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Interview: Director John Goldschmidt on “Dough”

posted by Nell Minow

John Goldschmidt is the director and co-producer of the film “Dough,” a sweet comedy about an Orthodox Jewish baker (Jonathan Pryce) whose new assistant is a Muslim teenager from Darfur who has a side business dealing weed. The marijuana gets […]

Interview: Director Liza Johnson of “Elvis & Nixon”

posted by Nell Minow

Elvis & Nixon is inspired by the iconic, if improbable, meeting of two of the most towering, iconic — and widely impersonated — figures of the 20th century. Director Liza Johnson makes the film wise, witty, and enormously entertaining. In […]

Interview: James Napier Robertson on the Chess Drama “The Dark Horse”

posted by Nell Minow

James Napier Robertson is an actor turned writer and director from New Zealand who played hundreds of chess games with the real-life champion who inspired his film, “The Dark Horse,” and with the actor who had to learn chess — […]

On HBO: A Tribute to Nora Ephron From Her Son

posted by Nell Minow

“Everything is Copy,” the documentary about Nora Ephron by her son, premieres tonight at 9:00 on HBO. Ephron was the daughter of Hollywood screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron (“Desk Set”), who named her after Ibsen’s famous heroine of “A Doll’s […]

Interview: Gavin Hood of “Eye in the Sky”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Gavin Hood says that his new thriller about drone warfare is “the grown-up version” of his last film, “Ender’s Game.” The Orson Scott Card sci-fi story written in the 1970’s anticipated much of today’s technology, including drone-styled remote machines […]

Interview: Cyrus Nowrasteh, Director of “The Young Messiah”

posted by Nell Minow

Cyrus Nowrasteh is the director of the new film about the early life of Jesus, The Young Messiah. In an interview, he talked about the challenge of casting a child to play the lead role and creating “the first Jesus […]

Interview: Michael Showalter of “Hello, My Name is Doris”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director/actor Michael Showalter has a great eye for talent. The original “Wet Hot American Summer” was a career starting point for Bradley Cooper (who missed his Juilliard graduation to be on the set), David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Amy […]

Interview: Dawn Porter on the Abortion Documentary “Trapped”

posted by Nell Minow

Dawn Porter is the lawyer-turned-documentarian who directed and co-produced Trapped, a film about the new laws limiting access to abortion. Known as TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws, they are described by legislators as protecting the health and safety […]

Interview: “Race” Director Stephen Hopkins on Jesse Owens

posted by Nell Minow

“Race” is the story of Jesse Owens, one of the greatest athletes of all time, and an African-American whose four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics showed the world that Hitler’s propaganda — and America’s Jim Crow laws — […]

Interview: Paul Dalio, Writer/Director of “Touched With Fire”

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Dalio is a rap artist, writer, and director whose own bipolar disorder inspired his new film, “Touched With Fire.” In an interview, he talked about how he portrayed the subjective experience of mania for the bipolar poets played by […]

Interview: Kent Jones on the Documentary “Hitchcock/Truffaut”

posted by Nell Minow

If you are very lucky, some day a book will change your life. And no book changed my life more profoundly than Hitchcock/Truffaut, a book-length interview of one of the world’s greatest movie directors by another who happened to be […]

Interview: Jared Hess on the Biblical Archeology Comedy “Don Verdean”

posted by Nell Minow

Jared and Jerusha Hess are best known as the co-screenwriters of the offbeat comedy Napoleon Dynamite, which Hess also directed. Their latest film is “Don Verdean,” with Sam Rockwell as a hapless Biblical archeologist who commits fraud to satisfy backers […]

Interview: Bill Riead of the Mother Teresa Film, “The Letters”

posted by Nell Minow

William Riead is the writer/director of the lovely film about Mother Teresa called The Letters. It was a great pleasure to talk to him about his dedication to sharing her story. “I wanted the story to be accurate when I […]

Interview: Teyonah Parris and Spike Lee on “Chi-Raq”

posted by Nell Minow

“Chi-Raq” is one of the best films of the year and one of the most important films of many years. It is a searing wail of love, grief, and fury inspired by “Lysistrata,” a play written in 411 BC. A […]

Interview: “Shaun the Sheep” Co-Writer/Director Richard Starzak

posted by Nell Minow

Richard Starzak and Mark Burton wrote and directed the adorable “Shaun the Sheep,” and it was a lot of fun to talk to him about making a stop-motion animation movie with no words. The DVD/Blu-Ray, which will be available November […]

Interview: Jay Roach, Director of “Trumbo”

posted by Nell Minow

Jay Roach is best known for wild comedies like the Austin Powers and “Meet the Parents” films, but he also directed the sharp, fact-based political films “Recount” (about the Bush-Gore election) and “Game Change” (about Sarah Palin) for HBO. He […]

Interview: Billy Ray on “Secret in Their Eyes”

posted by Nell Minow

It was a thrill to get a chance to interview one of my favorite screenwriters, Billy Ray (“Shattered Glass,” “Breach”) about the new film he both wrote and directed, “Secret in Their Eyes,” a thriller starring three Oscar winners, Julia […]

Interview: Sarah Gavron on “Suffragette”

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Gavron directed “Suffragette,” starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Meryl Streep in the story of some of the women who fought in the decades-long struggle to give women voting rights in the UK. I spoke to her in an […]

Interview: “Armor of Light,” the Documentary about Faith and Guns

posted by Nell Minow

Armor of Light is a thought-provoking new documentary with important insights for everyone on all sides of the debate on guns. Documentarian Abigail Disney made a film about two people who are making a faith-based case for addressing gun violence […]

Interview: “Chaplains” Director Martin Doblmeier

posted by Nell Minow

Martin Doblmeier has made more than thirty movies about faith. The latest from his Journey Films is “Chaplains,” showing this month on PBS. It is a profound and moving documentary about chaplains of many different faiths in a variety of […]

Juliette Binoche and Director Patricia Riggen on “The 33″

posted by Nell Minow

At a special screening of “The 33″ at Washington DC’s Newseum, director Patricia Riggen, stars Juliette Binoche and Lou Diamond Phillips, and producer Mike Medavoy spoke about making a movie about the rescue of 33 Chilean miners. I was able […]

Interview: James Vanderbilt on “Truth,” With Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford

posted by Nell Minow

James Vanderbilt wrote and directed Truth, based on journalist Mary Mapes’ book about the controversial story that ended her career at CBS News. Working with Dan Rather, she produced a news story with explosive allegations about President George W. Bush’s […]

Interview: Writer-Director John Swetnam of the Dance film “Breaking Through”

posted by Nell Minow

John Swetnam is the director of “Breaking Through,” the story of a young dancer who achieves viral fame and then sees it strain her relationships with her friends. I talked to him about the best way to film dancers “There […]

Interview: Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel on the Documentary “Finders Keepers”

posted by Nell Minow

Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel have made some of my favorite documentaries, including “King of Kong” and “Make Believe,” bringing us into worlds that at first seem exotic and downright weird and seamlessly making us feel a part of […]

Interview: Adriana Trigiani of “Big Stone Gap”

posted by Nell Minow

Adriana Trigiani really is from a coal mining town in Virginia called Big Stone Gap and the biggest movie star in the world did choke on a chicken bone there. Now if that is not enough to inspire a book […]

Interview: Giulio Ricciarelli of Holocaust Drama “Labyrinth of Lies”

posted by Nell Minow

Giulio Ricciarelli co-wrote and directed the German film “Labyrinth of Lies,” based on the real-life story of the courageous post-WWII German prosecutors who insisted on investigating the atrocities of the concentration camps and prosecuting those responsible. Surrounded by former Axis […]

Interview: Writer-Director Carmen Marron of “Endgame”

posted by Nell Minow

“Endgame” is a heartwarming family film inspired by the true story of a championship middle school chess team from a school in a poor Texas community. It stars “Modern Family’s” Rico Rodriguez and two actors from “Napoleon Dynamite,” Efran Ramirez […]

Interview: Director Khoa Le of “Walt Before Mickey”

posted by Nell Minow

“Walt Before Mickey” is the story of Walt Disney’s earliest years in animation, filled with passion and imagination but also plagued by failures and setbacks. “American Pie’s” Thomas Ian Nicholas and “Napoleon Dynamite’s” Jon Heder play brothers Walt and Roy […]

Jerry Lewis Donates Archive to the Library of Congress

posted by Nell Minow

Jerry Lewis has donated a large collection of movies and memorabilia to the Library of Congress, where it will be available for researchers, historians, and critics. “The Geisha Boy,” “The Bellboy,” “Cinderfella,” and “The Nutty Professor” are all among the […]

Interview: Sarah Colt on the PBS Documentary “Walt Disney”

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Colt’s two-part “American Experience” documentary about Walt Disney is a fascinating look at one of the towering figures not just of film history but of American history. Disney revolutionized film and the way we tell stories with his animated […]

Interview: Director Morgan Matthews on “A Brilliant Young Mind”

posted by Nell Minow

Morgan Matthews made a documentary about brilliant teenagers competing in the Math Olympiad, many of whom were on the autism spectrum, and that inspired his feature film, “A Brilliant Young Mind,” with “Ender’s Game” and “Hugo” star Asa Butterfield. Sally […]

Tribute: Wes Craven

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of director Wes Craven, who knew what scared us and knew how much we loved being scared.  His series films included “Scream,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “The Hills Have Eyes.” My friend Simon Abrams interviewed […]

Interview: Ravi and Geeta Patel on the Adorable Documentary “Meet the Patels”

posted by Nell Minow

“Meet the Patels” is a warm, funny, and irresistibly captivating romantic comedy documentary about Ravi Patel’s efforts to find love according to the traditions of his family’s culture. His parents, Vasant and Champa Patel, are immigrants from the Gujarati region […]

Interviews: Jewish Views on Sex and Intimacy in “The Lost Key”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Lost Key” is a documentary that explores contemporary society’s confusion of sex and intimacy, and how the ancient principles from Jewish theology can restore the holy connection between husbands and wives. I spoke to director Ricardo Adler, whose own […]

Interview with FutureDude Jeffrey Morris

posted by Nell Minow

Jeffrey Morris is known as FutureDude. He took that name because he was “frustrated as the guy who was into science and into arts and culture interconnected to science and technology and humanity and that sort of thing. I couldn’t […]

Interview: Nancy Porter and Harriet Reisen on Louisa May Alcott

posted by Nell Minow

No writer has influenced me more than Louisa May Alcott, and it runs in the family. My mother’s name is Josephine, like Alcott’s most famous (and most autobiographical) character, and she was inspired by Little Women to insist on being […]

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of “The Look of Silence”

posted by Nell Minow

Joshua Oppenheimer has made “a companion piece” to his stunning documentary about government-sanctioned gangster killings of more than a million Indonesians in the mid-1960’s, “The Act of Killing.” In “The Look of Silence,” we see Adi, the brother of one of […]

Bugs Bunny Turns 75

posted by Nell Minow

A fascinating look at what made Warner Brothers cartoons work. Surprisingly, within these anarchic worlds, there were a lot of rules. This video has some very thoughtful commentary, including Leonard Maltin and Steven Spielberg.

Interview: Dana Nachman of “Batkid Begins”

posted by Nell Minow

Dana Nachman is the director of the heartwarming documentary “Batkid Begins.” She talked to me about how one five-year-old cancer survivor’s Make a Wish story captivated the entire world. At the screening I attended there was audible weeping. I also […]

Interview: Jalmari Helander and Onni Tommila of “Big Game”

posted by Nell Minow

Big Game, now in theaters and on VOD, is an exciting action movie about Oskari, a Finnish kid on a solo hunting trip, who has to save the President of the United States when he is ejected from Air Force […]

Interview: Patrick Brice on the Very R-Rated Comedy “The Overnight”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Patrick Brice talked to me about his funny and provocative new film, “The Overnight,” about a couple new to Los Angeles (Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling) who are invited to dinner at the lavish home of an impossibly hip […]

Interview: Boaz Yakin and Josh Wiggins of “Max”

posted by Nell Minow

Boz Yakin wrote and directed “Max,” the story of a weapons-sniffing military dog whose human partner is killed. So traumatized he can no longer work, he goes to live with the grieving family and is cared for by their younger […]

Interview: Antonia Bogdanovich of “Phantom Halo”

posted by Nell Minow

Antonia Bogdanovich is the co-writer and director of “Phantom Halo,” the story of two brothers and their father, a one-time Shakespearean actor who forces them to steal to support his gambling and alcohol addictions. The brothers are named for the […]

Interview: Maya Forbes on “Infinitely Polar Bear”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Maya Forbes did not just base her new film on her own childhood; she had her sister contribute to the soundtrack and cast her daughter as Amelia, the character inspired by Forbes herself. The film covers the period when […]

Susan Wloszczyna Interviews Pete Docter about “Inside Out”

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Susan Wloszczyna interviewed “Inside Out’s” co-writer/director Pete Docter for IndieWire. The film takes place primarily inside the mind and emotions of an 11-year-old girl who has just moved to a new home and a new city with her […]

Interview: Director Peter Cousens of “Freedom”

posted by Nell Minow

“Freedom” interweaves two stories of slavery. In one, an enslaved family led by Samuel (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) escapes via the Underground Railroad. In the other, set a century earlier, John Newton, the captain of a slave trader sails from Africa […]

Interview: Brett Haley, Writer/Director of “I’ll See You in My Dreams”

posted by Nell Minow

Brett Haley wrote and directed “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a bittersweet romance starring the luminous Blythe Danner as Carol, a widow taking some tentative steps toward love with Bill, a handsome new neighbor played by Sam Elliott. Haley […]

Interview: Sandy McLeod on “Seeds of Time”

posted by Nell Minow

Seeds of Time is a documentary that seems like a terrifying science fiction story. It is about the efforts of Cary Fowler, funded by Bill Gates, to find, preserve, and store seeds from plants necessary for all life forms on […]

Orson Welles: Happy First Century

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 100th birthday to the writer/director/star of one of the greatest films of all time, Citizen Kane. Everyone should see that movie, and then everyone should see it again, listening to Roger Ebert’s shot-by-shot commentary, a master illuminating a master […]

Interview: Jonny Campbell, Director of J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”

posted by Nell Minow

J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults was the dark, sometimes savage story of small town politics, The Casual Vacancy. The title refers to an elected office that is vacated before the term is up, which in this story occurs in […]

Interview: Alex Garland of “Ex Machina”

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Garland is the screenwriter of thought-provoking sci-fi films like “28 Days Later” and “Never Let Me Go.”  He wrote and for the first time directed “Ex Machina,” a fascinating story about Caleb, a computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson), invited to […]

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary “Just About Famous”

posted by Nell Minow

Matt Mamula co-directed “Just About Famous,” the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes famous, and it seemed […]

Interview: Barak Goodman of “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced by Ken Burns, based on the book by book by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Everybody who […]

Interview: Cecilia De Mille Presley on Her Grandfather Cecil B. De Mille

posted by Nell Minow

The great director Cecil B. De Mille, known for his grand, lavish epics like Claudette Colbert’s sizzling Cleopatra and the Biblical epics The Ten Commandments and Samson & Delilah, and Best Picture Oscar winner The Greatest Show on Earth deserves […]

Interview: Jean-Michel Cousteau of “Secret Ocean 3D”

posted by Nell Minow

Jean-Michel Cousteau has carried on the legacy of his famous father, Jacques Cousteau, who first allowed the world to see the creatures that live in the water, through deep-sea diving and his pioneering underwater photography. Now his son has used […]

Interview: Writer/Director Noah Baumbach of “While We’re Young”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Noah Baumbach talked to me about his new film, “While We’re Young,” starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple. They befriend a young couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, and the movie has a […]

Interview: The Woman in Gold’s Simon Curtis and E. Randol Schoenberg

posted by Nell Minow

Director Simon Curtis told me, “My last film was My Week with Marilyn, and this one is my century with Maria.”  He is referring to “The Woman in Gold,” with Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, who brought a lawsuit to […]

Interview: Amy S. Weber of the Bullying Movie “A Girl Like Her”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Amy S. Weber first became interested in the problem of bullying when she was producing educational films for young people in 1996, over about a 10 year period. “I was working with mostly teenagers on real life stories documenting […]

Interview: Robert Kenner of “Merchants of Doubt”

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Kenner’s Merchants of Doubt is a deeply unsettling documentary about the way corporations divert money they should be spending on making better products more effectively to spend it instead on undermining science and scientists. By creating fake “public interest” […]

Interview: Dan Fogelman, Writer/Director of “Danny Collins”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Fogelman wrote “Cars,” “Tangled,” and “Crazy Stupid Love,” and now for the first time has directed with “Danny Collins,” starring Al Pacino and Annette Bening.  Fogelman told me he was wasting time on the internet because he did not […]

Interview: Writer/Director Tom McCarthy of the Adam Sandler Fantasy “The Cobbler”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of writer/director Tom McCarthy (Win Win, “The Station Agent,” The Visitor), and was delighted to get a chance to talk to him about his new film, co-written with Paul Sado, “The Cobbler.”  It is a […]

Tribute: Documentary Pioneer Albert Maysles

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of film visionary Albert Maysles, who with his brother David, showed us a new way to see film and a new way to see the world.  They were the first Americans to create intimate, unstructured documentary […]

Interview: Jody Lee Lipes of “Ballet 422″

posted by Nell Minow

“Ballet 422″ is a new documentary directed by cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes (Lena Dunham’s breakthrough “Tiny Furniture,” Judd Apatow’s upcoming “Trainwreck,” written by Amy Schumer).  It is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a new dance number for […]

Interview: Dogs on the Inside, Documentary About A Prison Program for Rescue Dogs

posted by Nell Minow

“Dogs on the Inside” is a profoundly moving documentary about a program that teaches prisoners how to care for rescue dogs.  Seeing the dogs and the men in prison learn patience and trust from each other is touching and inspiring. […]

Interview: Ira Glass Talks to “Boyhood’s” Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane

posted by Nell Minow

“Boyhood” writer/director Richard Linkater and star Ellar Coltrane talk to “This American Life’s” Ira Glass about making the film over a twelve year period that began when Coltrane was six years old.

Interview: Nancy Spielberg and Roberta Grossman of “Above and Beyond”

posted by Nell Minow

In 1948, a group of World War II pilots volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. As members of “Machal” (volunteers from abroad), they not only turned the tide of the war, they also laid the groundwork […]

Women Talk About Making Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times talked to women in Hollywood about making movies. Some of the highlights: “What’s wrong with bossy? It’s O.K. for a man.” Barbra Streisand, Director (“The Prince of Tides”) It’s a conundrum: We can’t change it ourselves, […]

Interview: Lacey Schwartz on Her Family’s “Little White Lie” — No One Told Her She Was a Black Daughter in a White Family

posted by Nell Minow

Lacey Schwartz grew up as the much-loved only child of warm, loving parents in a close-knit middle-class Jewish family. She did not resemble her parents, but they reassured her that she had a Sicilian grandparent who was the genetic source […]

Interview: Ava DuVernay of “Selma”

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite movie of the year is “Selma,” the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the Southern states were using to prevent black […]

Tribute: Mike Nichols

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of director Mike Nichols, who died yesterday at age 83, survived by his wife, television journalist Diane Sawyer. Nichols began as part of the 1950’s improvisational movement coming out of Chicago, and rose to fame as […]

Interview: A.J. Edwards of the Lincoln Movie “The Better Angels”

posted by Nell Minow

A. J. Edwards is the writer and director of “The Better Angels,” a lyrical new film about the early years of Abraham Lincoln, when he was a boy growing up in a small log cabin. The title comes from Lincoln’s […]

Interview: Gina Prince-Bythewood of “Beyond the Lights”

posted by Nell Minow

It was an honor to speak to one of my favorite filmmakers, Gina Prince-Bythewood, writer/director of one of this year’s best romantic dramas, “Beyond the Lights.” As I spoke to her, she had just received word that Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who […]

Interview: Laura Poitras of the Edward Snowden Documentary “Citizenfour”

posted by Nell Minow

I normally begin my interviews by asking for permission to record the conversation for my notes.  But there was something eerily resonant about that routine request when I spoke to journalist Laura Poitras, director of the new documentary “Citizenfour,” about […]

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary “Mentor”

posted by Nell Minow

Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, “Mentor,” the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 […]

Interviews: “Art and Craft’s” Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman

posted by Nell Minow

The documentary “Art and Craft” is the extraordinary story of two men.  One is Mark Landis, an artist who created counterfeit paintings and then disguised himself as various philanthropist personas and donated them to art museums over three decades.  The […]

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie “23 Blast”

posted by Nell Minow

Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable (“The Good Wife,” “Happiness”).  But his extensive career has included wild comedies (“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” “Anchorman 2″), historical drama (he was Robert McNamara in […]

Interview: Ted Melfi of “St. Vincent”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Ted Melfi got Bill Murray to appear in his first film by calling him. Murray does not have an agent or a manager. He has an 800 number. And Melfi left message after message until Murray finally called back […]

Dear White People: Interview with Writer/Director Justin Simien

posted by Nell Minow

“Dear White People” is fresh, provocative, timely, and very funny.  In the tradition of “Higher Learning” and “School Daze,” it is the story of four black students at an Ivy League college, all making different choices about adapting or challenging […]

Interview: David Dobkin of “The Judge”

posted by Nell Minow

Interviewing David Dobkin was a double pleasure for me. First, I loved the film he co-wrote and directed, “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. And second, he is the son of old friends Jim and Irma Dobkin, […]

Interview: Ned Benson of “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Her, and Him”

posted by Nell Minow

Every story has at least two sides, especially the story of a relationship.  Writer/director Ned Benson explores romance and loss from the perspective of the man (James McAvoy) and the woman (Jessica Chastain) in two separate films, “The Disappearance of […]

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of “I Am Eleven”

posted by Nell Minow

There’s a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey […]

See Great Directors — in TV and Music Videos

posted by Nell Minow

Top directors do more than movies.  Take a look at these clips from Emmy-nominated television series and these music videos made by some of the most talented directors working in Hollywood, including Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), […]

Interview: Daniel Schechter, Writer/Director of “Life of Crime”

posted by Nell Minow

Newcomer Daniel Schechter, who wrote one of my favorite neglected gems, The Big Bad Swim, worked with an all-star cast in “Life of Crime,” which he adapted from The Switch by Elmore Leonard and directed.  It is set in 1970’s Detroit and […]

Interview: Ira Sachs of “Love is Strange”

posted by Nell Minow

It’s hard to imagine that there will be a more tender love story on screen this year than John Lithgow and Alfred Molina in “Love is Strange,” from writer/director Ira Sachs.  They play a long-time couple who get married after […]

Interview: Bo Svenson

posted by Nell Minow

Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was born in Sweden. His family emigrated to […]

Interview: John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson of “Calvary”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson met with my friend John Hanlon and me to talk about “Calvary,” where Gleeson plays an Irish priest in an oceanside community that is filled with sadness, regret, and loss. Some of the […]

Interview: Mike Cahill of “I Origins”

posted by Nell Minow

Mike Cahill writes and directs singular, provocative stories where science and faith combine — and sometimes clash. In “Another Earth,” Cahill’s college classmate, sometimes co-writer and friend Brit Marling starred as a girl who befriends the man whose family she […]

Interview: Michel Gondry of “Mood Indigo”

posted by Nell Minow

Michel Gondry is one of my favorite directors, with a distinctive style of romance and whimsy, best known for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Be Kind Rewind.”  His films usually feature intricate contraptions with a very hand-made feeling. […]

Interview: Richard Linklater of “Boyhood”

posted by Nell Minow

Richard Linklater is one of my favorite directors.  Films like “Waking Life,” “Before Sunrise”/”Before Sunset”/”Before Midnight,” “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock,” “Bernie,” and “Me and Orson Welles” display his restless intelligence and remarkable range.  His latest film, “Boyhood,” was […]

Interview: Director Steve James on the Roger Ebert Documentary “Life Itself”

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Ebert said that Steve James’ documentary “Hoop Dreams” was the greatest film of the first decade of the 21st century. He wrote, “A film like “Hoop Dreams” is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and […]

Interview: Joe Berlinger of “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger”

posted by Nell Minow

Joe Berlinger is one of my favorite directors and it was a treat to talk to him about “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger,” his new documentary on the trial of the notorious gangster. We know Bulgar […]

More on “Jersey Boys” Director Clint Eastwood

posted by Nell Minow

Clint Eastwood is not a favorite of mine as an actor or a director, though I appreciate some of his work. I think his best performance may have been in Gran Torino, which he also directed.  But as a director, […]

Movie Greats: John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands

posted by Nell Minow

John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands were at the forefront of a revolution in cinema that led to a new era of naturalism in subject matter and performance. Cassavetes, best known as an actor for starring opposite Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s […]

Interview: Robert May of “Kids for Cash”

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most outrageous scandals in the history of the U.S. justice system involved two judges who took undisclosed multi-million dollar payments from the developer of a privately owned and operated facility for incarcerating teenagers.  A “law and order” […]

Interview: Carl Deal and Tia Lessin of the Documentary “Citizen Koch”

posted by Nell Minow

“Citizens United has unleashed money that our disclosure laws are not equipped to reveal.” Tia Lessin and Carl Deal wanted to make a documentary about the toxic effect of corporate money on politics following the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens […]

Interview: James Ward Byrkit of “Coherence”

posted by Nell Minow

James Ward Byrkit wrote “Rango” and designed the visual effects for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.  His new movie, “Coherence,” is a nifty little mind-bender of a psychological thriller that makes the most of its micro-budget.  He talked to […]

M. Knight Shyamalan at the National Press Club

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense,” “Unbreakable,” “The Last Airbender,” “After Earth”), appeared at the National Press Club this week to talk about his side project, an intensive assessment of American schools and proposals for reform, as described in […]

Interview: Dean DeBlois of “How to Train Your Dragon 2″

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Dean DeBlois is one of my favorite people to interview and it was delightful to talk to him about the wonderful “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Just give me the basics just to set the stage. Tell me […]

Interview: “Obvious Child’s” Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre

posted by Nell Minow

Jenny Slate gives a star-making performance in “Obvious Child,” a romantic comedy about Donna, a young stand-up comic who becomes pregnant and has an abortion. Her decision is not presented in a comic or light-hearted way. What is revolutionary is […]

Interview: Don McKellar of “The Grand Seduction”

posted by Nell Minow

Before we talked about his charming new film, “The Grand Seduction,” I just had to ask Don McKellar about the plans to make the sensational Broadway musical he co-wrote, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” into a film. He assured me that while […]

List: Sarah Lawrence College and Movies

posted by Nell Minow

This weekend my husband and I are attending a reunion at our alma mater, Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Our son also graduated from Sarah Lawrence, and our niece will enroll in the MFA program in writing there […]

Interview: Fred Schepisi of “Words and Pictures”

posted by Nell Minow

Fred Schepisi is a soft spoken Australian director whose films include “Roxanne,” the charming update of “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring Steve Martin, and the thoughtful drama about connection and disconnection, “Six Degrees of Separation,” starring Will Smith. His new movie […]

Interview: Carolyn Jones of “American Nurse”

posted by Nell Minow

“American Nurse” is a deeply moving documentary about the men and women who are, as the bumper sticker says, “patient people.”  The film explores aging, war, poverty, and prisons through the work and lives of nurses.  Jason Short drives up a […]

Interview: Gia Coppola of “Palo Alto”

posted by Nell Minow

Gia Coppola is the 27-year-old writer/director of a new film called “Palo Alto,” based on a book of stories by James Franco, who appears in the film.  Other performers in the movie are, like Coppola, Hollywood-bred.  Coppola is the granddaughter […]

Interview: “Fed Up’s” Laurie David and Stephanie Soechtig

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winning producer Laurie David is back with an even more inconvenient truth: our food is killing us and the government is powerless to stop food companies from making it worse. I spoke to David and director Stephanie Soechtig about the […]

How Many Movies by Woman Directors Have You Seen?

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a great quiz from Indiewire on films by woman directors, covering more than 170 films going back to the silent era and covering every category and budget size.

Interview: Rachel Boynton of Oil Business Documentary “Big Men”

posted by Nell Minow

Documentarian Rachel Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis) spent seven years filming “Big Men,” a documentary about what happens when the American oil business meets a previously unknown oil reserve in Ghana.  Is it possible for American business, with its obligations […]

Interview: David Kaplan and Mark Levinson of “Particle Fever”

posted by Nell Minow

I loved “Particle Fever,” the gripping, illuminating, inspiring story of the world’s most brilliant physicists searching for the answer of answers — the building blocks of the universe with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) .  So it was a special […]

Interview: David A.R. White of Pure Flix and “God’s Not Dead”

posted by Nell Minow

David A.R. White (“Evening Shade”) is the founder/writer/director of Pure Flix, which makes films that “uplift and inspire the human spirit.”  He graciously took time to answer my questions about making faith-based films and what he has learned.  New films […]

Sam Mendes Has Advice for Directors

posted by Nell Minow

Director Sam Mendes (“Skyfall,” “American Beauty”) has some advice for directors.  In accepting an award, he listed 25 recommendations that are well worth reading.  Some are particular to his profession (“If you have the chance, please work with Dame Judi […]

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of “The Act of Killing”

posted by Nell Minow

If I were voting, “The Act of Killing” would not only win the Best Documentary Oscar, it would be a contender for Best Picture as well.  Director Joshua Oppenheimer broke through barriers from the secrecy and denial of government-sanctioned gangster […]

Tribute: Harold Ramis

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of writer/actor/director Harold Ramis, who died at age 69.  Ramis began by writing and editing at Playboy Magazine, then based in Chicago. In 1969, he joined the famous improvisational sketch comedy group, Second City, and […]

Interview: Patrick Creadon of “If You Build It”

posted by Nell Minow

Patrick Creadon is the director of the new documentary “If You Build It,” the story of an idealistic young couple who movie to a depressed North Carolina community to teach teenagers how to solve problems with design.  He talked to […]

Interview: Writer-Director Anthony Joseph Giunta of “Contest”

posted by Nell Minow

I really enjoyed writer-director Anthony Joseph Giunta’s first film, “Contest,” a smart, funny, thoughtful story about high school bullying — and a televised cooking competition.  It was a pleasure to talk to him about making the film. How did this […]

Interview: Daniel Ferguson of “Jerusalem”

posted by Nell Minow

Daniel Ferguson told an audience that making his extraordinary 3D IMAX film about Jerusalem required four years and “thousands of cups of tea.”  It took four years.  But he was able to persuade Muslims, Christians, and Jews to allow him […]

Interview: “The Book Thief”

posted by Nell Minow

Following an extraordinary evening presenting the film at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, with survivors in the audience, some of the people behind “The Book Thief” sat down for an interview.  Director Brian Percival, who introduced the film, joined stars Sophie […]

Interview: Ron Clements and John Musker of “The Little Mermaid”

posted by Nell Minow

After Walt Disney died, the studio he founded faltered, especially Disney animation.  Following the powerhouse classics like “Peter Pan,” “Dumbo,” and “The Jungle Book” (the last animated film Walt Disney supervised personally), the animation division became mired in struggles that […]

Interview: Joseph Gordon-Levitt of “Don Jon”

posted by Nell Minow

Joseph Gordon-Levitt met with a small group of journalists to talk about the film he wrote, directed, and stars in, “Don Jon.”  Gordon-Levitt, who has appeared in edgy independent films (“The Mysterious Skin,” “Brick”), teen romances (“10 Things I Hate […]

Interview: Will Bakke of “Believe Me”

posted by Nell Minow

 I really enjoyed talking to Will Bakke of Riot Studios about his new film, “Believe Me.”  I’ll post information about the movie’s release when it is available. Tell me a little bit about this project. I’d love to. Well, “Believe […]

Interview: Jerusha Hess and J.J. Feild of “Austenland”

posted by Nell Minow

No movie this year made me laugh more than “Austenland,” based on the novel by Shannon Hale. The film has Keri Russell as a Jane Austen fan who visits an immersive Jane Austen theme park/experience.  It was a lot of […]

Interview: Lee Daniels of “The Butler”

posted by Nell Minow

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is inspired by the real-life story of a black man who worked in the White House for decades, serving eight Presidents from Truman to Reagan.  Born in the Jim Crow-era South of lynchings and segregation, he […]

Interview: Jim Rash and Nat Faxon of “The Way Way Back”

posted by Nell Minow

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won a screenwriting Oscar for “The Descendants” and won the next day’s headlines by imitating Angelina Jolie’s leg-out pose when they accepted it.  I talked to them about “The Way Way Back,” which they wrote, […]

Interview: Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier, Director of the Music Documentary “Muscle Shoals”

posted by Nell Minow

I sat down to watch an early screener of “Muscle Shoals,” the new documentary about a tiny Alabama town and the two music studios that produced some of the biggest records of all time.  Ten minutes later, I stopped it […]

Interview: Civil War Filmmaker Ron Maxwell of “Copperhead”

posted by Nell Minow

Copperhead is a new movie based on the novel by Harold Frederic, who witnessed these conflicts firsthand as a small child, Copperhead tells the story of Abner Beech, a stubborn and righteous farmer of Upstate New York, who defies his […]

Tonight on TNT: The American Film Institute Tribute to Mel Brooks

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to tune in tonight at 9 (8 Central) for the American Film Institute Tribute to Mel Brooks, writer/director/actor and very, very, very funny guy. From his early days as a writer on the legendary Sid Cesar television variety […]

Interview: Jordan Vogt-Roberts of The Kings of Summer

posted by Nell Minow

Jordan Vogt-Roberts’s first feature film is “The Kings of Summer,” the story of three teenage boys who run away and build a house in the woods.  It’s one of my favorite movies of the year, so I was very glad […]

Interview: Rama Burshtein and Hadas Yaron of “Fill the Void”

posted by Nell Minow

“Fill the Void” is an Israeli film with a rare, intimate, and very sympathetic portrayal of a very observant Orthodox Jewish community.  It is the story of a young woman, still in her teens, who is under pressure to marry […]

Interview: Alex Gibney of “We Steal Secrets: The Wikileaks Story”

posted by Nell Minow
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Lowest Recommended Age:High School
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Lowest Recommended Age: High School

I spoke to Alex Gibney, one of my favorite filmmakers, about his brilliant documentary on Wikileaks. The most interesting character in the movie is Bradley Manning.  Where is he now? He’s in prison, finally Leavenworth, after eight months in solitary confinement […]

Danny Boyle’s Rules for Making Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Danny Boyle has directed movies in a broad range of genres, from the edgy “Trainspotting” to the award-winning “Slumdog Millionaire”  and “127 Hours” to the charming “Millions” and the trippy “Trance.”  Moviemaker has his 15 “Golden Rules for Moviemaking,” worth […]

Interview: Scott McGehee and David Siegel of “What Maisie Knew”

posted by Nell Minow

“What Maisie Knew” is a touching, beautifully acted new movie starring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan as a couple breaking up but the story is seen through the eyes of their little girl.  I spoke to the directors, Scott McGehee […]

Interview: Directors/Writer/Star of “Desperate Acts of Magic”

posted by Nell Minow

Magic is in the air.  And on the screen.  Two big-budget films with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars playing magicians are being released within a few months of each other.  In March, we had the silly comedy The Incredible Burt […]

Interview: Maiken Baird and Michelle Major of “Venus and Serena”

posted by Nell Minow

“Venus and Serena” is an enthralling new documentary about two of the most acclaimed athletes of our time.  Their story is even more extraordinary because they are sisters.  Venus and Serena Williams have won world trophies and broken records since […]

Interview: Tina Gordon Chism of “Peeples”

posted by Nell Minow

It was a delight to talk with”Peeples” writer-director Tina Gordon Chism, who instantly made me feel like an old friend.  She wrote a movie I love, Drumline, (featured in my new book).  And now she is a first-time director with […]

Interview: Tom Shadyac of Life’s Operating Manual

posted by Nell Minow

I am always happy to get another chance to talk to Tom Shadyac, the mega-successful Hollywood director (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Bruce Almighty) who now devotes his time to exploring the meaning of life and sharing what he has learned. […]

Mel Brooks on American Masters

posted by Nell Minow

American Masters salutes Mel Brooks on May 20 (check your local PBS station listings for details).  I love this photo of Brooks with his 2000 Year Old Man collaborator (and fellow Sid Caesar “Your Show of Shows” writer) Carl Reiner. […]

Interview: Henry-Alex Rubin, Director of “Disconnect”

posted by Nell Minow

Henry-Alex Rubin, director of the new movie, “Disconnect,” and I were were talking about the movie when his phone beeped.  He reached into his pocket to turn it off and we both laughed at the real-life example of the movie’s […]

Interview: Janet Tobias of the Holocaust Documentary “No Place on Earth”

posted by Nell Minow

No Place on Earth is the extraordinary new documentary about a small group of Jews from Ukraine who hid from the Nazis in two caves for almost two years.  Interviews with the survivors, narration from a book written in the 1960’s […]

Interview: Wayne Blair of “The Sapphires”

posted by Nell Minow

Wayne Blair is an actor who starred in the live theatrical version of “The Sapphires,” the true story of three sisters and a cousin who became a successful girl group in 1960’s Australia.  He directed the feature film based on […]

J.J. Abrams to Direct the new Star Wars

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted with the news that J.J. Abrams will direct the new Disney-produced “Star Wars” movie.  The man behind the “Lost,” “Fringe,” “Felicity,” and “Alias” television series has shown himself to be adept at being true to established franchises […]

Interview: Roger Michell of “Hyde Park on Hudson”

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Michell is the director of beloved films like “Notting Hill” and “Persuasion.”  His latest is this week’s “Hyde Park on Hudson,” based on the real-life visit of the King and Queen of England to the home of President Franklin […]

Oprah Interviews “Lincoln’s” Spielberg, Day-Lewis, and Field

posted by Nell Minow

Tomorrow at 9:30 (eastern) on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Oprah interviews the people behind “Lincoln:” Academy Award winners Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lews and Sally Field talk about the making of the film and the history behind it.  

Interview: Ang Lee and Suraj Sharma of “Life of Pi”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Ang Lee and star Suraj Sharma met with a group of journalists to talk about “Life of Pi.” Lee said the biggest challenge was to “make a big mainstream movie out of a philosophical book that’s beloved.” And it […]

Interview: Director Joe Wright of “Anna Karenina”

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to one of my favorite directors, Joe Wright (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Atonement,” “Hanna”) about his sumptuous new film, “Anna Karenina,” starring Keira Knightley. One of my favorite scenes in the film reminded me very much of one of […]

Interview: Arnon Goldfinger of “The Flat”

posted by Nell Minow

After documentary filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger’s grandmother died at age 97 in Israel, he brought a film crew to her apartment where she and his grandfather lived from the time they immigrated to what was then called Palestine just before World […]

Interview: Michael Damian, Writer-Director of “A Princess for Christmas”

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Damian played heartthrob Danny Romalotti on “The Young and the Restless” for 18 years, returning for the show’s 35th anniversary.  He is an award-winning singer and songwriter and more recently he has been a writer and director.  He and […]

Interview: Ben Affleck, Director and Star of “Argo” (Part 2)

posted by Nell Minow

More from Ben Affleck about Argo: What were some of the tougher scenes to film? The scenes with the actors were the easiest scenes. We have all these good actors, they know what they’re doing, it was really fun. I […]

Google Pays Tribute to Winsor McCay

posted by Nell Minow

I am so happy that Google is paying tribute to one of my favorite artists, Winsor McCay, creator of Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend. McCay also invented animation. He was the one who figured out […]

Interview: Ben Affleck, Director and Star of “Argo” (Part 1)

posted by Nell Minow

Ben Affleck directed “Argo,” the incredible story of a real-life 1980 CIA rescue mission, and he plays Tony Mendez, the “exfiltration” expert who came up with the idea to create a fake Hollywood film production company and get the six […]

Interview: Eugene Jarecki, Director of “The House I Live In”

posted by Nell Minow

Eugene Jarecki’s new documentary about the failure of the drug wars by any standard — economic, practical, moral — is a powerful and sobering call for treating drug abuse as a public health problem and not a criminal problem.  I […]

Interview: Matthew Heineman of the Health Care Documentary, “Escape Fire”

posted by Nell Minow

“Escape Fire” is a new documentary about what does not work in our system for preventing and treating illness, and what some people are doing to make it better.  I spoke to Matthew Heineman, co-director and co-producer of the film. […]

Hear the Director’s Commentary on “Looper” In the Theater

posted by Nell Minow

It is not unusual for DVDs and Blu-Rays to include director commentary, but it is unusual to listen to the director’s comments in the movie theater.  “Looper” director Rian Johnson has recorded director has made an audio guide to the […]

Mel Brooks to be Honored by AFI

posted by Nell Minow

The American Film Institute has announced that Mel Brooks will be presented with its highest honor.  “Mel Brooks is America’s long-reigning king of comedy – and as he taught us long ago, it’s good to be the king,” said Sir […]

Interview: The Directors of the New Toastmaster Documentary “Speak”

posted by Nell Minow

Jerry Seinfeld pointed out that when people are asked what scares them the most, more people say public speaking than death — which means that at a funeral, most people would rather be the person who died than the person […]

Interview: Nicholas Jarecki of “Arbitrage”

posted by Nell Minow

Documentary-maker Nicholas Jarecki wrote and directed his first feature film, “Arbitrage,” with Richard Gere giving one of his best performances as a hedge fund manager hiding massive losses who gets caught up in an even bigger cover-up when he and […]

Interview: Jamie Bradshaw of “Branded”

posted by Nell Minow

Jamie Bradshaw and Alexander Doulerain are advertising executives and brand specialists who have written and directed “Branded,” set in a dystopian future where corporate brands have created a disillusioned population and one man’s effort to unlock the truth behind the […]

Tribute: Director Tony Scott

posted by Nell Minow

We had some very sad news this morning.  Director Tony Scott has died at age 68, an apparent suicide.  Like his older brother, Ridley Scott, Tony will be remembered for a powerfully imaginative visual style.  He is best known for […]

Interview: Writer-Directors of “ParaNorman”

posted by Nell Minow

I loved seeing the “ParaNorman” panel at Comic-Con, so I was especially excited to get a chance for an interview with writer-director Chris Butler and co-director Sam Fell, and I had a blast talking to them about why kids and […]

Interview: Peter Hedges of “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of Peter Hedges, who wrote the book What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and wrote and directed Pieces of April and Dan in Real Life.  No one is better than he is at showing us messy families who […]

Interview: Tony Gilroy, Writer-Director of “The Bourne Legacy”

posted by Nell Minow

Tony Gilroy, who wrote the Matt Damon “Bourne” movies, takes over as director for chapter four, “The Bourne Legacy,” with Jeremy Renner taking the lead role.  It turns out, as they tell you in the trailer, there was never just […]

Smile of the Week: Marc Erlbaum’s Progress on “The Meaning of Life”

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to get an update from Marc Erlbaum about what has happened since our interview about his new documentary on what people think about the meaning of life.  Here’s his latest, a sweet reminder that while we sometimes […]

Robert Downey, Jr. and Don Cheadle Talk About “Iron Man 3″

posted by Nell Minow

One of the highlights of my time at Comic-Con was a press conference with Don Cheadle, Robert Downey, Jr., producer Kevin Feige, and Shane Black about “Iron Man 3.”  Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “The Last Boy Scout”) co-wrote and […]

Interview: The “Little Miss Sunshine” Directors Discuss Their New Film “Ruby Sparks”

posted by Nell Minow

Co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton are so smart, so dedicated, so creative, and so purely delightful that I found it hard to believe they are so good at showing us dysfunctional characters.  Their new film, “Ruby Sparks,” written by […]

Interview: Lauren Greenfield of “The Queen of Versailles”

posted by Nell Minow

Lauren Greenfield is the director of the new documentary, The Queen of Versailles, the story of Jackie and Siegel, who were building the largest residence in the United Sates, a 90,000 square foot mansion with ten kitchens, a baseball field, a […]

Interview: David France of “How to Survive a Plague”

posted by Nell Minow

“This isn’t a movie about what AIDS did to us,” writer/director David France told me as he was preparing to present “How to Survive a Plague,” his documentary about AIDS activism at the prestigious Silverdocs film festival in Silver Spring, […]

Tribute: Nora Ephron

posted by Nell Minow

We all mourn the loss of the warm, wise, and witty writer/director Nora Ephron.  As Adam Bernstein noted in his perceptive obituary for the Washington Post, she was always guided by the advice of her screenwriter parents to “take notes […]

Interview: Rob Reiner of “The Magic of Belle Isle”

posted by Nell Minow

Rob Reiner (“The Princess Bride,” “When Harry Met Sally…,” “The American President”) is co-writer and director of the heartwarming new film, “The Magic of Belle Isle.”  Morgan Freeman plays a bitter wheelchair-bound writer who moves to a small town and […]

Interviews: The Director and Stars of “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

posted by Nell Minow

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a lyrical tale of a six-year-old girl and her father living in “The Bathtub,” a fictitious community based on condemned parts of southern Louisiana.  In an almost post-apocalyptic setting with no electricity, running water, phone, government, […]

Brave Director Mark Andrews Talks to Google

posted by Nell Minow

Barbra Streisand to Direct Cate Blanchett and Colin Firth

posted by Nell Minow

Just announced: Barbra Streisand will direct a feature film for the first time since “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” 16 years ago, when she takes on “Skinny and Cat,” a love story starring Cate Blanchett and Colin Firth.  She is […]

Interview: Lorene Scafaria of “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”

posted by Nell Minow

Lorene Scafaria wrote the screenplay for one of my favorite romances of the last several years, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.  And now she has written and directed another romance, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” with […]

Stamps Pay Tribute to Four Outstanding Directors

posted by Nell Minow

A ceremony at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center launched new First Class Forever postage stamps that pay tribute to a veritable Mount Rushmore of golden-age movie directors: Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston and Billy Wilder. […]

Interview: Director Bess Kargman of the Ballet Documentary “First Position”

posted by Nell Minow

First-time filmmaker Bess Kargman brought her own experiences studying dance to her documentary, First Position, about a crucial, career-defining competition for young ballet artists.  The Youth America Grand Prix was launched in 1999 by two former dancers of the world-renowned Bolshoi […]

Interview: Writer-director Marc Erlbaum Asks About the Meaning of Life

posted by Nell Minow

I am always happy to talk to Marc Erlbaum, who makes films that inspire and challenge as they entertain.  I love his audacious new project.  He is “crowd-funding” a new film about the biggest question of all: the meaning of […]

Interview: Simon Wincer of the Horse Racing Film “The Cup”

posted by Nell Minow

Australian director Simon Wincer specializes in movies featuring big animals.  His most successful film is “Free Willy,” but his most frequent stars are horses, in films like “The Young Black Stallion,” “The Man from Snowy River,” and the fact-based “Phar […]

Interview: Writer/Director Richard Linklater of “Bernie”

posted by Nell Minow

Richard Linklater has directed some of my favorite movies like “Waking Life,” “Before Sunset,” “School of Rock,” and “Dazed and Confused.”  He talked to me about his new film, “Bernie,” starring Jack Black as the real-life Bernie Tiede, the most […]

Interview: Philippe Falardeau of “Monsieur Lazhar”

posted by Nell Minow

“Monsieur Lazhar” is an Oscar-nominated Canadian film about an Algerian immigrant who takes a job as a substitute teacher even though he is not qualified and ends up learning a great deal from his students and teaching them more than […]

Interview: Mark Linfield of DisneyNature’s “Chimpanzee”

posted by Nell Minow

Mark Linfield is the co-producer and co-director of DisneyNature’s Earth Day release, “Chimpanzee.”  I talked to him about some of the challenges of filming in the rainforest and how scientists who had been following the chimps for years saw things […]

Interview: “Blue Like Jazz” Director Steve Taylor

posted by Nell Minow

I love Steve Taylor’s new film, “Blue Like Jazz” and I loved talking to him about it.  Based on the best-selling book of essays about faith, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller, it is the […]

Interview: Morgan Spurlock of “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope”

posted by Nell Minow

I was especially excited to talk to Morgan Spurlock about his newest documentary because it is about one of my favorite events of the year, San Diego’s Comic-Con.  Produced by Comic-Con heroes Stan Lee and Joss Whedon, the film follows […]

Interview: Lee Hirsch, Director of “Bully”

posted by Nell Minow

Lee Hirsch is the director of “Bully,” the new documentary about the painful and pervasive problem of bullying in schools.  The movie is being released without a rating from the MPAA, after an appeal and a petition signed by more […]

“John Carter” Director Andrew Stanton Talks to TED

posted by Nell Minow

Director Andrew Stanton wrote and directed Pixar favorites “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E.”  This week’s release, “John Carter,” is his first live-action feature film.  Here he tells the audience at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) about the clues to a good story. […]

Interview: Paul Weitz of “Being Flynn”

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Weitz wrote and directed “Being Flynn,” which opens today, starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano.  It is based on Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir, Nick Flynn’s book about his experiences working in a homeless shelter, […]

Interview: David Gelb of “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

posted by Nell Minow

“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a documentary about a man who has devoted his entire life to his tiny 10-seat sushi restaurant, with results so transcendently delicious that the prestigious Michelin Guide says it is worth the trip to Japan […]

Interview: Director Lasse Hallstrom of “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”

posted by Nell Minow

It was a thrill to get a chance to talk to one of my favorite directors, Lasse Hallström of “Chocolat,” “The Cider House Rules,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” and this week’s release, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”  It is the […]

Interview: Matthew D. Kallis of “Most Valuable Players”

posted by Nell Minow

Producer/Director Matthew D. Kallis answered my questions about Most Valuable Players, the marvelous documentary about three high school teams competing for the Freddy Awards, given for the best high school musical productions.  I asked him about his favorite musicals and […]

Interview: ‘Act of Valor’

posted by Nell Minow

“Act of Valor” features active duty Navy SEALS re-enacting some of their most dangerous missions.  The situations are fictional, but the tactics and operations are real.  So is the ammunition.  Instead of blanks and squibs, the SEALS used live ammo, […]

Interview: Emilio Estevez of “The Way”

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to Martin Sheen when The Way opened in theaters last year.  So it was a special treat to speak to the writer and director of the film about its DVD release — Emilio Estevez, Sheen’s son, who also appears briefly […]

Red Carpet: Drew Barrymore Comes to Town for ‘Big Miracle’

posted by Nell Minow

Drew Barrymore came to Washington for the premiere of her new film, Big Miracle, about the extraordinary real-life rescue of whales stranded in Alaska in 1987.  I had a blast on the red carpet, talking to the real-life characters who […]

Interview: Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Anthony Hemingway of ‘Red Tails’

posted by Nell Minow

Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. and director Anthony Hemingway sat down with a small group of critics to talk about their new film, “Red Tails,” the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the highly decorated heroes who flew missions in the still-segregated […]

Red Tails Interviews: Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, and a Real-Life Tuskegee Airman

posted by Nell Minow

Dr. Roscoe Brown, who flew planes as one of the heroic WWII Tuskegee Airmen, a black man defending a country still cruelly segregated, fighting in one of the most honored military divisions in American history, saw a film made about […]

Interview: Bill Duke of ‘Dark Girls,’ A Film About Race, Gender, and Skin Color

posted by Nell Minow

Not many people remember today that the crucial evidence in the ground-breaking Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case was a test given to African-American children that proved there was no such thing as “separate but equal.”  The children […]

Interview: Writer-Director Todd Graff of ‘Joyful Noise’

posted by Nell Minow

I love Todd Graff’s first two films, Camp and Bandslam.  Both were fresh and warm-hearted stories about teenagers who are passionate about music and performing, inspired by his own experiences as a theater-mad kid.  His new film, “Joyful Noise,” has […]

Interview: Tom Shadyac on the DVD Release of ‘I Am’

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to Tom Shadyac last March about shifting from big Hollywood films like “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “The Nutty Professor II” to a small and very personal documentary about just about everything called “I Am.”   Shadyac was […]

Interview: Sarah McCarthy of ‘The Sound of Mumbai’

posted by Nell Minow

“The Sound of Mumbai,” premiering tonight on HBO2, is a touching documentary about the most unlikely of productions, a concert performance of “The Sound of Music” featuring the “slumdog” children of one of the poorest communities in India.  These children […]

Interview: Punk Rock Parenting with the Moms Behind ‘The Other F Word’

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite documentaries of the year is “The Other F Word,” a film about what could be called Extreme Parenting.   It is the story of punk rockers and other men who have made careers out of rebellion […]

Interview: Lavinia Currier of ‘Oka!’

posted by Nell Minow

“Oka!” is a simply wonderful movie based on the real-life story of music scholar Louis Sarno, who left New Jersey to study the music of Central Africa.  I spoke to director Lavinia Currier about casting the film and what the […]

Interview: J.C. Chandor of ‘Margin Call’

posted by Nell Minow

J.C. Chandor wrote and directed “Margin Call,” a sharply-scripted thriller about one night at a never-named Wall Street firm.  The top executives discover that they are at risk of catastrophic failure and have to decide before the markets open in […]

Interview: Tiffany Shlain of ‘Connected’

posted by Nell Minow

Tiffany Shlain’s new film is “Connected,” a personal memoir and broader exploration of the ways we connect and misconnect through technology.  The film is opening in select theaters across the country: It opened in LA at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood on […]

Interview: Adam and Mark Kassen of ‘Puncture’

posted by Nell Minow

Brothers Adam and Mark Kassen co-produced and co-directed “Puncture,” the true story of an idealistic but drug-addicted young lawyer from Houston who took on the mammoth pharmaceutical  companies on behalf of a quirky inventor who came up with a simple […]

Interview: Charles Martin Smith of ‘Dolphin Tale’

posted by Nell Minow

Before he was a director, Charles Martin Smith was a teen actor who appeared as “Terry the Toad” in “American Graffiti.”  He starred in Carroll Ballard’s “Never Cry Wolf” and appeared in films like “The Untouchables” and “Starman.”  While he […]

Previous Posts

Interview: Director John Goldschmidt on "Dough"
John Goldschmidt is the director and co-producer of the film “Dough,” a sweet comedy about an Orthodox Jewish baker (Jonathan Pryce) whose new assistant is a Muslim teenager from Darfur who has a side business dealing weed. The marijuana ...

posted 3:40:09pm May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Janis Joplin on PBS American Masters
The two most dazzling life performances I have ever seen or will ever see were both by Janis Joplin. This week, the PBS American Masters series is her story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BecO7FgQnEc Here she is at the Monterey music ...

posted 1:58:52pm May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: Snowden
There's a new movie coming out about Edward Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, a master of paranoic drama with a historical focus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KyltHXrxVk If you're interested in the issue of government spying, national ...

posted 8:00:00am May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

The Meddler
Marnie (Susan Sarandon) is the irresistible force who, just before this movie starts, meets the immovable object: devastating grief in ...

posted 11:42:17am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

May 2016: Movies This Month
Happy May! The blockbuster movie season officially starts this week with the latest superhero movie from Marvel, and the month will end with another superhero movie as well. But we'll get some good smaller movies, too. Here's what I'm looking ...

posted 12:18:04am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

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