THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, co-director, David McMahon

 

Download MP3 Podcast

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and charged with brutally attacking and raping a white female jogger in Central Park. News media swarmed the case, calling them a “wolfpack.”  The five would spend years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit before the truth about what really happened became clear. With THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, this story of injustice finally gets the attention it deserves. Based on Sarah Burns’ riveting book and co-directed by her husband David McMahon and father, the acclaimed doc filmmaker Ken Burns, this incendiary film tells the riveting tale of innocent young men scapegoated for a heinous crime, and serves as a mirror for our times. Co-director David McMahon stops by to talk the film’s exploration of crime, race and justice regarding one of the highest profile crimes in modern American history.

“Careful, thoughtful and devastating.” – Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

“A harrowing piece of investigative work.” – Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

 “INFURIATING… A CONCISE, INFORMATIVE AND UPSETTING CHRONICLE OF A CRIME.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

HITCHCOCK, director Sacha Gervasi

Lurking behind Alfred Hitchcock, cinema’s “master of suspense” — the extraordinary film icon known for orchestrating some of the most intense experiences of menace and intrigue audiences have ever seen, was a hidden side: his creatively explosive romance with his steadfast wife and filmmaking collaborator, Alma Reville.
 HITCHCOCK lays bare their captivating and complex love story. It does so through the sly, shadowy lens of their most daring filmmaking adventure: the making of the spine-tingling 1960 thriller, PSYCHO, which would become the director’s most controversial and legendary film. When the tumultuous, against-the-odds production was over, nothing about movies would ever be the same – but few realized that it took two to pull it off. Director Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The Story of Anvil) joins us for a conversation on the challenges and rewards of making a film about this iconic filmmaker.

“Hugely entertaining.  Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren are acting giants in stellar form.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

 “One for the Ages.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

CHASING ICE, director Jeff Orlowski

 

Download MP3 Podcast

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

 Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. Chasing Ice director Jeff Orlowski joins us to talk about his film’s siren call to meet the greatest challenge facing the planet.

 “Chasing Ice” aims to accomplish, with pictures, what all the hot air that has been generated on the subject of global warming hasn’t been able to do: make a difference.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

 “As much as one may intellectually believe in climate change, to see it actually happening has the power to stun a viewer into wordlessness.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

 “But let’s say you already accept the reality of climate change. Or that you don’t. Either way, “Chasing Ice” by Jeff Orlowski is heart-stopping in its coverage of the brave and risky attempt by a scientist named James Balog and his team of researchers on the Extreme Ice Survey, where “extreme” refers to their efforts almost more than to the ice.”– Roger Ebert

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, director Ava DuVernay

 

Download MP3 Podcast

What happens when love takes you places you never thought you would go? As Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) rides a bus through the inner city streets, she wills herself to push away memories that crowd her.  Four years earlier, she was a vibrant medical student married to the love of her life, Derek (Omari Hardwick). Now, she makes her way to the maximum security prison on the outskirts of town. This is where her love now resides. Behind coiled razor wire and forty foot concrete walls.  As the couple stares into the hallow end of an eight-year prison sentence, Ruby must learn to live another life, one marked by shame and separation.  But through a chance encounter with hard-working bus driver Brian (David Oyelowo) and a stunning betrayal that shakes her to the core, she is soon propelled in new and often frightening directions of self-discovery. As we chronicle her turbulent yet transformative journey, we witness the emergence of a broken woman made whole. Director Ava DuVernay joins us to talk about her remarkable film.

Winner of the 2012 Sundance Award for Best Director – Ava DuVernay

For the truth is that it is uncommon to see serious adult dramas this moving and accomplished, so attuned to real people and their complex, recognizable emotions, no matter the racial makeup of the characters involved. So though it echoes the films of Charles Burnett, the plays of August Wilson and “A Raisin in the Sun,” at its heart “Middle of Nowhere” is old-school, character-driven narrative at its most quietly effective.Kenneth Turan, LA Times

 The writer and director Ava DuVernay is after something exquisitely simple in “Middle of Nowhere”: she wants you to look, really look, at her characters. Manohla Dargis, New York Times

LIFE OF PI – writer, David Magee

 

Download MP3 Podcast

Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, is a magical adventure story centering on Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zoo keeper. Dwellers in Pondicherry, India, the family decides to move to Canada, hitching a ride on a huge freighter. After a shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival. Writer David Magee talks about the challenges and rewards of adapting a sprawling, best seller into a powerful three-dimensional drama.

That Ang Lee has managed to turn the limitations of the material into his adaptation’s greatest strength make “Life of Pi” into a significant achievement for the filmmaker in spite of blatant problems with structure, dialogue and other surface issues. – Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Melds a harrowing high-seas adventure with a dreamy meditation on the very nature of storytelling. – Justin Chang, Variety

STARLET, director Sean Baker

 

Download MP3 Podcast

Starlet explores the unlikely friendship between 21 year-old aspiring actress Jane (Dree Hemingway) and elderly widow Sadie (Besedka Johnson) after their worlds collide in California’s San Fernando Valley.  Jane spends her time getting high with her dysfunctional roommates and taking care of her chihuahua Starlet, while Sadie passes her days alone, tending to her garden.  After a confrontation at a yard sale, Jane finds something unexpected in a relic from Sadie’s past. Her curiosity piqued, she tries to befriend the caustic older woman. Secrets emerge as their relationship grows, revealing that nothing is ever as it seems. Featuring exceptional debut performances by Dree Hemingway (great granddaughter of Ernest and daughter of Mariel) and 85 year-old Besedka Johnson, who received a Special Jury Recognition at SxSW. Director Sean Baker stops by to talk about his provocative, haunting, unpredictable, and surprisingly sweet film.

Winner Locarno International Film Festival 2012 – First Prize Junior Jury

Winner Hamptons International Film Festival 2011 – Breakthrough Performer, Dree Hemingway

Winner Reykjavik International Film Festival 2011 – Fipresci Critics’ Award 

Winner SXSW Film Festival 2011 – Special Jury Prize

Locarno International Film Festival 2012 Golden Leopard Award Nominee – Sean Baker

THE FLAT, director Arnon Goldfinger

 

Download MP3 Podcast

The flat on the third floor of a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv was where filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger’s  grandparents had lived since they immigrated to Palestine in the 1930’s. Were it not for the view from the windows, one might have thought that the flat was in Berlin. When his grandmother passed away at the age of 98 his family were called to the flat to clear out what was left. Objects, pictures, letters and documents awaited them, revealing traces of a troubled and unknown past. The film, which begins with the emptying out of a flat, develops into a riveting adventure, involving unexpected national interests, a friendship that crosses enemy lines, and deeply repressed family emotions. And even reveals some secrets that should have probably remained untold… Arnon Goldfinger talks about the remarkable quest he took, with his mother at his side, to make sense of his grandparent’s life.

“Beautifully ambiguous and intelligently orchestrated, The Flat finds humanity in places we often see as unredeemable.”

- Daniel Walber, Movies.com

An astonishing trip into buried history and the human capacity for self-delusion, The Flat  follows filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger as he stumbles across a remarkable bit of history and slowly becomes a part of its thorny psychological terrain.
 –  John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter