's not about you. So take a chill pill, throw another fat Costco steak on the grill, and read Matt Stone & Trey Parker's interview with Heather Havrilesky in Salon. I so called it. Embittered filmmakers, meanwhile, should read it to find out how the script went from South Park 2 comedy to Dr. Strangelove play-it-straight satire, before becoming the scintillating assfest you see before you. "it's not just us, and the...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 08:13 AM | TrackBack

October 14, 2004

Listen to these directors' interviews

Ousmane Sembene on WNYC, of course, which I already posted John Waters on WPS1 [although for my money, no Waters interview is better than this Oct 1998 dicussion of Pecker on Fresh Air, which makes me cry laughing to this day.] Melvin Van Peebles from 1971, speaking at MoMA about his just-released Sweet, Sweetback's Badassss Song. WPS1's been getting its groove on lately, in case you haven't noticed. The talk shows are tightening up a bit, and the music is...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:23 AM | TrackBack

October 11, 2004

Ousmane Sembene on WNYC Tomorrow, 10/12

Senegalese master filmmaker Ousmane Sembene is in town to promote his latest film, Moolaadé, which screens at the NYFF and opens Friday. The Village Voice's J. Hoberman calls Moolaadé "the most richly entertaining movie anyone has ever made on the subject of female genital mutilation." Tomorrow at noon, Sembene'll be interviewed by WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show. Ousmane Sembene on The Leonard Lopate Show. Warning: listen around Russell Banks [WNYC] Moolaadé reviewed by J. Hoberman [VV] Choire Sicha shouts Moolaadé! in...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 02:00 PM | TrackBack

October 10, 2004

Exclusive: La Mexicaine Le Interview

While the discovery of an underground cinema in the center of Paris has been widely covered, little or no attention has been paid to what the films actually played there. Les Arenes de Chaillot (The Chaillot Arenas) was created by La Mexicaine de Perforation, a group of self-labeled urban explorers who, for the last five or so years, have used the invisible and forgotten infrastructure of Paris as their own curatorial venue, putting on exhibitions, concerts, and, beginning last...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:30 PM | TrackBack

September 27, 2004

'Wong Kar Wai," Cantonese for "When it rains,"

Wong Kar Wai Week continues. Remember that "interview" with Wong Kar Wai I just linked to? Turns out it's the Access Hollywood Movie Minute version. The HBO Original Series version--long, convoluted, emotional tumult spread out over the whole thing, lots of special guest cameos, no easy plot wrapups--is in the New York Times Magazine. Titled "The Director's Director," Jaime Wolf doesn't actually work many other directors into the story. Go figure. I only mention this because Wong's--and his last/family name...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 07:30 AM | TrackBack

September 17, 2004

Nice, Short Fresh Air Interview with Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly was on Fresh Air last week to discuss the director's cut of Donnie Darko, which is platforming out into theaters now. Who noted that theatrical re-release is fast becoming a standard marketing element for a remastered or new-version DVD? Listen to Richard Kelly's interview [9/7/04, 12 min., NPR] Buy the old DVD version on Amazon, while supplies last ["Customers also bought Requiem for a Dream, Lost in Translation, Kill Bill and Pi"? Yeah, no kidding.]...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 02:58 PM | TrackBack

August 25, 2004

An interview with Noi Albinoi director Dagur Kari

The Iceland Review interviews Dagur Kári, whose first film, >Noi the Albino, received wild critical acclaim in countries where it's been released [cough cough, US??] [via TMN] The interview starts: "With his floppy hair, shaggy beard and frumpy red sweater, Dagur Kári looks very much like a film director."...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 03:01 PM | TrackBack

July 29, 2004

Hey, So Did I

I first came across Jay Rosenblatt's short film in March, as I was surfing across the Silverdocs site, getting ready to submit my own tape. It wasn't just the title, but the combination of title and picture. Rosenblatt was holding his daughter up in the air. The one sentence-synopsis read, "Video cameras come with an owner's manual and babies don't, so documentary filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt uses the first to understand the second." The title: I Used to Be A Filmmaker....
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 09:37 AM | TrackBack

July 27, 2004

Spike Jonze, scion of my BUTT

Oy. If I see one more mention of Spike Jonze being the "heir" to "the Spiegel catalogue fortune..." This title is nothing but an artifact of lazy-ass entertainment journalism.[not you, Gawker. I know you're not journalism.] 1. Spike's, aka Adam Spiegel's father is Arthur Spiegel III, a healthcare consultant in New York. [So he's an heir to the APM/CSC fortune?] Trip, we can assume, is descended from Arthur Spiegel, one of the sons of one of the founders of the...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:41 PM | TrackBack

June 02, 2004

Talk About Lost in Translation...

J. Hoberman interviewed Ghost in the Shell anime director Oshii Mamoru at Cannes, where he screened his latest work, Innocence. As Hoberman reports it, the interview was straight out of the Keanu junket in Lost in Translation, with the director himself barely speaking and the Japanese translator answering for him on auto-pilot. Totemo mendokusai....
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:50 AM | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

"What does he whisper to her at the end?"

It's the most annoying question I kept getting from Lost in Translation fans. Well, now's your chance to find out. Over at Greencine, David's collecting captions for this pic. My choices: "Why'd I write 115 pages if you can win one with a 12-page outline?" "Let's get your mother to film us later." "I didn't wash my hands." "I'm gunning for that MoMA award next year." But I finally went with, "I've got a can of wine with your...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 01:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 30, 2004

Souvenir Series, Sofia, and me

In the last couple of weeks, I've decided to shoot a fourth short film, which may be part of the Souvenir Series, or may not. We'll see. It was not in the original outline of the series, and it's out of the order I'd planned to shoot them, but the opportunity and idea presented themselves so clearly, I've decided to at least get it shot, then see where to take it. Long story short, it's a reconceiving of the baptism/massacre...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 12:09 PM

March 29, 2004

ND/NF: Captive by Gaston Biraben

I saw Captive, the debut feature from Gaston Biraben, at New Directors/New Films last night; it's a subtly powerful movie that gripped the sellout audience at MoMA Gramercy. Captive is a fictionalized telling of real events, a surreal, politically charged story of, "You're adopted...And then some." A 15-year old Buenos Aires girl's life is turned upsidedown when she learns her real parents were among The Disappeared, the tens of thousands of Argentines kidnapped, tortured and killed by the country's military...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 07:17 AM

February 29, 2004

Three for Three

If you want to win, just impart your filmmaking wisdom on Congratulations to Oscar winners, Independent Spirit Award winners-- and interviewees--Sofia Coppola and Errol Morris. And don't forget Dany Wolf and Gus Van Sant with their Palme d'Or from a little 'burg called Cannes....
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

The Shoes of Errol Morris

Errol Morris, you just won an Oscar and an Indpendent Spirit Award. Where are you going next? "I'm going to Nordstrom! Daddy needs a new pair of shoes." Buy Sperry Top-Sider 'Stripers' like the ones Morris wore to both award ceremonies-- and our interview-- at Nordstrom....
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

Learning at Errol Morris's Knee

Last week, in the Sony Classics offices on Madison Avenue, I sat down to talk with Errol Morris, whose current documentary, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, was nominated for an Academy Award. Morris's films are best known for the intensity of the interviews he conducts. He invented the Interrotron, a teleprompter setup that gets the interviewee to look and speak straight into the camera. I, in the mean time, didn't have...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 12:03 PM

February 06, 2004

The Fog of War Re-enactors

[via NYT] They're putting the band back together, Elroy. For the first time since The Fog of War was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award, Robert McNamara and Errol Morris took their show on the road. They spoke at Berkeley Wednesday, the first time McNamara appeared at the school that led the anti-war movement in the Sixties. It's also his and Morris's alma mater. The webcast is available on Berkeley's site. [The discussion starts about 11 minutes...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2004

Phrancis Phord Coppola's Ophspring

From Yahoo News coverage of the Golden Globes[note: annoyingly slippery link]: Director Sophia Coppola holds her award after winning Best Screenplay for a motion picture for her wok on the film 'Lost In Translation' during the 61st annual Golden Globe Awards (news - web sites) in Beverly Hills January 25, 2004. (Chris Haston/NBC via Reuters) Dude, she spells it "Sofia." This is the Baysinger/Bassinger of her generation. [And while she's usually very quiet, the one thing Sofia won't shut...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2004

FLASH: Pretend-journalists love Sofia Coppola

As you can see by my interview with her last year. On the subject of pretend-journalists, Lost in Translation beat out indie underdog Finding Nemo for best comedy/musical at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globes last night. The 80-page or so outline/story/is it really a script? that funders initially thought was too slight to make a whole film from won best screenplay, and Bill Murray won best actor (for finishing it, I guess). Gothamist has minute-by-minute coverage of the...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 08:45 AM

January 24, 2004

My Yogurt with Gus

On the occasion of Elephant's release in the UK, Simon Hattenstone goes on a publicity pilgrimage to Oregon to interview Gus Van Sant for the Guardian. Gus sends him for coffee before buzzing him up, and later serves him blueberry yogurt [which Simon apparently doesn't understand is the archetypal food of the Guy Living Alone.] It's a long account with some nice backstory and several references to Van Sant's art background (he went to RISD with David Byrne). Related: My...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2004

Mike Mills, How did you get your f*&%ing awesome job?

[via TMN] Considering the number Google searches I still get for Mike Mills, two years after I posted about his Jack Spade-sponsored documentary, Paperboys, and considering how tight Spike, Sofia, Roman and I have become since then, I should be sitting down with Mills myself. In the mean time, check out Readymade's interview with Mills, whose feature debut, Thumbsucker, is based on the novel by the less-Mormon-than-I-am-but-more-Mormon-than-you-are Walter Kirn. Paperboys is now on DVD, but I like my VHS copy...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2003

Filmmaking Interviews of Note

Vadim Perelman, first-time director of House of Sand and Fog, whose tantrums made many people angry in Hollywood (this is news? at least his were entertaining, as are his accounts: ""So I go to his [Harvey Weinstein's] suite at the Peninsula, and he's sitting there like Jabba the f--king Hutt with his Diet Cokes and his Marlboro Reds."). And the film's getting strong reviews. [Sean Smith for Newsweek, via GreenCine Daily] Ray Pride pulls some information from Milos Stehlik of...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2003

Gus Van Sant's Go-to Guy

Gus Van Sant, Elias McConnell, and Dany Wolf at Cannes 2003, image: There he is, scorched in Death Valley and on the Saltflats of Utah; in a mold-closed school with a barebones crew on scooters; and on the Palais steps of Cannes, where he accepted the Palme D'Or this year for Elephant. Gus Van Sant? Sure, he's there, too, but I'm talking about Dany Wolf, the producer. The guy who actually has to figure out how to make...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2003

Factchecking Sofia Coppola

While I was being protective of her, Sofia was opening up to me, revealing that her inspiration for the Suntory whiskey commercials in Lost in Translation was a photo of her father Francis and the emperor of Japanese cinema, Akira Kurosawa, who made Suntory commercials for years. I reviewed a whole raft of these commercials, which are hidden on a Kurosawa documentary DVD. Coppola's nowhere near them, I concluded. I made it sound like I watched the entire doc,...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2003

The Suntory Commercials of Akira Kurosawa

Nothing wrong with bigname film folks making commercials. Errol Morris (whose The Fog of War I just saw and will write about soon) directed the Apple Switch ads. Swedish master Ingmar Bergman made some cake by selling cakes of soap. Hell, Spike Lee's got a whole agency, SpikeDDB, to sell out through. And as Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation shows, Japanese commercials are a great way for stars to pay their jumbo mortgages. Coppola mentioned she got the idea...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 08:01 AM | Comments (1)

August 31, 2003

Interviewing Sofia Coppola about Lost in Translation

Last Sunday, on the occasion of the impending release of her new film, Lost in Translation, I joined a couple of journalists in a group interview with Sofia Coppola. The interview took place in New York City at the end of her press junket. I found the suites capacious, the sofas commodious, the sandwiches copious. "Big Brother" was hanging around, but he rebuked us; Roman stayed mostly near the buffet. Not being a reporter, I failed to get the names...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 10:43 PM | Comments (12)

July 17, 2003

On interviewing film people

On MovieCityNews: Leonard Klady shares some insights and some great war stories about interviewing directors and actors, a useful (and timely) resource as I prepare for some upcoming junkets. [thanks, GreenCine, and for the mention, too.] Related posts: post-game post on Bingham Ray interviewing Alexander Payne at MoMA; Lily Tomlin and Will Ferrell-as-James Lipton interviewing David O. Russell at MoMA the year before (apparently involved some kind of pipe)...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2003

Behind the scenes with The Road to Europe director, Christoffer Guldbrandsen: a exclusive

Hearing a story on the wide-ranging political turmoil which followed The Road to Europe, a documentary on the Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, I wanted to know more; but the reports I found still left me unsatisfied. Deutsche-Welle, The Economist, even NPR's On the Media, referred to the documentary as "reality TV," a term which belittles both the film's message and impact and which ignores the history and context of "fly-on-the-wall" filmmaking. To get the still-untold story of how...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg allen at 12:32 PM