David_Berenbaum_Elf

This week on the Otherppl with Brad Listi podcast, a conversation with David Berenbaum, a screenwriter whose credits include the Christmas classic Elf, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell.

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Jonathan-Herman-Straight-Outta-Compton

Now playing on the Otherppl with Brad Listi podcast, a conversation with Jonathan Herman , Oscar-nominated screenwriter of the film Straight Outta Compton.

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Dana_Spiotta_Innocents_and_Others

Dana Spiotta is the guest on the latest episode of Otherppl with Brad Listi. Her new novel, Innocents and Others, is available now from Scribner. It is the official May selection of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club. (Photo credit: Erik Madigan Heck, NY Times)

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MM&JMTMichael McGriff: Though we never explicitly discussed Richard Brautigan during the writing of Our Secret Life in the Movies, he was and continues to be a huge inspiration for both of us. Looking back at our book, I see Brautigan’s fingerprints everywhere–from structure to style to ranges in tone. You’ve mentioned before that you read Brautigan early. Was there a particular book of his that grabbed hold of you?

KatCandler_PhotoCredit_PamelaGentile

Please explain what just happened.

We just released our poster and trailer for Hellion into the cyberspace and my mom emailed me to say she couldn’t stop crying. Moms rule.

20. Mud

DIRECTOR: Jeff Nichols

CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Sam Shepard and Michael Shannon

RELEASE DATE: TBD

Take Shelter writer/director Jeff Nichols continues his string of ominous Southern parables, and McConaughey continues his string of challenging and interesting work, with the story of two young boys who befriend a fugitive.

 

Trance

It would’ve been easier to write a list called “The Only 3 Movies I Won’t See in 2013,” but that wouldn’t have done anybody any good. So instead I made an entirely subjective list of 40 reasons why I think this will be an amazing year for film. Missing are big films that I’m just not that enthusiastic about (The Hunger Games: Catching FireMan of Steel), films that would be on the list if it weren’t for the director’s last film being a total letdown (e.g. Ridley Scott’s The Counselor; thanks a lot, Prometheus!), and films that would be on the list had I written it any other day (sorry, The EastLowlife, and Kill Your Darlings). For the most part, the order is arbitrary. However, the top five are set in stone, and if I could only watch one movie this year it would be the film at number one.

So, without any further ado…

pulp fiction

 

Once, to make up for a childhood deprived of the dance lessons, I enrolled myself in the nearest dance studio at age twenty-two. There I was, mastering heel digs and jazz hands with a dozen eleven-year-olds, living the dream. Mind you, I was 5’10 and all limbs, and when I wasn’t triggering a little-kid pile up I was working with the instructor on arm positioning to affect grace instead of sailor knots. It was a short-lived venture, but now I’m thinking I went about it the wrong way. Maybe all I needed were a few cinematic examples. So to usher in 2013 with the right moves, I’ve rounded up some of cinema’s most badass dance scenes in one handy playlist. Just to make things interesting, my rules were: no musicals (like Singing in the Rain) and no movies about dancing (like Footloose). And away we go:

I wanted to make a movie list for Christmas, but not a list of Christmas movies, so I decided to zero in on something we often wish for but rarely get for Christmas in Texas where I live: snow. (Funnily enough, we might actually get it this year.) What follows is a chronological list of some of the most memorable moments in film where snow has made a cameo, whether it’s playing a key role or just hanging out in the background. Warning: may contain spoilers.

While I’d taken it upon myself to pick some horrific non-horror films a few Halloweens ago (Guillermo del Toro’s eyes-in-the-hands guy, you’re always on my mind), this year I was interested to know what my fellow TNB contributors might say were the most terrifying movie scenes they’ve endured to date. Below, if you dare to read on, you’ll find those iconic dead-eyed twins, bad hell-spawn hair, an unfathomable choice, and more, but first I’ll get this party started with Willy Wonka’s boat ride from the 1971 Mel Stuart film.  Most of my phobias can be traced back to these two manic minutes in the tunnel:

If you peruse the Arts and Culture archives of TNB’s 21 Questions, particularly the part that asks for a favorite actor, you’ll find Daniel Day-Lewis to be the most common answer.  He’s an actor’s actor, I suppose.  And also, he’s just that good.  I’m convinced, anyway, that if it weren’t for his casting as Abe in Spielberg’s Lincoln, fewer of us would be paying attention.  As TNB helmsman Brad Listi recently tweeted:

I accepted a job out past a boulevard named Rampart, the last name anyone would ever dream up as a short diagonal through Los Angeles, California. I crossed Rampart in the morning going east, retreating over the last stretch of continental pavement I’d traveled months before. The downtown by now looked exposed, without the fortified walls.

At some point in Hello I Must Be Going, Amy (Melanie Lynskey) trips on a beach and asks, splayed flat on the rocky shore, “where the motherfucking fuck is motherfucking bottom!”  In the aftermath of a surprise divorce, she’s moved back into her parent’s house, and in the way of their home renovations and retirement plans, when she begins a fling with a younger man (played by Girls’ Christopher Abbott).  And it’s Amy’s seemingly bottomless, endless sense of stasis that director Todd Louiso and screenwriter Sarah Koskoff navigate with such care … and a little humor.  I recently spoke with Louiso and Koskoff via phone about Hello I Must Be Going, the cast, the Marx Brothers, and defying the status quo (and the weather) to create a candid, female-centric film.

 

Please explain what just happened.

Just got back from San Diego Comicon. It’s like Woodstock for nerds. Which is why I love it! I did a panel for my new film about artist Drew Struzan titled Drew: The Man Behind the Poster. I was lucky enough to share the stage with my favorite artist Drew Struzan, actor Thomas Jane, producer Charles Ricciardi, cinematographer Greg Boas, editor Jeff Yorkes, Steve Saffel (Titan Books), composer Ryan Shore, and Zach Martin from Skywalker Sound. We had a great time doing it, and it really helped bring attention to the film.

 

What is your earliest memory?  

Okay, this is super nerdy, but my earliest memory is seeing the original Star Wars in the theatre when I was a little kid. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Darth Vader totally scared me. And Han Solo became my hero. I know it’s geeky, but true.

RIP Tony Scott

By TNB A&C

Movies

News came late Sunday that British-born director Tony Scott has died after jumping from a bridge in Los Angeles County. Authorities discovered notes with contact information in his car parked nearby and a suicide letter in his office.

From The Wrap: