INTERVIEWS

In a powerhouse turn Jeremy Piven stars as a Jewish tap dancer in Nazi Germany in “THE PERFORMANCE”

Piven’s sister Shira directs the film, which premieres at the Palm Springs International Film Festival today

We’re used to watching Jeremy Piven be funny. His darkly humorous turn during eight seasons on “Entourage,” to say nothing of his earlier work in “PCU” and “Grosse Pointe Blank,” have made the Chicago native a favorite of directors seeking to realize edge, slightly (or more than slightly) dangerous obsessives fond of four-letter vocabulary. Indeed, while appearing on a video call from Houston, ... more >

Trans filmmaker Sav Rodgers traces his own journey in “CHASING CHASING AMY” | INTERVIEW

Kevin Smith agrees to chat on camera in this most personal documentary that comes to Palm Springs this week

Sav Rodgers discovered Kevin Smith’s “Chasing Amy” at a crucial time in his life. Rodgers connected with Smith’s comedy about a straight comic book artist (Ben Affleck) who falls for a fellow artist (Joey Lauren Adams) who also happens to be a lesbian. Hijinks ensue, leading to a bittersweet ending not atypical of Smith’s work. Rodgers watched the film dozens of times, if not more. However, as ... more >

Ken Burns returns with “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO,” along with trusted colleagues | INTERVIEW

The American Buffalo is back

At the start of the twentieth century, it was estimated that fewer than 1,000 bison were left on the Great Plains following two centuries of unchecked extermination. Today, thanks to conservation efforts, they number approximately 450,000—but still far, far below the tens of millions of animals that once roamed the continent.   In “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO,” master documentarian Ken Burns traces ... more >

If you want to learn more about the Manhattan Project, filmmaker Steve James has just the documentary for you: “A COMPASSIONATE SPY” | INTERVIEW

"The story was, the U.S. entered the war and we were heroes"
[DOCUMENTARY]

Thanks to a certain current blockbuster film, almost everyone is now familiar with J. Robert Oppenheimer, the so-called father of the atomic bomb. And while Christopher Nolan’s film starring Cillian Murphy does indeed touch upon the fact that Soviet spies worked alongside him at Los Alamos, what became of those spies is not discussed in “Oppenheimer.” However, “A Compassionate Spy,” the new ... more >

Revisiting “KOKOMO CITY” for its theatrical run with director D. Smith | IN CONVERSATION

We learned about this film at DC/DOX, and now you can catch it in theaters

At DC/DOX last June I saw “Kokomo City,” which details the lives of four Black trans sex workers facing multiple hardships. Director D. Smith, a trans woman and a Grammy nominee, spoke with me via phone during DC/DOX—and with the film now set to play in theaters this weekend, our conversation has been reposted. How did you decide to make this documentary? To do something like this, you ... more >

“Every escape was wilder and savvier and more complex than the last”; filmmaker Landon Van Soest on making “THE JEWEL THIEF” available this week on Hulu

Given his notorious history of heists one might assume that Gerald Blanchard would stay out of sight. Or at least keep his mouth shut. Yet Blanchard’s narcissism, for it can be labeled as nothing else, will not allow him to stay mum about his life of crime. Thankfully, filmmaker Landon Van Soest gives Blanchard just enough rope to air out his dirty laundry for the whole world to enjoy in the new ... more >

“I really wanted to pull people into the room, invite them to be part of our family, and invite them to be there by my dad’s bedside”; ONDI TIMONER on the making of “LAST FLIGHT HOME” | INTERVIEW

500 hours of raw, personal footage about a father she loves

Ondi Timoner’s father Eli died in 2021 after an incredible career as a business executive. Even after a stroke in middle age—which resulted in his being exiled from the very airline he founded—Eli pressed on and lived his best life, leaving behind several children and grandchildren. Eli’s final years were difficult as he was in constant pain and suffering from COPD and congestive heart failure. ... more >