In 2014, Ava DuVernay she earned raves for her civil rights drama "Selma," which was up for an Oscar for Best Picture. Her latest project is a documentary that's on the shortlist for Oscar consideration. It's called "13th," and it's a scathing primer on how America came to incarcerate more people than any other country on Earth, many of whom happen to be of color. The director examines why the criminal justice system captures her imagination, before revealing the surprising film she's seen many, many times.
Mike Mills got his start in the music biz, but he's probably best known for his feature film "Beginners." The director explains how his mother's life inspired Annette Bening's character in his latest film, shares lessons star Greta Gerwig learned from his sister and tells us how he's still trying to impress his wife.
We think the holidays merited a brand new edition of Guest List, in which an interesting person lists some interesting things. This time around our guest is Richard Lawson. knowledge of film, which he puts to good use as a film critic for Vanity Fair. He makes his case for a few surprisingly Christmassy films that will change up your usual holiday film selection.
From the 1940s and into the ‘80s, Toshiro Mifune was known world around as Japan's answer to John Wayne. He starred in almost 200 movies, including a slew of classics directed by the great Akira Kurosawa. His life is now the subject of a new film called, "Mifune: The Last Samurai." Oscar-winning documentarian Steven Okazaki explores the actor’s origins and looks at how Mifune left his mark on cinema, despite being thousands of miles away from Hollywood.
Actor Mackenzie Davis plays the punk rock coding genius Cameron in the AMC series "Halt and Catch Fire." Her latest film is called "Always Shine." It's both a psychological thriller and a look at the sexist pressures of Hollywood. She talks with Brendan about the gender stories featured in the film and the trend of female characters that seem to be a little too perfect.
Director Kelly Reichardt's minimalist indie films like "Meek's Cutoff" have won loads of critical acclaim and a devout following. Most are shot in the Northwest, and focus on characters on the fringes of society. Her new movie "Certain Women" is no exception. She talks with Brendan about how a performance can change the tone of a scene from the page to the screen, why she's drawn to the picturesque Northwest, and more.
Mexican-born filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro makes horror-fantasy films, but they've brought him praise way beyond the world of genre fandom and a bunch of Oscar nominations. Rico spoke to him at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art where there's now an exhibit of his own personal items, which includes everything from life-sized statues of Frankenstein's monster, to taxidermy, to movie collectibles.
Craig Robinson is probably best known for his long-running role as Darryl on TV's "The Office," but there's pretty much no great comedy show he hasn't appeared in, from "Key and Peele" to "Eastbound & Down.” His new role in “Morris From America” is a departure. Robinson shares what it was like to toe the line between friend and father in “Morris From America” and reveals his deepest fear.
Sharon Jones is the unstoppable lead singer of the funk and soul band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings The ten piece act has been releasing albums and touring the world for a decade. In 2014, they earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B album. The year before that album came out, Sharon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The singer talks to Brendan about her cancer battle, which was chronicled in the documentary "Miss Sharon Jones," and drawing strength from soul songs.
Anna Kendrick spent part of her teen years on Broadway, winning a Tony nomination for the musical "High Society" at age 13. She earned an Oscar nomination for her performance opposite George Clooney in "Up in the Air." Since then, she's starred in films like "Into the Woods" and the mega-hit "Pitch Perfect." The multi-hyphenate actor tells us how her improv went a little too far on the set of "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," before solving our listeners' wedding gift gripes and sing-a-long sorrows.