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 […]

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: Talking Climate Change With ‘Before the Flood’ Director Fisher Stevens

As an actor, director, producer and writer, Fisher Stevens is one of the most dedicated persons in the film industry. From his early days in front of the camera, he has lately branched into significant directing and producing work related to one of his biggest passions – protecting the environment. For his latest effort “Before […]