OSCAR WINNER TOM MCCARTHY ON “SPOTLIGHT”

Oscar-winning writer/director Tom McCarthy talks about the making of his film Spotlight in our interview.  The film was nominated for 5 Oscars and won 2 Academy Awards last night. McCarthy and Josh Singer won an Oscar for the best original screenplay, and the second for the best picture.

Spotlight is based on a true story about how The Boston Globe investigated and shed light on the sexual abuse in the Catholic church in Boston. The sexual abuse had gone on for years, but no one had done an in-depth investigation into it. Spotlight premiered at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.

We recorded this interview with MCarthy in San Francisco just before the film released. We spoke to him about being raised as a Catholic, why he chose to premiere the film at Venice Film Festival and why he made the film. Spotlight is a film about faith points out McCarthy in the interviews.

McCarthy’s previous films include Station Agent, The Cobbler and The Visitor. Besides directing and writing, McCarthy has also acted in films like Little Fockers, and Syriana and TV series like The Wire, and Boston Public.

 

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VIDEO: HOOKED ON FILMS WITH TIM SIKA

Tim Sika

Tim Sika

Tim Sika is hooked on films, and therefore it should come as no surprise that he is the host of Cellouloid Dreams, a radio show from San Jose and also contributes to 810 AM KGO radio station and is the President of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. As if he did not have enough on his plate he also heads the Camera Cinema Club located in Silicon Valley.

We sat down to talk to Sika about how he got hooked to films growing up in Ohio. His mother was a dancer, and she was hooked to films. It was not uncommon for Sika to be whisked away to a local cinema by his mother to catch the latest picture. His addiction to film developed over the years and when he moved to the San Francisco Bay area he became involved with the radio show and the film critics circle and the rest is history.

We also wanted to find out from Sika about some of the films that resonated with him this year like Brooklyn, Trumbo, Spotlight, Love & Mercy and others. Tune in to find what are some of the films that make it to Sika’s 2016 Oscar list.

 

VIDEO: TOM McCARTHY ON SPOTLIGHT

Director Tom McCarthy’s new film Spotlight is based on a true story uncovered by an investigative team at The Boston Globe. In 2002 the newspaper published a series of reports about the pedophile priests in the Catholic church in Boston. The name of the investigative team in the newspaper is called Spotlight.

McCarthy’s film premiered at the 2015 Venice International Film Festival. In this interview we asked McCarthy why he chose Venice to premiere Spotlight.

Spotlight stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Rachel McAdams and Stanley Tucci.

We have a longer video interview with McCarthy coming up later this week.

MY 5 PICKS FOR MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL OCT 8-18, 2015

MVFF38

MVFF38

The 38th Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF)  is currently underway and runs from Oct 8-18, 2015. This year’s festival seems to highlight the gender gap and features quite a few films where women play a central role. The films with strong female characters include I Smile Back, Room, Suffragette, Miss You Already, Light Beneath Her Feet and Code: Debugging The Gender Gap among others. For ticket and information check out MVFF’s website.

The opening night films were Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl and Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight. I have an interview with McCarthy coming up.

I watched a few of the films, and will be watching some more in the coming week. This list is by no means an exhaustive one and precludes quite a few good films that I have not had a chance to see. For example, Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan is not in this list. Now, this is a film that I missed watching and plan to watch it later this month.

So, here are my 5 picks from the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival in a random order.

McCarthy’s Spotlight looks at the massive cover-up of the sexual abuse by the Catholic church in Boston. In 2003 the Boston Globe published a series of investigative reports on how the church for decades had skillfully covered up the sexual abuse of children by the Catholic priests. This important local story took years to uncover even though there were people in the know and were aware of the abuse. Why then did it take so long to report the story? The film stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Lieve Schreiber and others.

Director Lenny Abrahamson’s Room is an engrossing tale of a mother and son locked up in a room for years. And then suddenly they are rescued from their confinement and set free. The challenge that the duo struggle is how to adjust to their new way of life in a free world? You will have to see the film to find out how mother and son were imprisioned in a room for so many years. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay give a strong and convincing performance in the film.

Iranian filmmaker Jaffer Panahi’s Taxi is an evocative and subtle film that shows you what life is like in Teheran. Banned from making films Panahi  stars and directs this film that addresses lot of questions like woman’s rights, creative freedom and films. It is the bit about films that is very interesting and poignant and highlights how people find away to get to see the films and TV shows that are banned. Ironically that includes Panahi himself.

The next two films on my list are Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette and Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation, which I will be watching later this week.

Suffragette is about how a group of ordinary women in England fought for their right to vote nearly 75 years ago. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Hannah Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson and Meryl Streep.

Cary Fukunaga’s new film Beasts of No Nation is based on Uzodinma Iweala’s book by the same name. Fukunaga wrote and directed the film that is set in an unnamed war-torn African country. This is a story of how a young boy becomes a boy soldier under a mercenary commandant.  Idris Elba plays the mercenary commandant and Abraham Attah makes his debut as the boy soldier. Netflix acquired the distribution rights for the film, and it will release it online and in theatres on October 16, 2015.