Film Interviews

screenwriting for cinema

 Adam Stovall

Simon Barrett’s Got Next

Simon Barrett’s Got Next

The writer of You’re Next opens his toolbox and describes his collaboration with director Adam Wingard

by Adam Stovall Everyone always asks how Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard met, so let’s get that out of the way first. In 2003, Barrett was on the set of Dead Birds, his first produced screenplay, and Evan L. Katz was visiting the set to cover the film for Fangoria magazine. It turns out Katz […]

 Andrew Bloomenthal

Lee Daniels, director of Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Lee Daniels, director of Lee Daniels’ The Butler

The filmmaker behind the indie period tale about American politics, that has dominated the box office for three weeks running, Lee Daniels makes history with a film about making history.

by Andrew Bloomenthal Whether producing movies or directing them, filmmaker Lee Daniels isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics. In The Woodsman, Kevin Bacon plays a child molester freshly-released from prison. In Shadowboxer, Hellen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. are simultaneously stepmom and stepson, contract killers and lovers. And Precious—an unflinching portrayal of an abused, obese […]

 Andrew Bloomenthal

A Father and Son Story Across the Generations

A Father and Son Story Across the Generations

How Danny Strong, screenwriter of Lee Daniels’ The Butler, spun a newspaper article into box office gold

by Andrew Bloomenthal Danny Strong, the Emmy Award-winning writer of HBO hits Recount and Game Change, knows how to spin a compelling political yarn. In Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Strong tells the story of African American White House butler Cecil Gaines, played with frosty reserve by Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker, who serves through seven presidential […]

 KJ Doughton

Destin Cretton on Short Term 12

Destin Cretton on <i>Short Term 12</i>

Drawing from his own past experience as a foster home supervisor, writer/director Destin Cretton conveys both the crucial part that humor plays in caregiver resiliency, and the artistic outlets in which abused children express the unspeakable.

by KJ Doughton Slathered in peeling yellow paint, the building’s outside walls appear drab and benign. But looks can be deceiving. The interior of this building pulsates with the volatility and pain of a thousand exposed nerves. A California-based foster care center for at-risk teenagers known as Short Term 12, its rooms and hallways are […]

 Michael Welles Schock

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: Poor grammar, rich emotion.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: Poor grammar, rich emotion.

With sympathetic characters and a dramatic premise, David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints packs a lot of heartbreak into a simple plot.

by Michael Welles Schock There is no better way to express an ideal than to contrast it with its harshest opposite. We can best know joy by first knowing anguish. We can fully understand compassion only when it stands side-by-side with cruelty. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, the second feature film of writer/director David Lowery and […]