Alex Gibney Q&A
For Film.com, I chat with Alex Gibney about his latest film, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.
“The Internet is not a good place for secrets.” That’s how Alex Gibney puts it in the beginning of his latest investigative documentary, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,” which is as much about the rise and fall of the whistleblowing site as it is of its creator, Julian Assange.
“We Steal Secrets” chronicles the overnight stardom of WikiLeaks and Assange after the site—essentially an anonymous drop-box for secret information and news leaks—published documents exposing highly classified military materials, including the “Collateral Murder” video (footage from a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad where two Reuters journalists were mistaken as insurgents). That same information was also printed in major newspapers around the world like the New York Times and The Guardian, which teamed with WikiLeaks to distribute the information.
What should have been a monumental moment in transparency and free information led to the government playing the “power of nightmares” card, making the American public believe that this information was harmful out in the pubic, while also tracking down the whistleblower, Private First Class Bradley Manning, who will soon stand trail for his alleged leak of the most classified documents in American history. Assange, on the other hand, grew out of control with power and for close to a year has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as police wait to arrest him outside the building for questioning from Swedish authorities on sexual acts with two women.
Director’s Notebook: Haskell Wexler on ‘Medium Cool’
Latest entry in my column for Movies.com looks at the memorable scenes from cult favorite, Medium Cool.
Wexler on shooting the famous police riot scene:
I was out amongst them [during the police riot] and my plan of shooting was just the basic fact that the Eileen character was in search of her son and knew that he used to go to a certain area of Chicago, so she goes to look for him and she finds herself in the middle of a riot in the park. There’s one shot where the police and National Guard blocked off the park. I told Verna to try to get out, thinking she would be sent back into the confined section of the park where all the antiwar demonstrators were. I shot her going over to the troops and for whatever reason, her yellow dress or that she was pretty, one of the National Guardsmen let her pass through. So I had had my lead actress outside and I couldn’t get outside, so that’s when I had to adjust my plan.
But I was never concerned for our safety while shooting the riot stuff. I had been in Guatemala with guns going off, when I’m shooting I feel I’m safe as well as those with me. However, I was hit with tear gas.
Read more Director’s Notebook stories - James Ponsoldt’s Smashed, Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad.
Antonio Campos Q&A
For Film.com I chat with Antonio Campos about his latest film, Simon Killer.
After gaining attention for his intimately dark debut, “Afterschool” (2008), which examines the obsession with YouTube from the vantage point of a group of preppy private school kids, Antonio Campos’ sophomore effort “Simon Killer” shows his evolution as a filmmaker with this disturbing yet hypnotic character study of a recent college grad who travels to Paris.
Brady Corbet plays the title character, a shy, reclusive, manipulative American in the City of Light who befriends a prostitute (Mati Diop) and seems to be falling for her as he integrates himself into her life … until another girl catches his eye.
Vanessa Hudgens Q&A
I chat with Hudgens for Vanity Fair on being one of the bad girls in Spring Breakers.
Since gaining notoriety in her teens playing Gabriella Montez in the successful High School Musical films, followed by tabloid stardom dating her co-star Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens has tried her hardest to make us realize she’s more than a pop sensation. And for her latest role, she does just that.
First time on plane, ya’ll!
What a difference a day makes. #nemo