Movies

369: R. J. Cutler

His first feature-length documentary, The War Room, was Oscar-nominated. He won an Emmy for American High, a TV series. Years earlier he received this professional tip from his mentor, D. A. Pennebaker: “You’re not a director until you wake up screaming in the middle of the night.” Apparently I am a director. As are we all. Continue reading »

Movies

362: Heywood Gould

He is the writer of Drafted: A Memoir of the ‘60s and the screenplays for The Boys from Brazil (Gregory Peck) Fort Apache, the Bronx (Paul Newman), and Cocktail (Tom Cruise). “I definitely learned how to deal with people who were tougher than me, smarter than me, stronger than me; I had to find my way in that world.” He means the schoolyard. He … Continue reading »

Movies / Television

337: Tommy Oliver

He double-majored in economics and digital media, and, unlike those in show business who enjoy the show but decry the business, “I love the business as much as I love the creative, as much as I love the technical.” The result? Black Love, the TV series he and his wife, Codie Elaine Oliver, created, is in its … Continue reading »

Movies

333: Sarah Megan Thomas

She says, “Virginia Hall was the first female field agent―spy―for Churchill’s secret army, the British SOE, and the spy the Nazis dubbed the most dangerous of all Allied spies in World War II.” She should know; she wrote and stars in A Call To Spy, a feature film about Hall’s exploits. Continue reading »

Movies / Television / Theater

326: Alec Baldwin

Admired for both comedy (30 Rock) and drama (Streetcar), he is an astute observer of other actors and once wrote a fan letter to Tom Courtenay for his work in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Courtenay replied, “How odd that you would take the time to write this to me about this film I did so long ago.” No … Continue reading »

Movies

310: Sheila Nevins

For decades, she ran HBO Documentary Films, producing over a thousand and winning more prime-time Emmies than any other person, clearly reflecting her love of the form. “No! I hate documentaries. I didn’t like documentaries at all. I wanted to do things that people watched; I wanted to get patted on the back; I wanted … Continue reading »

Movies / Theater

Episode 229: Todd Solondz

   Is Julie Chen’s defense of her husband, Les Moonves, pathetic stand-by-your-manism or admirable personal loyalty? A surprising analysis from the creator of the darkly comic films “Welcome to the Dollhouse” and “Happiness.” This fall he makes his playwriting and stage directing debut with “Emma and Max,” described as “a satire of tragic dimensions,” at … Continue reading »