Damien Chazelle's latest movie, "La La Land," has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards, tying it with "All About Eve" and "Titanic" for the most nominations of all time. His previous movie was the Oscar-winning jazz-infused film "Whiplash." Chazelle explains what attracts him to art forms "on the precipice of extinction" and why the industry underestimates musicals.
Playwright/actor/rapper extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda is our guest of honor this week. His latest Broadway musical, "Hamilton," broke box office records and earned him a bunch of Tonys, a Grammy and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He also co-wrote songs for the Disney animated film "Moana," one of which is up for an Oscar. In a chat with Rico, the multi-hyphenate talks about his creative process for "Moana," shares how he honed his freestyle rap game, and explains why Bowie was the "uber-villain" of his childhood.
John Early and Kate Berlant are stand-up comedians, actors, and absurd video-makers. The comedy duo teases their new project while listing their favorite tales of the (failed) pursuit of fame.
In his latest documentary, the filmmaker examines the prose of the late, great author James Baldwin and uses Baldwin's unfinished manuscript as a springboard to start a discussion about the racial divide in America.
NFL star Steve Gleason was a safety for the New Orleans Saints. But not long after retiring from the NFL, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He began recording video diaries for his son, which has been assembled into a documentary by director Clay Tweel. Clay shares candid moments from making the doc and explains the decision behind its honest portrayal of life with the disease.
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.