VIDEO: FILMMAKERS BETSY WEST & JULIE COHEN ON THE MAKING OF RBG DOUCMENTARY

I caught up with filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen during the SFFILM to find out how they got to make their documentary RBG on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I was alsocurious to find out how they got permission to shoot the gym segment of Justice Ginsburg. Despite her  packed schedule Justice Ginsburg (85) makes time to work out in the gym 3 times a day.

RBG traces Justice Ginsburg life growing up as a first generation American in Brooklyn to studying law at Cornell & Columbia and then making her career as a lawyer and a teacher. She became the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. Equal rights for women was an area that Justice Ginsburg focussed right from her early days as a lawyer. The film also highlights how Justice Ginsburg’s husband Martin Ginsburg played an important role in helping her career and bringing up their family.

RBG has got strong reviews from film critics. Kenneth Turan of the LA Times writes “RBG shows the formidable soft power of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” AO Scott of The New York Times writes “The movie’s touch is light and its spirit buoyant, but there is no mistaking its seriousness or its passion.”

RBG released on Friday, May 4, 2018 in San Francisco Bay area.

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VIDEO: INTERVIEW GODARD MON AMOUR FILMMAKER MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS

We caught up with Academy award-winning director Michel Hazanavicius  when he was in San Francisco for the SFFILM festival. We spoke to him about his new film Godard Mon Amour. The film is based on the memoirs of Anne Wiazemsky, who was married to Godard and looks at a specific time period in the couple’s life – the late 1960s. Wiazemsky passed away in 2017 saw Godard Mon Amour and liked it says Hazanavicius.

“This is my Godard,” says the filmmaker. Hazanavicius says he has never met Godard and is not aware if the famous French filmmaker has seen the film.It is not often that a living film legend is the subject of a feature film. Godard is one of the founding members of the French New Wave. Age has not slowed down Godard, who is attending the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. In fact the 2018 poster for the Cannes Film Festival is based on a 1965 Godard film.

Godard Mon Amour is based on the memoirs of Anne Wiazemsky, who was married to Godard The film.stars Louis Garell, Stacy Martin,Bernice Bejo and Gregory Gadebois.

The film has mixed reviews. The New York Times says  you will “hate-watch” Godard Mon Amour, while The LA Times says the film is “curiously inconsequential homage,” to Godard.

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VIDEO: RBG FILMMAKERS ON RUTH BADER GINSBURG’S GYM ROUTINE

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the subject of filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s documentary RBG. Justice Ginsburg, who is in her 80’s hits the gym 3 times a week. Cohen describes how they got to shoot the Justice exercising in the gym for their film.

We have an extended interview coming up with Cohen and West on how they got to make their documentary on RBG. The film releases in early May 2018.

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VIDEO: FILMMAKER BEN REKHI ON “THE ASHRAM”

Los Angeles-based Ben Rekhi shares how the idea for his new film THE ASHRAM (2018) was born while he was traveling in India. The film is available online and starts Sam Keeley, Melissa Cox, Kal Penn, Radhika Apte and Hera Hilmar.

This is a highlight from our upcoming extended interview with Rekhi where we talk about him growing up in Silicon Valley, how he became a filmmaker and his upcoming projects that includes a series for PBS.

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VIDEO: FILMMAKER AARON KATZ ON THE MAKING OF HIS NOIR FILM GEMINI & LOLA KIRKE

Filmmaker Aaron Katz talks about the making of GEMINI, a noir film set in Los Angeles. The film centers around the relationship between a famous young actress (Zoe Kravitz) and her personal assistant (Lola Kirke). Often, the boundaries between their personal and professional life is blurred.

We met Katz in San Francisco and spoke on a wide range of topics from the making of Gemini to how he came to work with Kirke and his fascination with detective stories and his love for films. We also spoke about Katz’s focus is establishing the location of the cities that his films are set in.

Katz previous work includes Land Ho!  Quiet City and Cold Weather.

Katz wrote, directed and edited Gemini that is currently showing in theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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THE LINEUP FOR SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL APRIL 4-17, 2018

SFFILM Festival

SFFILM Festival

Lights, camera, action, cut, edit and watch the creations of the celluloid dreamers on the big silver screen. Yes, it is that time of the year in the Bay Area. Get ready for the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM) that runs from April 4-17, 2018. The 10-day festival is packed with films, live music, award nights, conversations, master classes and a tribute to actress Charlize Theron. The events for SFFILM are spread across San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.

The opening night film on April 4, 2018 is director Silas Howard’s  A Kid Like Jake with Claire Danes, Jim Parsons and Octavia Spencer. The closing night film on April 14, 2018 is director Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot with Joaquin Phoenix, Johan Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black.

Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Leo James Davis appear in A Kid Like Jake by Silas Howard. Photo by John Pack.

Here are some films that caught my eyes while browsing through SFFILM’s lineup. The festival features both new and old films from masters like Olivier Assayas and John Woo.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind is a documentary by Marina Zenovich. Williams lived in the San Francisco Bay area. The film screens on April 7, 2017 at Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

Come Inside My Mind by Marina Zenovich. A documentary on Robin Williams

Robin Williams appears in Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind by Marina Zenovich. Photo by Mark Sennet.

 

Filmmaker David Sington’s Mercury 13 is a documentary about a group of women that were trained by NASA for a space flight. But, their turn to travel to space did not come through. The film explores what happened and why their mission was still born.

Mercury 13

Mercury 13

 

RBG is a film about US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The film is directed by Betsy Wise and Julie Cohen, who will be at the Castro Theatre screening on April 14, 2018.

 

Neville Morgan’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor is a portrait about Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood fame. The film screens on April 7 and April 9, 2018 and Morgan will be at the screenings.

SFFILM provides a rare opportunity to listen to a mix of interesting people on films, filmmaking and technology like Wayne Wang, Guy Maddin, Alex Garland (director of Ex Machina) Annette Insdorf, and Jaron Lanier (who coined the term Virtual Reality).

Tickets for the  61st San Francisco Film Festival go on sale from Friday, March 16, 2018.

 

VIDEO: EDDIE REDMAYNE ON STEPHEN HAWKING & “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING”

Renowned British physicist Dr.Stephen Hawking passed away on March 14, 2018. He was 76 years old.

In 2014 Eddie Redmayne essayed the role of Dr. Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything. I got a chance to interview Redmayne about how he prepared for the role and his meeting with Dr. Hawking.

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VIDEO: ALEXANDRA DEAN ON BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY

Filmmaker Alexander Dean shares why she made Bombshell:The Hedy Lamarr Story. The Hollywood actress was known for her beauty but not her interest in technology. During World War II Lamar co-invented a secret communication systems based on frequency hopping. It was only decades later that Lamarr got recognition for her work.

Bombshell:The Hedy Lamarr Story released on Mary 9, 2018 in San Francisco Bay area. The film airs on PBS in May 2018.

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VIDEO: SEBASTIAN LELIO & DANILA VEGA ON THE MAKING OF “A FANTASTIC WOMAN”

We spoke with filmmaker Sebastian Lelio and transgender actress Danila Vega about the making of A Fantastic Woman and how they got the idea to make a film about a transgender actress. The film is about love and politics of identity.

Last week A Fantastic Woman won an Oscar in the foreign language film category and created film history for Chile. This was the first time a Chilean film won an Oscar. This was also the first film with a transgender actress in lead.

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VIDEO: A FANTASTIC WOMAN”S SEBASTIAN LELIO & DANILA VEGA

A highlight from our upcoming interview with Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio and transgender actress Danila Vega. I got to ask them a couple of questions from the famous Proust Questionnaire. We have a longer interview coming up with Lelio and Vega.

Lelio’s film A Fantastic Woman is Chile’s entry in the best foreign-language film category for the 2018 Oscars. The film stars Vega and how she deals with the sudden death of her lover played by Francisco Reyes.

A Fantastic Woman releases in early February 2018 in the San Francisco Bay area.