‘Westworld’ Episode 9 Photos: Dolores Reconnects With Her Painful and Terrifying Past

“The Well-Tempered Clavier” airs this Sunday, November 27 on HBO.

Only two episodes left of HBO’s tantalizing new series “Westworld,” and we still have many questions that need to be answered. Last week, viewers saw Maeve (Thandie Newton) officially take her life in her hands and start building her own army. Meanwhile, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) also had vivid flashbacks of their past that will continue to haunt them in the upcoming episodes.

While we wait for episode 9, titled “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” HBO shared four new photos to hold us down.

READ MORE: ‘Westworld’ Review: ‘Trace Decay’ Reminds Us That We’re All Just Stories, In the End

In the upcoming episode Dolores and Bernard will reconnect with their pasts, Maeve propositions Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), and Teddy (James Marsden) will discover enlightenment, but it comes with a price.

“The Well-Tempered Clavier” is directed by Michelle MacLaren and written by Dan Dietz and Katherine Lingenfelter. The episode’s title is a reference to Johann Sebastian Bach’s solo keyboard compositions, regarded as some of the most influential in the history of classical music. Viewers will have to see how it relates to the overall story when the episode airs Sunday, November 27 on HBO.

Check out the teaser and the rest of the new images below.

Anthony Hopkins Westworld

Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Ford.

John P. Johnson/HBO

Westworld Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright as Bernard.

John P. Johnson/HBO

Westworld Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton as Maeve.

John P. Johnson/HBO

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

‘Anne of Green Gables’ Review: Fake Freckles and Thin Ice Can’t Stop Canada’s Irrepressible Heroine

The beloved literary orphan gets a passable adaptation for the holidays to hold fans over until Netflix’s darker series arrives in 2017.

Anne Shirley’s fake freckles have got to go.

Of all the faults in PBS“Anne of Green Gables,” these are the most glaring and, well, in your face. The spots stand out in stark contrast to actress Ella Ballentine’s clear complexion, and in each scene the viewer is often caught up marveling at the freckles’ uniformity instead of paying attention to the dialogue or action.

READ MORE: Rachel McAdams Reading You ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Is Your Fantasy Made Real — Listen

It’s a testament to Ballentine’s talents then that she is able to overcome those distractions and present a very charming, sprightly and chatty Anne Shirley, the literary orphan made famous in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s children’s novels. This ability is in keeping with the heroine herself, who is always melodramatically lamenting her red hair and plain looks but just can’t stop herself from celebrating the beauties of nature and life’s joys. There is no need to remind Anne to be in the moment. She is a sensualist in the truest definition of the word, and the scene below in which she tastes ice cream for the first time is a perfect example of her sunny and grateful nature:

This is where the latest adaptation of the beloved classic excels. Ballentine gives a strong turn as the irrepressible heroine and is a good foil for the elderly siblings who take her in. Martin Sheen is the rather happy but humble Matthew Cuthbert, while Sara Botsford turns in a sympathetic performance as his stern but secretly soft-hearted sister Marilla.

Although the friendship between Anne and Matthew is instant, director John Kent Harrison takes his time to carefully build the relationship between Marilla and Anne at the beginning of the movie. He especially lingers on Marilla’s face so that we catch every twitch and softening of her gaze to reveal how she feels when Anne is detailing the abuse and neglect she’s experienced in her past.

READ MORE: ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Netflix Reboot: 8 Essential Things We Demand to See

The rest of the movie, however, feels rushed. Perhaps in an effort to make up for lost time, Harrison packs in adventure after adventure in an episodic deluge that doesn’t allow the actors, much less the viewers, to actually feel anything. The highs and lows aren’t earned and have no apparent continuity. Even the scene with the famed puffed sleeves falls flat. It’s all kind of a happy, sweet mess that ties together at the end.

Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert, Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley and Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert, "Anne of Green Gables"

Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert, Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley and Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert, “Anne of Green Gables”


And now I turn to the part of the review where as an “Anne of Green Gables” purist, I’m going to be annoying with the nitpicky gripes. Firstly, Sheen is a veteran actor who oozes charisma in this role… but almost too much so. Matthew Cuthbert is supposed to be shy, taciturn, and supremely awkward, especially around women who are not his sister. Sheen’s version is just a bit too full of energy and spirit. He’s great, but he’s not Matthew.

Julia Lalonde has the opposite problem as Anne’s “bosom friend” Diana Barry. The actress conveys the necessary sweet disposition, but she is neither raven-haired nor plump. For an adaptation that goes out of its way to give faux freckles and dyed red hair to its brunette star, could they not spring for black hair dye at least for Diana?

READ MORE: Netflix Taps ‘Breaking Bad’ Writer Moira Beckett-Kelley as ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Showrunner

A couple other character gripes: Ms. Rachel Lynde (Kate Hennig) isn’t horrible enough, and so far, Anne’s main scholastic rival and future love interest Gilbert Blythe (Drew Haytaoglu) fails to impress.

Drew Haytaoglu as Gilbert Blythe and Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley, "Anne of Green Gables"

Drew Haytaoglu as Gilbert Blythe and Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley, “Anne of Green Gables”


Elements of the story are also problematic, and this may be owed to the decision to break the novel into three movies, with “Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars” and “Anne of Green Gables: Fire and Dew” set to be released in the next two years. This unfortunately has created the need for manufactured endings and shuffling signature events that fans are sure to miss, such as some of the story concerning Gilbert Blythe. The production also included an incident in which Anne literally walks on thin ice (seen in the trailer at the end of this story), which was not canon. It’s puzzling since the source material has plenty of exploits to choose from that are far more engaging and demonstrate Anne’s imagination and spirit better.

With all that said, this adaptation may suffer in comparison to the novel and iconic 1980s miniseries, but it’s still fun family fare for the holidays. With Netflix and CBC collaborating on a darker version of the series called “Anne,” due out in 2017, this is an enjoyable appetizer until that binge arrives.

Grade: B-

Watch the official “Anne of Green Gables” trailer below.

“Anne of Green Gables” airs on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

Stay on top of the latest film and TV news! Sign up for our email newsletters here.

‘Dreamland’ Exclusive Featurette: Go Behind the Scenes of Robert Schwartzman’s Directorial Debut

The film made its world premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and is currently available on VOD and digital platforms.

Though Robert Schwartzman is arguably best known for being the lead vocalist in the rock band Rooney, he’s recently made his directorial debut with the comedy-drama “Dreamland,” which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this past April. The film follows Monty Fagan (Johnny Simmons), a down-on-his luck musician who lives in his girlfriend’s mother’s house and listlessly plays piano in a swanky hotel bar. Monty soon begins an affair with Olivia (Amy Landecker), a wealthy older woman looking for a little excitement, but eventually Monty begins to lose his sense of self amidst the romance. It boasts an all-star supporting cast, including Jason Schwartzman (“Rushmore”), Noël Wells (“Master of None”), Alan Ruck (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), Beverly D’Angelo (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”), Talia Shire (“Rocky”) and more. Watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette below that delves into the making of the film.

READ MORE: Watch: Exclusive Clip of Robert Schwartzman’s Musical Dramedy ‘Dreamland’

Schwartzman has previously made small acting appearances in some of his cousin Sofia Coppola’s films, like her short film “Lick the Star,” her debut “The Virgin Suicides” and “Somewhere.” He also co-starred in the Anne Hathaway vehicle “The Princess Diaries” and composed the score for Gia Coppola’s “Palo Alto” alongside Blood Orange, aka Devonté “Dev” Hynes.

READ MORE: Robert Schwartzman Comes Into His Own As A Filmmaker With Great Indie Debut ‘Dreamland’ — IndieWire On Demand

“Dreamland” is currently available to purchase or rent on iTunes, Amazon and VOD.


Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Oscars 2017: 10 Live-Action Short Films Make Shortlist

A total of 137 films were originally in contention.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the 10 live-action shorts that will move forward in the voting process for the 89th Academy Awards. The shortlist was pared down from the 137 films that originally qualified, and the final nominees will be named along with all other categories on January 24. Find the full list below, with trailers where available.

READ MORE: ‘Working Stiff’: Exclusive DOC NYC Short Documentary Finds Creative Expression in the Everyday Grind — Watch

“Bon Voyage,” Marc Wilkins, director, and Joël Jent, producer (Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduction)

“Ennemis Intérieurs,” Sélim Azzazi, director (Qualia Films)

“Graffiti,” Lluis Quilez, director (Participant Media, Euphoria Productions and Ainur Films)

“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten, director (arbel gmbh)

“Nocturne in Black,” Jimmy Keyrouz, director (Columbia University)

READ MORE: ‘The Escape’: Clive Owen Returns as The Driver in Neill Blomkamp’s New BMW Short Film — Watch

“The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy,” Oualid Mouaness, director (Tricycle Logic)

“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang, director, and Kim Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions)

“Sing (Mindenki),” Kristof Deák, director (Meteor Filmstudio)

“Timecode,” Juanjo Giménez, director (Nadir Films)

“The Way of Tea (Les Frémissements du Thé),” Marc Fouchard, director, and Matthieu Devillers, producer (Existenz, BlackBox and P904)

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Jessica Chastain Reveals How She Lobbies for Powerful Women — Including Herself — As ‘Miss Sloane’

The actress and producer talks about finding meaningful roles in a world that often doesn’t provide them.

There’s an embarrassment of riches in the Best Actress Oscar race this year and that’s often because women are doing it for themselves. It’s basic math: since studios have a rotten track record for delivering juicy parts, smart actresses take a more active role in pursuing them. Their agents know they are willing to go independent in order to expand their range, if not their paychecks.

Jessica Chastain has been crazy in demand ever since 2011, when she was featured in six radically different movies. She starred in Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” opposite Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave, played Brad Pitt’s ethereal wife in Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” and scored a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as a ditzy Southern belle in “The Help.”

Clearly, this is a woman who won’t be put in a box.

"The Debt"

“The Debt”

Focus Features

One of the Juilliard grad’s first roles was in John Madden’s “The Debt,” where she played a heroic ’60s Mossad agent who grows up to be Helen Mirren. Chastain and Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”) have hoped to join forces again ever since. When he sent her “Miss Sloane,” the first screenplay by Jonathan Perera (a corporate lawyer-turned-elementary schoolteacher) she jumped at the chance to star in this “West Wing” meets “Michael Clayton” story about a hard-charging D.C. lobbyist.

Chastain always seeks scripts with strong women. Famously, she starred in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” as a CIA agent smarter than the men in the room who was not defined by her relationships, but by her work. Her single-minded agent chasing Osama bin Laden nabbed Chastain her second Oscar nomination, for Best Actress. In Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” she played a brainy scientist in a role originally written for a man (Topher Grace admitted to feeling like he was playing the girl part), and in Ridley Scott’s “The Martian,” she’s the captain who leaves her astronaut stranded on Mars and then risks her life to save him.

See more 10 Versatile Performances That Prove Jessica Chastain Is an Heir to Meryl Streep

It’s easy to see why Chastain wanted to play Elizabeth Sloane, a high-powered Washington lobbyist who is so confident in her own abilities that she takes on the National Rifle Association. “Jessica’s politically engaged over the whole idea of women in power in society,” said Madden, who once taught acting at Yale. “Empowering them is a big thing for her, she gravitated to it. She’s one of rare people who seeks out challenging material and goes after it, even if it’s not coming her way.”



It’s a pleasure to watch Chastain as the fast-talking Sloane, stalking conference rooms and Senate panels in stiletto heels, hyped up on caffeine and adrenaline, ordering her minions and ruthlessly charging forward as she masterminds her campaign, heedless of collateral damage.

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain

Anne Thompson

In our video interview, Chastain keeps her high heels on the floor and her feet tucked under her dress as she talks about going to D.C. to research the 10 percent of Washington lobbyists who are women. She checked out their unforgiving environment, where people work 16 hours a day, glued to their smartphones. She also discovered that these women had style — and almost all of them wore black nail polish.

Besides having to jam the movie between her production commitments, Chastain had to carry an intense shooting schedule as a character who talks at top speed in nearly every scene. “The engine keeps running for this character,” said Chastain. “She doesn’t get tired at any point until the end of the film.”

“It was in our mind that the movie be about a powerful heroine who is deeply flawed and complex,” Madden said. “She does questionable and despicable things. She’s merciless and unrelenting. There was weirdly a moral unraveling and coming together in the story.”

Chastain admitted she felt liberated and emboldened playing Sloane. “I would say to John, ‘am I being cold enough?’ It was OK for me to not be likable or easy to understand. It was important to me that she be ambitious, ruthless, a loner and perfectionist who has flaws and is also noble and self sacrificing at the end.”

Miss Sloane - Jessica Chastain

“Miss Sloane”

“It was a colossal line load for her,” said Madden. “It’s a wordy film. She’s smart and clear about the script, objective about the way she appraises things. She’s one of my few actors who’s welcome to look at the replay. She looks at it quite dispassionately, sees how a scene is working.”

He puts Chastain in the same zone as her “The Debt” costar Mirren. “She has an extraordinary set of skills. As a director, you can’t see quite what she’s doing. She’s open to direction and adjustment. Then she goes back in and inhabits the role so completely. That’s very unusual.”

“Miss Sloane,” which was produced for $18 million by sales company FilmNation and acquired by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp for his new American distribution company, wrapped production in April and was completed in the nick of time for an AFI Fest World Premiere ahead of its November 25 release.

Madden thought the NRA-themed film would feel relevant, but it was political process and gender politics that became focal points in the U.S. election. Now that American voters have rejected an experienced, even over-qualified, woman politician as president, the world of “Miss Sloane” seems even more improbable.

The movie plays differently now “in the light of what we’ve seen,” admitted Madden, who said he was unsurprised by Donald Trump’s ascension after living through Brexit. “Hillary Clinton was criticized for being inauthentic for most of her career, and then became completely authenticated in a moment of politically astute and gracious concession. The film was always holding up some mirror to the political process, but it’s ended up sending back a reflection we hadn’t expected.”

More than ever, the status quo of what a woman is supposed to be must be challenged, Chastain said. “After the first debate, Hillary Clinton was criticized for being over-prepared. Have you ever heard that of a man? I am! I like to say I am over-prepared. No matter what you do, if you build a couch, how great to be over-prepared for your job! We need to examine how we see ambitious women and the spaces we put them in. Characters like Elizabeth Sloane can ask for a pay raise and promotion and put them out there.”

Actresses are being more outspoken about equal pay in Hollywood. Chastain has walked away from jobs where she wasn’t being “adequately paid compared to the male actor,” she said. “Amy Pascal two years ago said women are paid less because they don’t ask for more. It all comes down to that. It’s an exciting time right now, as negative as it can be: how important it is for us to step forward and take risks and not stay in the box that has been afforded us.”

As someone who handles her own social media, Chastain has seen some blowback. And she has experienced it on the job. “I had a British director say to me, ‘you got to calm down a little, all this woman’s stuff you talk about.’ No I don’t. What does that mean? If someone doesn’t want to hire me because they think I’m too vocal, fine. I will do a play, I will always find a job. Let them try to get me out of this industry. I am not going to be silenced!”

Meanwhile, Chastain forges ahead. After producing “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” Chastain asked her agents at CAA to help her set up a production company, Freckle Films. She signed a first-look deal with Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s financing-production company Maven Pictures, where she is developing “projects that celebrate many different voices and points of view,” Chastain said in an email. Maven and Freckle have already optioned two books: Greer Macallister’s “The Magician’s Lie” and Camille Pagan’s “Life and Other Near-Death Experiences,” as well as the true story of South African all-female Black Mamba group who fight elephant poachers in South Africa, to be written by “Walking Dead” star and “Eclipsed” playwright Danae Gurira.

Next up: Opening in 2017 are two films directed by women, “bad-ass chick” Niki Caro’s drama about Polish World War II animal-whisperer “The Zookeeper’s Wife” (Focus Features, March 31) and “Woman Walks Ahead,” Susanna White’s story of a woman who paints a portrait of Sitting Bull, which CAA is selling. And Chastain has started filming in Toronto November 7 Aaron Sorkin’s feature debut, “Molly’s Game.” “I just memorized 20 pages,” she said. “There are some 10-page scenes, just like ‘Miss Sloane,’ no pausing. I feel an Aaron Sorkin rhythm.”

Oscars 2017: 10 Animated Short Films Make Shortlist

The final five nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

This year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had a record 69 animated short films vying for a nomination. Now the 10 titles that will advance in the voting process for the 89th Academy Awards have been announced.

For six years, Disney or Pixar has been nominated in the category every year, and won twice (“Paperman” and “Feast”). This year both studios have films on the shortlist, “Inner Workings” (Disney) and “Piper” (Pixar). Other animated shorts included in the 10 are Robert Valley’s “Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Franck Dion’s “The Head Vanishes” and Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj’s “Borrowed Time.”

READ MORE: 2017 Oscars: Record 70 Animated Shorts Vie for Shortlist of Ten

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select five nominees from among the 10 titles. Screening of each will be held in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco in December.

The final five will be announced, along with the rest of the Academy Awards nominations, on Tuesday, January 24. The 2017 Oscars will take place on Sunday, February 28.

READ MORE: Oscars 2017 Documentary Shortlist Predictions: Anne Thompson Weighs In With Top Picks

The 10 animated short films, along with their production companies and trailer, are below:

“Blind Vaysha,” Theodore Ushev, director (National Film Board of Canada)

“Borrowed Time,” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, directors (Quorum Films)

“Happy End,” Jan Saska, director (FAMU – Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague)

“The Head Vanishes,” Franck Dion, director (Papy3D Productions, National Film Board of Canada and ARTE France Cinema Department)

“Inner Workings,” Leo Matsuda, director, and Sean Lurie, producer (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

“Once Upon a Line,” Alicja Jasina, director (University of Southern California)

“Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Robert Valley, director, and Cara Speller, producer (Massive Swerve Studios and Passion Pictures Animation)

“Pearl,” Patrick Osborne, director (Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures)

“Piper,” Alan Barillaro, director, and Marc Sondheimer, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)

“Sous Tes Doigts (Under Your Fingers),” Marie-Christine Courtès, director, and Ludivine Berthouloux, art director (Vivement Lundi! and Novanima)

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

John Waters Talks Trump and the Election Results With Colbert on ‘The Late Show’

“Trump at least has met a gay person, but Pence is the one I’m really worried about,” said the “Pink Flamingos” director.

Though it’s been two weeks since Election Day, many people are still struggling with the prospect of a Trump presidency. However, there are a few people who are doing their best to take it in stride, and one of them is transgressive filmmaker John Waters, who stopped by “The Late Show” last night to promote his Christmas comedy tour. At one point, Colbert asked what it would take to shock Waters and he replied, “Well, the election shocked me, certainly,” but then goes on to provide a measured response to the impending Trump administration.

READ MORE: John Waters on ‘Multiple Maniacs,’ His Favorite Filmmakers & Why He Hasn’t Directed in More Than a Decade

“I lived through Nixon, I lived through Reagan who said there wasn’t anything to AIDS…so we can deal with him,” he says. “Trump at least has met a gay person, but Pence is the one I’m really worried about. To me, the whole thing about Pence is his policies are so terrible. With gay people, he wanted to not have AIDS funding and give it to conversion therapy. Well, even Pence wouldn’t want me to be straight. I mean, would I be doing the Electric Slide and ogling Tiffany Trump? It’s hard to image.”

Waters also addressed the strong negative response Pence received while in the audience for the hit Broadway show “Hamilton.” “I think he deserved what he got at ‘Hamilton,’ to be honest,” he says. “First of all, ‘Hamilton’ is the only musical that heterosexual men ever loved, and I really liked it too. But he better be careful if he goes back to Broadway, like I hope he doesn’t go the revival of Bette Midler in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ because those chorus girls will come out and give him a new kind of [bleeped, unintelligible retort].”

READ MORE: John Waters’ Top Films of 2013: ‘Spring Breakers’ is #1

“A John Waters Christmas” tours around the country starting this Sunday, November 27 at City Winery in New York City.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Mark Duplass Says Sarah Paulson ‘May Be Our Generation’s Greatest Actress’ in For Your Consideration Letter

The two co-star in “Blue Jay” together.

Blue Jay” is now available to stream on Netflix, and writer/star Mark Duplass wants you to watch it — specifically to see his co-star Sarah Paulson’s performance. Duplass has penned a For Your Consideration letter to journalists about to vote in year-end awards (which, full disclosure, includes this writer) urging them to take a closer look at Paulson, whom he says “may be our generation’s greatest actress.”

READ MORE: Mark Duplass Explains Why He Bailed on Hollywood and Embraced Netflix

Duplass begins by noting that he never expected her to agree to appear in the movie, as “The People v. O.J. Simpson” had just debuted, she was sure to win an Emmy for it and  “it was time for the world to finally realize what a true talent she was.” She surprised him by saying yes, however. Here it is in full:

“Dear Journalist,

“When I called Sarah Paulson and asked her to star with me in my tiny, black and white film BLUE JAY, I already knew the answer. The answer would be ‘no.’ Why? Because the first episode of THE PEOPLE VS. OJ SIMPSON had just aired, and because everyone knew she was about to win the Emmy for Best Actress. Because it was time for the world to finally realize what a true talent she was, and being to shower her with the accolades and big movie offers that she deserved.

“And all those guesses of mine were correct. Except for one. She said ‘yes’ to my movie. In the time when she had every option waiting on her doorstep, she signed up to do a tiny relationship drama for no money. Moreover, when I told her that the film would be shot from an outline and that much of the dialogue would be improvised, she told me that not only had she never done that before but that was terrified of the prospect.

“Yet, she still said ‘yes.’ And I’m still not sure why. Maybe it’s a simple as the fact that she is a true artist. Maybe it was because she was so frightened by the process that she felt compelled to try and push herself. Or maybe it’s because she is a fantastic human being who only picks projects based on their artistic merit and not their promise of fame or a large paycheck.

“Regardless, I feel so lucky that she graced our movie with her presence. It’s a film about realizing we have not become who we have hoped. That our first love may have gotten away from us, and that may have been our greatest chance at happiness. I find her performance bold, vulnerable, emotional, and impeccably honest. And she raised me up as a performer to try to match what she gave to the film.

“Sarah Paulson may be our generation’s greatest actress. Now is certainly her time. I hope that you can see that in our film. And help bring the attention of the film world to her immense talent.


Mark Duplass”

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

How Mark Osborne Turned ‘The Little Prince’ Into an Inventive Animated Hybrid

It took an ambitious combination of stop-motion and CG to capture the spirit of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s popular novella.

Director Mark Osborne (“Kung Fu Panda”) knew instantly that “The Little Prince” wouldn’t work in CG. The world was too delicate and tactile. He also didn’t want to merely adapt the popular novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. So he came up with a hybrid approach with stop-motion and CG to delineate storybook fantasy from reality in exploring the tender friendship between The Aviator (Jeff Bridges) and The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy).

READ MORE: ‘The Little Prince’ Review: Netflix Delivers A Strange, Satisfying, Star-Studded Adaptation Of The Kid Lit Classic

“I had to do some creative experimentation to protect the book and use CG in a way that would help reflect some themes in the book,” Osborne told IndieWire. “And using the two techniques was one of those early ideas that everybody was intrigued by but nobody knew how we were going to pull off.”

Turns out that the key for the stop-motion was the use of paper to reflect the palpable texture of the novella. “The earliest shots that [Creative Director] Jamie [Caliri] did heavily inspired the way we lit the CG and the way we approached the CG, so it was definitely a benefit to the entire production,” Osborne said.

Onyx Entertainment in Paris and Mikros in Montreal handled the CG, while a stop-motion studio was set up in Montreal.

"The Little Prince"

“The Little Prince”

One of the challenges for Production Designer Lou Romano (formerly with Pixar) was the logistics of it all. And with a new family, he mainly worked remotely from the Bay Area. He relied heavily on Celine Desrumaux (Lighting/Color/Texture Design), Matthieu Gosselin (Set Design) and Bart Manoury (Character Art Direction).

“I think the area of the CG that I’m most pleased with is the lighting, where we were able to push things darker in areas,” Romano told IndieWire. “Bolder choices like high-key lighting, dropping detail away as desired, was something new for me. So we pushed it on this film. And Celine, who was in-house, was the guardian of that aesthetic, as was Mark.”

He added, “A couple of examples of this are in the first scene with The Little Girl (TLG), where she is being interviewed by the Werth Academy faculty. They are under-lit, she has a hard spot on her, her Mom is in the shadows and it’s lit that way to get to the feeling, what this Girl is going through emotionally.”

For Jason Boose, the CG animation supervisor, The Aviator and TLG presented a unique challenge design and animation-wise.

"The Little Prince"

“The Little Prince”

“TLG is a child that acts like a grown-up and the Aviator is a grown-up that acts like a child,” Boose told IndieWire. “We wanted to show this opposition graphically by having the Aviator tall and lanky, his spine curved forward and hunched over and his face long and rectangular, while TLG is very upright and alert with a round, quizzical face,” Boose said. “We even had their arms and legs angled opposite to each other. TLG is knock-kneed while the Aviator’s legs bow out. TLG’s arms angle out, the Aviator’s angle in. This contrast permeated every aspect — both emotionally and physically — in all their interaction with each other.”

READ MORE: Why Paramount Didn’t Want ‘The Little Prince,’ and Netflix Thinks It Can Win An Oscar

When the story depicted poetic dreamlike passages from the novella, Osborne chose stop-motion to convey the feeling of the original story. Meanwhile, 2D artwork was a great way to introduce the audience into the world and by showing images from the book coming to life,

“For the ‘real world’ where we meet our main characters, CG animation was the best way to convey the subtle emotions and complex acting in the script,” Boose said. “What I take away from this experience is that it’s best to let the story drive the aesthetic. Each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses and when story is at the center of all decision-making, you can’t really go wrong.”

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

‘Goon: Last of the Enforcers’: Seann William Scott Revisits His Hockey Glory Days in Comedy Sequel

Jay Baruchel makes his directorial debut with the “Goon” sequel.

Back in 2011 Seann William Scott starred in the Canadian-American sports comedy “Goon,” directed by Michael Dowse and written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg. The film, which was the surprise of the summer, followed a dimwitted man who becomes the enforcer for a minor league ice hockey team. Now six years later, Scott and almost all of the original cast is back in the sequel “Goon: Last of the Enforcers.”

Making his directorial feature debut, Baruchel serves as director and returns as co-writer, this time with Jesse Chabot. The comedy once again follows Doug Glatt (Scott) who, after being forced to give up his aspirations of going to the big show, rejoins the Halifax Highlanders to reclaim his former glory. Check out the first trailer below.

READ MORE: ‘T2: Trainspotting’ International Trailer: Ewan McGregor and the Rest of the Boys Are Back in Town

The sequel features returning actors Baruchel, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Marc-André Grondin, Kim Coates, Eugene Levy, David Paetkau and Jonathan Cherry. New cast members include Elisha Cuthbert, Wyatt Russell and T.J. Miller.

Scott made a name for himself in the early 2000s portraying Stifler in the “American Pie” series and also starring in “Road Trip,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.” While he’s been flying under the radar these days, he’s voiced the character of Crash in the “Ice Age” animated films and TV shorts. He was last seen acting in the 2014 drama “Just Before I Go.”

“Goon: Last of the Enforcers” will be released in Canada on March 17, 2017. No word on US distribution or release date.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

‘Snowden,’ ‘Free State of Jones’ Among Forbes’ Top Turkeys of 2016

There’s a good chance you haven’t even heard of the #1 movie.

President Obama will pardon his last few turkeys this week, but don’t expect any of these movies to be spared. Forbes has released its list of the year’s biggest turkeys, a seasonally appropriate term for box-office bombs. “Max Steel” has the questionable honor of topping the list, which sources its information from Box Office Mojo and IMDb, as the film based on Mattel’s line of action figures grossed a mere $4.4 million despite opening in wide release across the country.

READ MORE: Top 10 Takeaways: ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Leads Bumpy Box Office

More surprising is the #2 entry, “Free State of Jones,” which had the benefit of a lead performance from Matthew McConaughey but made just $23.2 million worldwide against a $50 million budget. Forbes only included movies that opened in more than 2,000 theaters before November.

READ MORE: Thanks, ‘Arrival’! Why the Box Office This Weekend Could Mean a Record 2016: Top 10 Takeaways

Rounding out the top five are “The Brothers Grimsby” ($28.7 million, the lowest box-office take of star Sacha Baron Cohen’s career), “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” ($23 million) and “Snowden” ($34.3 million against a $40 million budget).

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Michael Shannon Gives Career-Spanning Interview on ‘WTF with Marc Maron’ — Listen

Hear him discuss his time in the Chicago theater scene and his experiences working with people like Tracy Letts and William Friedkin.

This year, Michael Shannon has appeared in upwards of nine feature films, including Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special” and “Loving,” the period comedy “Elvis & Nixon” and Werner Herzog’s thriller “Salt and Fire.” The Oscar-nominated actor has worked on screen and stage for over 25 years, collaborating with artists like Tracy Letts, Oliver Stone, William Friedkin and more. Now, he provides a career-long interview on the acclaimed podcast “WTF with Marc Maron” where they discuss his time in the Chicago theater scene, his various artistic collaborations and the inner-workings of his mind. Listen to the podcast via YouTube below or follow the link to the WTF website.

READ MORE: Michael Shannon on Donald Trump: ‘He’s Going to Destroy Civilization’

Shannon recently garnered attention for expressing his strong negative opinions of President-Elect Donald Trump and those who voted for him. In an interview with RogerEbert.com, he said that Trump’s victory is “the worst thing that’s ever happened” and that “this guy is going to destroy civilization as we know it, and the earth, and all because of these people who don’t have any idea why they’re alive.”

READ MORE: Michael Shannon Fell Asleep During ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice,’ Even Though He Was In It

Michael Shannon currently stars in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals,” which is currently in limited release and will open wide on December 9. He also stars in the upcoming film “Frank & Lola” opposite Imogen Poots, which will also be released in select theaters, as well as digital HD and on demand, on December 9.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Dwayne Johnson Reveal Hilarious ‘Millennials: The Musical’

The first look was shown in a mockumentary released on The Rock’s YouTube page.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Dwayne Johnson had so much fun working together on Disney’s “Moana” that they decided to combine their talents on another project: “Millennials: The Musical.” The handsome and talented producers, as they call themselves, shared the first sneak peek of the Broadway production in a mockumentary released on The Rock’s YouTube page.

“Theater is a beautiful, living, breathing thing. To tread the boards is a duty and a blessing,” Miranda says in the “Making of The Musical” video. The Rock followed up saying, “As long as you don’t f**k it up.”

While they may have full schedules, the actors couldn’t pass up the opportunity to produce something they were very passionate about.

“Obviously Dwayne and I are very busy in our respective fields,” Miranda continued. Johnson added, “We have a team of scientists looking into slowing the rotation of the earth so we can film an extra movie when we’re ready. We’re serious about that.”

READ MORE: ‘Moana’ Review: Dazzling Visuals, Dwayne Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda Sustain This Animated Disney Musical

In the eight-minute mockumentary, the duo discuss how the production came together from a 140 character Twitter pitch from millennial Michael Palomar. They also talk about how vital the relationship between the choreographer and the director is, and how Johnson even considered taking on the choreography since he’s “known for his fire moves.”

While the production got off to a rocky start, with the director changing the entire show days before the premiere, a “showmance” that almost ruined everything and wonky dance moves, it looks like everything will turn out just fine. Right?

“The night before opening night it always feels like you’re on the precipice of doom,” the “Hamilton” star said. “But then every time, like a miracle it always comes together.”

READ MORE: ‘Jumanji’ Stars Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan Defend Her Skimpy Costume: It Will ‘Make Sense Soon’

“Millennials: The Musical” will premiere on Tuesday, November 29 on The Rock’s YouTube page.

Check out the hilarious video below.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

‘T2: Trainspotting’ International Trailer: Ewan McGregor and the Rest of the Boys Are Back in Town

The long-awaited sequel is due in theaters next February.

That long-in-the-making “Trainspotting” sequel you’ve heard so much will soon be a reality, and now there’s an international trailer to prove it. What’s more, “T2: Trainspotting” (not to be confused with “T2: Judgment Day”) reunites director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge with the entire main cast of their 1996 sleeper hit. Watch the trailer below.

READ MORE: ‘Trainspotting’ Author Irvine Welsh Teases Possible TV Series Spinoff

“What you been up to…for 20 years?” Mark (Ewan McGregor) is asked by Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) as it opens, a self-reflexive acknowledgement of how long viewers have been waiting for this. “T2” is based on “Porno,” novelist Irvine Welsh’s 2002 sequel to “Trainspotting”; unlike the book, it takes place two decades later rather than a mere nine years. Ewen Bremner, Kelly Macdonald, Robert Carlyle, James Cosmo and Shirley Henderson are all slated to appear in “T2” as well.

READ MORE: ‘Trainspotting 1:2’ Shows the Mirror Imagery Between The Original Film and Sequel Trailer

“Trainspotting” launched the careers of just about everyone involved, most notably Boyle (who won an Academy Award for directing “Slumdog Millionaire”) and McGregor. “T2” opens in the UK on January 27 and in the United States on February 3.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

‘Double Dare’ Reunion: The Secrets Behind the Nickelodeon Series’ Unlikely Origins – and Potential Rebirth

Dana Carvey as host? Why did it shoot in Philly? Marc Summers weighs in on the game show’s history and enduring legacy, as cast and crew reunite for its 30th anniversary.

Three decades ago, execs at pioneering kids network Nickelodeon realized that wanted to do more than just air old comedy repeats (“Dennis the Menace”) and Canadian imports (“You Can’t Do That on Television”). But this was the early days of cable, and there were no budgets.

That’s how the network’s first game show, “Double Dare,” came to be produced at the local PBS station in Philadelphia. “Nickelodeon couldn’t do [shows] in LA and they couldn’t do them in New York because the cost was too prohibitive,” recalled host Marc Summers. “They found out that the PBS station in Philly, WHYY, wanted to open up a production wing, so the station said, ‘If you help us, we’ll help you. Would you put ads in the trade magazines and say, ‘Hey, we had this great experience down in Philly,’ so other people will come knocking on our door and we can open up another revenue stream?'”

"Double Dare"

“Double Dare”


According to Summers, the first episodes of “Double Dare” cost about $12,000 an episode. “It was hysterical,” he said. “We could do five episodes for $60,000. Now, you can’t open a door in a studio for that!”

As “Double Dare” became more successful, the show eventually moved to New York, then helped open the production facilities at Universal Studios Orlando, and even spawned a primetime version on Fox (the celebrity-heavy “Family Double Dare”).

And 30 years later, Nickelodeon has reached generations of kids with hits like “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “All That” and “iCarly.” But “Double Dare,” which celebrates its 30th anniversary with a retrospective special on Wednesday night, helped start it all.

READ MORE: Why the Creator of ‘Clarissa Explains It All’ Had His Nickelodeon Heroine Grow Up

“It’s meant everything [to fans],” said Keith Dawkins, who oversees Nickelodeon’s retro block “The Splat” as executive vice president of TeenNick and Nicktoons. “‘You’re bringing my childhood back to life’ is something I hear over and over again. He and that show and Nickelodeon were pivotal parts of their childhood.”

"Double Dare"

“Double Dare”


But in 1986, the idea of a kids-centered cable network airing an original game show was considered pretty ambitious, even with that flimsy price tag.

“They did focus groups and found out that kids live vicariously through their parents, watching ‘Price is Right,’ ‘Jeopardy,’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ but they didn’t have their own game show,” Summers said. Nickelodeon executives realized that kids loved to play “Truth or Dare,” and that kids liked getting messy – but they also wanted to get prizes and they also wanted money.

All of that went into “Double Dare,” which contained both a question segment and a physical challenge segment if a contestant took a “dare.”

“The staff had never really done much television production,” Summers said. “Mike Klinghoffer, our director, had never directed a TV show. Alan Silberberg wrote the material and wrote it to what the kids liked. We put stuff on the air that made people scratch their heads at some point, which was hysterical, but we got away with murder because executives were so busy trying to get other stuff on, they never even looked at the shows.”

To host “Double Dare,” Nickelodeon first considered Soupy Sales, who had hosted kids shows in the 1950s and 1960s, but he was ultimately considered to be too old. Summers said he also heard that Dana Carvey was also offered the gig before taking “Saturday Night Live.”

At the time, Summers had been making a nice living as a warm-up comedian on shows like “Star Search,” “Alice” and “Webster.” But those jobs started to dry up, and he was about to make a dramatic career change.

"Double Dare"

“Double Dare”


“I had one foot out the door,” he said. “I had opened up a smoked salmon business. I put a freezer in my garage and I knocked on small deli doors. The next thing I know, we’re selling 80,000 pounds of smoked salmon to the Price Club. Then we got into Trader Joes. All of a sudden I went, well, I guess show business wasn’t meant for me.”

But then a ventriloquist pal who got the call for the “Double Dare” audition wasn’t interested, and told Summers about it instead. “My agent didn’t even set it up,” he said. “Today I’m not even sure that if you went and said, ‘I’m here instead of the other guy’ that they’d even let you in the room.”

John Harvey, the show’s sidekick announcer, was a former Philadelphia DJ who needed a job when the producers called. Robin Russo was a production assistant who was put on camera when producers realized they needed someone on stage to facilitate the physical challenges.

“It was all a series of interesting missteps and mistakes that turned into what it turned into,” Summers said. “Then when it hit the airwaves, cable at the time didn’t have a lot of visibility, but those kids who had it would go to the playground and said, ‘We saw this guy jump into 5,000 pounds of baked beans on a kids’ show called ‘Double Dare.'”

"Double Dare"

“Double Dare”


“Double Dare” ended its run in the early 1990s, and returned briefly in 2000. But “we struck a nerve in a generation,” Summers said. “I was backstage at a Bruno Mars concert and they said, ‘Do you want to meet him?’ He saw me, runs down the hall, throws his arms around me and hugs me. I said, ‘Oh, my God. Do you know who I am?’ And he goes, ‘You raised me.’ It’s like, that was weird.”

Summers moved on to become a successful producer and host on Food Network shows such as “Unwrapped” and “Restaurant Impossible.” But “Double Dare” put him on the map, and given TV’s penchant for nostalgia, was happy to help Nickelodeon mark the show’s 30th anniversary – starting with an event at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con.

“We did a live Facebook version that aired out of a night club and it was the hottest ticket in town,” he said. “We had this massive Nick booth on the floor and people standing in line for autographs. Nostalgia.”

Marc Summers, Robin and Harvey, "Double Dare Reunion"

Marc Summers, Robin and Harvey, “Double Dare Reunion”

Craig Blankenhorn/Nickelodeon

The “Double Dare” special will include Summers, Harvey and Russo reuniting to screen vintage content plus new games ­– featuring a reunion-within-a-reunion: Several stars from “All That” (including Lori Beth Denberg, Josh Server, Kel Mitchell and Danny Tamberelli) join to play the game.

READ MORE: ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ Revived at Nickelodeon as TV Movie

Summers said he has heard that, in success, “Double Dare” could return as an adult version for Nick at Nite. “Let’s bring it back,” he said.

Dawkins didn’t dismiss the idea: ” The audience will determine where we go with this… Libraries are coveted. The fact that we have this library that allows us to dive into it and create some new experiences – not only for nostalgia audience but a new kid audience.”

Watch below for some of “Double Dare’s” greatest moments:

“Double Dare Reunion Special” airs Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 9 p.m. ET on Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite.

Stay on top of the latest TV news! Sign up for our TV email newsletter here.

‘La La Land’ Featurette Goes Behind the Scenes of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s Dizzying Romance

Director Damien Chazelle describes Gosling and Stone as a “classic Hollywood screen couple.”

The new romantic musical “La La Land” has garnered critical acclaim on the festival circuit this past fall, but soon it will finally be in theaters for all to see. Set in the heart of Los Angeles, the film follows aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and struggling jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) on their whirlwind romance as they contend with personal and professional disappointment. Watch a behind-the-scenes featurette below that delves into the film’s production, including Gosling and Stone’s chemistry.

READ MORE: ‘La La Land’ Review: A Lively Supercut of Classic Musicals Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

“When we were casting up the movie, part of the appeal to me was that you know Ryan and Emma are going to be a couple,” says director Damien Chazelle in the video. “You can see them and imagine them together. It was like Fred and Ginger, or Bogart and Bacall, a classic Hollywood screen couple.”

“You have two actors who have an on-screen chemistry that I think is one for the ages,” says producer Marc Platt.

The actors also discuss choreographing the elaborate dance sequences, Gosling’s pre-production piano lessons and Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons’ supporting role as a cheeky supper club owner who only wants Gosling’s character to play holiday songs.

READ MORE: ‘La La Land’ Official Trailer: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling Create Movie Magic in Oscar Frontrunner

“La La Land” premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past August. It went on to screen at the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival and more. It will enter limited release on December 9 and eventually enter all theaters nationwide on Christmas Day, courtesy of Summit Entertainment.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Here Are the Best-Cast Films of 2016, According to Top Casting Directors

Here’s why “Moonlight,” “Loving,” and more deserve honors, according to 13 of Hollywood’s best casting directors.

Casting directors have a strange distinction in the awards world: Their guild has an Academy branch, but it’s the only one without its own Oscar category. Imagine for a moment that they did. What are the best-cast films of 2016?

IndieWire asked 13 of the top casting directors to nominate films worthy of casting recognition this year. There were a few restrictions worth noting. Although casting directors often get early sneak peeks at films, many noted there are some films they still hadn’t seen. In particular, many are anxious to find out what legendary casting director Ellen Lewis has cooked up for Martin Scorsese’s “Silence.” The other restriction, which was imposed as responses came in: They couldn’t all write about “Moonlight.” (We’ll dig further into the casting of that film in another article.)

READ MORE: Casting Directors and the Academy: Why Lynn Stalmaster’s Honorary Oscar Matters

What follows is another lens through which to see our favorite movies of the year. Many of us, this author included, are quick to highlight expressive cinematography, enveloping production design, visceral editing, a moving score, or an individual standout performance. What we take for granted is the vital role casting directors play in interpreting, and bringing to life, the visions of our favorite directors.

"Hail, Caesar!"

“Hail, Caesar!”

Nominee: “Hail, Caesar!” (Ellen Chenoweth)

Douglas Aibel (“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Manchester By the Sea”): As there is always a tendency to focus on the great films released in the latter part of the film season, I thought I’d single out the casting achievement on a film seen at the launch of this tumultuous year. Ellen Chenoweth’s work on the Coen Brothers’ film “Hail, Caesar!” was impeccable and beautifully rendered –  full of surprise and delight. Casting a comedy, particularly a satirical work set in another era (in this case, Hollywood in the 1950s), provides unique challenges to the casting director and to the company of actors. Actors are required to be both stylized and real, to provide a sly and ironic wink at the past, but not to “play down” to it. In essence, to perform with gusto, style and yet not overdo it.

READ MORE: ‘Hail, Caesar!’ Exclusive Featurette Clip: Ralph Fiennes & Tilda Swinton Talk Set Atmosphere and Costumes

I think the ensemble assembled by Ms. Chenoweth in support of the vision of her directors, the Messrs. Coen, achieved this brilliantly.  Both the established stars in the film (George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, and Tilda Swinton), talented young rising stars (Alden Ehrenreich) and most especially some marvelously idiosyncratic actors from the New York stage (like Heather Goldenhersh as a hapless studio assistant and Max Baker as a Communist screenwriter) took the plunge, and engaged full force in bringing a very particular world to life with great enthusiasm, wit, spirit, and abandon. A wonderfully dotty mix of new and established artists putting on the clothes and affects of a long-ago era, and breathing new life into it.

CBS Films/Lionsgate

Nominee: “Hell Or High Water” (Richard Hicks & Jo Edna Boldin)

Jenny Jue (“Snowpiercer,” “Inglourious Basterds”): I imagine when Richard Hicks and Jo Edna Boldin first read the script, there was an immediate excitement over what could be done with these day-player roles. Dale Dickey is the first actor really shown, which was a sign of what to expect from this film — humor in its authenticity. Katy Mixon is a great choice as the average-sized waitress with too much makeup, trying fruitlessly to hit on Chris Pine. Character actor Buck Taylor, held at gunpoint, delivers a perfect, “You’re damn right I got a gun on me.”

I think sometimes people don’t realize the thought that goes into balancing out an ensemble like this. Albuquerque local William Sterchi is a pudgy bank manager with a gentle, high-pitched voice that is a great contrast in his scene with a towering Jeff Bridges. One scene with Bridges questioning a timid female bank teller, who is barely out of high school, precedes a diner scene in which the cranky smart-ass waitress is so old her skin dangles from her bones (the later shot of her walking across the street with a cane is awesome, too).

Richard and Jo Edna balance each scene’s energy and chemistry, while maintaining a continuity and authenticity throughout. It feels effortless because it’s authentic.  You’re not watching actors. You’re seeing people, and that is really special casting.

"The Jungle Book"

“The Jungle Book”

 Nominee: “The Jungle Book” (Sarah Finn)

Bernie Telsey (“Miss Sloane,” “Mary Poppins Returns”): When I saw “The Jungle Book” this spring, one thought ran in the back of my head the whole movie, “How did Sarah find him?” Sarah is Sarah Finn, who cast the film, and “him” is Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli.

READ MORE: Why Photographic Realism Makes Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ the VFX Oscar Favorite

As casting directors, we usually know which role will present the biggest challenge as soon as we’re done reading the script. I assume Sarah knew about five pages in, since Mowgli was the only character who was not computer generated. Mowgli had to carry the whole film using all his emotions, physicality, and sense of humor. And he had to do it all as a 12-year-old acting opposite hand puppets and green screens. As an audience member, I loved watching Mowgli’s journey through Neel’s eyes and feeling everything he was feeling right along with him. I could feel what a tremendous discovery this was and how they got it so right.

Nominee: “I, Daniel Blake” (Kahleen Crawford)

Lucy Bevan (“Snowden,” “Ghost in the Shell”): “I, Daniel Blake” is a brilliantly cast film. I believed every actor in every scene. Hayley Squires gives a devastatingly convincing portrait of a woman struggling to bring up her kids; she never tips into sentimentality and remains relatable throughout. Dave Johns is witty, clear and identifiable in his struggles. The supporting cast were spot on; Sharon Percy has the tough job of being unforgiving in the benefits center and Kate Rutter’s compassion shone through in her scenes.  The film is set in a specific time and place, and the excellent casting is a huge part of bringing the audience into that world. Many congratulations to Kahleen Crawford on such fine work.

The "Other People" cast and crew at Sundance 2016

The “Other People” cast and crew at Sundance 2016

Daniel Bergeron

Nominee: “Other People” (Allison Jones)

David Rubin (“Gravity,” “The English Patient”): When a film exists in a kind of hybrid genre and requires a tone that’s a real challenge to get right, the casting process takes on an extra dimension and can have even more crucial importance. Chris Kelly’s remarkable debut film, “Other People,” is a dark comedy about impending death that succeeds in walking the tightrope between comic absurdity and stark reality with aplomb. That is due in no small part to the inspired casting of Allison Jones.

Jones’ inspiration here was to provide actors who can’t help but be funny — skilled, improvisational performers who intrinsically generate laughs — but who she also knows are able to work from a place of simple emotional truth. No pushing for laughs, no behavior that seems outsized for the moment at hand. Just honesty, in this case delivered with the unexpected, neurotic flourishes that come with great character performance.

Surrounding Jesse Plemons, who provides an enormously sympathetic protagonist at the film’s center, are Molly Shannon, Zach Woods, John Early, Matt Walsh, Rose Abdoo, Paul Dooley, Kerri Kenney, Lennon Parham and others, bringing their skilled comedic chops to real-life circumstances with a deft balance that not just any funny person can deliver. They take things right up to the line, but never over it. That’s the great talent of casting director Allison Jones at work. She knows exactly who can be funny in the “real world” and wring laughs from the most awkward and tragic circumstance.

READ MORE: ‘Other People’ Scene-Stealer (And Newly Minted ‘Spider-Man’ Costar) JJ Totah Is Just Getting Started – Springboard

Then, to top it off, Allison introduces into the equation a teenage comedy dynamo, J.J. Totah, as the kid brother of Jesse Plemons’ friend. Unabashedly flamboyant, Totah basically stops the show, but his audacious personality is not a comedic turn. It’s essentially who he is in life, so he provides a welcome dose of outrageousness without for a minute compromising the film’s authenticity.

These choices are not accidents.  They’re the judgment calls of a casting director who understands and rises to meet the challenges at hand, and are a tremendous contribution to the success of the film.

Lion Sunny Pawar

Sunny Pawar plays young Saroo Brierley in “Lion


Nominee: “Lion” (Kirsty McGregor & Tess Joseph)

Cathy Sandrich Gelfond (“The Comedian,” “The Normal Heart”): Every once in awhile you see a film that grabs you by the throat and reaches down into your soul. For me this year, that movie is “Lion.” The bravery, grit, and wherewithal of the film’s main character Saroo Brierley is nothing short of remarkable and the power of the story rests primarily in the hands of the two actors portraying him.

Sunny Pawar (young Saroo) is a force of nature, whose truth is etched on his face from start to finish. There is not a false note in the performance of this eight-year-old non-actor who speaks only Hindi, making his performance that much more transcendent. This movie lives and dies on his performance and the film would be would be completely different without him in it. It took incredibly gifted and skilled casting directors, Kirsty McGregor and Tess Joseph, months of searching to find him, and then nurture him through the audition process, enabling him to reveal his best self.

Sunny’s devastatingly brilliant, visceral performance sets the stage for Dev Patel to shine as the older Saroo, and shine he does. In a harrowingly personal performance that calls on him to explore the meaning of family and identity, Dev brings us face to face with our own sense of self.

Watch: ‘Lion’ Trailer – Inspirational True Story Is The Weinstein Company’s Major Oscar Hopeful

Much of the magic in this film comes from the supporting actors who are perfectly cast. The rural Indian world personified by his mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose) and brother Guddu (Abishek Bharteh) as the nurturing, loving home base which is ripped from him after a mistaken train ride tosses him into the terror of the materialistic urban sprawl personified by Noor (Tannishha Chatterjee), the seemingly kind and compassionate woman who is actually trying to sell him into slavery. Thankfully, young Saroo finds a warm and loving home with his adoptive parents, the Brierleys (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). Nicole Kidman’s performance is a revelation and mirrors Dev’s in its depth and searing honesty. Rooney Mara, playing Saroo’s girlfriend, provides emotional ballast and a larger world view.

Captain Fantastic

“Captain Fantastic”

Bleecker Street

Nominee: “Captain Fantastic” (Jeanne McCarthy)

Yesi Ramirez (“Moonlight”): One of the challenges all casting directors face is when we are presented with material that focuses on children and young adults. Add an ensemble of kids who are related and you’ve doubled the challenge exponentially. The casting in “Captain Fantastic” makes that challenge seem easy.

Casting young adults and kids is a unique skill, different from other kinds of casting. I find it becomes even more important for the audience to believe they inhabit the same world. If it’s an ensemble of kids, you have to believe these kids would share space with one another. The connection between the siblings in the film was tangible. Every single young actor in the film brought the character to life in a very real way. Their performances were subtle when they needed to be, yet they were very much alive.

I had similar challenges casting “Moonlight,” where I had to search for young actors who could handle the heavy and beautifully written material, but who could also awaken the audience’s empathy. There’s a high level of patience and guidance that happens when you are in a room with young adults or kids. In order to extract their best performance an understanding of who they are and what they need as actors is imperative. If this could be achieved during their audition and the understanding continues on set with direction by talented directors such as Matt Ross, or in my case Barry Jenkins, then we’ve succeeded.

"Moonlight" - Andre Holland, Ashton Sanders, Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Tarell McCraney, Naomie Harris, Trevante Wright, director Barry Jenkins

Andre Holland, Ashton Sanders, Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Tarell McCraney, Naomie Harris, Trevante Wright, director Barry Jenkins

Daniel Bergeron

Nominee: “Moonlight” (Yesi Ramirez)

Gayle Keller (“Certain Women,” “Louie”): It is very difficult now to cast a film and have it find distribution without a star name attached. Every independent film I have ever worked on needed a name actor to help bring in the financing of the film, even if the director was known. But “Moonlight” manages to defy this equation and present an amazing group of actors, 80 percent of them I have never seen. I was familiar with Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, and Andre Holland, but the rest of the brilliant cast were unknowns to me. And when you are in the business of casting, you do tend to know a lot of actors.

The other aspect of this film that I found exceptional was the casting of the actors playing Chiron and Kevin at different ages. That is always a difficult task in any film, and Yesi Ramirez did a terrific job of finding Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner to match with Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome, and later Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes.

READ MORE: ‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins Reveals the Unconventional Way He Cast His Three Leads (PODCAST)

Mindy Marin (“They Live By Night,” “Nightcrawler”): “Moonlight” has a beautiful, subtle, and exacting approach to its casting. There is a simplicity to it that is lyrical, emotional. It is painting with humanity, a fade in on a great spirit at three different times in his life, living in a tough landscape.

The casting director, Yesi Ramirez, so clearly helped usher Barry Jenkins’ vision of the film into reality by summoning just the right actors whose iterations of character never hit a false note. It is a delicate dance that illuminates the interior of a soul, taking us on a journey that leaves an imprint in our minds and hearts. This one is a dance without a misstep. The work is mesmerizing, heartbreaking and life affirming. The casting of this movie portrayed the measure of a boy into manhood and the actual measure of his face and spirit as he evolved was seamless, from child to teenager to adulthood.  

It is so much work to make casting look easy. It is laying bare all the days of auditions in search of that magic moment when the right actors (or sometimes non-actors) to tell the story come into focus. The choices in “Moonlight” stayed with me and replayed in my consciousness. They continued to define themselves even days later.  




Mark Bennett (“20th Century Women,” “Zero Dark Thirty”): I found it noteworthy that, of all the rhapsodic reviews Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” received, more of them don’t make immediate and specific mention of the cast, beyond generally describing it, as an ensemble, as exemplary (which it is). One of the pleasures of cinema is watching a film that immerses you so completely in an environment that you feel like you could be witnessing “real life.” Films like this tend to be most successful in creating such an illusion when their cast feels both unfamiliar – without the jolts that can happen when a Big Movie Star suddenly appears on screen – and specific to that particular environment.  

The cast of “Moonlight” is made up in part of relative unknowns (most notably the remarkable Trevante Rhodes), and in part of actors who have bodies of work, but who one wouldn’t quite classify as household names. Even the actors in it that mainstream audiences are most likely to recognize – Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae – have been cast in roles far different from how we’ve seen them in the past (the transformation of the British Harris into a drug-addicted Miami mother, in particular, is stunning).

READ MORE: ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Luke Cage’ Breakout Mahershala Ali on the Power of Diverse Roles

Each role has been written as a showcase, and the actors manage the trick of pulling off this demanding material while never compromising the film’s immersive realism by drawing attention to their own acting through melodrama or cliché or showy actorly tics. It is easy to allow oneself the fantasy of believing we’re witnessing scenes from the lives of “real people” on the streets of Miami – and yet, the work the actors are doing to help create that illusion is skilled and nuanced in a way that only trained actors could deliver. One is grateful that independent films like “Moonlight” exist, to give actors of this caliber a chance to exercise their talents in a way they wouldn’t often get to in studio films.  

The fact that the cast is so excellent, given the film’s low budget, and the fact that for budgetary reasons some of the cast had to be found locally in Florida, makes the accomplishment of casting director Yesi Ramirez that much more impressive.  Anyone who’s worked on low-budget films knows the difficulty of assembling an awards-worthy cast when the traditional talent pool is constantly being picked over by films or TV shows offering better money or more guaranteed exposure. Casting kids, especially kids as good as these kids, is that much harder. Kid casting is always labor intensive and requires a lot of footwork, especially when you’re casting kids of minority descent, who are often under-represented in the industry (trust me, if you put out a call looking for cute white kids, agents will send them over by the truckload). But then on top of that, to have to cast three actors to play each of the film’s two leading roles at different ages, and have us believe that we’re witnessing those same characters at three different points in their lives? Forget the CSA’s Artios Award – Yesi should get a Purple Heart.


Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in “Loving”

Nominee: “Loving” (Francine Maisler)

Richard Hicks (“Hell or High Water,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”): For me, casting at its best is seamless, and uses our craft to keep the focus firmly on the story. While at the same time quality casting can expand a film’s emotional resonance, so that the actor or actress in a particular role feels inevitable; not like the ‘best’ choice so much as the ‘only’ choice.

The casting of Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in “Loving” is an example.  Here we have two top-tier actors who not only physically resemble their real-life counterparts, but they also share an ability to speak volumes without saying a word. The harmony they have as actors, and the inner qualities they share with their real-life originals, allow the audience to relax into the film version of this couple; to quickly put their trust in the two of them and in the film, so that as the story unfolds they kind of “walk with us” through Jeff Nichols’ movie.

READ MORE: Ruth Negga Reveals How Her Chemistry With Joel Edgerton Raised ‘Loving’ Beyond Melodrama

Patricia DiCerto (“Café Society,” “Blue Jasmine”): The responsibility felt by a casting director when given the task of casting real-life characters — historical or modern — can be overwhelming. You want to give the roles the attention and justice they deserve. A director may give you guidelines to recreate the essence of the person without the burden of having to find an exact physical replica. Though, in some cases, the likeness is of critical importance. Jeff Nichols’ beautifully cast “Loving” is a perfect example of striking gold on both counts.  

Jeff Nichols, Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton at 'Loving' premiere.

Jeff Nichols, Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton at ‘Loving’ premiere.

Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

The film, a love story set in segregated Virginia, follows Richard and Mildred Loving, whose interracial marriage was the basis for the historic Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia which made it legal for a mixed racial couple to marry. I was already familiar with the depth of talent of Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. Both are incredibly skilled actors, and while they bear an uncanny resemblance to the actual Lovings, neither is American. Edgerton is Australian and Negga is Irish Ethiopian. Both are blessed with keen ears for accents, which perhaps weighed heavily in their favor.

Francine Maisler brought Negga to Nichols very early on in the process, and Edgerton had starred as an American in a previous film directed by Nichols. I had the pleasure of screening the film at an AMPAS event in New York, at which the director, producer, and stars spoke afterwards about the production. Nichols explained he never felt burdened to cast an American. “I didn’t set out to cast foreign actors in these very American roles,” he said. “But in hindsight [I] felt quite smart.” He went on to explain, “I could have cast a Southern actor….this [Virginian] accent was more specific. I don’t know if an American actor would have gone through or been as used to those same [speech] mechanics.”  

His decision to go the foreign-actor route highlights the trend of having foreign actors play Americans and, more specifically, taking on iconic Americans. This trend has proved fruitful: Anthony Hopkins as Nixon, Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, and David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr.

The challenges involved in casting an authentic period piece extend beyond the leads to the entire ensemble and affect the way you put together your casting puzzle. It takes an incredible amount of patience and stamina. In regards to “Loving,” the local casting directors deserve a great deal of kudos for assembling such a diverse wealth of talent. “Those actors in their supporting roles,” Nichols revealed, “I had imagery of them. I knew what they looked like and I was so influenced by it, I couldn’t dismiss it.”

The Salesman

“The Salesman”

Memento Films

Nominee: “The Salesman” 

Heidi Levitt (“The Artist,” “JFK”): Casting is that secret hidden ingredient in any successful film. When the casting is right, we are drawn into the story and we let go of any preconceptions about the actor we are watching because the actor becomes the character. Often it is easier for us insiders to do this while watching foreign films as we are less familiar with the talent on screen. But what I love most about watching foreign films is seeing actors who don’t look like they are ready for the red carpet, or a spread in People magazine. I love discovering actors who look more like they could be anyone, complete with imperfections and off the beaten track appearances. And it seems to me that I see those actors more often in films from abroad.

“The Salesman,” directed by Asghar Farhadi, is one of those perfect ensembles. I was familiar with one of the leading actors, Shahab Hosseini, who was in Farhadi’s Oscar-nominated film, “A Separation,” but other than him I was unfamiliar.

WATCH: ‘The Salesman’ Trailer, Asghar Farhadi Is Iran’s Oscar Contender With This Two-Time Cannes Winner

The film is a brilliant drama that uses Arthur Miller’s “Death of A Salesman” as a backdrop, but picks up on the life of the actors performing the play and brilliantly weaves together their lives with the little moments of Miller’s play. We see the backstage drama of a couple navigating life looking for a new apartment because their building is unsafe, like the crumbling city they live in. We see the day-to-day life of actors who do not make a living as actors. We come to recognize them as people we recognize in our world. They are no different than struggling actors in Los Angeles or New York.

These actors, from the older landlord to the single mom and her young son to the leading couple, who play both husband and wife and Willy Loman and Linda, were all flawless playing both their roles in the play and artists who must have day jobs, too. I felt as though I was a fly on the wall watching a documentary about actors who work in basement theaters without the glitz of Broadway or Hollywood. The stark neo-realistic performances left me bereft when the emotional world of the characters built to a crescendo and the lead couple’s relationship was torn open. It was a casting director’s dream to see nuanced acting that combined theatrical skill with the intimate moments of auteur filmmaking. Indeed, talent is everywhere and without borders.  

Editor’s Note: IndieWire has confirmed that director Asghar Farhadi cast “The Saleman” himself. 

Stay on top of the latest in gear and filmmaking news! Sign up for the Indiewire Toolkit newsletter here.

Channing Tatum, Kristen Bell and More Join Jimmy Kimmel’s Charity Song ‘We’re Going To Hell’ – Watch

The stars gather to sing in an effort to raise awareness to help the fight against AIDS.

Jimmy Kimmel rolled out the red carpet for his star-studded guests on his special (RED) Show to raise awareness and money to help fight against AIDS.

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host teamed up with Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kristen Bell, DJ Khaled, The Killers, Neil Patrick Harris and Halsey to form the supergroup (RED) Pack and sing “We’re Going to Hell.” The charity song explains that if you don’t help people with AIDS, well, there’s a special place for you down in hell.

The six-minute video includes Brandon Flowers on the piano while the rest of the celebrities sing bits and pieces of the song. There’s also a moment when Harris and Tatum show their tap-dancing skills.

READ MORE: ‘Gilmore Girls’ Cast Tease Final Four Words on ‘Fallon’ — Watch

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Bono, dressed a devil, gives a special performance.

The episode marks the second time Kimmel has joined forced with Bono and (RED) for a late-night show in honor of World AIDS Day on December 1. “Live!” will kick off with the (SHOPATHON)RED which includes limited edition (RED) products and once-in-a-lifetime experiences with celebrities via OMAZE.

Check out the stars singing “We’re Going to Hell” below.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

‘she’ Navigates Post-Breakup Life and Love in London

“It’s not my story wholly, but something I hope others find consolation in, strength in, a sense of sisterhood and self-love.”

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress, as presented by the creators themselves. At the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.


Logline: A contemporary story of sisterhood and self-love, “she” is about a woman in her 30s, coming out of a relationship, designing a new life from scratch and facing the possibility of a future as a single person.

Elevator Pitch:

Set in the brutal but endearing urban landscape of London, “she” embarks on a journey of self-discovery and self-love, full of fun, difficultly and humour. she is coming of age, again and always.

Production Team:
Writer / Director – Lindsay Segall
Producer – Laura Berman
DOP – Tom Underwood
Editor – Helen Murphy

About the Film:

Last year I decided that I had a story to tell, and I wanted to turn it into something I could share with others. I am at the start of my journey into this industry, but I really believe in this story, and once I decided to share it with people, I realised others believed in it too.

Many of the things that I am trying to articulate through she are happening to so many of us now. It’s not my story wholly, but something I hope others find consolation in, strength in, a sense of sisterhood and self-love.

Current Status: I am currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of the pilot, and have already produced a teaser for the campaign.

Got a project that you’d like to be featured? Submit to Project of the Day!

‘Gilmore Girls’ Cast Tease Final Four Words on ‘Fallon’ — Watch

Scott Patterson and Liza Weil know what they are, but Sean Gunn does not.

As fans of “Gilmore Girls” wait with bated breath for the premiere of the revival series “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” to see how Rory, Lorelai and the rest of the Stars Hollow gang turned out, cast members are currently on the talk show circuit promoting the upcoming series. On last night’s episode of “The Tonight Show,” host Jimmy Fallon had “Gilmore Girls” actors Scott Patterson (Lorelai’s love interest Luke), Liza Weil (Paris, the Type A-foil to Rory) and Sean Gunn (town oddball Kirk) on the show to talk about the series.

READ MORE: ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ Review (Spoiler-Free): This Netflix Revival is Worth the Wait

In a short segment near the end, Fallon brings up how creator Amy Sherman-Palladino knew the four words she wanted to end the series with for years but never had the chance because she was replaced with another showrunner for the final season. Fallon needles the cast for hints about the four words, but only Patterson and Weil know what they are. Gunn suggests that it might be, “Kirk is your overlord.” Watch the video below.

“Gilmore Girls” first premiered on the WB network in October, 2000 and ran for seven seasons. During its initial run and in the years since it left television, it has garnered both critical and popular acclaim.

READ MORE: ‘Gilmore Girls’: The 72 Most Important Characters, Ranked

“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” will premiere on November 25 only on Netflix.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Ken Loach Has Some Advice For Filmmakers in the Age of Trump and Brexit

The British filmmaker knows a thing or two about the plight of the working class, and what filmmakers can do to address their needs.

It’s been a big year for the frustrations of the working class. From Brexit to Donald Trump, massive events with global impact have emerged from voters frustrated by the political establishment and eager for massive change, even if it has cataclysmic potential. While these pockets of society are only recently dominating the news cycle, British director Ken Loach has been scrutinizing them for decades.

Since the late sixties, Loach has played a critical role in the kitchen sink realism that became a pivotal force in British culture with films such as “Kes” and “Family Life.” At 80, Loach shows no sign of slowing: “I, Daniel Blake,” which stars Dave Johns as an out-of-work carpenter battling the healthcare system that denies him proper care. The film won Loach his second Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, 10 years after his first win with “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.”

READ MORE: How Filmmakers And Film Critics Need To Adapt In the Age Of President Trump — IndieWire Critics Survey

While the film opens theatrically in the U.S. on December 23, Loach’s voice is a vital one at the present moment, as Americans reel from an election that many have been comparing to the outcome of the Brexit vote. In a phone call from Britain, Loach addressed the parallels and offered some advice for ways in which filmmakers can deal with the new political climate.

I, Daniel Blake

“I, Daniel Blake”

Sundance Selects

Is there a Ken Loach Brexit movie in the works? Everyone must be clamoring for one now, right?

One thing we’ve learned over the years is that you don’t follow the headlines. You’ve got to try and find stories that just are more long-lasting. Otherwise, you’ll be out of date by the time the film is made. We might go to a meeting about Brexit and talk about, but as an issue it’s not something we should make a film about. There are underlying ways in which we live together that we should make films about. The different tactical decisions are current affairs. It’s something to write a pamphlet about, not a piece of fiction.

Nevertheless, the Brexit vote exposed fissures in British society you’ve been exploring for decades.

What happened was that you heard the right wing arguments, not the left wing arguments. The right wing argument was that the European Union is a club for big business, an economic organization that prioritizes the interests of big corporations. It’s organizing the economy to big businesses can make a lot of money. The interests of workers is not at the front. They’re always at the end. So on the left, the argument is, “How do we change this?” Some people thought it was better to change this on the outside; some people thought it was better to change it on the inside. It’s more complicated than it looks from outside.

A lot of people are saying that the outcome of the American elections is our Brexit. Do you think that parallel is accurate?

READ MORE: Cannes Review: Why ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is Ken Loach’s Best Movie in Years

I think it’s misleading. The European Union is an institution that is in the interest of big business, not the European people. So it’s understandable that some people thought we should leave. There’s also a version of that argument — the one you heard — that’s anti-immigrant, insular and inward-looking. So there were two different reasons for leaving and you only heard one.

And in the U.S.?

From outside, on the left, it looks to us like this is the consequence of the neo-liberal project that began with economists, pursued by Reagan and Thatcher, to de-regulate business and corporations so that people can be exploited more easily, industries closed down and work taken overseas where the labor was cheap. Thatcher has left generations of people feeling excluded, feeling alienated. But the cause was that economic plan that we called neo-liberalism. That has produced the poverty and alienation that has made people turn to the right, as they did in the twenties and thirties in Europe, because they were ignored politically.

What’s the reaction to the election been like in the U.K.?

People have different views about it. The more political people would put it as I have. Others would say how depressed they are that such an appalling man has come to power, how shocked they are to see Neo Nazis saluting each other. People are very upset. For some of us on the left, the question is, “How do people respond?” Will they organize? Will they develop a politics of opposition that gets to grips with the economic circumstances that brought Trump to power? It’s a big challenge for the left.

Let’s hope that they get rid of that Democratic hierarchy and have a mass party that really represents the interests of working people. Most of the hierarchy in the Labor Party in Britain are against this, but the leadership itself — that’s Jeremy Corbyn and others — they are more equivalent to Bernie Sanders with a more radical politics. There’s an old guard in the Labor Party, just like there was old guard in the Democrat party, that they’re trying to destroy. That’s the struggle we’ve got, and I think it’s the struggle you’ll have in the states: Can the Democratic party line up behind Bernie Sanders and really be challenge, or will it fall back on the old ways of the Clintons and the rest of them? It’s an interesting moment, really.

Trump’s new senior advisor has a background making right-wing propaganda films. Can left-wing filmmakers somehow fight back with filmmaking?

Film can play a big part. You just have to show what’s happening. The truth can be subversive, can’t it? Those in power always try to distort reality, to suit their needs and keep things safe. So just to show us what’s happening — people are dying because they’ve got no healthcare, for example — is subversive. Film can do lots of things: It can produce alternative ideas, ask questions, just record the reality of what’s happening, it can analyze what’s happening. Of course, most commercial films are controlled by big corporations who have an interest in not doing those films.

It’s like the press — journalism has a role to play, but the bigger papers are controlled by multinational corporations who don’t want their journalists to ask questions. I think it’s very comparable. As a medium, film has great potential, but its use is dominated by big capital.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.