Interviews: Articles

'Magnificent Obsession' Book: Film Fans' 'Outrageous History' from Classic Hollywood Screenwriters to Gay Porn Actors

Magnificent Obsession book by Anthony Slide. Whereas Lloyd C. Douglas' 1929 Magnificent Obsession book dealt with a playboy's urge to restore the eyesight of the woman he had accidentally blinded, Anthony Slide's latest explores the lives and times of movie buffs. Now, are Twilight, The Dark Knight, and The Avengers fans as consumed with passion […]

Movie Buff Passion Explored: Author Anthony Slide Discusses the Lives & Times of Film Fanatics

Valentino with Rudolf Nureyev and Michelle Phillips. Ken Russell's 1977 Rudolph Valentino biopic Valentino is based on the dubious 1966 bio (“Was he a great lover – or a sham?”) penned by Chaw Mank and Brad Steiger. A coal miner's son and self-proclaimed psychic, Mank was one of the most influential […]

Jimmy Edwards – Outed 'Conservative' Gay British Comedian Discussed: Q&A with Biographer Anthony Slide

Jimmy Edwards. Best known for his radio and television work – Take It from Here in the former medium; Whack-O! in the latter – British comedian Jimmy Edwards was seen, mostly in small parts, in about a dozen features from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. His most notable film role […]

Antihero Ricardo Cortez: Best Showcases + Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Brother

Antihero Ricardo Cortez in Symphony of Six Million, with Irene Dunne. Directed by Gregory La Cava, this 1932 family/romantic melodrama may have been one of Cortez's favorite among his own movies (see further below). Based on a morality tale by Back Street, Imitation of Life, and Humoresque author Fannie Hurst, […]

How to Be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez & Leading Ladies + Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Hollywood Star

How to be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez, formerly known as Jacob Krantz from a working-class family of Austrian/Hungarian immigrants that had settled in New York City, succeeded in restyling himself as the next – even if, according to some, “second rank” – Rudolph Valentino. It's unclear whether or not […]

'Latin Lover' - The 2nd Valentino & 1st (and Best) Sam Spade: Q&A with Ricardo Cortez Biographer Dan Van Neste

“Latin Lover” Ricardo Cortez, who went on to play a series of all-American scoundrels and criminals, in addition to similar unsavory types of other nationalities. Although never as big a star as fellow silent era screen heartthrobs Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro, and John Gilbert – or fellow Pre-Code era antiheroes […]

Comedy Actress Rediscovered: 'She Could Be Chaplin!' Q&A with Film Historian Anthony Slide

Comedy actress Alice Howell on the cover of film historian Anthony Slide's latest book: Pioneering funky-haired performer “could have been Chaplin” – or at the very least another Louise Fazenda. Rediscovering comedy actress Alice Howell: Female performer in movie field dominated by men Early comedy actress Alice Howell is an […]

The Evolution of Film Sound Technology: Q&A with 'A Century of Sound' Co-Creator Robert Gitt

Hal Roach looks on as technicians install Vitaphone equipment in his studio screening room, ca. 1928. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) 'A Century of Sound': Q&A with former UCLA Preservation Officer Robert Gitt about the evolution of film sound technology Long before multi-track Dolby stereo and digital sound […]

British Cinema and Hollywood - 'A Special Relationship': Q&A with Anthony Slide

Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, and Ingrid Bergman: The 'Notorious' British (Hitchcock, Grant) and Swedish (Bergman) talent. British actors and directors in Hollywood; Hollywood actors and directors in Britain: Anthony Slide's 'A Special Relationship.' 'A Special Relationship' Q&A: Britain in Hollywood and Hollywood in Britain First of all, what made you […]

Charles Brackett Diaries: Gay Rumors Quashed, Troubled Billy Wilder Partnership

'Sunset Blvd.,' with Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond: Final Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder collaboration. The Charles Brackett Diaries: Gay Rumors quashed, troubled Billy Wilder partnership discussed in Q&A with Anthony Slide See previous post: “Charles Brackett Diaries: Politics and Gossip During the Studio Era.” First of all, how did […]

Bad Movies: 'Mommie Dearest,' Clint Eastwood Among 'Least Talented Directors'

John Travolta in the Scientology-inspired movie 'Battlefield Earth.' From John Travolta to Bob Dylan, from Ed Wood to Orson Welles: 'The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time' Phil Hall's The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time, tagged as a “new celebration of cinematic inanity,” was published by Bear Manor on […]

Film as 'Communal Exorcism': Q&A with 'The Most Fun I've Ever Had with My Pants On' Filmmaker Drew Denny

Drew Denny discusses The Most Fun I've Ever Had with My Pants On Filmmaker, performance artist, songwriter, actress, screenwriter Drew Denny's first feature film, the partly autobiographical The Most Fun I've Ever Had with My Pants On, was screened at this year's AFI FEST in Los Angeles. The film, a […]

D.W. Griffith 'The Birth of a Nation' Director: Q&A with Author Anthony Slide

D.W. Griffith Father of Film, controversial figure. To say that the movies wouldn't be what they are today without D.W. Griffith is probably inaccurate. I mean, someone – or “someones” – would have received credit for turning filmmaking into a major art form. Either way, Griffith, a movie director since […]

Vaudeville Theatre History: From Shimmy Dancing to Male Impersonators - Q&A with Author Anthony Slide

Vaudeville history: George Burns and Gracie Allen, The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville Vaudeville history in Anthony Slide's The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville. Vaudeville is now extinct – at least officially. But about a century ago and well into the '30s, vaudeville (under various names, e.g., musical hall, revues, variety shows) was a […]

Kim Novak vs. Zsa Zsa Gabor: Movie 'Divas in Brazil' Q&A

As Divas no Brasil / Divas in Brazil In As Divas no Brasil / Divas in Brazil, Brazilian author Evânio Alves narrates numerous little-known stories – some tragic, some humorous, some downright bizarre – about international film, music, stage, and even opera and ballet (female) stars during their visit to […]

Myrna Loy Biography: Author Emily Leider Discusses the 'Queen of Hollywood'

Myrna Loy biography: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood Myrna Loy: All-American wife and mother – and more Many believe that Myrna Loy is the best American actress never to have been nominated for an Academy Award. Despite having played leads and supporting roles in more than 100 movies (in […]

Cam Gigandet, Jena Malone: '5 Star Day' Q&A with Director Danny Buday

Cam Gigandet, 5 Star Day Directed by Danny Buday (photo), and starring Twilight's Cam Gigandet and Sucker Punch's Jena Malone,the psychological drama 5 Star Day opened via Breaking Glass Pictures on Wednesday in select theaters (in the Los Angeles area: the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood and the Playhouse […]

Joan Blondell Bio: Warner Bros. Movies & Real Life Love Triangle + Condom Censorship

Joan Blondell biography. Joan Blondell. Those who have heard the name will most likely picture either a blowsy, older woman playing the worldwise but warm-hearted saloon owner in the late 1960s television series Here Come the Brides, or a lively, fast-talking, no-nonsense, and unconventionally sexy gold digger in numerous Pre-Code […]

Claudette Colbert Career & Lesbian Rumors: Q&A with Veteran Author James Robert Parish

Claudette Colbert, Paramount star Those who remember Claudette Colbert, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” featured player today, will likely picture a woman raising her skirt so as to hitch a ride in Frank Capra's 1934 Academy Award-winning comedy It Happened One Night. After all, Colbert's left leg immediately […]

Ann Dvorak Q&A Pt.2: 'Scarface' Actress Never Quite Made It to the Top

Ann Dvorak and Rudy Vallee in Sweet Music. See previous post: Ann Dvorak: Hollywood Rebel. Ann Dvorak's best-remembered film is probably the 1932 Scarface, starring Paul Muni, directed by Howard Hawks, produced by Howard Hughes, and released by United Artists. What was that experience like for her? Making Scarface must […]

Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel

Ann Dvorak The name Ann Dvorak wouldn't ring even a faint bell for most people around at the beginning of the 21st century. Most people, I said – but definitely not everyone. A while back, author James Robert Parish heard a loud gong when I told him during lunch at […]

Jean Harlow Book: Author Mark Vieira Discusses the 'Blonde Bombshell'

One of MGM's brightest stars of the 1930s, Jean Harlow died of uremic poisoning in 1937. At the time, the 26-year-old actress had been playing opposite Clark Gable in what turned out to be her last film, Saratoga. Perhaps because she died so young, Harlow has remained a well-known film […]

'Neshoba: The Price of Freedom': Q&A with Filmmakers Micki Dickoff & Tony Pagano

Directed, produced, and edited by Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano, Neshoba: The Price of Freedom offers a unique peek into the mind of an unrepentant racist, Edgar Ray Killen. Killen, a Baptist preacher and the leader of a group of Klansmen accused of brutally murdering civil rights workers James Chaney, […]

'The Living Wake' Interview: Director Sol Tryon on Working with Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg, Mike O'Connell, The Living Wake Directed by Sol Tryon, and co-written by Mike O'Connell and Peter Kline, The Living Wake is the sort of movie that defies both labels and expectations. It's comedy; it's drama; it's a musical; it's a character piece; it's bizarre; it's its own genre. […]

Hollywood Fan Magazines - From Mary Pickford to Angelina Jolie: Q&A with Author Anthony Slide

Wholesome silent era superstars Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks drawn by Vargas (probably best known for his drawings of naked and semi-naked women in Playboy), Motion Picture Long before Robert Pattinson, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Kristen Stewart, Zac Efron, and Will Smith, there were Tyrone […]

Anthony Steffen: Spaghetti Western Actor Inspired Clint Eastwood Classic

Anthony Steffen, Daniel Martin The Last Tomahawk Anthony Steffen may be a name best remembered by Spaghetti Western aficionados, but in his day, from the mid-'60s to the early '70s, Steffen was one of the most popular actors of the genre – at the time cheap B movies, now revered […]

'Mother': Q&A with Bong Joon-ho

Kim Hye-ja in Mother Bong Joon-ho's Mother, a Spirit Award nominee and the winner of Korea's 2009 Blue Dragon Award for Best Picture, has received widespread critical praise. At, the headline for Andrew O'Hehir review calls the film “a brilliant Hitchcock mystery, made in Korea,” while in his Village […]

'Easier with Practice': Q&A with Filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez

Brian Geraghty, Kel O'Neill in Easier with Practice Easier with Practice, Kyle Patrick Alvarez's feature-film debut based on an autobiographical article written by Davy Rothbart for GQ, has been getting some pretty good buzz. This psychological drama about human connections in the early 21st century has won the Grand Jury […]

'Dawson, Island 10': Q&A with Miguel Littin

Veteran Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littin's Dawson, Island 10, Chile's submission for this year's best foreign language film Academy Award, tells the story of several prisoners held at a military concentration camp on Dawson Island, Chile's own Guantanamo back in the days of right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet. Men who had sided […]

Frank Lloyd: Two-Time Best Director Oscar Winner Q&A

Like many other Hollywood filmmakers of the studio era, Frank Lloyd (1886-1960) is hardly remembered today despite his numerous box office successes – e.g., The Sea Hawk (1924), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Wells Fargo (1937) – and no less than two Best Director Academy Awards, for The Divine Lady […]

'The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond' from 'Lost' Tennessee Williams Screenplay: Q&A with Director Jodie Markell

The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond with Bryce Dallas Howard as Fisher Willow, a troubled heiress who becomes involved with the handsome but impoverished – and equally unstable – Jimmy Dobyne (Chris Evans). Their dysfunctional relationship is depicted in Jodie Markell's film version of a long neglected Tennessee Williams screenplay […]

Tyrone Power VI: Lana Turner & Sonja Henie + Janet Gaynor & Film Legacy

Annabella, Tyrone Power, Annabella's daughter Anne, whom Power adopted Tyrone Power V: Sexual Orientation Rumors Janet Gaynor, Sonja Henie, Norma Shearer, Lana Turner – were those romances for real, or were they (or some of them) just publicity stunts? What were his marriages to actresses Annabella and Linda Christian (right) […]

Tyrone Power III: Gay Rumors, Errol Flynn

Tyrone Power, Loretta Young Tyrone Power I: Hollywood Career Rumors of a Tyrone Power-Errol Flynn romance. Total myth? Is there any evidence that Power was at all attracted to men or is that just make-believe? Okay, you asked for it. I am going to go on and on and on […]

Tyrone Power Interview with Researcher Maria Ciaccia: Fox Superstar's Hollywood Career

Tyrone Power: Q&A with researcher Maria Ciaccia about one of the biggest film stars of the 20th century Among the romantic leading men of the studio era, Tyrone Power, 20th Century Fox's top male star from the mid-1930s to the late 1940s, is my favorite. He wasn't the best actor […]

'The Fuplers': Q&A with Matt Koval

There are few web series that I've enjoyed watching; of those, Matt Koval's “The Fuplers” is probably my favorite. The series chronicles the table-time interactions of your typical Mondo Bizarro family, with Koval playing Mom, Dad, Teen Son, and lithping, pig-tailed Little Daughter. According to Koval's profile on his website, […]

'Five Minutes to Heaven': Q&A with Director Oliver Hirschbiegel

Inspired by a true incident that occurred in Northern Ireland in the mid-1970s, while placing the real-life participants in a fictitious set-up, Five Minutes of Heaven stars Liam Neeson as Alistair Little, the former leader of an Ulster Volunteer Force cell who, as a teenager, shot in the head a […]

'Passenger Side': Q&A with Matt Bissonnette

In Matt Bissonnette's psychological comedy-drama Passenger Side, recently screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival, two brothers go on a road trip throughout the Los Angeles area and the desert nearby. Michael Brown (Adam Scott) begins his birthday with a telephone call from his estranged brother, Tobey (Joel Bissonnette), who […]

'Training Rules': Q&A with Filmmaker Dee Mosbacher

Winner of the audience award for best documentary at the 2009 edition of San Francisco's gay film festival, Frameline, Dee Mosbacher (right) and Fawn Yacker's Training Rules – screening at Outfest tomorrow, July 11, at 4:30pm at the FAIRFAX 1 (on a double bill with Elizabeth Hesik's Lady Trojans) – […]

'Hollywood, Je T'Aime': Q&A with Jason Bushman

Writer-director Jason Bushman's feature-film debut, Hollywood, je t'aime was recently screened at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. The tale of a Frenchman befriended by a handful of social outcasts while looking for Hollywood stardom, Hollywood je t'aime turned out to be a quirky, funny, touching revelation. The good news […]

'The Art of Being Straight': Q&A with 'Gay Curious' Drama Actor-Director Jesse Rosen

Jesse Rosen in The Art of Being Straight. In Jesse Rosen's feature-film debut, The Art of Being Straight, 23-year-old Jon (played by Rosen himself), recently arrived in Los Angeles after leaving behind his girlfriend in New York, discovers that Southern California has more than sunshine and hot chicks to offer. […]

'Séraphine': Q&A with Séraphine de Senlis Biopic Director Martin Provost

Yolande Moreau in Séraphine. The winner of 7 2009 French Academy Awards, including best film, best original screenplay, and best actress, Martin Provost's Séraphine stars Yolande Moreau as painter Séraphine Louis, a.k.a. Séraphine de Senlis, a plain, poor, uncultured, devoutly Catholic, and emotionally unbalanced housekeeper who became known as a […]

'The History of Independent Cinema' Q&A

As the title implies, BearManor Media's The History of Independent Cinema covers the century-long development of – American – filmmaking outside the big-studio lots. Now, who were those independents? Well, as author and film critic Phil Hall explains, they range from those fleeing the Thomas Edison East Coast oligopoly back […]

'Lemon Tree': Palestinian Widow Fights Israeli Army - Q&A with Director Eran Riklis

Based on actual events, Eran Riklis' Lemon Tree (no connection to Sandy Tolan's novel The Lemon Tree), which opens today in the Los Angeles area, chronicles a Palestinian widow's fight to prevent the Israeli army from razing her lemon grove. The problem is that all those lemon trees are located […]

Torino GLBT Film Festival: Q&A with Festival Director Giovanni Minerba

  Giovanni Minerba, director of the Torino GLBT Film Festival, and his staff have been busy selecting entries for the 24th edition of Turin's annual gay & lesbian film event, which will take place April 23-30. In addition to competition and out-of-competition screenings, the festival will feature homages, retrospectives, and […]

'Shall We Kiss?' Q&A with Director Emmanuel Mouret

In Emmanuel Mouret's quietly observant Un baiser s'il vous plaît / Shall We Kiss? (literally, “A Kiss, If You Please”), which opens today in Los Angeles, a young, good-looking couple, Émilie and Gabriel (Julie Gayet and Michaël Cohen), meet accidentally and are just about ready to go for some physical […]

'American Swing': Q&A with Co-Director Jon Hart

Jon Hart and Mathew Kaufman's entertaining documentary American Swing chronicles the rise and fall of Larry Levenson, whose nightclub & sex club Plato's Retreat became, along with Studio 54, one of the top New York City hangouts of the late 1970s. Jon Hart (right) has kindly answered (via e-mail) a […]

'Happy Holidays': Q&A with Filmmaker James C. Ferguson

I'm always happy when a filmmaker is inspired by Woody Allen – as opposed to, say, Quentin Tarantino or Zack Snyder. Case in point: First-timer James C. Ferguson (right, in blue), whose Happy Holidays (written by Ferguson and Tom Misuraca) is a three-way character study about old school friends who […]

'The Singing Revolution': Q&A with James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty

"Imagine the scene in Casablanca in which the French patrons sing 'La Marseillaise' in defiance of the Germans, then multiply its power by a factor of thousands, and you've only begun to imagine the force of The Singing Revolution,” wrote Matt Zoller Seitz in the New York Times in his […]

'Leading Couples': Q&A with Frank Miller

In Leading Couples: The Most Unforgettable Screen Romances of the Studio Era (Chronicle Books, 2008), author Frank Miller, whose previous books include Leading Ladies, Leading Men, and Censored Hollywood, presents nearly forty highly successful movie pairings from the 1920s to the 1960s. Among those featured in Leading Couples are dancing […]

Irving Thalberg - MGM 'Boy Wonder': Author Mark Vieira Discusses 'Hollywood Dreams Made Real'

Author and photographer Mark A. Vieira (right), who has been a friend for a number of years, has recently written no less than two books on Irving G. Thalberg, the young MGM mogul whose high-quality productions earned him both a reputation as Hollywood's “Boy Wonder” and a special place in […]

'…Around': Q&A with Filmmaker David Spaltro

David Spaltro's …Around is appropriately subtitled, “Embrace the Fall.” For “falling” – both emotionally and financially – is what happens to the film's protagonist, whose hurdles are based on writer-director Spaltro's own experiences while studying film at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. …Around follows the travails […]

Miriam Hopkins Biography: Q&A with Allan Ellenberger

Remembering Miriam Hopkins Although relatively forgotten and, when remembered, usually dismissed as a second-rate talent (quite possibly by those who have never seen her on film), Miriam Hopkins was actually a highly capable performer who worked with some of the most renowned directors in Hollywood history – Rouben Mamoulian, Ernst […]

'Ciao' - Gay Movie Depicts Unexpected Human Connections: Interview with Filmmaker Yen Tan

Ciao: Gay movie features Adam Neal Smith and Alessandro Calza as two strangers living on different continents – Dallas, North America; Genoa, Europe – who form an unexpected emotional bond thanks to a “posthumous” connection: their friendship with a recently deceased third man (Charles W. Blaum). Yen Tan directed and […]

'Were the World Mine': Shakespeare-Inspired Gay Musical Is Q&A Topic with Filmmaker Tom Gustafson

Were the World Mine: Gay romance between bullied, small-town gay adolescent Tanner Cohen (seated) and school rugby team captain Nathaniel David Becker in Tom Gustafson's mix of romantic yearning, music, humor, and fantasy: Were the World Mine. Based on both the Gustafson-directed 2003 short Fairies and William Shakespeare's A Midsummer […]

'Before the Fall': Q&A with F. Javier Gutiérrez

F. Javier Gutiérrez's 3 Días / Before the Fall, the filmmaker's feature-film debut (co-produced by Antonio Banderas), has an unlikely premise: as a giant meteorite is about to destroy the planet and all its denizens in three days – hence the original Spanish-language title – a young man (Victor Clavijo) […]

'Tapestries of Hope': Q&A with Michealene Cristini Risley

American filmmaker Michealene Cristini Risley (right) met Zimbabwean social activist Betty Makoni at an International Development Exchange event in San Francisco. Risley was impressed with Makoni's achievements as the founder of Zimbabwe's Girl Child Network, an organization dedicated to helping young women and girls who have survived rape, a not […]

'Until the Light Takes Us': Q&A with Aaron Aites & Audrey Ewell

Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell's Until the Light Takes Us was one of the most unusual entries at the 2008 AFI FEST held in Los Angeles in early November. In the words of co-director Ewell, the film is “a feature length documentary chronicling the history, ideology and aesthetic of Norwegian […]

Gay Marriage: California Lesson-to-Be-Learned in Documentary

Directed by John Henning and Mike Roth, Saving Marriage presents the fight to rescue that much revered – and much disregarded, disrespected, ridiculed – institution that has been around (in various forms) for millennia. No, the film isn't about Britney Spears getting hitched in Vegas and then getting the marriage […]

Gays & Conversion Therapy: 'Save Me' Q&A with Filmmaker Robert Cary

A few days ago, when I read an Associated Press report stating that US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's church “is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer,” I immediately thought of Save Me. Directed by Robert Cary (right) from a screenplay […]

'The Way I See Things': Q&A with Brian Pera

A few weeks ago, when I began watching a screener of director-screenwriter-etc-etc. Brian Pera's The Way I See Things, I had no idea what to expect. At first, I wasn't able to get into the film, as I wondered – with dread – if I was in for a gay […]

'The Year My Parents Went on Vacation': Q&A with Cao Hamburger

Set in 1970, the year Brazil (or rather, the soccer team representing the country) won the World Cup, O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias / The Year My Parents Went on Vacation tells the story of a (away from) home-alone kid whose parents (Eduardo Moreira, Simone Spoladore) […]

'Repo! The Genetic Opera': Darren Lynn Bousman, Alexa Vega Interview

On July 18, the day of the world premiere of Repo! The Genetic Opera, I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the film's director, Darren Lynn Bousman, best known for his Saw films, and star, Alexa Vega, of Spy Kids fame, at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. […]

'The Betrayal: Nerakhoon': Q&A with Filmmaker Ellen Kuras

Directed by Ellen Kuras, with the assistance of the film's main subject, Thavisouk Phrasavath (who shares co-director credit), The Betrayal: Nerakhoon follows a family of Lao immigrants in New York struggling to rebuild their lives after sociopolitical upheavals forced them to leave their native country. (Phrasavath's father had worked for […]

'Repo! The Genetic Opera': Bill Moseley & Terrance Zdunich Interview

On Friday, July 18, I got to sit with horror-film acting legend Bill Moseley (photo, on the left) – Moseley was Chop Top from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Otis Driftwood from House of a 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects) – and writer/actor Terrance Zdunich (photo, on the […]

'What We Do Is Secret': Q&A with Rodger Grossman

The life of Darby Crash and the Germs was based around a five-year plan. Director Rodger Grossman would spend triple that amount of time making a film version of the events surrounding those five years. What We Do Is Secret is a biopic of Crash (played by Shane West) – […]

'Tell No One': Q&A with Guillaume Canet

Several weeks ago, I chatted with actor-director-screenwriter Guillaume Canet, 35, at a West Hollywood hotel where Canet was promoting his romantic thriller Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One, which opens in Los Angeles and New York City tomorrow. Based on Harlan Coben's bestseller, Canet's accomplished and visually […]

'Chris & Don: A Love Story': Q&A with Christopher Isherwood Documentary Filmmakers Tina Mascara & Guido Santi

Tina Mascara and Guido Santi's Chris & Don. A Love Story opened today in New York City and will be opening in Los Angeles at the Nuart in West LA on July 4. Chris & Don chronicles the relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood, whose The Berlin Stories inspired the […]

'Chop Shop': Q&A with Ramin Bahrani

Ramin Bahrani's Chop Shop, which opens today in Los Angeles, has received widespread praise since its premiere at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. The French daily Le Monde called it “the major revelation of the Cannes Film Festival's Director's Fortnight,” while John Anderson remarked in The Washington Post that Bahrani […]

'Sangre de Mi Sangre': Q&A with Director Christopher Zalla

Formerly known as Padre Nuestro (not to be confused with Rodrigo Sepúlveda's Chilean drama of the same name), screenwriter-director Christopher Zalla's debut feature Sangre de Mi Sangre (“Blood of My Blood”) received the Grand Jury prize for best narrative feature at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. More than a year […]

'Water Lilies' Movie: Q&A with Filmmaker Céline Sciamma

"Watching the film I want the audience to embrace the journey of being a girl. Everyone in the room has to identify [with] a fifteen-year-old teenage girl. That's why there are no adults in the movie, nor boys.” That's screenwriter-director Céline Sciamma, talking about her widely praised first film, Naissance […]

'Refusenik': Q&A with Director Laura Bialis

Laura Bialis' documentary Refusenik chronicles the thirty-year grassroots movement to free Soviet Jews. (Read Ella Taylor's positive – if sobering – review in The Village Voice.) Refusenik is told through the eyes of the activists, among them those then living in the Soviet Union – some of whom were punished […]

'Before the Rains': Q&A with Santosh Sivan

Inspired by the “Red Roofs” segment from Dan Verete's 2002 three-part Israeli drama Yellow Asphalt, which revolves around the lives of Bedouins in the Judean desert, the visually lush Before the Rains, which opens today in New York and Los Angeles, follows the self-destructive path of a British farmer intent […]

Melbourne Queer Film Festival: Q&A with Festival Director Lisa Daniel

While London's Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is going on in full force, here's a brief q&a (via e-mail) with Lisa Daniel, the director of another gay film festival elsewhere in the world, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. First held in 1991, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival is reportedly one […]

'Jellyfish': Q&A with Director Etgar Keret

I caught Jellyfish (Meduzot in Hebrew), which opens in New York tomorrow and in Los Angeles on April 25, at the 2007 AFI FEST. What I liked best about this quirky look at several Tel Aviv denizens was the humorous, naturalistic touch of husband-and-wife team of writers-turned-filmmakers Etgar Keret and […]

Edmund Goulding: Renowned Filmmaker with Controversial Private Life - Q&A with Biographer Matthew Kennedy

Edmund Goulding directs a young Joan Crawford in the MGM melodrama Sally, Irene and Mary (1925) at the beginning of their, respectively, directorial and acting careers. Photo: Matthew Kennedy Collection.   Even though the Academy Award-winning Grand Hotel (1932), the Bette Davis weepie Dark Victory (1939), and the Academy Award-nominated […]

'Celebrities in the 1930 Census' Q&A: Garbo & Gangsters Go Missing

'Celebrities in the 1930 Census': Amelia Earhart in, but Garbo and gangsters wanted to be left alone. 'Celebrities in the 1930 Census': Mae West and Marie Dressler find Fountain of Youth, Greta Garbo and Al Capone go missing As it says on the cover, Allan R. Ellenberger's Celebrities in the […]

Marie Dressler: From MGM Stardom to Lesbian Rumors | Q&A with Biographer Matthew Kennedy

Marie Dressler in Dinner at 8 It's Oscar time. What better way to celebrate the 2008 Academy Awards than by having a q&a about the best actress Oscar winner … of 1931? (Or rather, for the period 1930-31, as the Oscars in those days covered films released in the Los […]

'View from the Bridge' Q&A

VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Part I What was it like to make a movie in Kosovo, one of the world's most volatile areas? LB: Kosovo used to be extremely volatile; production of the film was actually delayed over a year because of outbreaks of violence. When we filmed in 2005, […]

'View from the Bridge: Stories from Kosovo': Q&A with Filmmakers John Ealer and Laura Bialis

Directed by John Ealer and Laura Bialis (above), View from the Bridge: Stories from Kosovo, described on the film's official website as “the first documentary feature about post-war Kosovo,” was recently screened at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The bridge in question is located in the town […]

Rudolph Valentino: Q&A with Valentino Site Creator Donna Hill

Rudolph Valentino romances Alice Terry in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of the biggest box office hits of the silent era. Eighty-six years after its original release, Rex Ingram's epic melodrama still impresses for its scope and the director's visual flair. At the website Falcon Lair, Donna Hill's […]

'Incorrect Entertainment': Q&A with Author Anthony Slide

Veteran author Anthony Slide has another book out, Incorrect Entertainment or Trash from the Past: A history of political incorrectness and bad taste in 20th century American popular culture (BearManor, 2007, paperback, US$19.95). Lengthy title for a highly controversial subject matter. Chapters range from “This Race Business” and “Sex” to […]

'The Hollywood Book of Extravagance': Q&A with Author James Robert Parish

The Hollywood Book of Extravagance. How do you write something with that sort of title without falling into the trap of sensationalism or cheap journalism? And could you say something about the formatting of your text – the mini-bios divided into specific chapters – and what you wanted to accomplish […]

Anita Page: The Last Surviving Silent Film Star

  Back in the late 1920s, Anita Page could never have dreamed that eight decades later she would be a celebrity of sorts: The Official Last Surviving Silent Film Star. In truth, Anita Page was never a star in silent movies. She appeared on screen later in the decade, right […]

Q&A with 'Now Playing' Author Anthony Slide

I've already mentioned film historian Anthony Slide's stunning new book Now Playing, which documents the work of artists who created movie posters for urban movie palaces and neighborhood theaters alike, from the silent era to the 1950s. Tony has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about both his work […]

Q&A with 'Gay Kiss Montage' Creator Robert Eldredge

The most famous – and most effective – sequence in Giuseppe Tornatore's 1988 Academy Award-winning Cinema Paradiso is the film clip montage at the end. In the 1950s, a small-town Catholic priest suffering from some serious sexual hangups and with way too much time – and power – in his […]

Barbara Payton: Q&A with Biographer John O'Dowd

"Promising careers that don't pan out, I always want to find out what caused it,” John O'Dowd told the Star Ledger. “Superstars [of today in particular] are written about all the time. I find that their [those whose careers were cut short due to tragedy or hardships] stories are more […]

Joan Crawford Q&A with Neil Maciejewski

Some have called her the greatest movie star ever, but even if that's a sort of exaggeration – how does one measure stardom-ness? – Joan Crawford most likely is the film performer who worked most assiduously and for the longest time on creating and maintaining the image of the movie […]

'Cubicle: The Musicle': Q&A with Tibor Szakaly & William Fiala

I've known Tibor Szakaly for a couple of years. Each time I'd see him after French class at a language school in Beverly Hills, he would tell me about the making of his and William Fiala's musical short Cubicle: The Musicle. About a year later, Cubicle was screened for a […]

Fatty Arbuckle-Virginia Rappe Trial: Q&A with Researcher Joan Myers

Film researcher Joan Myers has been working on a book project that will present the Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle manslaughter trial in a different light. What trial? Fatty who? What trial? Well, only the biggest Hollywood scandal of the 1920s – along with the unsolved murder of director William Desmond Taylor. […]

Pioneer Female Movie Producer June Mathis: Q&A with Author Allan Ellenberger

June Mathis / © Allan Ellenberger Collection June Mathis. The name means nothing to most of today's filmgoers and to the vast majority of self-proclaimed film historians. Yet, nearly nine decades ago June Mathis was, next to Mary Pickford, one of the two most powerful women in Hollywood. “She fairly […]

Ann Sheridan: Warner Bros. Star Discussed with Author Ray Hagen

Ann Sheridan. If someone asked me to name a truly tough film star, I'd never think of naming John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Humphrey Bogart, or any of those male performers whose toughness mostly consists of caressing assorted weaponry while posing for the camera. With rare exceptions […]

Franchot Tone Biographer Discusses Oscar-Nominated Actor & Joan Crawford Husband

If remembered at all, the name Franchot Tone usually comes up only when someone lists Joan Crawford's series of husbands. Never mind the fact that Franchot Tone appeared in about 60 films, countless plays, and dozens of television shows. Though never a major Hollywood star, Franchot Tone (born in Niagara […]

Hedy Lamarr: 'Casablanca' & Private Life

Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer in Algiers See previous post: Hedy Lamarr: Q&A with Author Patrick Agan: Part II Is it true that Hedy Lamarr refused the lead roles in Casablanca, Gaslight, and Saratoga Trunk? If so, do you know what her reaction was after those three films became huge […]

Hedy Lamarr: Q&A with Author Patrick Agan

Hedy Lamarr. Author Patrick Agan, among whose books are Clint Eastwood: The Man Behind the Myth and The Decline and Fall of the Love Goddesses, has been working on a biography of MGM star Hedy Lamarr, at one point considered one of the most beautiful women this side of Orion. […]

Mel Brooks Biography: Q&A with James Robert Parish

James Robert Parish, author of countless film books (The RKO Gals, Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops), answers a few questions on the subject of his upcoming biography, It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks (Wiley, 2007). Many comedians are supposed to be […]

'The Hollywood Book of Breakups': Q&A with James Robert Parish

Prolific author James Robert Parish answers seven questions about his latest tome, The Hollywood Book of Breakups. Unlike his previous book, Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops, an analysis of Hollywood moviemaking, the Book of Breakups focuses on the private lives of those who have worked in the motion […]

Valentino: Q&A with Author Allan Ellenberger

Rudolph Valentino death, funeral, and legacy discussed in new book: The Valentino Mystique Allan R. Ellenberger's meticulously researched The Valentino Mystique: The Death and Afterlife of the Silent Film Idol (McFarland & Company) describes in great detail the circumstances surrounding Rudolph Valentino's death and funeral in 1926. The star of […]