My Constantine Adventure: Interviewing Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, and others.

Angels. Demons. Humans caught in the middle. Heroes trying to resist temptation and defeat Satan’s emissaries.Sounds a lot like an adventure yarn from the mind of Frank Perretti.But Francis Lawrence’s action-horror flick Constantine is a far cry from This Present Darkness. While the hero is an exorcist casting out demons right and left, he’s not exactly driven by humility or selflessness. And he’s not too fond of God.Keanu Reeves plays John Constantine, a chain-smoking exorcist who kn … [Read more...]

My weekend In Good Company in L.A.

I just returned from L.A., where I had an opportunity to participate in a press conference with writer/director Paul Weitz, asking him questions about one of the most enjoyable mainstream comedies of the year, In Good Company, which stars Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, and Scarlett Johansson.I also had the privilege of tossing a couple of questions at Quaid and Grace.And I had the fantastic, inspiring experience of getting better acquainted with many of my fellow religious-press film … [Read more...]

My Zany Interview with David O. Russell

Here it is in its entirety.And here's the shorter version at CT. … [Read more...]

The Looking Closer Interview – David O. Russell (or, The Day the Director of I ♥ Huckabees Turned Me Into a Priest) (Featuring an appearance by Mark Wahlberg.)

When I walked into the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Seattle to interview director David O. Russell, I thought I was prepared.  … [Read more...]

Sam Phillips – The Looking Closer Interview

Introduction: An interview anticipated for two decades. I was 22 years old when I attended my first "celebrity interview." … [Read more...]

I Dreamed I Interviewed Flannery O’Connor

I love doing interviews with thoughtful artists. It's one of the greatest thrills of my work. I've had the privilege of interviewing writers like Scott Cairns and Dana Gioia, musicians like Linford Detweiler and Don and Karen Peris, and filmmakers like Patrice Leconte, Spike Jonze, Kevin Smith, and Peter Jackson. Sometimes, it's frustrating to see how many of my dream interviews are "out of reach"... like Flannery O'Connor.So I decided to unearth some of the most wonderful things O'Connor … [Read more...]

Add Another Fellow to My List of Heroes

In the last month I've:read up on the life of Dana Gioia, perused his poetry, shouted "Amen!" over and over again while reading his book Can Poetry Matter?, and interviewed him twice.I've got to say that he's becoming one of my heroes. He's about as qualified an individual as you'll find on the planet to head up the National Endowment for the Arts. He's doing a fine job. … [Read more...]

Two Interviews: Jean-Jacques Annaud and Louis Schwartzberg…

...the directors of Two Brothers and America's Heart and Soul, respectively.I've been scraping away at the hours for time to write reviews and edit this stuff, and I finally decided to post "almost-there" versions of the interviews, since the films may not be in theatres much longer.Anyway, I enjoyed both conversations, and I hope they shed some light on the films for you.Jean-Jacques AnnaudLouis SchwartzbergComing soon, my interviews with Patrice Leconte (Man on the Train, … [Read more...]

Learning Can Save Your Life: A Conversation with Filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud (2004)

This interview was originally published at Promontory Artists Association in 2004 upon the release of Jean-Jacques Annaud's film Two Brothers.-With his new film Two Brothers, French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud has produced one of the year’s best family films. My review of the film is here. I got up early to speak with Annaud by telephone this week. He was in France where it was already mid-afternoon. He spoke about the challenges of working with tigers, the themes that recur in his f … [Read more...]

Two Brothers, Two Fine French Filmmakers

Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with director Patrice Leconte ("Man on the Train") and found him to be one of the most affable, enthusiastic conversationists I've encountered among movie-folk.This morning I got up at 6AM to talk with Jean-Jacques Annaud, director of the new family-friendly film "Two Brothers," as well as the acclaimed director of "The Name of the Rose," "The Bear," "The Lover," and "Enemy at the Gates." … [Read more...]