Ep 503: Larry Fessenden Returns!

Larry Fessenden is back for his 6th visit to the podcast to discuss… well, quite a bit in fact. One of the things we talk about his the latest installment of his radio play series, Tales From Beyond the Pale, whose latest episode will be performed live this Wednesday, August 22nd, 7:30 PM at the Walter Reade Theater. Tickets are still available here.

Larry and his producing partner Glenn McQuaid and a bunch of friends will perform the a double bill of these ghoulishly fun contemporary audio dramas. Now in its eighth year, the primarily spooky show, produced by Glass Eye Pix, has taken cues from the likes of Inner Sanctum Theatre and the Mercury Theatre Company while putting its own rich spin on the format. Observations both personal and political are often deeply entangled with whatever creature, creep, or ghoul Larry and Glenn conjure up. Two new Tales written and directed by Larry and Glenn will be performed live with actors, foley artists, sound designers, and musicians; it’s quite a sight, and if you dare to close your eyes, quite a listen! Previous shows have featured the vocal talents of the likes of Ron Perlman, Michael Cerveris, Lance Reddick, Doug Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sean Young, and Alison Wright… so you never know who might show up.

Filmwax Radio is presented by Rooftop Films. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. The podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher & Youtube.

Ep 502: Jeremiah Zagar, Raúl Castillo & Zak Mulligan • Trine Dyrholm

[8 mins. 45 secs.] The team behind the new indie film We The Animals is in the first segment. In Part 1 I chat with director Jeremiah Zagar (Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart) and actor Raúl Castillo (Looking). [37 mins. 45 secs.] In Part 2 I speak with the film’s director of photography Zak Mulligan. Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood. Their mother and father have a volatile relationship that makes and unmakes the family many times over, often leaving the boys fending for themselves. As their parents rip at one another, Manny and Joel harden and grow into versions of their father. With the triumvirate fractured, Jonah, who is the youngest, becomes increasingly aware of his desperate need to escape. Driven to the edge, Jonah embraces an imagined world all his own. The film is being distributed by The Orchard and was produced in partnership with Cinereach.

[1 hr. 6 mins. 52 secs.] The Danish actor Trine Dyrholm is the next up. Trine stars in the fiction film Nico, 1988 which is currently screening at Film Forum. Approaching age 50, singer/songwriter Nico leads a solitary existence — far from her days as a Warhol superstar and celebrated vocalist for the Velvet Underground in the 1960s. Her life and career on the fringes, Nico’s new manager convinces her to hit the road again and tour in Europe to promote her latest album. Struggling with demons and the consequences of a muddled life, she longs to rebuild a relationship with her son, whose custody she lost long ago. The conversation was recorded at the offices of Magnolia Pictures which is releasing the film.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of the great Aretha Franklin, who just passed away at the age of 76. She and her voice was a true gift to the world.

Filmwax Radio is presented by Rooftop Films. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. The podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher & Youtube.

Ep 501: Bing Liu • Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader & Pierce Rafferty

The director of an exceptionally moving documentary called Minding the Gap, Bing Liu, is up first on Episode 501. The film is opening in NYC on Friday, August 17th at the Metrograph Theater. Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship. Minding The Gap was made in conjunction with Kartemquin Films. It is being distributed by Hulu and will have its TV broadcast premiere later this year on POV.

The filmmakers behind the seminal and groundbreaking 1982 documentary The Atomic Cafe —Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader & Pierce Rafferty— are in the second segment. The film is currently screening at Film Forum in a new 4k restored digital print. This darkly humorous documentary consists of archival footage about nuclear warfare. Drawing largely on government propaganda and training films for American soldiers, the movie, presented in collage form, features clips from early in the Cold War era that are filled with alarming misinformation. Some segments address the alleged safety of nuclear radiation, “duck and cover” drills and other related topics, including instructions for living in a fallout shelter. The film, which is currently being distributed by Kino Lorber, will be opening wide over the coming days. This segment will be included on the forthcoming DVD as bonus content.

Music on this episode is from upcoming Filmwax guest singer-songwriter Mike Viola from his recent album The American Egypt.

Filmwax Radio is presented by Rooftop Films. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. The podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher & Youtube.

Ep 500: Ramin Bahrani

Filmwax Radio’s 500th Episode welcomes the director Ramin Bahrani. Bahrani has made six feature films including the Neo-realism  inspired Man Push Cart (2005) and Chop Shop (2007). The last of his films directly concerned with immigrants was Goodbye Solo (2008). He moved into more overtly political territory with his next two films: At Any Price (2012) dealt with big agriculture and the influence of biotechnology on modern farming; and then came 99 Homes (2014) which dealt with the mortgage and housing crisis of the past decade. Most recently Bahrani directed a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s seminal science fiction novella Fahrenheit 451 for HBO. Most of his films have opened in major world festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, Berline Film Festival, the Viennale, Sundance and Cannes. He is currently at work writing a new screenplay, an adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s novel The White Tiger. Bahrani also teaches two classes at Columbia University’s film department department.

This episode was gratefully recorded in the offices of Kickstarter in Brooklyn.

Filmwax Radio is presented by Rooftop Films. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. The podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher & Youtube.

Rooftop Talks: Jim Cummings

An expanded, feature-length version of the Sundance Grand Jury Prized dramatic short of the same title, Jim Cummings’ Thunder Road tells the story of flawed police officer Jim Arnaud (also played by Cummings), who lives a shambolic life that’s somehow made even worse by his mother’s passing. One of the best reviewed pictures of the […]

Rooftop Talks: Maxim Pozdorovkin

Maxim Pozdorovkin’s Our New President is a vodka-soaked fever-dream of a documentary that chronicles Donald Trump’s rise to power solely through Russian propaganda. Screening this Thursday, August 9th, at the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus as part of Rooftop’s 2018 Summer Series, the film is dually horrifying and hilarious; a satirical portrait of Russian meddling in the […]

Ep 499: Amy Jenkins • Joe Tropea & Robert A. Emmons

[9 mins. 5 secs.] I caught up with Amy Jenkins and her extremely personal non-fiction film, Instructions on Parting, at the Montclair Film Festival this past Spring. Jenkins’ film weaves breathtaking artistic footage with cinema verite to tell an elegiac story about transformation, grief, and the essential nature of the collective human journey. Told in an unconventional visual style, the story evolves from the viewpoint of director Amy Jenkins, whose first child is born while she negotiates the cancer diagnoses and transits toward death of three of her closest family members. By chronicling with her camera to interrogate loss, the filmmaker leads us to a bold and daring acceptance of our inevitable end. The film is still in the festival circuit and we’ll keep listeners updated as it makes its way to you.

[34 mins. 30 secs.] Then, filmmaker Joe Tropea and editor Robert A. Emmons with their documentary Sickies Making Films. A love letter to the movies, the film looks at our urge to censor films and asks why? We find reasons both absurd and surprisingly understandable. Using the Maryland Board of Censors (1916-1981) as a lens, as well as archival materials, classic film segments, and interviews with filmmakers and exhibitors who were subjected to censorship, this documentary examines the recurring problem of censorship in America. Sickies Making Movies will screen at the Sidewalk Film Festival later this month.

The music on this episode is presented by The Jayhawks off their new album Back Roads and Abandoned Motels, available now for download and physical media.

Filmwax Radio is presented by Rooftop Films. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. The podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher & Youtube.

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