Interview: ‘Bloodline’ Cinematographer Jaime Reynoso Talks Kyle Chandler and the Florida Keys

One of the late-breaking series for the Emmys this year is Netflix’s “Bloodline,” which has received both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. Despite the critical success, the series is concluding with its 3rd season, an unusual occurrence in today’s TV landscape. However, the show has a devoted fan base, and with Ben Mendelsohn winning Outstanding Supporting […]

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Lost City of Z’ Director James Gray Talks Classic Filmmaking, Influences and Making a Modern Epic

2017 San Francisco International Film Festival: Director James Gray has made his most masterful film yet in “Lost City of Z,” seamlessly blending classic adventure epic storytelling tropes, alluring drama and Shakespearean tragedy with progressive and timely ideologies. Gray is no stranger to making epic movies in scope and scale while also staying loyal to […]

EXCLUSIVE: Travis Mathews and Jonny Mars Discuss ‘Discreet’ – See it at SFFilm Festival!

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: Auteur Travis Mathews’ (“Interior. Leather Bar”) latest directorial effort, “Discreet,” is making its U.S. debut at the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) on April 8. During my Berlinale coverage for Awards Circuit, I had the chance to sit down with Mathews and the film’s star, Jonny Mars, who starred […]

EXCLUSIVE: Mike Ott and Cory Zacharia Discuss ‘California Dreams’ – See it at SXSW!

2017 Berlin Critics’ Week: The ambitious docufiction, “California Dreams,” which is already garnering critical praise, debuted in Berlin. I had a chance to interview director Mike Ott and the film’s star, Cory Zacharia, who, essentially, played himself in the film. We discussed where the documentary ended and the fiction began, Ott’s influence for this idea, […]

EXCLUSIVE: An Interview With the Cast of Amazon’s ‘Patriot’ – Start Binging Today!

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: As part of a relatively new segment of The Berlinale, Amazon’s much-anticipated new series, “Patriot” had its international premiere at the prestigious festival. I had a chance to sit down with Kurtwood Smith, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Chernus and Michael Dorman, as we discussed their characters, careers, social media savviness (or lack […]

Interview: ‘Swiss Army Man’ Producers Discuss the Passion of New Filmmakers

“Swiss Army Man” is not a film for everyone. At least not according to one of the film’s producers. The film caused some agitation when it premiered at Sundance last year and quickly gained notoriety for turning star Daniel Radcliffe, once an innocent boy wizard, into cinema’s most flatulent carcass. For fans who have embraced the […]

Director of Oscar-Nominated Short ‘Timecode’ Explains Inspiration For Film

A woman flirtatiously explores her creative side while simultaneously breaking free from her mundane duties as a CCTV operator in Juanjo Giménez’s Palme d’Or-winning short film “Timecode.” The film, which nabbed an Academy Award nomination last month for best live action short, opens with Luna (Lali Ayguadé), a young Spanish woman, walking into a parking […]

EXCLUSIVE: A Conversation With Val Kilmer: The ‘Cinema Twain’ Voyage

On the night of December 22, 2016, inside the intimate setting of the historical Clay Theater in San Francisco, Val Kilmer casually emerged from the dark void of the audience, seemingly appearing out of nowhere to take the stage and present his indelible masterpiece, “Cinema Twain,” the film of his one-man play “Citizen Twain,” which he […]

Interview: Makoto Shinkai Talks His Animated Oscar Contender ‘Your Name’

In an awards season short on genuine shocks, LAFCA’s announcement of “Your Name” as their Best Animated Film winner was practically seismic. And no one was more surprised than its director Makoto Shinkai. Recently I interviewed Shinkai to discuss this dazzling anime, which addresses topics of culture, history and modern society. Below is an edited […]

Elite Zexer

Interview: Elite Zexer Talks ‘Sand Storm’ and Inspiring Women

As Roger Ebert once said, movies are a machine that generates empathy. And Elite Zexer’s “Sand Storm” certainly fits the bill. This impressive debut feature gives us an insightful look at a Bedouin culture many are unfamiliar with. Set in a patriarchal society, it follows the travails of a young woman who challenges the rules […]

Interview: Lorenzo Vigas Talks Venezuela’s Oscar Submission ‘From Afar’

After winning the top prize at the 2015 Venice Film Festival with his debut feature “From Afar,” Lorenzo Vigas has emerged as one of Latin America’s most promising filmmakers. Centered around an unlikely relationship between two men, his distinctly Venezuelan film explores themes surrounding homophobia, the generation gap and the class divide with impressive formalist control. […]

Interview: Boo Junfeng on the Controversial Humanity of ‘Apprentice’

Tackling a controversial social issue like the death penalty is always a risky proposition for any filmmaker. But when such a topical subject is handled by a thoughtful director like Singapore’s Boo Junfeng, then you know you’re in good hands. I recently spoke with this up-and-coming director, whose latest film “Apprentice” examines the personal and […]

Pavel Giroud

Interview: Pavel Giroud Talks Cuba’s Oscar Submission ‘The Companion’

There have been a number of AIDS-themed films over the years, but you’ll hardly find one quite like “The Companion.” This story of an unlikely friendship in a uniquely Cuban setting provides a fascinating window to the past. And with the film’s selection as the official Cuban entry for the Oscars, director Pavel Giroud hopes […]

Interview: Nare Mkrtchyan on Her Oscar-Shortlisted Doc ‘The Other Side of Home’

Recently selected for the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary Short, “The Other Side of Home” is an eye-opening account of the legacy of the 1915 Armenian genocide by the Turkish government. Filmed during the 100th year commemoration of the tragedy, it follows a Turkish woman named Maya who has learned of her Armenian heritage. As […]

Interview: Director Rémi Chayé and Producer Henri Magalon talk ‘Long Way North’

Animation director Rémi Chayé and producer Henri Magalon are no strangers to awards season, having worked on nominated films “The Secret of Kells” and “Ernest and Celestine.” And with Chayé’s debut feature “Long Way North,” they may have another contender to add to their filmography. In this progressive female-centric film, an aristocratic Russian girl defies conventions […]

Interview: Pedro Pascal from ‘Narcos’ talks Netflix and More

Quick: Name the Emmy worthy actor that can give a thoughtful interview with anecdotes about meeting J.K. Rowling after being strapped to a rotating gondola all day on set. If you said Pedro Pascal, then you’d be correct. The actor, currently working on the Kingsman sequel, had a pretty tough day on set when we […]

INTERVIEW: Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis, Bryan Sipe, and Jean-Marc Vallee talk ‘Demolition’

Conversation, or the lack thereof in many cases, hangs over almost all of Demolition, the new film from director Jean-Marc Vallee opening this weekend. Whether it’s star Jake Gyllenhaal or supporting players like Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis, and Naomi Watts, the characters in this Bryan Sipe penned movie struggle to explain themselves and what’s going […]

Interview: Oscar-winning ‘Triple 9’ composer Atticus Ross on why he thrives with collaboration

Composer and music producer Atticus Ross won an Oscar with his writing partner Trent Reznor for their score for The Social Network. They worked together for David Fincher’s next two films The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, but when he’s not working with Reznor he’s often working with his wife Claudia Sarnes and his brother Leopold Ross. […]

Oscar Nominated Short ‘Day One:’ A Conversation with Star Layla Alizada

The Best Live Action Short Film category at this year’s Oscars is packed with talent. Chief among them is “Day One,” the AFI master’s thesis brainchild of writer and director Henry “Hank” Hughes. “Day One” features Feda, a US Army interpreter, and her first day in Afghanistan that goes horribly wrong. The film is told […]

‘The Look of Silence’ Interview: A conversation with director Joshua Oppenheimer and film subject Adi Rukun

  I was incredibly fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to interview Joshua Oppenheimer, director of the Oscar-nominated The Look of Silence, and his film protagonist Adi Rukun. Oppenheimer was nominated previously for his astounding film The Act of Killing, which documented perpetrators of the 1965-66 Indonesian massacres reenacting their murderous past as a means of […]

Interivew: Deniz Gamze Ergüven Talks ‘Mustang,’ Female Filmmakers, and Oscars

Amidst the chatter about the need for more female voices in cinema, it’s ironic how director Deniz Gamze Erguven’s tale of femininity corralled, “Mustang” has been compared to Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides.” Based almost exclusively on one image the talk of the two’s similarities reminds audiences that female-centric films are almost always left competing against […]

Interview: ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Screenwriters Andrea Berloff and Jonathan Herman

There have been many movies that have hit the zeitgeist on the way to some awards season success, but few do it as convincingly as Straight Outta Compton. The movie is the highest grossing musical biopic ever and its success on the guild circuit (PGA, SAG, and WGA nominations) have many thinking Oscar. WGA nominees Andrea […]

INTERVIEW: ‘Creed’ composer Ludwig Göransson Talks the Score

  Rebooting a franchise can be hard, especially when the film you’re making is going to be the seventh in the series.  You want to be somewhat reverential to the franchise proper, but you also want to stake your own claim.  That was the challenge presented to Ludwig Göransson, the Swedish composer to the breakout hit, Creed. […]

Stars React to their Nominations for the Golden Globes

With nominations for the Golden Globes taking place today, many of the nominees are giving their reactions to the news of their honor. Check them out below: __________________________________________ “I’m so grateful to be acknowledged by the HFPA for my work. I know they are true devotees of the cinema and I can tell every time […]

Interview: “Mustang” director Deniz Gamze Erguven talks tensions in Turkey and bonding with her actresses

Deniz Gamze Erguven’s directorial debut Mustang, about five sisters oppressed by their uncle and grandmother who desire nothing but freedom, won the Label Europa Cinemas prize at the Cannes Film Festival and has since been submitted to the Academy Awards by France despite the film being about Turks, made by Turks and set in Turkey. Erguven spoke […]

Interview: Documentarian Chad Gracia Talks About Finding ‘The Russian Woodpecker’

The Best Documentary Feature shortlist was just announced and the saddest omission is director Chad Gracia’s illuminating work, The Russian Woodpecker. A stark and terrifying tale of conspiracy theories and government collusion, it’s a story that demands attention the world over. Regardless of its awards prospects, Gracia’s examination of the Chernobyl disaster and the man […]