Often called the Egyptian Jon Stewart, Dr. Bassem Youssef was the star of a wildly popular television show there that satirized politics in ways that country had never seen. Likely it won’t see one like it again any time soon. The show, entitled, “The Show,” was taken off the air despite high ratings when the… Read More »
One of Marc Silver’s primary reasons for making 3 1/2 MINUTES, 10 BULLETS, was to humanize a statistic. In this case, a young black man, Jordan Davis, killed in an altercation over loud music. The case became notorious because of that reason, providing a catchy hook to media coverage, not because of the tragic loss of… Read More »
James Vanderbilt’s TRUTH is a careful, disturbing dissection of the triumph of style over substance, flash over facts, insinuated itself, and then took over, television news. Based on the book Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power by Mary Mapes, it examines that moment in history when the eponymous truth… Read More »
I have rarely laughed as much as I did when I spoke to Ravi and Geeta Patel on August 13, 2015, it was by Skype, with me in San Francisco, Geeta in North Carolina, and Ravi in Hollywood, but the rapport made it seem like we were all in the same room. The subject was… Read More »
Robert Gordon had heard of the fabled 1968 live debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley that ABC staged during the political conventions of that year in order to grab some much-needed ratings.
Sandra Bagaria was not raised to be a victim, and so when her online with a woman blogger named Amina half a world away took an emotionally wrenching turn, the last thing she wanted to do was walk away.
David Cross was off coffee because of a stomach ailment when I talked to him on February 5, 2015 just before his film, HITS, kicked of SFIndieFest. Opting for tea, and overcoming his distaste for the bergamot in his Earl Gray, he was a lively conversationalist as we discussed his maiden effort writing and directing a feature film.… Read More »
Laura Poitras was hoarse the day I interviewed her for CITIZENFOUR. Her remarkable eye-witness documentary about Edward Snowden leaking NSA secrets to the press resulted in everyone wanting to talk to her. When we spoke, though, her dedication to bringing the truth to light was intact. I started by asking what it was like to… Read More »
Avoiding black holes. Amir Bar-Lev used that term when describing his approach to interviewing a victim of child sexual abuse, and it was a strikingly original way to describe how he wanted to be honest, but not salacious when it came to dealing with the charges against Jerry Sandusky in his documentary, HAPPY VALLEY. What… Read More »
What PIRATE RADIO does that is so remarkable is to capture as closely as a film can what it was like to be a fan of rock & roll at a time when it was considered not just noise, but actual subversion. Of course, in a way it was. This music was the anthem of… Read More »