Awards season brings us not only lists and prizes but also roundtables. The Los Angeles Times’ Mark Olsen’s recently led a conversation among seven directors: Darren Aronofsky (mother!), Sean Baker (The Florida Project), Kathryn Bigelow (Detroit), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Angelina Jolie (First They Killed My Father) and Jordan Peele (Get Out). And clips from the discussion are interspersed throughout.
Two of these directors, Gerwig and Peele, are on the cover of Vanity Fair’s “Awards Extra!” special issue. “Neither took the traditional path of film school,” writes Rebecca Keegan at the top of her duel profile, “yet both were hyper-prepared by early careers as self-starting actors and writers, he an uncanny impressionist on his sketch show, Key & Peele, she an indie-film chameleon in movies such as Frances Ha, Mistress America, and 20th Century Women. Deft improvisers, they were both ready when the moment struck.”
“I didn’t have enough role models telling me this movie could be made,” Peele tells Cara Buckley in the New York Times. “But to me, it was the missing piece of the conversation. I’d never seen my fears as an African-American man onscreen in this way.”
“Lady Bird is a fantastic first film,” Guillermo del Toro typed in a recent Reddit AMA. “Such intelligence and acute eye for drama and cinema. Deceivingly natural, full of style.” And you can listen to Greta Gerwig talking to Slate’s Aisha Harris (55’01”) and Marc Maron (80’55”).
The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Galloway talks with Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, first-time screenwriter Liz Hannah, and producers Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger about The Post. Pascal: “The world changes when women own things, not when they work for men.”
Marlow Stern meets Spike Lee for the Daily Beast: “We’re seated across from one another in a pair of ornate purple chairs—an homage to the late Prince—in the bowels of the 60-year-old filmmaker’s production office, 40 Acres and a Mule, in Fort Greene. The building doubles as a pop culture museum, boasting wall-upon-wall of memorabilia, from vintage movie posters to assorted artworks, including a Shepard Fairey portrait of Barack Obama containing an inscription reading, ‘Spike, thanks for the inspiration,’ and signed by the 44th president.”
The Los Angeles Times’ Tre’vell Anderson talks with James Ivory “about his sixty years making films, what prompted him to pick up the screenwriting pen once more since his last project in 2003 and comparisons between Call Me by Your Name and his seminal work Maurice.”
For the Observer, Tim Adams talks with Jodie Foster about “Arkangel,” an episode of Charlie Brooker’s series, Black Mirror, that she’s directed. She tells Adams that “as a director I have always wanted every movie I have made to be in some way the story of my life. Otherwise how am I supposed to commit to it?”
The Guardian’s Emma Brockes meets Adam Driver to talk about Star Wars and fame, Girls and guys, and more.
“My mom was from Alabama, my dad was a Vietnam vet, and those two things—racism and war—were discussed everyday in our house,” Travis Wilkerson (Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?) tells Justine Smith at Little White Lies. So naturally, they discuss Charlottesville and Ken Burns. When Smith asks, “Are you working on any new projects?,” Wilkerson replies: “It’s funny, I always am, except right now. This project really drained the tank for me.”
“Among its many virtues, [Kogonada’s] Columbus boasts the most accomplished big-screen performance yet by John Cho,” writes Nick Schager, introducing his interview with the actor for the Daily Beast. “As a man grappling with tumultuous feelings about his dad, his Korean-American heritage, and the tension between individual desire and familial/cultural obligation, Cho delivers a turn that’s as unaffected as it is multilayered, and which accomplishes what few others do: It treats race as a natural—if far from defining—aspect of a complex identity.”
For Bright Lights Film Journal, Sam Ankenbauer talks with production designer Jade Healy, who’s most recently worked on David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya.
You may remember that, for Adrian Curry, the teaser poster for Darren Aronofsky’s mother! “by the extraordinary artist James Jean” tops his list of the “Best Movie Posters of 2017” in the Notebook. Simon Abrams for Vanity Fair: “Jean’s romantic, surreal style is instantly recognizable; you can’t help but be drawn in by his idiosyncratic synthesis of influences, like influential Japanese painter Hokusai, and the collectives of artists that produced Soviet propaganda.” And he talks with Jean about his process and the other remarkable posters he’s designed for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey chats with Errol Morris about Wormwood and, of course, that time he got Donald Trump talking about Citizen Kane (29’12”).
James Franco is Marc Maron’s guest on the latest episode of the WTF Podcast (120’44”). “Only now, with his new movie The Disaster Artist, which he starred in and directed, does James realize what he was chasing and what he has in common with The Room director Tommy Wiseau.”
For news and items of interest throughout the day, every day, follow @CriterionDaily.