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After the critically acclaimed success of 2013’s “Short Term 12,” director Destin Daniel Cretton already knew what he wanted to tackle next — an adaptation of Jeannette Walls‘ 2005 best selling memoir “The Glass Castle.” The book is chalk full of dark and heavy themes about Walls’ childhood but primarily focused on the dysfunctional relationship she had with her mentally unbalanced parents. Continue reading Director Destin Daniel Cretton Talks Building ‘The Glass Castle’ Starring Brie Larson [Interview] at The Playlist.

Legend has it that on this very day, at this very time… an episode of Indie Beat would be released. This story was passed on from generation to generation and finally that fateful day is here. Was the tale truthful? Was there to be a new episode of the podcast? Yes. They were right. And it was good. (That they were right). On this episode I spoke to filmmaker (sometimes film journalist and festival programmer) Sarah Salovaara! Continue reading Indie Beat Talks With ‘Let Me Die A Nun’ Director Sarah Salovaara [Podcast] at The Playlist.

It’s gone slightly under the radar, but after a few underwhelming efforts Elizabeth Olsen is hitting a peak point in her career.  After her breakthrough in “Martha Marcy May Marlene” six years ago, she starred in a number of forgettable indies (“Liberal Arts,” “I Saw The Light”) and a summer blockbuster most viewers probably don’t remember she was even in (“Godzilla”).   She was fortunate enough to land the role of Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch in Marvel Studios “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” however, and reprised her role in the very well received “Captain America: Civil War” a little over a year ago.  Continue reading Elizabeth Olsen On Watching Tom Holland Watch ‘Avengers’ Footage, ‘Wind River’ And ‘Ingrid Goes West’ [Interview] at The Playlist.

You have never seen a movie quite like Joshua Weinstein‘s “Menashe.” The film was shot by Weinstein on a low-budget, in near cinema-verite style, deep in the heart of New York City’s Hasidic community, and it’s presented in Yiddish with English subtitles. Talk about a gamble even for an indie production. The film chronicles the trials and tribulations of recently widowed Hasidic Jew Menashe (Menashe Lustig in his big-screen debut) whose community forces his son to be raised by his openly contemptuous brother in-law. Continue reading ‘Menashe’: Director Joshua Weinstein & His Star On Hasidic Life & The Pleasures Of Quiet Drama [Interview] at The Playlist.

Weather getting you down? Then why not crack open a new episode of Indie Beat? On this installment I spoke to filmmaker Jennifer Phang, the rising talent behind the indie sci-fi hit “Advantageous.” After a number of shorts, Phang released her first feature film “Half-Life” in 2008. It centered around siblings dealing with both the absence of their father and a global catastrophe. Continue reading Podcast: Indie Beat Talks With ‘Advantageous’ Helmer Jennifer Phang at The Playlist.

If you don’t recognize Florence Pugh‘s name now, you can bet within the next year or two you will. The 21-year-old actress has been earning rave reviews for her breakout role in William Oldroyd’s adaptation of “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District” by Nikolai Leskov since it premiered at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival.  Pugh has the onscreen charisma and public candor of a British Jennifer Lawrence (all in the best way possible) and has already filmed Stephen Merchant’s wrestling flick “Fighting With My Family” opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Lena Headey. Continue reading ‘Lady Macbeth’ And ‘Fighting With My Family’s’ Frances Pugh Says Watching ‘Glow’ Made Her ‘Emotional’ at The Playlist.

Florence Pugh is mesmerizing in “Lady Macbeth,” first-time director Wiliam Oldroyd’s adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.” Set in Victorian London, Pugh plays Lady Katherine, a young woman bought by an older man (an electrifyingly sadistic Christopher Fairbank) who is then forced into marriage with his shallow son Alexander (a gloomily nasty Paul Hilton). Continue reading ‘Lady Macbeth’ Director William Oldroyd Talks Going From Theater To Cinema & Shooting A Movie In 24 Days [Interview] at The Playlist.

Indie filmmaker David Lowery has diversified his portfolio like few others in the last few years. On top of that he’s been working at an enormously fast clip. 2012’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara put him on the map with a Terrence Malick-like lovers-on-the-run tale, and he quickly switched things up, following up the Sundance indie with a big budget, live-action adaptation of “Pete’s Dragon” for Disney. Continue reading David Lowery Contemplates Secret Movies & The Meaning Of Life In ‘A Ghost Story’ [Interview] at The Playlist.

If the Edgar Wright narrative has to revolve around “Ant-Man,” and to many it does, it goes like this: the English director of “Shaun Of The Dead,” and “Hot Fuzz” was all set to make a Marvel movie and it essentially was pulled away from him at the last minute as it was preparing to shoot. But, rather than sulking or stewing, Wright came back with a vengeance to direct what is arguably the most thrilling summer popcorn movie of the year. Continue reading ‘Baby Driver’ Director Edgar Wright Talks His Favorite Heist Films & Soundtracking Your Own Life [Interview] at The Playlist.

Ian McShane is a talker in the best possible way. In conjunction with a series of interviews I conducted for a THR feature, I requested to speak to the “American Gods” star for just 10-15 minutes. These were quick phone interviews, but McShane insisted on meeting in person. I wasn’t feeling well heading over to the hotel, but the McShane is just as charming as the characters he tends to play and as our conversation ran long I quickly forgot the flu that would rack me for the rest of the week. Continue reading Ian McShane On ‘American Gods’ And The ‘Myth’ of ‘Deadwood’ [Emmys Interview] at The Playlist.