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Interview: Don McGlynn of Gospel Documentary ‘Rejoice and Shout’

posted by Nell Minow

Don McGlynn is the director of a raise-the-roof documentary about gospel music fittingly called “Rejoice and Shout.” It is a thrilling compendium filled with history but more importantly, filled with music. The people are wonderful and McGlynn gives us full […]

Interview: Mike Mills of ‘Beginners’

posted by Nell Minow

Mike Mills is a graphic designer-turned film-maker.  His new movie, “Beginners,” is inspired by his own experience.  Ewan McGregor plays Oliver, a graphic designer whose father, at age 74, came out and declared that he would spend the rest of […]

Interview: Chad Ahrendt of ‘Reconciliation’ (Part 2)

posted by Nell Minow

Part 2 of my interview with writer/director/producer/editor Chad Ahrendt of “Reconciliation,” a faith-inspired film about a man who reaches out to the gay father who abandoned him. 7.  For those who consider homosexuality a sin, what is the greatest barrier […]

Interview: Chad Ahrendt of ‘Reconciliation’ (Part 1)

posted by Nell Minow

Chad Ahrendt is the writer/director/producer and editor of a new film called “Reconciliation,” about a man named Grant whose impending fatherhood causes him to think about repairing the rift with his gay father.  He was kind enough to answer my […]

Interview: Jodie Foster, director and star of The Beaver

posted by Nell Minow

Jodie Foster directed and co-stars in “The Beaver,” a movie notorious already for two reasons.  First, its script by newcomer Kyle Killen was on top of the famous “black list” of outstanding unproduced screenplays.  Everyone knew how smart and distinctive […]

Interview: Carl Christman of ‘Selling God’

posted by Nell Minow

Carl Christman, writer/director of the documentary Selling God, answered my questions about his film, an exploration of the way that fundamentalists market their religion. How did you come to this project? My films are a form of catharsis. I have […]

Interview: Mike Disa of ‘Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil’

posted by Nell Minow

Director Mike Disa has a terrific piece in the Huffington Post about his new film, “Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil,” with not one but two heroines who are strong, smart, brave, and compassionate. Look at any recent animated movie. Despite […]

Interview: Morgan Spurlock of POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

posted by Nell Minow

Morgan Spurlock took on fast food in “Super Size Me.”  He was funny, direct, and at times outraged as he tried to live for a month on McDonald’s “supersize” portions, and I liked his even-handedness in taking on the consumers […]

Interview: Mark Goffman of ‘Dumbstruck’

posted by Nell Minow

I love Mark and Lindsay Goffman’s new documentary, “Dumbstruck,” which follows five ventriloquists over the course of a year between the two annual conventions that give them their one chance to be with others who share their passion.  It is […]

Interview: David Schwimmer of Trust

posted by Nell Minow

David Schwimmer is the director of a new film called “Trust,” the heartbreaking story of a 14-year-old girl who is molested by an internet predator and the devastating effect it has not just on her but on her family.  It […]

Interview: Duncan Jones of ‘The Source Code’

posted by Nell Minow

Duncan Jones, with only two films, has already established himself as an exceptionally able director. He wrote and directed his first film, “Moon” with Sam Rockwell, and it was remarkably assured, impressively creating a fully-realized future world that was believably […]

Interview: Tom Shadyac of ‘I Am’

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Shadyac was one of the most successful directors in Hollywood. He had wealth and fame. He worked with superstars like Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey. But a bicycle accident left him in terrible pain, physical and spiritual. He realized […]

Interview: Tom McCarthy and Alex Shaffer of ‘Win Win’

posted by Nell Minow

Tom McCarthy has appeared as an actor in movies like “Duplicity” and “Baby Mama” but it is his writing and directing the acclaimed films “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor.”  His new film “Win Win,” stars newcomer Alex Shaffer as […]

Interview: George Nolfi of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

posted by Nell Minow

“The Adjustment Bureau” is the first great film of 2011, a big and hugely entertaining film that takes on big ideas — love, free will, destiny, God, and the meaning of life. I was lucky enough to speak with writer […]

Interview: John Wells of ‘The Company Men’

posted by Nell Minow

“The Company Men” is a recession-era drama that follows three downsized executives at a huge conglomerate. Writer/director John Wells (producer of “ER” and “West Wing”) talked to me about the research that helped him to develop the script, how he […]

Interview: Tom Hooper of ‘The King’s Speech’

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Hooper, nominated for Golden Globe and satellite awards as best director for his acclaimed film, “The King’s Speech,” spoke to me about what made the movie especially meaningful to him, why the MPAA’s decision to give it an R-rating […]

Interview: Andrew Jarecki of ‘All Good Things’

posted by Nell Minow

Andrew Jarecki, whose first film was the award-winning documentary “Capturing the Friedmans,” has made a feature film starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst called “All Good Things.” It is based on the real-life story of Robert Durst, the son of […]

Tribute: Blake Edwards

posted by Nell Minow

I was very sad to hear that writer/director Blake Edwards died yesterday at age 88. He leaves behind his wife, Julie Andrews, and an extraordinary varied body of work. Even his sharpest satires had a glossy sheen of elegance and […]

Interview: Neil Goldberg of ‘Cirque Dreams’

posted by Nell Minow

Neil Goldberg brings dreams to life. As director of Cirque Dreams, he is the man behind the gasp-inspiring live shows that combine music, movement, and visual splendor in shows filled with dance, acrobatics, humor, and the kind of wonder that […]

Tribute: Irvin Kershner, Director of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

posted by Nell Minow

Irvin Kershner, director of what is generally considered to be the best “Star War” movie, “The Empire Strikes Back,” died last week at age 87. George Lucas issued this statement of appreciation: “The world has lost a great director and […]

Interview: Robert Vince of ‘The Search for Santa Paws’

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Vince is the man behind the wildly popular “buddies” movies including the latest, The Search For Santa Paws. They feature adorable dogs and heartwarming stories, just right for family movie night. I spoke to him about the challenges of […]

Interview: Edward Zwick of ‘Love and Other Drugs’

posted by Nell Minow

Edward Zwick can create grand spectacle (“The Last Samurai,” “Glory,” “Defiance”) but he is unsurpassed in creating honest moments of intimacy in couple relationships, from “thirtysomething” to “Once and Again” with his frequent partner, Marshall Herzkovitz. Zwick is co-writer and […]

Interview: Roger Nygard of ‘The Nature of Existence’

posted by Nell Minow

The Nature of Existence is a new documentary from Roger Nygard, who visited people all over the world to ask them the hardest and most important questions he could think of, about our purpose and the nature of existence. His […]

Interview: Alex Gibney of ‘Client 9′

posted by Nell Minow

“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” is a documentary about the New York state attorney general who took on Wall Street, was elected governor, and then, in one of the most spectacularly scandalous falls of the last […]

Interview: Christopher Morris of ‘Four Lions’

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most provocative films of the year is the darkest of comedies, “Four Lions.” Imagine that Muslim terrorists behave like the Keystone Kops, and you might begin to get an idea of what this combination of slapstick and […]

Interview: Doug Liman of ‘Fair Game’

posted by Nell Minow

This isn’t director Doug Liman’s first spy movie. The director of the first “Bourne” film and the movie that brought Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” is among the best at showing us stunt-filled sagas with […]

Interview: Charles Ferguson of ‘Inside Job’

posted by Nell Minow

The scariest — and most infuriating — movie of the year is “Inside Job,” the documentary about the financial meltdown from Charles Ferguson, the director of “No End in Sight.” With just two films, Ferguson, a PhD in political science […]

Interview: Davis Guggenheim of ‘Waiting for Superman

posted by Nell Minow

“Waiting for Superman” is the stunning new documentary from Davis Guggenheim about the failures of our public school system and our failure as a society to support outstanding teachers. You can help by pledging to see the movie — if […]

Interview: Tracy Trost of ‘A Christmas Snow’

posted by Nell Minow

A Christmas Snow is a touching film set at Christmas time. Catherine Mary Stewart plays a woman still in deep pain over her father’s abandonment of the family one Christmas when she was a little girl. She ends up snowed […]

Interview: Randall Wallace of ‘Secretariat’

posted by Nell Minow

Randall Wallace, seminarian-turned-film-maker, knows how to raise the spirits and fill the hearts of the audience. In “Braveheart” and “We Were Soldiers,” he gave us some of the most inspiring screen heroes of our time. And now, as director of […]

Tribute: Arthur Penn

posted by Nell Minow

Arthur Penn, director of hugely influential films that helped bring a new naturalism to movies, died today at age 88. “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Alice’s Restaurant,” both based on true stories, were very different in look and genre but both […]

Interview: Nanette Burstein of ‘Going the Distance’

posted by Nell Minow

Drew Barrymore and her real-life on-and-off boyfriend Justin Long appear together in a very contemporary romantic comedy called “Going the Distance.” I spoke to director Nanette Burstein about why it had to be R-rated, working with actors who have their […]

Interview: Aviva Kempner of ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg”

posted by Nell Minow

Aviva Kempner is the director of the outstanding documentary, “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg,” just out on DVD. I interviewed her about making the film and new material and surprising discovery she added to the DVD features. What surprised you most in […]

Interview: Rob Reiner of ‘Flipped’

posted by Nell Minow

Rob Reiner has given us a middle-school version of one of his most beloved films, “When Harry Met Sally….” with his latest movie, “Flipped,” based on the popular book by Wendelin Van Draanen. I talked to him about what all […]

Interview: Yael Hersonski of ‘A Film Unfinished’

posted by Nell Minow

For decades, our impressions of the Holocaust have been formed by the images that survive and by the memories of those who were there. Now, as we near a time when the experience will no longer be within the memory […]

Interview: Lionel Chew of ‘long-distance princess’

posted by Nell Minow

This isn’t the way he envisioned using his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford. But after deciding he wasn’t going to be an academic after all, Lionel Chew brought his knowledge of sociology into the making of the feature film “long-distance […]

Interview: Lisa Cholodenko of ‘The Kids Are All Right’

posted by Nell Minow

Lisa Cholodenko co-wrote and directed one of the best-reviewed films of the year, “The Kids Are All Right,” about the teenage children of a lesbian couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) who seek out their biological father, leading to upheavals […]

Who Inspired Lucas and Spielberg?

posted by Nell Minow

Two of the greatest story-tellers of the 20th century say that they both learned how to tell a story from the illustrations of Norman Rockwell. George Lucas (“Star Wars”) and Steven Spielberg (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Jurassic Park,” […]

Interview: Taylor Hackford of ‘Love Ranch’

posted by Nell Minow

How did director Taylor Hackford (“An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Ray“) get Dame Helen Mirren (Oscar-winner for “The Queen“) agree to appear in his film, “Love Ranch,” the story of Reno’s first legal brothel? It helped that she is his […]

Interview: ‘The Lottery’s’ Madeleine Sackler

posted by Nell Minow

Too many children and too few spots — that is the story of The Lottery, a heart-wrenching documentary from Madeleine Sackler, the story of four children hoping to be the among the fortunate few chosen for admission to New York […]

Interview on ‘8: The Mormon Proposition’

posted by Nell Minow

A new documentary called 8: The Mormon Proposition exposes the $22 million secret program to defeat gay marriage in California sponsored by the Mormon church. After a court ruled that gay couples could get married, a ballot initiative called “Proposition […]

Interview: Rich Christiano of ‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to writer-director Rich Christiano about making — and marketing — faith-based films. You were really a one-man show behind the scenes for this film. We have a good production team and worked hard on the distribution. This the […]

Interview: Derrick Borte of ‘The Joneses’

posted by Nell Minow

Derrick Borte, an artist-turned journalist turned producer/director of commercials, was watching a television news magazine one night when a segment about “stealth marketing” came on the air. We channel-surf during ads on television and use pop-up blockers to avoid ads […]

Storytime Live! — Interview with Director Sam Scalimoni

posted by Nell Minow

Sam Scalimoni is the director of Nickeoldeon’s new traveling “Storytime Live” show, starring its most popular characters, including Dora and Diego, the Backyardigans, the Wonder Pets, Kai-Lan, and more. What is it like to create a show for the most […]

Interview: David Nixon of ‘Letters to God’

posted by Nell Minow

If you were desperately ill, what would you say to God? What would you ask for? A boy named Tyler had some things he wanted to ask God when he became ill with cancer, and now his story has become […]

Interview: Conor McPherson and Ciarán Hinds of ‘The Eclipse’

posted by Nell Minow

“The Eclipse” is a ghost story for grown-ups, which means that it is story first, ghost second. It is an Irish film about Michael (Ciarán Hinds) a recent widower with two children, who is volunteering at a local literary festival. […]

Interview: Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

posted by Nell Minow

Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders are the writer-directors behind one of the best family films of the year, “How to Train Your Dragon.” It was a very great pleasure to talk with them about adapting the popular books and the […]

List: Women Directors

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of “The Hurt Locker’s” Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director last night, and International Women’s Day, here’s a list of pioneering women movie directors. 1. Penny Marshall, who started as […]

Interview: Laura Waters Hinson of ‘As We Forgive’

posted by Nell Minow

Laura Waters Hinson is the director of “As We Forgive,” a compelling and inspiring documentary about the rebuilding of communities in Rwanda. Many of us struggle to forgive the driver who cuts us off or a family member who said […]

Interview: Norton Virgien of ‘Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!’

posted by Nell Minow

Curious George and his friend, the Man in the Yellow Hat, have a new adventure in a straight-to-DVD feature-length movie, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, available on March 2. I got to talk to director Norton Virgien about what […]

Interview: Scott Cooper of ‘Crazy Heart’

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to writer/director Scott Cooper, whose first film, Crazy Heart has been acclaimed for its authenticity, its captivating music, and a performance by Jeff Bridges that many people believe will bring him his long-deserved Oscar. You must be thrilled […]

Interview: Kirk Jones of ‘Everybody’s Fine’

posted by Nell Minow

Kirk Jones, a British writer/director, is best known in America for the delightful comedy “Waking Ned Divine.” His first American movie is Everybody’s Fine, a remake of an Italian film, with Robert DeNiro as the father of four adult children […]

Interview: Zac Efron, Claire Danes, and Richard Linklater

posted by Nell Minow

Director Richard Linklater (“School of Rock,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Before Sunrise”) and stars Claire Danes and Zac Efron talked to a small group of reporters here in Washington DC about their new film, “Me and Orson Welles.” It is a […]

Interview: John Hillcoat of ‘The Road’

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to John Hillcoat, director of the apocalyptic new film, “The Road,” based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. We do not know what caused the cataclysmic damage that has wiped out most forms of life on earth and […]

Interview: Jared Hess of ‘Gentlemen Broncos’

posted by Nell Minow

Jared Hess directed “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Nacho Libre” from screenplays he wrote with his wife Jerusha. Their latest film is “Gentlemen Broncos,” about a teenage boy whose story is stolen by a best-selling author. He told me that he has […]

Interview: Lone Scherfig of ‘An Education’

posted by Nell Minow

Danish director Lone Scherfig (“Italian for Beginners”) has garnered a lot of attention for her first English language film, “An Education.” It is the story of a young woman impatient to be independent and sophisticated, and what happens when she […]

Interview: Tinker Bell (Part 2)

posted by Nell Minow

Part 2 — from an online press briefing with “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” director Klay Hall and producer Sean Lurie.” And don’t forget to enter the contest for the Tinker Bell DVD and wings! Q: Can you talk […]

Interview: Joe Berlinger of ‘Crude’

posted by Nell Minow

Crude is the latest documentary from Joe Berlinger, whose last film was the award-winning “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.” This movie explores a large, complex, international environmental lawsuit over damage allegedly inflicted by an oil company on a community in […]

Interview: Aron Gaudet of ‘The Way We Get By’

posted by Nell Minow

Near the northernmost part of the eastern seaboard of the United States, tens of thousands of American military fly in and out on their way to tours of duty or on their way home. A tiny group of people, many […]

Interview: ‘No Impact Man’ Director Justin Schein

posted by Nell Minow

How much impact can you make through a year of no impact? Colin Beavan and his wife Michelle Conlin decided to do their best to minimize their impact on the environment and as if that was not enough of a […]

Interview: Anne Fontaine of ‘Coco Before Chanel’

posted by Nell Minow

The foremost fashion designer of the last hundred years is Coco Chanel and her life story is almost as fascinating as her timeless designs. As its title indicates, this most recent film is a look at Chanel from her childhood […]

Interview: Marc Fienberg of ‘Play the Game’

posted by Nell Minow

“Play the Game” has many elements that are often found in sexy romantic comedies — a hero who thinks he does not want to fall in love and a heroine who teaches him that he does not know what he […]

Interview: Ramin Bahrani of ‘Goodbye Solo’

posted by Nell Minow

In 2009, film critic Roger Ebert declared “Ramin Bahrani is the new great American director.” I’d say he’s a great new American writer as well. I heard him speak at Ebertfest (his second time presenting there) and was moved, enthralled, […]

Interview: Sophie Barthes of ‘Cold Souls’

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite films of the summer is “Cold Souls.” Paul Giamatti plays an actor named Paul Giamatti who is anxious and depressed as he prepares to play Chekov’s Uncle Vanya. When he reads in the New Yorker about […]

Molly Ringwald Remembers John Hughes

posted by Nell Minow

Molly Ringwald has a touching tribute to John Hughes in today’s New York Times. While she had not spoken to the very private writer-director for 20 years, she and co-star Anthony Michael Hall spoke on the phone about the way […]

Tribute: John Hughes

posted by Nell Minow

John Hughes, writer-director of some of the most successful and influential films of the 1980’s and 90’s, died yesterday at age 59. Fellow Chicagoan Roger Ebert has a thoughtful tribute, calling Hughes “the creator of the modern American teenager film.” […]

Interview: Max Mayer of ‘Adam’

posted by Nell Minow

Max Mayer is the writer/director behind the sensitive and insightful new film, “Adam,” the story of a young man with Asperger Syndrome (Hugh Dancy) who is befriended by his new neighbor (Rose Byrne). He is an exceptionally thoughtful and engaging […]

Interviews: ‘In the Loop’

posted by Nell Minow

“In the Loop” is a scathingly funny satire about politics and politicians. While it names no names of individuals or countries or conflicts, it is inspired by the British and American government in the run-up to the Iraq war. But […]

Happy Birthday to The Worst Director Ever

posted by Nell Minow

Uwe Boll is now pretty much universally considered the worst movie director alive, if not the worst ever. Not only are five of his films in the IMDB’s all-time worst 100 list (a record), but Boll has inspired a petition […]

Interview: Tannishtha Chatterjee and Sarah Gavron of ‘Brick Lane’

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Gavron is the director and Tannishtha Chatterjee is the star of the new British film “Brick Lane,” based on the best-selling novel by Monica Ali. While the book covers three decades in the life of its heroine Nazneen, a […]

Jeffrey Blitz of ‘Rocket Science’

posted by Nell Minow

Jeffrey Blitz, director of the award-winning spelling bee documentary Spellbound, was in Washington to talk about his first feature film, the semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story, “Rocket Science.” He and I had a wonderful talk at the Georgetown Ritz hotel. We got […]

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Interview: Marilyn Meberg from "Women of Faith"
Marilyn Meberg knows how to make everyone feel like an old friend. Counselor, author, and part of the Women of Faith tour of inspirational ...

posted 3:55:38pm Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Beliefnet's Movie Love Quotes Quiz
Check out this great quiz about great movie love quotes! If you beat my score (18), let me know! ...

posted 8:00:59am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: Screenagers, a Documentary About 21st Century Kids and Their Devices
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQx2X0BXgZg[/youtube] Every parent should see "Screenagers," which explores the unprecedented challenges families face over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Insights from ...

posted 8:00:20am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

The People and Movies That Inspired "Hail, Caesar!"
The Coen brothers love old movies, and we see evidence of that in many of their films, including "Barton Fink," about a hapless playwright who come to Hollywood to write movies in the 1940's, and with their remakes of the heist films "The ...

posted 3:57:20pm Feb. 07, 2016 | read full post »

Interview: Francis Gary Powers, Jr. on his Father, the Cold War, and "Bridge of Spies"
Bridge of Spies, out on DVD/Blu-Ray this week, tells the story of the tense negotiations for the exchange of a Soviet spy for an American U2 ...

posted 8:00:23am Feb. 07, 2016 | read full post »

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