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The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood

Cumulus Podcast Network

Sonny Bunch hosts The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, a new podcast featuring interviews with folks who have their finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry during this dynamic—and difficult—time.

Location:

United States

Description:

Sonny Bunch hosts The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, a new podcast featuring interviews with folks who have their finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry during this dynamic—and difficult—time.

Twitter:

@SonnyBunch

Language:

English

Contact:

202 527 9438


Episodes
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The Art of Costume Design

4/20/2024
As readers may remember, The Beekeeper has been one of my favorite movies of the year thus far. One thing in particular I loved about it was the costume design: It’s an underappreciated artform, conveying character through clothing, and the costuming in this film perfectly conveyed a range of characters, from “taciturn hero” to “crazed killer” to “crypto douchebag.” Which is why I’m very excited to have Kelli Jones, the film’s costume designer, on this week to talk about The Beekeeper and her work elsewhere. From previous collaborations with director David Ayer on movies like Bright to the long-running FX biker gang show The Sons of Anarchy to Oscar-nominated biopics like Straight Outta Compton and Nyad, Jones’s work is a striking example of the importance of clothing in bringing a cinematic world to life. And I have a favor to ask you. The next time you’re watching a movie, think about the silent—but very visible—work that costume design is doing. Look at the suits, soak in the dresses, think about how fabrics can convey period with a simple glance.

Duration:00:40:26

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From 'Funny or Die' to Western Neo-Noirs

4/13/2024
On this week’s show I talked to Rod Blackhurst, the director of the new film Blood for Dust, about … well, a whole bunch of stuff. From his early shorts on the comedy website Funny or Die starring Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, to a documentary about Amanda Knox, to the horror short “Night Swim” (which recently received the feature-length treatment), to his new picture with the great Scoot McNairy and an all-star supporting cast that includes Ethan Suplee, Stephen Dorff, Josh Lucas, and Kit Harrington, we cover his whole career. Blood for Dust hits VOD and has a limited theatrical engagement six days from now, and if you’re in the mood for a western neo-noir that deals with people who feel real (and have real-feeling problems), you’re not going to want to miss it.

Duration:01:04:51

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The Best and the Worst of Streaming 2023

4/6/2024
I’m very excited to be rejoined by the Entertainment Strategy Guy (subscribe to his newsletter!) to discuss the year in streaming. What were the biggest hits in TV and film? What were the biggest misses? Could linear-like ad-supported streaming services be the future for big services like Netflix and Disney+? Is there a double standard for the tech-based streamers and the studio-owned streamers? All that and more on this week’s episode. If you enjoyed it, share it with a friend!

Duration:01:04:22

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Bringing 'Lousy Carter' to Life

3/30/2024
This week I was thrilled to chat with star David Krumholtz and writer-director Bob Byington about their new movie, Lousy Carter. It’s a wide-ranging conversation, touching on topics from shooting during the age of Covid to where Krumholtz was when he got the call to audition for Oppenheimer, and I hope you find it as fun to listen to as it was for me to conduct. If you enjoyed it, I hope you share it with a friend. A little extra this week: I hope you check out both Lousy Carter and Byington’s body of work. Everyone says they’re tired of the same old mush at the multiplex; well, here’s a chance to dive into a body of work you may not be familiar with. Some highlights: Frances FergusonAmazon Prime Somebody Up There Likes Meavailable for free on Peacock and for rental elsewhere Infinity BabyKanopy and AmazonSilicon ValleyParty Down

Duration:00:36:58

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The 2024 Stunt Awards!

3/23/2024
On this week’s episode I’m thrilled to be rejoined by Brandon Struessnig and Bilge Ebiri, who spearhead Vulture’s annual Stunt Awards. We talked about the year’s big winner, John Wick Chapter 4, how folks kind of have to decide for themselves how much CGI is too much CGI when determining what counts as practical and what counts as digital, and compiling the 100 most influential fight scenes of all time. Some important links for you: winnerstribute100 most influential fightspreview of The Fall Guy If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend!

Duration:01:00:45

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What Does a Film Commissioner Do?

3/16/2024
This week I’m honored to be joined by Dallas Film Commissioner Tony Armer to discuss what, precisely, a film commissioner does. On this episode he discusses his own path to getting involved in the film industry, breaks down different kinds of incentives cities and states use to woo productions, and talks about how Dallas has made itself more attractive to major productions looking for a place to shoot. We also talk a bit about Tony’s podcast; do yourself a favor and check out the episode featuring a post-screening Q&A with cinematographer Roger Deakins, who was in town a few months back for a showing of Blade Runner 2049. And if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend!

Duration:00:49:19

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'Beetlejuice: The Musical,' Indie Film, and Life on the Road

3/9/2024
This week I’m pleased to be joined by Abe Goldfarb, who is currently playing Otho for the touring company of Beetlejuice: The Musical and both starred in and co-directed First Time Caller (which I reviewed here). You may remember a few months back that Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert got kicked out of a showing of Beetlejuice: The Musical; well, Abe happened to be onstage when all that went down. After having a few laughs about that, we get into the world of indie filmmaking and his recently released project, First Time Caller. Turns out that one of the best ways to make money on a project like this is to make it and release it on an ad-supported streaming channel, yet more evidence that we’ve torn down the whole system just to reinvent cable. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out First Time Caller and Beetlejuice: The Musical, on tour now. And make sure to share this with a friend!

Duration:00:57:18

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The Nelms Brothers Talk 'Red Right Hand'

3/2/2024
A couple years back I had Ian and Eshom Nelms on the show to talk about their new Christmas classic, Fatman. We had a great talk, so I was thrilled when their people reached out to see if I’d like to discuss their new flick, a sort of southern revenge thriller/neo-noir by the name of Red Right Hand. We discussed getting Orlando Bloom and Andie MacDowell to play somewhat against type, how drone usage helps expand the scale and scope without blowing up the budget on a picture like this, and the unpredictable vibe of Jonathan Easley’s script that attracted them to the project in the first place. You can watch Red Right Hand on Apple, Amazon, YouTube, and wherever else you might watch a video on demand. It’s worth the price of admission just to watch Andie MacDowell play a vicious southern queenpin; trust me, you’ve never seen her quite like this before. If you enjoyed our chat, I hope you’ll check it out. And please share this episode with a friend!

Duration:00:31:54

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Richard Rushfield's Hollywood Field Guide

2/24/2024
On this week’s episode, we have the original Bulwark Goes to Hollywood guest, Richard Rushfield of The Ankler, returning to discuss his fabulous Hollywood Field Guide. How do you assuage actors, reassure writers, and make your way through the rest of Hollywood? Richard will guide you. Plus, we discuss the state of the box office, how Oscar season is shaping up, and more! If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to share it with a friend!

Duration:00:40:49

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Julian Schlossberg Returns to Tell More Hollywood Tales!

2/17/2024
This week Julian Schlossberg returns to tell more tales of life in the arts. From reading his life story as the narrator of the new audiobook version of his memoir, Try Not to Hold It Against Me, to his work with the great Elaine May, to keeping the classic 1970s picture Mikey and Nicky in circulation, we had tons to discuss. Make sure to check out his new podcast, “Julian Schlossberg’s Movie Talk,” the first episode of which is an interview with the great F. Murray Abraham. And if you enjoyed this episode, share it with a friend!

Duration:00:45:53

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How Piracy Persists on the Internet

2/10/2024
This week I’m joined by Karyn Temple, Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel for the Motion Picture Association, to discuss how the trade group wages the global war on intellectual property infringement. A couple of months back we had the MPA’s Terri Davies on the show to talk about the Trusted Partners Network and how the film industry could help cut down on piracy before a film is released. But what do you do when it’s out in the world and starts showing up on BitTorrents? How do you shut down feeds showing live sporting events in real-time? This is the other side of the 360-degree protection against internet piracy the MPA is striving to implement. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to share it with a friend!

Duration:00:41:40

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What Did Peak TV Let Escape from 'Pandora's Box'?

2/3/2024
This week I’m thrilled to be joined by Peter Biskind to discuss his new book, Pandora’s Box: How Guts, Guile, and Greed Upended TV. From the rise of HBO to the streaming boom, how we watch TV—and what gets shown on TV—has radically changed over the last few decades. We discuss the role of technology, advertising, and changing audience tastes, and muse about the role TV’s antiheroes played in paving the way for Donald Trump. If you’re a fan of Biskind’s previous books, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and Down and Dirty Pictures, you’ll love Pandora’s Box. (If you haven’t read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today.) And if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend!

Duration:00:45:00

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Sundance at 40

1/27/2024
Very excited to have James Emanuel Shapiro, President of U.S. distribution at XYZ Films, back on the show with a recap of all the action at Cannes and a discussion about the state of the film festival scene writ large. Then we discuss some of his upcoming releases, including the new sci-fi flick Restore Point and XYZ’s exciting acquisition of Skyline: Warpath, starring action bigshots Scott Adkins and Iko Uwais.

Duration:00:42:04

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How 'The Family Plan' Became a Hit for Apple

1/13/2024
This week, I’m re-joined by David Coggeshall to talk The Family Plan, AppleTV+’s high-concept action-comedy about a dad, Mark Wahlberg, who has to take his family on the run when his past life as a hitman rears its ugly head. Released over the Christmas holiday season—as David notes in today’s episode, the perfect time to capture families looking for something everyone age 10 to 100 can enjoy—the film “debuted as the most watched movie ever,” according to Deadline’s sources at Apple. But the film was far from a sure thing. Find out why David’s agents dropped him when they got the script, why the film’s breakout character almost got cut from the picture altogether, and why Ciarán Hinds is one of the best in the business.

Duration:00:43:01

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What's Next in 'The Streaming Wars'

1/6/2024
This week, I’m joined by Brandon Katz to talk about Parrot Analytics’s new report on the state of streaming and why the “winner take all” theory of the so-called streaming wars was always a little bit silly. We discuss what attracts viewers to the streaming services, what keeps them there once they sign up, and how Parrot Analytics measures “demand” for a show. If you love charts and data visualization, you’ll love Parrot’s new report; I highly recommend checking it out if that’s your cup of tea. And if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you’ll share it with a friend!

Duration:00:45:27

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Francis Ford Coppola, Visionary

12/23/2023
This week I’m joined by Sam Wasson to discuss his new book The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story, which chronicles the making of Apocalypse Now and the rise and fall of Coppola’s revolutionary studio, American Zoetrope. From technological innovations to the madness of Coppola’s effort to capture America’s first “Rock and Roll War,” the book is a fascinating glimpse into a radically different idea of filmmaking than was pursued by the Hollywood studios.

Duration:00:41:59

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Whit Stillman on 'Metropolitan,' a Christmas Movie

12/16/2023
This week I’m thrilled to be joined by Whit Stillman, the director of, among other features, The Last Days of Disco, Barcelona, and Love and Friendship. He’s on the show today to discuss Metropolitan and the way it has been embraced as a classic Christmas movie, as well as the evolution of the indie film business over the last 40 years or so. If you’re in Rochester or the surrounding environs, make sure to pop over to the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum tonight for a special showing of Metropolitan with Mr. Stillman in attendance for a Q&A. If you enjoyed this chat, I strongly recommend picking up a copy of Fireflies Press’s book, Whit Stillman: Not So Long Ago, as they are nearly sold out and will not be reprinted. (Yes, you can order it directly from the European publisher; I did and it arrived unharmed.) And if you’ve never seen Metropolitan, you really should! It’s available via streaming on the Criterion Channel and Max (aka HBO Max), and it’s also on sale for 30% off now (either individually or as part of the collection of his first three films). If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend!

Duration:00:43:28

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The Year in the Box Office

12/9/2023
On this week’s episode, Scott Mendelson returns to the show to discuss how 2023 shook out at the box office, why niche films and niche audiences became more important than ever to movie theaters, and whether or not studios are hiding that Wonka, The Color Purple, and next year’s Mean Girls remake are musicals because they’re worried about the impact on box office. Make sure to check out Scott’s new Substack, The Outside Scoop. I’ve long loved his breakdowns of the weekend box office and look forward to seeing what he’s putting together here on Substack. And if you enjoyed thispodcast, I hope you share it with a friend!

Duration:00:57:59

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From Nicolas Coppola to Nicolas Cage

12/2/2023
This week I’m joined by Zach Schonfeld to discuss his new book, How Coppola Became Cage. Zach’s look at the early years of Nicolas Cage’s career is deeply researched, featuring interviews with directors like David Lynch (Wild at Heart), Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas), and Cage’s own brother, Christopher Coppola (Deadfall). We talked about Cage’s mythmaking, his anger at being accused of benefitting from nepotism, and his befuddlement at becoming a meme, among other topics. If you’re a fan of the Raising Arizona star or need a Christmas gift for the Vampire’s Kiss fan in your life, How Coppola Became Cage is a must-have. And if you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend!

Duration:00:39:02

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Charlie Chaplin's Life in Exile

11/25/2023
This week, I’m rejoined by Scott Eyman, author of Charlie Chaplin Vs. America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided. We discussed the great silent star’s exile from America, how the press and the government conspired against Charlie Chaplin, the personal and professional perils of being prematurely anti-fascist, and why Buster Keaton seems to be more fashionable than The Tramp these days. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out Scott’s book, available at all fine booksellers now. And please share it with a friend!

Duration:00:48:20