Category Archives: Interviews

Michael Showalter on ‘The Big Sick’

“I think the writing and directing is more natural for me; it’s a more comfortable place.” The Skinny is talking to Michael Showalter, the American comedian, actor, producer, writer and director, ahead of the international premiere of his latest directorial effort, The Big Sick, at the Sundance London film festival. “And I suppose,” he continues, “it’s just been a natural journey. As you get more serious about it, you sort of figure out what part of the process you like the most, and I really like being behind the camera the most. The writing process, the whole production side of it is really where I’ve found the most enjoyment…”

Full interview for The Skinny

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Bong Joon-ho on ‘Okja’ & Netflix

“Someone said it’s very difficult to define, this movie. For me, that is the biggest praise.” South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho is speaking of his latest project, but such a query of genre and tonal classification could easily be applied to most of his prior features as a director – from debut Barking Dogs Never Bite to Memories of MurderThe HostMother and Snowpiercer. With pretty much all of them, you think you know what you’re going to get based on a glance at the plot synopsis, only for a considerably different beast to emerge during viewing; sometimes multiple different beasts…

Full interview for The Skinny

Marianna Palka on ‘Bitch’, ‘GLOW’ & feminist films

The Skinny is chatting to Marianna Palka, the Scottish writer, director and actor, who’s fresh off the close of the Sundance London film festival where her latest directorial effort, Bitch, has just played. Glasgow-born though largely US-based since her teens, Palka has her “finger in both pies”, as she describes it, regarding filmmaking in her two home countries. “I’m always working on getting stuff done in Scotland and getting stuff done in America at the same time,” she says, “so it’s kind of like whatever happens first happens. But there’s many plans to do many things here that are really exciting…

Full interview for The Skinny

Edgar Wright on car chase thriller ‘Baby Driver’

“I was going to say I’ve not been offered a musical, but that’s not true. I think if it was the right thing and I thought I could do it well, then, yeah, of course.” British writer-director Edgar Wright is speaking to us down the phone from LA. The current topic: how his movies, particularly Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and new film Baby Driver, often take on some of the cinematic language of musicals. “The thing about it with this movie,” he continues, “is doing some of that work in a completely different genre. Baby Driver is not a musical per se, but it’s completely powered by music…

Full interview for The Skinny

“They really care about cinema”: Matt Ruskin talks Amazon, ‘Crown Heights’ and Jeff Sessions

Crown Heights was one of the most buzzed-about films to get picked up by Amazon at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s hardly surprising, given the horrific case of real-life injustice at the centre of its story. Colin Warner (played in the film by Lakeith Stanfield), a Trinidadian, New York-based man, was convicted in the early 1980s for a murder he had absolutely no part in, with almost nothing in the way of evidence, even with the actual guilty party apprehended and also sentenced. Warner got 15 years to life, and was only released after 21 years thanks to the efforts of his friend on the outside, Carl King (played in the film by former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha), who devoted his life to exposing the shoddiness of the initial case that sent Warner away.

Although Crown Heights is currently in search of a UK theatrical distributor, it’s screening at Sundance London this weekend. We sit down with Matt Ruskin – who wrote, directed and co-produced the film – to discuss bringing a 21-year spanning story to the screen, how his subjects feel about the finished film, his experience with Amazon, and the orange elephant in the room that is the Trump administration…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

Raoul Peck on ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ & James Baldwin

In such troubled times as our current moment, where Western society seems doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past by stalling or demolishing progress in various forms, it is important to take heed of the words of those whose commentary has only become more relevant with time.

The late James Baldwin was an American novelist, playwright, essayist, political activist and social critic, best known for his articulations of the unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual and class tensions in Western societies. Being both black and gay gave Baldwin an insight into very specific experiences, but Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, himself a political activist, believes that Baldwin’s words resonate beyond race and sexuality…

Full interview for The Skinny

Pablo Larraín rethinks the biopic with ‘Neruda’

When it comes to productivity, there aren’t many high-profile directors who come close to Japan’s Takashi Miike (who has made approximately five features since you started reading this sentence), but there are a select few who can be relied upon to give us at least one feature film a year, sometimes even two. Michael Winterbottom is good for this, while Steven Soderbergh was very good for it before his self-imposed (and now broken) retirement from film directing.

With three films in the last two years, Chilean director Pablo Larraín is making a case to join that select group. It’s also worked out that his two most recent films serve to complement each other very well (the odd duck is Catholic Church drama The Club). Larraín has just been through the awards season madness with his English-language debut, Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie (which picked up three Oscar nominations), and his third film of the trio, Neruda (which hit festivals before Jackie), is a similarly slippery portrait of a political figure, in this case revolutionary Chilean poet-diplomat and politician Pablo Neruda…

Full interview for The Skinny