In his career as a documentary filmmaker, Matthew Heineman has criss-crossed the country, followed Syrian activists in exile and embedded with vigilantes fighting Mexican drug cartels. His newest film, ‘A Private War’ is an adventure of a different kind--a narrative feature about war correspondent Marie Colvin. He tells us about using techniques he learned doing documentaries to make his first narrative film.
This week, while Kim Masters is out of town, we’re sharing an episode of the KCRW podcast, The Document. Our colleague Matt Holzman talks to married filmmaking couple Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi about why and how they made their dizzying new film, ‘Free Solo.’
When he was just starting his career, ‘Indiana Jones’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ producer Frank Marshall got a job with Orson Welles on what would be the legendary director’s last film. It was still unfinished when Welles died in 1985, but Marshall was determined to see the job through. He and fellow producer Filip Rymsza tells us about the decades-long quest to finish ‘The Other Side of the Wind.’
When comedian Kathy Griffin posed for a photo holding what appeared to be the blood-covered head of Donald Trump, she became a pariah overnight. So she did the only thing she could do to keep her career alive: turned her story into an act, and took it around the world.
Director George Tillman Jr. felt called to make ‘The Hate U Give’--about a black teen who divides her time between her mostly white high school and her mostly black neighborhood. He wasn’t daunted by the fact that the film was based on a novel for young adults. He tells us how made sure his movie avoided YA cliches and reflects on his career--from directing 'Soul Food' to producing the 'Barbershop' movies.
What’s it like to be suddenly famous at 16? Justine Bateman found out when she was cast as Mallory in the hit NBC sitcom ‘Family Ties.’ More than 30 years later, she has a lot to say about fame--so much, in fact, that she’s written a book on the subject. 'Fame' explores having it, losing it, and the country's undying obsession with it.
In 2008, ‘The Sentence’ director Rudy Valdez was working low-level production jobs when, out of the blue, his sister received a lengthy mandatory prison sentence on charges related to years-old drug crimes committed by her ex-boyfriend. Valdez tells us about becoming a filmmaker after setting out to document the lives of his sister’s kids and to show the impact of mandatory sentencing policies on families.
A new documentary about Quincy Jones looks at his incredible life and career that connected him to musicians from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. Jones also composed dozens of film scores and produced movies and TV shows. We talk to Jones and director Alan Hicks, who made the documentary with Jones’ daughter Rashida. Plus, a banter bonus with journalist Keach Hagey about her new book, ‘The King of Content.’
As a teenager, Ethan Hawke had a breakout role in ‘Dead Poets Society.’ Hawke’s agents said they could make him into a huge star, and they were not thrilled when Hawke said he had something else in mind. Hawke tells us about pushing back against uberagent Michael Ovitz, marching to his own drumbeat and about directing his newest movie, ‘Blaze,’ a drama on the life of country singer-songwriter Blaze Foley.
Writer-producer Carlton Cuse devoted six years of his life to the ABC megahit 'Lost.' When the show ended, he realized he'd have to figure out what to do next. Now showrunner of Amazon’s new 'Jack Ryan' series, Cuse talks about life after 'Lost' and why it took three-and-a-half years and many millions of dollars to bring the renowned Tom Clancy character to television for the first time.
Over the weekend, the New Yorker published a second story by Ronan Farrow about Les Moonves. This one chronicled six more allegations of graphic sexual misconduct by the CBS CEO. Moonves is now out at the company.
Laurie Kilmartin had some thoughts after Louis C.K. did a surprise set at a New York comedy club less than a year after revelations of his sexual misconduct. She tells us what a path to redemption in the era of Time’s Up might look like, and why C.K.’s recent appearance wasn’t it. Kilmartin also tells us about bout the challenges that still face female comedians in 2018 and her book, ‘Dead People Suck.’
Soon after Tanya Saracho got the green light to write a pilot for her first TV series, she contracted a dangerous spinal infection that left her stuck in bed for months. But Saracho rallied and her show 'Vida' premiered on Starz. This week, we’re revisiting our conversation with Saracho, a former Chicago-based playwright. She tells us how she ended up running the first all Latinx writers room in cable.
When John Cho got an offer to star in the new movie ‘Searching,’ a thriller set entirely on computer screens, he didn’t have to search for an answer: it was no. Cho explains his initial hesitations about the digital drama, and first-time feature director Aneesh Chaganty tells us how he convinced his dream lead to swipe right on ‘Searching.’
Growing up in Rockford, Illinois--a city outside Chicago that’s seen better days--Bing Liu was obsessed with making skateboarding videos. Over the course of more than a decade, one of those mini-movies morphed into a feature-length documentary. ‘Minding the Gap’ uses 12 years worth of verite footage to tell the story of 3 young men--Zack, Keier, and Liu himself, each coming of age in the shadow of abuse.
Author Kevin Kwan and director Jon M. Chu passionately wanted the movie version of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to play in theaters. So they turned down a huge offer from Netflix and took their chances with Warner Brothers. Chu and Kwan talk about what they did for love when they made the first major studio movie to feature an all Asian cast in years.
After her first feature premiered at Sundance to strong reviews, director Desiree Akhavan thought finding money to make a second film would be a snap. But after striking out in LA, Akhavan’s quest to make another project ultimately landed her in London. She tells us why she thinks the Brits are more open to her ideas, and talks about her newest film, ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post.’
Late on Friday afternoon, a New Yorker investigation by Ronan Farrow dropped, revealing accusations of misconduct against Leslie Moonves by six women. The CBS board met on Monday and announced that Moonves would remain at work while the board works to hire outside counsel to conduct an investigation.
A new documentary explores the incredible life of 95-year-old Scotty Bowers--a prolific pansexual pimp to the stars. Bowers says he set up liaisons for celebrities from Cary Grant to Rock Hudson to J. Edgar Hoover--all from his base in a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard. Director Matt Tyrnauer tells us about his film, ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.’
As showrunner Marti Noxon was preparing to film her new series ‘Dietland’ on AMC, a former colleague from another AMC show, ‘Mad Men,’ accused series creator Matthew Weiner of sexually harassing her. Noxon decided to make a statement in support of the writer, Kater Gordon. Noxon tells us why she felt the need to speak up and talks about her two new series-- ‘Dietland' and ‘Sharp Objects.’