filmschool, Nathan Callahan, Mike Kaspar, independent film news and interviews, KUCI, film school
filmschool, Nathan Callahan, Mike Kaspar, independent film news and interviews, KUCI, film school

June 17, 2008
An interview with SETH PACKARD writer / director / lead actor of HOTTIEBOOMBALOTTIE — a geektastic comedy full of hip tunes and embarrassing situations. Trapped in Utah with an overbearing mother and an older brother bent on sabotaging his entire life, teenage Ethan channels all his ambitions into a deluded obsession with uber-hottie Madison Sweet. Meanwhile, his cousin Cleo seems to want to be closer than just family. Commanding the screen with his Flock of Seagulls-meets-Wolverine hairdo, Ethan is an irresistable bundle of peculiar energy, both cheerfully clueless and unexpectedly charming. will began screening Saturday, June 21st 7:15pm at The Regent as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival.


June 10, 2008
An interview with MORGAN NEVILLE the director THE COOL SCHOOL - a documentary about the Ferus Gallery which from 1957 to 1966 was the catalyst of modern art in Los Angeles. Operating out of a small storefront, the gallery hosted debut exhibitions and served as a general launching point for Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses and Robert Irwin, among many other artists. By the time it closed in 1966, the gallery had also played a role in solidifying the careers of many of New York's brightest talents, including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns building an art scene from scratch and transforming the cultural climate of the West Coast. Neville is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who specializes in history and cultural subjects. Through a series of films on important music subjects (including The Brill Building, Sam Phillips and Sun Records, Nat King Cole, Brian Wilson, Leiber & Stoller, The Highwaymen and Burt Bacharach), Neville has documented stories of songwriters and producers who helped shape 20th-century music, including the Grammy-nominated Muddy Waters Can't Be Satisfied and the Emmy-winning Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues, both of which aired on PBS's American Masters series as well as Channel 4/UK and the BBC's Arena series. The Cool School will air on KCET Independent Lens Wednesday, June 11, at 8:00pm.


May 27, 2008
An interview with RAMIN BAHRANI the director of CHOP SHOP — winner of the Independent Spirit Someone to Watch Award. CHOP SHOP follows Alejandro, a tough and ambitious Latino street orphan on the verge of adolescence, as he lives and works in an auto-body repair shop in a sprawling junkyard on the outskirts of Queens, New York. In this chaotic world of adults, young Alejandro struggles to make a better life for himself and his 16-year-old sister, Isamar. Born and raised in America, Bahrani moved to his parents' homeland of Iran for three years where he made his student thesis film, Strangers (2000). Bahrani then lived in Paris before returning to the states to begin work on his first feature film, Man Push Cart (2005). Winning over ten international prizes, Man Push Cart was also nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. CHOP SHOP, Bahrani’s second feature film premiered at The Cannes Film Festival where Le Monde declared it "The major revelation of the Director's Fortnight."


May 20, 2008
An interview with CHRISTOPHER ZALLA the director of SANGRE DE MI SANGRE — winner of the Best Film at the Sundance Film Festival (under its former title Padre Nuestro). SANGRE DE MI SANGRE is an exhilarating and provocative thriller exposing the dark side of the American dream. A young Mexican immigrant, Pedro (Jorge Adrian Espindola), journeys to New York City in search of the successful father he has never met only to have his belongings and identity stolen by a conniving thief, Juan (Armando Hernandez). As Pedro is left alone and unable to communicate in a country foreign to him, Juan cons his way into the home of Pedro's father, Diego (Jesus Ochoa), finding a man just as flawed as he is. While Juan attempts to reinvent himself, Pedro's only hope lies with a mysteriously complex prostitute, Magda (Paola Mendoza), as he frantically searches for his identity back.


May 13, 2008
An interview with JOACHIM TRIER the director of REPRISE — a lean and kinetic journey through friendship, love, madness and creativity. Trier viscerally captures the way life takes off at rocket-speed in the beginning of adulthood and the what-ifs and why-nots that both drive and haunt us as the unbridled hopes of youth come to a screeching halt. The story kicks off just as Phillip (ANDERS DANIELSON LIE) and Erik (ESPEN KLOUMAN-HOINER) stand at the mailbox, each about to ship off his first novel to publishers, each is hoping to become a wildly influential cult author, each has visions of a new life of non-stop intensity, brilliance, romance and nightclubbing. REPRISE explores not just what happens to Phillip and Erik as they pick up the pieces but what might have happened to them, what they imagine could happen, what they fear will possibly happen and what they cant see actually happening. REPRISE marks the feature film debut of Joachim Trier, who wrote the screenplay with Eskil Vogt. In its native Norway, the film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the national film awards.


May 6, 2008
An interview with HARMONY KORINE the director of MISTER LONELY the story of a young American in Paris who works as a Michael Jackson lookalike. Michael Jackson meets meets Marilyn Monroe, who invites him to her commune in Scotland, where she lives with Charlie Chaplin and her daughter, Shirley Temple. In 1995, at the age of 19, Korine wrote the critically acclaimed screenplay Kids for director Larry Clark. Following his fame with Kids, Korine directed the beautifully jarring unconventional films Gummo (1997) starring Werner Herzog followed by Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) which was based on the experiences of Korine's schizophrenic uncle. Christened "the future of American cinema" by Herzog, Korine is the son of documentary filmmaker Sol Korine.


April 29, 2008
An interview with AMYN KADERALI, the director of KISSING COUSINS — a romantic comedy about a professional heartbreaker and cynical bachelor who teams up with his attractive cousin from the UK in order to fool his friends into believing he is capable of a relationship. KISSING COUSINS stars Samrat Chakrabarti (a rising Indian American star), Rebecca Hazlewood (from the UK hit series "Dog Eat Dog"), Zack Ward ("Transformers"), PJ Byrne ("Evan Almighty"), Gerry Bednob ("40 Year Old Virgin"), Jaleel White (aka "Urkel"), and David Alan Grier. AMYN KADERALI graduated cum laude with a degree in Communications Studies at UCLA in 1994, and pursued a Master’s Degree in Directing at the prestigious Graduate Film Department at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he received the Martin Scorsese Young Filmmaker Award in 1996 and the Perry Ellis Breakthrough Filmmaker Award in 1997. His second-year short film, Little Man, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Short at the 1998 Slamdance Film Festival, the prestigious Lew Wasserman Award and Best Short Awards in Melbourne, Bilbao, and Marin County. KISSING COUSINS screens Sunday May 4. 6:30 pm at the Directors Guild of America Theatre as part of the Asian Pacific Film Festival.


April 22, 2008
An interview with JODI LONG the writer and narrator of LONG STORY SHORT — the fascinating documentary about her parents Larry and Trudie Long, a popular husband-and-wife nightclub act of the '40s and '50s. The film traces the couple's rise from the Chinatown nightclub circuit to a coveted appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and beyond. Known as "The Leungs," (a more Chinese-sounding name), they performed a mix of tap dancing, witty repartee and "Chinaman" caricatures that both played to and undermined the racist attitudes of the day. The limitations facing Asian American performers become even more obvious when Larry lost a rare opportunity to play a major role in the Broadway production of Flower Drum Song, the first musical with an all-Asian cast. Although he went on to perform in the show's traveling company, he never made it to Broadway, a failure from which his career never fully recovered. Redemption of a complicated sort comes when Jodi appears on Broadway in a revival of the same musical, re-written by Chinese American playwright David Henry Hwang. LONG STORY SHORT will screen at the Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival Sunday, May 4 at 2 pm.


April 15, 2008
An interview with JOHN STEWART MULLER the director of LIE TO ME — a film that chronicles an attractive young couple’s open relationship as it is stretched to the breaking point when they find themselves falling in love with other people. This romance explores such universal issues as honesty, jealousy, commitment, maturity, understanding and ultimately our capacity for love. LIE TO ME stars Brandon Routh, best known as Superman/Clark Kent in the Superman Returns. A founding partner of Steele Films and a multi-talented director, MULLER began making films at the age of seven. Experimental, artistic and incredibly personal, his past work has helped hone his creative skills allowing him to pursue a career as a commercial director. LIE TO ME will premier at the NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL at 6:00 pm, Saturday Apr 26. For more information visit the NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL Facebook page.


April 8, 2008
An interview with ALBERT MAYSLES who, along with his brother David (1932-1987), is recognized as a pioneer of "direct cinema," the distinctly American version of French "cinema verité." The Maysles Brothers earned their distinguished reputations by being the first to make non-fiction feature films — films in which the drama of human life unfolds as is, without scripts, sets, or narration. The brother’s landmark non-fiction feature film SALESMAN (1968), a portrait of four door-to-door Bible salesmen from Boston, won an award from the National Society of Film Critics and is regarded as the classic American documentary. Their next two films became cult classics. GIMME SHELTER (1970) is the portrait of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones on their American tour which culminated in a killing at the notorious concert at Altamont. GREY GARDENS (1976) captures on film the haunting relationship of the Beales, a mother and daughter living secluded in a decaying East Hampton mansion (clip above). Maysles Films Inc. has produced many films on art and artists, including a long-standing collaboration of celebrated artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose monumental environmental projects were documented in Academy Award-nominated CHRISTO'S VALLEY CURTAIN (1974), RUNNING FENCE (1978), ISLANDS (1986), CHRISTO IN PARIS (1990), and UMBRELLAS (1995) — which won the Grand Prize and People's Choice Award at the Montreal Festival of Films on Art. In 2001 Albert received the Sundance Film Festival 2001 Cinematography Award for Documentaries for LALEE'S KIN: THE LEGACY OF COTTON. Albert received exclusive access to the Dalai Lama and filmed his visit to New York in the summer of 2003 and is currently producing, along with Antonio Ferrara, THE GATES, a documentary of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s latest art piece.





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