Category Archives: Interviews

The Lunch with Sean O’Connell of CinemaBlend.com on ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Godzilla,’ and more …

SeanFandango 3This week, The Lunch is joined by Sean O’Connell, Movies Content Director of the lively news-and-reviews site CinemaBlend.com. Speaking via Skype, Sean and I discussed our opposing takes on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — he a fan, and me not — which spirals out into a discussion of what the comic-book movie could — and must — do to avoid over-saturation, fossilized storylines and other pitfalls of the field; we also talk Godzilla, where urban destruction is offered up without too much meaning to get in anyone’s way, as well as barbecue philosophy and a parent’s take on Peter Parker … you can find Sean on twitter @Sean_OConnell.

Remember, The Lunch Podcast is available on iTunes; The Lunch Podcast is proudly sponsored by Snoot Films, makers of Cheap Thrills and the upcoming The Guest.

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The Lunch with Jeremy Saulnier & Macon Blair of ‘Blue Ruin’

BlueRuinBlairSaulnierBlue Ruin may be one of the strongest American independent films of 2014: It’s a revenge saga, but it isn’t; the hero isn’t a terse one-man army but instead a shy, silent man driven to desperate, dangerous acts; it isn’t about swift, cinematic slaughters visited on the deserving but, instead, on the slow, arduous and awful work of killing.  Mr. Jeremy Saulnier (R) is the director, writer and cinematographer of Blue Ruin; Macon Blair (L) plays Dwight, the film’s off-center center. We spoke with the two in Los Angeles about silence in filmmaking, happy accidents, location scouting and the journey of work and will that took Blue Ruin from  a work-in-progress rejection by Sundance and the doubts that came in its wake to re-shooting, re-cutting and then a premiere at Cannes to rave reviews. My review of the film, at Cinephiled.com from Sundance 2014, can be found here. 

The film can be found on Twitter @BlueRuinMovie, while Mr. Saulnier can be found @Saulnier_Jeremy and Mr. Blair @MaconBlair … Blue Ruin is in select theaters and on VOD tomorrow.

Remember, The Lunch Podcast is available on iTunes; The Lunch Podcast is proudly sponsored by Snoot Films, makers of “Cheap Thrills” and the upcoming “The Guest.”

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The Lunch, with Standup & Author DC Pierson on ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

DCPiersonThis week on The Lunch Podcast, regular host James Rocchi is joined by stand-up comedian and author DC Pierson (DERRICK comedy, Crap Kingdom, The Boy Who Never Slept and Didn’t Have To) for a lengthy discussion of Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street that ranges from Quaaludes and camera moves to the very pertinent question of what makes Kimmie Belzer so special. There’s also plenty of discussion of actual U.S. Financial law and practices, the unexpectedly comedic origins of one of Jordan’s guys, observations on how Terrence Winter turned the glib ‘apology’ of Belfort’s book into a fierce f-you for Jordan Belfort’s sleazy ilk and much, much more. DC and James  dined at Rutt’s Hawaiian on Washington Boulevard; you can find DC on Twitter @DCPierson

Remember, The Lunch Podcast is available on iTunes.

The Lunch Podcast is proudly sponsored by Snoot Films, makers of the upcoming The Guest.

 

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The Lunch with Michael Rosenbaum, Writer-Director of ‘Back in the Day’

BITDMichael Rosenbaum joins The Lunch Podcast this week talking about the new film Back In The Day, which not only features him in the lead as part of a talented cast (including Morena Baccarin, Harland Williams, Isiah Mustafa and many more) but also marks his debut as a feature-length screenwriter and director. We dined at Greenblatt’s in West Hollywood, and talked about topics ranging from his decision to shoot in his hometown, trying to bring back the art of the tasteful poop joke, the mythical Italian taste treat known as the Stromboli, why your indie film’s title can’t start with ‘O,’ and many and various other topic while discussing his debut as a feature-film director. Back in the Day will be in theaters on Friday the 17th, and is currently available on video-on-demand.

Let us know what you thought of the podcast here, or you can find us on twitter @TheLunchPodcast; you can find the show on iTunes, as well.

The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment.

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The Lunch with James Ponsoldt, Director of ‘The Spectacular Now’

Ponsoldt

James Ponsoldt, the director of The Spectacular Now, joins The Lunch Podcast this week, concurrent with the film’s release to DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday the 14th. After dining on Miracle Mile, Ponsoldt and I talked about everything — filming in his hometown, film over digital, casting realistic teen actors, keeping things just the right kind of sweaty, ‘real’ independent films versus the counterfeit of same and how his attempts to make real, honest films has taught him that the MPAA is the strangest gatekeeper our pop culture has.

Let us know what you thought of the podcast here, or you can find us on twitter @TheLunchPodcast; you can find the show on iTunes, as well.

The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment.

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The Lunch with ‘Gravity’ Co-Writer Jonás Cuarón

GravLunchJonás Cuarón joins this episode of The Lunch Podcast from the Chateau Marmont in L.A. to talk about – among other things —  Gravity, the film he wrote with his father Alfonso Cuarón. Growing up, the son of the director of Children of Men and Y tu Mama Tambien thought that the visual arts or fiction might be his chosen path that diverged from his dad’s world: “I just love storytelling.” Now, he’s a filmmaker, part of the year’s biggest critical successes — and one that’s also earned hundreds of millions worldwide from thrilled, enthralled audiences. As well  as some discussion of Gravity, the conversation includes notes on outer space, squash soup, La Jetée, still photography, great L.A. dining, Spielberg’s Duel, the good and bad of test screenings and his own work as a director from his upcoming feature to his recent Iceland-shot short film, the Gravity companion-piece Aningaaq.

Let us know what you thought of the podcast here, or you can find us on twitter @TheLunchPodcast; you can find the show on iTunes, as well.

The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment.

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The Lunch with John Sayles, Director/Writer of ‘Go for Sisters’

SaylesJohn Sayles is one of American independent film’s greatest and most prolific directors — and with his latest, Go for Sisters, he’s still making rich, real films his way and offering both audiences and his actors the kind of films that reward you with character, complexity and skill yet still possess both style and cinematic grace. We dined with Sayles at The Wood, in Marina Del Rey, and afterwards talked about Go for Sisters, his filmmaking process, his work re-writing scripts for Blockbusters and much, much more. You can find more information on the Variance Films release at www.goforsistersmovie.com

Let me know what you thought of the podcast here, or you can find us on twitter  @TheLunchPodcast; you can find the show on iTunes, as well.

The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment.

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Interview: Clark Gregg of ‘The To Do List’

The fact Clark Gregg is best-known for his work as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson in Marvel Comics’ cinematic universe is like only knowing Beethoven’s Fifth as a ringtone: Gregg’s worked with some of our best actors and directors, as well as writers as distinguished (and distinctive) as Aaron Sorkin and David Mamet. In writer-director Maggie Carey’s “The To Do List,” he plays Judge Klark, the uptight father to Aubrey Plaza’s Brandy Klark — and when Plaza goes on her mission to learn about sex, Judge Klark gets to endure a lot of the fallout with frazzled, real reactions that are still very, very funny. We spoke with Gregg in L.A.

MSN Movies: What’s it like to essentially play the Paul Lynde character from “Bye Bye Birdie? ” Like, the sputtering, reluctant dad, who knows his kids are up to something but would prefer, in fact, to not talk about it?

Clark Gregg: Well, now I’m really wishing I’d thought of that because we do watch “Bye Bye Birdie” at my house sometimes, and now I really wish I had done a full Paul Lynde, which maybe I did by accident.  You notice, I was joking with Connie Britton that we both love these kind of movies — sexual coming of age movies.

Right.

And we always wanted to be in one.  And we turned around and went, “Oh my God, we are in one but we’re the parents. ”

Right.  The ship has sailed for you to peek through a hole in the shower wall?

Yeah.  Well, probably not. (Laughs) As a young character, yes it has.  And that’s surreal, a little bit, because one feels young inside. But at the same time, I love that our characters also had a kind of complex sexual relationship that they were still working through, and that took the sting out of it.

Read the full interview at MSN Movies:

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Interview: Aubrey Plaza of ‘The To Do List’

On “Parks and Recreation,” Aubrey Plaza’s best known for her cool deadpan and flat-voiced take on absurd situations; in “The To Do List,” opening this week, she gets to play a normal – or more normal — teen, Brandy Klark. Trapped in 1993 and realizing that the only thing she doesn’t know about before she heads off to college is sex, Brandy sets out to do her own research … and a few other things as well. Written and directed by Maggie Carey, “The To Do List” is smart, smutty and sweet in equal measure; we spoke with Plaza in Los Angeles about the film.

MSN Movies: The number one thing I noticed watching the first scenes of this film is that you do a great thing, which isn’t just your vocal intonation… it’s that your body language is really different, to play somebody who is on that cusp between high school and college.  And it’s really, really well done, there’s all of the gangliness and uncertainty.  How hard did you work on that?

Aubrey Plaza: Honestly, once we started doing fitting and I started wearing those terrible clothes (Laughs) … It really got me in that mindset.  I did work on it, but it came from, you know, more of an emotional place, I think, than anything.  I wasn’t like, physically practicing moves, it just came kind of from, I think, my state of mind when we were shooting.

Right.  Not, “I’m going to move in the way that an insecure teen would, but…”

Yeah, I think it just kind of came out of me like that.

Read the full interview at MSN Movies:

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Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer, Director, ‘The Act of Killing,’ Pt. 2

In part two of our interview with ‘The Act of Killing” director Joshua Oppenheimer,  the discussion turns to politics and editing — two very tricky subjects, considering that Oppenheimer’s film not only finds Anwar Congo, a man who took part in the killing madness of 1965-1966 Indonesia but, by giving him a film crew, asks him to shoot re-enactments and interpretations of his past as a killer in the name of the ruling party. (MSN Film Critic Glenn Kenny’s full 4/5 review can be found heremy review of the film from the Toronto International Film Festival can be found here.) For this two-part interview, I spoke with Oppenheimer in Los Angeles; the first part of this interview can be found here.

There’s a whole thing about how, by and large, Hollywood and moviegoers like it when films are about political issues that are important, that are morally relevant, and that were settled some thirty to forty years ago …

That’s a really interesting point; I’ve never heard that, but that rivals Errol Morris’s point that, he re-watched “The Year of Living Dangerously,” preparing to write for this, and he said, “Josh, I just had this great insight about historical drama.  History is just used a backdrop for people getting it on.”

Read the full interview at MSN Movies:

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