Jeremy Scahill in Dirty Wars

Jeremy Scahill in Yemen filming Dirty Wars In the new documentary Dirty Wars (LiC Review), journalist Jeremy Scahill investigates the consequences of the largely covert war we’ve been waging on terrorism since 9/11. The film moves beyond NY and LA this weekend and tonight, Scahill will be doing a Q&A following the 7:40 pm show (read…)

Samantha Barks as Eponine in "Les Miserables" (2012)

Of all the names in Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of the beloved stage musical Les Misérables, the one casual fans might not recognize right away is that of Samantha Barks who plays Eponine. Though the 22-year-old has plenty of experience on stage in England, she’s not yet a household name in the United States. That’s (read…)

Eddie Redmayne in Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" (2012)

Landing on Christmas Day, one of the most anticipated films of the year is Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the beloved and enduringly popular stage musical Les Miserables based of course on the Victor Hugo novel. Told completely in song, the story follows a group of characters against the backdrop of revolutionary upheaval in early 19th-Century (read…)

There is no shortage of beautiful people on movie screens, but often when you see them in real life, they’re not quite as pretty as you imagine they would be. Not so Marion Cotillard. It doesn’t seem possible, but she’s actually even more stunning in person. She was in Los Angeles recently to promote her (read…)

"Flight" screenwriter John Gatins

One of the nicer surprises of the fall movie season has turned out to be Robert Zemeckis’ Flight starring Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who heroically rescues 150 passengers from certain death only to have it discovered he was loaded on booze and cocaine at the time. What follows is a genre-defying entertainment that (read…)

Kristen Stewart on the set of "On the Road"

I recently sat down to a couple of one on one interviews for the upcoming adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The first was with the film’s co-star Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) and the second was with screenwriter Jose Rivera and director Walter Salles who had previously collaborated on the highly acclaimed The Motorcycle (read…)

Olivia Thirlby in Ry Russo-Young's "Nobody Walks"

Roundtable interviews are always hit and miss affairs with a lot of silly questions punctuated by occasionally insightful ones, but smart, thoughtful and talented people like Olivia Thirlby have a knack for giving interesting responses no matter what. She was in Los Angeles recently to talk about her new film Nobody Walks directed by Ry Russo-Young and written by Russo-Young and current “it” girl Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture, HBO’s Girls).

Director James Ponsoldt and Mary Elizabeth Winstead Photo by Oana Marian, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Director James Ponsoldt and Mary Elizabeth Winstead on the set of Smashed Photo by Oana Marian, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics “You’ll pay 15 bucks to go into a theater with 500 strangers and you want this thing to make you cry. That’s a really beautiful thing. To be able to participate in that for (read…)

Richard Gere and his director Nicholas Jarecki on the set of "Arbitrage"

Richard Gere and director Nicholas Jarecki on the set of their new film Arbitrage I recently had the great pleasure to speaking with Richard Gere about his new thriller Arbitrage (in theaters and on VOD right now) for Awards Daily. We covered quite a bit of ground in 20 minutes, from the film itself, to (read…)

Director Rupert Sanders and Visual Effects Supervisor/Second Unit Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan on the set of "Snow White and the Huntsman"

Snow White and the Huntsman, Universal’s retelling of the classic fairy tale starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, debuted on blu-ray yesterday with the usual compliment of extras, knick knacks and DVD gewgaws. Among them is a commentary track by director Rupert Sanders, co-editor Neil Smith and visual effects co-supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. The (read…)

Mathieu Amalric, Eric Caravaca, Isabella Rossellini and Rona Hartner in "Chicken With Plums"

Mathieu Amalric, Eric Caravaca, Isabella Rossellini and Rona Hartner in Chicken with Plums Following my recent interview with Marjane Satrapi about her latest film Chicken with Plums, I also enjoyed a chat with her writing and directing partner Vincent Paronnaud. In addition to a common background in graphic novels, the filmmaking team share an Oscar (read…)

Golshifteh Farahani and Mathieu Amalric in "Chicken with Plums" Photo by Patricia Khan, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Golshifteh Farahani and Mathieu Amalric in Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Chicken with Plums. Photo byPatricia Khan, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics In 2007, filmmaking team Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud earned global acclaim and an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature for Persepolis, based on Satrapi’s graphic novel of the same name. Their follow-up, (read…)

Ludivine Sagnier and Rasha Bukvic in BELOVED, directed by Christophe Honoré. Photo credit:Jean-Claude Lother

Milos Forman, Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni in Christophe Honoré’s Beloved Photo credit: Jean-Claude Lother. A Sundance Selects release. A fixture on the film festival circuit, writer/director Christophe Honoré’s films include In Paris, Love Songs, Making Plans for Lena and La belle personne. His latest film Beloved is a musical romantic drama starring Catherine Deneuve, (read…)

Saturday Morning Massacre

When I wrote my piece selecting the best of the 52 films I saw at the Los Angles Film Festival this year, I awarded Saturday Morning Massacre “Special Recognition for the Most Fun I Had Watching Any of the 52 Festival Films.” The film was the great guilty pleasure of the festival, and could easily (read…)

Quvenzhane Wallis as "Hushpuppy" on the set of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Photo Credit: Jess Pinkham

Quvenzhane Wallis as on the set of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Photo Credit: Jess Pinkham [Be sure to check out Jackson’s other interviews with the folks behind Beasts of the Southern Wild here and here. You can read Craig’s 4 1/2-star review here.] Since being the breakout hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, (read…)

Andy Samberg and Will McCormack in "Celeste and Jesse Forever"

Andy Samberg and Will McCormack in Celeste and Jesse Forever Photo by David Lanzenberg, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics The romantic comedy drama Celeste and Jesse Forever starring Rashida Jones (TV’s Parks and Recreation) and Andy Samberg (TV’s Saturday Night Live) opens in Los Angeles and New York on August 3rd. Written by Jones and (read…)

Alison Klayman

With a slate of documentaries that have since dominated the festival circuit and have been picked up for various forms of distribution, this year’s Sundance Film Festival was all about non-fiction film. One of those standouts is Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry for which filmmaker Alison Klayman won a Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance. Ai Weiwei is one of China’s most prolific and controversial artists…


When I interviewed Searching for Sugar Man filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, he recounted for me the Detroit mythology of singer/songwriter Rodriguez: “The people in Detroit, who were talking about this shadow man walking around dressed in black in the night, with his guitar on his back, never talking to anybody. He was the most intriguing person I’d ever heard about.” Rodriguez’s songs are consummately poetic, and often deeply bittersweet, both in the lyrics as well as in the arrangements and instrumentation…

Malik Bendjelloul - Searching for Sugar Man

Searching for Sugar Man director Malik Bendjelloul Photo by Sven-Ake Visen, Courtesy of Malik Bendjelloul/Sony Pictures Classics Searching for Sugar Man has already become one of the year’s most acclaimed documentaries, having won awards at Sundance, Tribeca, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film weaves together various narratives surrounding the enigmatic singer/songwriter Rodriguez who (read…)

Patang (The Kite)

Patang (The Kite) Patang (The Kite) is the first feature film from Indian filmmaker Prashant Bhargava. With a bold vision of India and the world’s largest kite festival, and a sense of storytelling that included casting almost entirely non-actors and shooting long takes filled with vibrancy and vivid color, Bhargava has cemented for himself a (read…)

Lauren Greenfield, director of THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo Credit: Roxanne Lowit

Documentarian Lauren Greenfield has established herself as a deft observer of youth and pop culture, gender politics, and consumerism, both as a photographer and as an award-winning documentarian. Her latest documentary, The Queen of Versailles is an intimate and revealing portrait of David and Jackie Siegel and their eight children. Siegel founded and is the (read…)

Quvenzhane Wallis as "Hushpuppy" on the set of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Photo Credit: Jess Pinkham

Quvenzhane Wallis as “Hushpuppy” on the set of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Photo Credit: Jess Pinkham When it opened on June 27th in limited release, Beasts of the Southern Wild scored the weekend’s highest per-theater average, taking in $169,702 from four theaters. This past weekend, the film notched another strong showing as it expanded (read…)

Steve Zisssis, Jennifer Lafleur and Mark Kelly in Mark and Jay Duplass' "The Do-Deca-Pentathlon"

Steve Zissis, Jennifer Lafleur and Mark Kelly in The Do-Deca-Pentathlon The Do-Deca Pentathlon, the latest film from indie filmmaking staples Jay and Mark Duplass (Baghead, Cyrus) is currently available on Video On-Demand and opens in theaters this Friday, July 6th. In addition to interviewing Mark and Jay in anticipation of their latest film being released, (read…)

Mark Duplass (left) and Jay Duplass (right)

Mark Duplass (left) and Jay Duplass (right) Over the course of seven years and five feature films, brothers Jay and Mark Duplass have established their unique brand of filmmaking, often making low or no-budget films that feature stories of eccentric and loveable underdogs. Their first two films, The Puffy Chair and Baghead, were no-budget, handmade (read…)

Quvenzhane Wallis as "Hushpuppy" on the set of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Photo Credit: Jess Pinkham

Quvenzhane Wallis as in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Photo Credit: Jess Pinkham After Beasts of the Southern Wild premiered at Sundance earlier this year, director Benh Zeitlin picked up the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Narrative Feature. The film also won the Dramatic Cinematography Award, recognizing the work of Ben Richardson. Although Richardson was (read…)

Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks in "People Like Us"

In theaters today is the critically-acclaimed family drama People Like Us (review). In addition to boasting a star-studded cast and a screenplay from award-winning writing team Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who also directed), the film’s score is the latest from two-time Oscar-winning composer and songwriter A.R. Rahman. Rahman was nominated for three Oscars in (read…)

Panos Cosmatos, director of BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.

Panos Cosmatos, director of Beyond the Black Rainbow, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing. When Beyond the Black Rainbow played last year at Tribeca and AFI Fest, to say audiences were polarized feels like an understatement. Impassioned fans of the film compared the work of writer/director Panos Cosmatos with that of David Cronenberg, (read…)

2012 Los Angeles Film Festival - "To Rome With Love" Opening Night Sponsored By Virgin America - Arrivals

Alessandra Mastroianni arrives at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival premiere of To Rome With Love at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE on June 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage) Italian actress Alessandra Mastronardi is the latest in a long line of actresses to be discovered by or give a remarkable performance in (read…)

Oscar-nominated documentarian Kirby Dick has made a series of powerful documentaries, often implementing his signature style of peeling back iron curtains that few others would have the courage to peer beyond. Twist of Faith (for which Dick was nominated for Best Documentary Feature) followed a man confronting his past sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. (read…)

Salma Hayek and Mathieu Demy in "Americano" - Copyright  2011 Les Films de l’Autre

Salma Hayek and Mathieu Demy in Americano ©2011 Les Films de l’Autre It’s been well-documented that children of famous and successful people often have a love-hate relationship with the notoriety of their parents, especially when attempting to make a name for themselves in the same field. One of the most notable examples is singer/songwriter Jakob (read…)

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