Interviews with Directors and Artists
“What’s necessary is a vibrant film culture not just a formula”
By Richard Phillips, 10 March 2010
The WSWS recently spoke with Lucky Country scriptwriter Andy Cox, who explained some of the film’s themes, and commented on the increasing demands for Australian filmmakers to be animated by commercial considerations.
By David Walsh, 21 December 2009
British-born film critic Robin Wood died December 18 at the age of 78 in Toronto, where he had lived since the late 1970s. We repost the interview we did with him in 2000.
A film about the impact of the economic crisis in the US
By Marge Holland, 9 December 2009
Earlier this year Austin and Brian Chu traveled to every state in the US in an effort to capture the reality of the recession, which was being so under-reported by the American media. The WSWS spoke to Austin Chu recently in San Francisco.
Toronto International Film Festival 2009
By David Walsh, 10 October 2009
Asli Özge is the director of Men on the Bridge, a Turkish film screened at the recent Toronto film festival. We spoke during the festival.
“The Balibo deaths represented part of the broader tragedy that befell East Timor”
By Richard Phillips, 17 August 2009
Robert Connolly discusses Balibo, his latest feature about the military execution of five television reporters in East Timor in 1975.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2009
By David Walsh, 25 June 2009
He Jianjun’s River People from China is a serious and honest work about young fishermen on the Yellow River. The film depicts a harsh, almost entirely joyless existence. The WSWS conducted an e-mail interview with He.
An interview with Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 17 June 2009
This is the second part of an interview with Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? A Portrait of an Independent Career (2006). The first part was posted June 16.
An interview with Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 16 June 2009
While in the Bay Area for the recent San Francisco Film Festival, David Walsh and Joanne Laurier had a lengthy conversation with Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? A Portrait of an Independent Career (2006), an unusual and valuable book.
By Richard Phillips, 14 May 2009
Samson and Delilah touches on many social issues—poverty, homelessness and substance abuse in Aboriginal communities—questions that Australian feature filmmakers have, up until now, largely chosen to ignore.
“Cinema is a lie that tells the truth about life”
By Richard Phillips, 14 May 2009
Samson and Delilah writer, director and cinematographer Warwick Thornton spoke with the World Socialist Web Site this month when his film screened at the Message Sticks film festival in Sydney.
“To show the beauty of this reality”
By Richard Phillips, 6 May 2009
Sergey Dvortsevoy, director and co-writer of Tulpan, spoke with the World Socialist Web Site during his recent visit to Australia.
An interview with former East German director Rainer Simon
By Bernd Reinhardt, 29 April 2009
At the Berlinale 2009 the WSWS had the opportunity to speak with Rainer Simon about his work as a film director in the GDR.
By Joanne Laurier, 31 March 2009
The WSWS spoke recently with Jennifer Venditti, director of Billy the Kid.
Australian writer protests new censorship measures
By Richard Phillips, 9 February 2009
“The Australia Council’s job is not to develop protocols but to argue for freedom of expression as a basic right and to raise concern about anything that impedes that right.”
“Filmmakers have real responsibilities to their audiences”
By Richard Phillips, 22 January 2009
Veteran filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier is one of a handful of humane and intelligent filmmakers of the post-WWII generation still working in contemporary cinema. He spoke with Richard Phillips during a visit to Australia late last year as part of the “On the Set with French Cinema” lecture program
By Ismet Redzovic, 20 January 2009
Filmmaker Matt Norman discusses Salute with Ismet Redzovic.
12 December 2008
We are posting excerpts from the November 12 discussion on the subject of “The Writer and Revolution” in two parts. We posted the first clips yesterday.
11 December 2008
On November 12, at the University of Manchester, WSWS arts editor David Walsh and screenwriter-playwright Trevor Griffiths held a discussion on the subject of “The Writer and Revolution.” We are posting excerpts in two parts. Part one is comprised of 4 clips.
By David Walsh, 5 December 2008
Mike Leigh is perhaps the most interesting British filmmaker of the past two decades. WSWS arts editor David Walsh recently spoke to him at his office in London.
A conversation with the remarkable David King
By David Walsh, 4 December 2008
David King--artist, designer, editor, photohistorian and archivist--is about to publish a new book, Red Star Over Russia, a visual history of the Soviet Union. WSWS arts editor David Walsh recently spoke to King in London.
“Good theatre makes you ask questions”
By Richard Phillips, 24 November 2008
In Spitting Distance, a one-man show performed by Khalifa Natour and directed by Ofira Henig, was recently staged at the Sydney Opera House. Henig and Natour discussed the production with Richard Phillips.
By David Walsh, 15 November 2008
The WSWS reviewed Chinese director Ying Liang’s Good Cats in the first part of the series of articles on the recent Vancouver film festival. We recently conducted an interview with the filmmaker via email.
By our reporter, 13 November 2008
A unique discussion on “The Writer and Revolution” between acclaimed playwright Trevor Griffiths and WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh took place Wednesday in Manchester, England.
By David Walsh, 27 October 2008
The WSWS commented on This Longing, directed by Malaysian filmmaker Azharr Rudin, in the first part of the series on the Vancouver film festival. The movie takes place in Johor Baharu, in southern Malaysia.
By David Walsh, 20 October 2008
We spoke to Chinese filmmaker Li Yifan, through a translator, in Vancouver on October 1.
By David Walsh, 29 September 2008
The WSWS interviewed Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne at the recent Toronto film festival.
By David Walsh, 24 September 2008
The WSWS interviewed Chus Gutiérrez at the recent Toronto film festival. (See “Toronto International Film Festival 2008--Part 3: Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky, Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City: What the filmmakers now see”)
55th Sydney Film Festival—Part 5
By Richard Phillips, 22 September 2008
This is the fifth in a series of articles on the 2008 Sydney Film Festival. Part 1, 2, 3 and 4 appeared on September 16, 17, 18 and 19 respectively.
An interview with J. Michael Friedman, co-writer of Paris Commune
By Sandy English and Peter Daniels, 4 June 2008
World Socialist Web Site: Let’s start with your theater company, The Civilians.
By David Walsh, 7 April 2008
American-born film director Jules Dassin, a target of the anti-communist frenzy of the late 1940s and early 1950s, died in Athens March 31 at the age of 96. (See: “Jules Dassin, victim of the anti-communist witch-hunt, dies at 96”)
An interview with Richard Pare, co-author and photographer of The Lost Vanguard: Russian Modernist Architecture, 1922-1932
By Tim Tower, 6 March 2008
Born in Portsmouth, England, in 1948, Richard Pare studied graphic design and photography at Winchester and Ravensbourne College of Art before going to the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received an MFA in 1973.
By Ramón Valle in Los Angeles, 18 October 2007
World Socialist Web Site: Ladrón que roba a ladrón is a heist movie and reminds us of previous ones. Ocean’s Eleven is one. Why did you decide to write it?
By David Walsh, 4 October 2007
David Walsh spoke to Philippe Faucon during the Toronto film festival.
By David Walsh, 26 September 2007
David Walsh spoke to filmmaker Ramin Bahrani during the Toronto film festival
By Richard Phillips, 21 September 2007
The Jammed, a low-budget feature written and directed by Dee McLachlan about sex trafficking in Australia, was ignored by this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival. Eventually given a 10-day screening five weeks ago at a Melbourne cinema, support for the movie has forced local cinemas to screen it in Australian state capitals. McLachlan recently spoke with the World Socialist Web Site about her film.
“We need to create some artistic space”
By Richard Phillips, 2 October 2006
Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara recently visited Australia for screenings of his first feature The Forsaken Land (Sulanga Enu Pinisa) at the Brisbane International Film Festival. A visually striking and poetic work, the film is set in rural Sri Lanka following the 2002 ceasefire of the 20-year ethnic war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It won a Certain Regard prize at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival, the first time a Sri Lankan director has ever won this award.
By Richard Phillips, 29 September 2006
Director Tahmineh Milani recently visited Australia to introduce her feature The Hidden Half (2001) at the 15th Brisbane International Film Festival. One of Iran’s best-known female filmmakers, Milani has made nine features, including Children of Divorce , The Legend of a Sigh , What Else Is New? , Kakadu , Two Women , The Fifth Reaction , The Unwanted Woman  and Ceasefire .
“If I only want to say what the government wants me to, then I have to be a government employee, not a filmmaker”
By David Walsh, 26 September 2006
David Walsh and Joanne Laurier spoke to Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi at the Toronto film festival
By Richard Phillips, 23 August 2006
Honour Bound director Nigel Jamieson is best-known for his large-event productions—Tin Symphony at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the closing ceremony of the Manchester Commonwealth Games. But before migrating to Australia from Britain in 1992 he worked with the Royal National Theatre and founded and directed the acclaimed Trickster Theatre Company and several other theatre groups. In 1985, he was awarded the Greater London Arts Award for outstanding contribution to the fields of Dance and Physical Theatre.
By Richard Phillips, 17 August 2006
Sophie Scholl—The Final Days is currently screening at Australian cinemas. Directed by Marc Rothemund and written by Fred Breinersdorfer, the film powerfully dramatises the activities of the White Rose student group in Germany, an anti-Nazi organisation formed in 1942. Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans and another member of the group were arrested in early 1943, after distributing leaflets at the University of Munich.
By Joanne Laurier, 29 June 2006
American filmmaker James Longley’s remarkable documentary, Iraq in Fragments, screened recently at the San Francisco Film Festival (see WSWS review).
The conflict between the desire for freedom and backward religious traditions
By Richard Phillips, 15 May 2006
India-born director Deepa Mehta spoke with World Socialist Web Site journalist Richard Phillips during a recent visit to Australia to promote Water, her latest film. As the accompanying links explain, production of the movie began in India six years ago but was shelved following a vicious political campaign by right-wing Hindu extremists. The film was completed last year and premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. It is currently screening in several countries, including the US, Canada and Australia, with others to follow.
“My film is not a national propaganda tool”
By Richard Phillips, 20 December 2005
Turkish director Tolga Ornëk has made six major documentaries since he began filmmaking in 1998. These include, Atatürk (1998), Mount Nemrud: The Throne of the Gods (1999), Eregli: The Heart of Steel (2002) and The Hittites (2003).
By Marc Wells, 14 December 2005
On November 8, the Italian public television network RAI aired the documentary film The Hidden Massacre, which exposes the use by US forces of white phosphorous bombs on the civilian population of Fallujah in the November 2004 assault on the Iraqi city. This chemical weapon is prohibited by international law, except when used for illumination purposes.
By Marc Wells, 11 November 2005
In September the WSWS posted a review of Quintosole (“An honest look at the lives of Italian inmates”), a documentary by Italian filmmaker Marcellino de Baggis, on the social and psychological implications of the founding of a soccer team established behind bars at the Milano-Opera maximum security prison.
By David Walsh, 28 September 2005
David Walsh and Joanne Laurier spoke with French director Alain Tasma in Toronto.
“You can speak your truth more easily in the theatre”
By Richard Phillips, 23 June 2005
Australian playwright Hannie Rayson recently spoke with the World Socialist Web Site about Two Brothers, her latest play, which premiered in Melbourne last May and is currently playing at the Sydney Opera House until July 2.
“To show the courage of those who resisted the Nazis”
By Richard Phillips, 31 May 2005
More than two years after its European premiere, Margarethe von Trotta’s Rosenstrasse is finally being shown in Australian cinemas. The movie is about the courageous action of German women who protested against the arrest and impending deportation of their Jewish husbands by the Nazis in 1943. It will screen at Palace cinemas in Sydney and Melbourne in early June, with other cities to follow.
“There’s something magical about music”
By Richard Phillips, 6 August 2004
Marshall Crenshaw is one of the few singer-songwriters to have maintained his artistic integrity and sanity after more than two and a half decades in the fickle world of the American rock recording industry. Crenshaw’s music is characterised by beguiling tunes and simple but evocative lyrics. Whether love songs or poignant homages to an innocent past, Crenshaw’s work is drawn from the classics of American popular music—rockabilly, rock and roll, country, gospel and rhythm and blues.
Gillo Pontecorvo, director of The Battle of Algiers, speaks to WSWS
By Maria Esposito, 9 June 2004
Gillo Pontecorvo, director of the 1965 film The Battle of Algiers (see: “A timeless portrait of the anti-colonial struggle in Algeria”) spoke recently by phone to Maria Esposito from the World Socialist Web Site. They discussed the production of Pontecorvo’s ground-breaking and powerful film, his cinematic influences, the US-led occupation of Iraq and other issues.
Interview with Garin Nugroho, director of The Poet
By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2001
Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho spoke with the World Socialist Web Site last month when his latest film, The Poet (Unconcealed Poetry), was screened at the Asian-Pacific Film Festival in Sydney. Nugroho, who was born in Yogjakarta in 1961, studied filmmaking at the Jakarta University of the Arts and later law at Indonesia University.
By David Walsh, 5 June 2001
I spoke to Ana Poliak, director of The Faith of the Volcano , in Buenos Aires.
An interview with Mojgan Khadem
By Richard Phillips, 4 June 2001
Mojgan Khadem, the 31-year-old director of Serenades was born in Iran and lived there until she was 10 when her family was forced to leave the country to escape religious persecution by the Islamic fundamentalist regime. Khadem spent three years in Spain before moving to Australia in 1981. She studied filmmaking at the Australian Film Television and Radio school in Sydney, majoring in directing. After her graduate film Requiem , which won the Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Film Festival, she made several documentaries. Serenades is her first feature film. She spoke to the World Socialist Web Site during a recent visit to Sydney.
A clarification of essential historical issues
By David Walsh, 6 February 2001
On February 3 the World Socialist Web Site posted an interview with veteran German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff, conducted by Prairie Miller. [http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/feb2001/schl-f03.shtml] Certain issues raised in that conversation need to be clarified.
By Prairie Miller, 3 February 2001
The following is an interview with well-known German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff, director of The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum , The Tin Drum , Swann in Love and numerous other works. His 1999 film, The Legends of Rita (Die Stille nach dem Schuß ), chronicled in fictional form the fate of certain members of the Red Army Faction (the Baader-Meinhof group)—radicals responsible for terrorist attacks in West Germany—who sought refuge in the Stalinist GDR (East Germany).
An interview with Paul Cox, director of Innocence: "Filmmakers have a duty to speak out against the injustices in the world"
By Richard Phillips, 6 January 2001
Filmmaker Paul Cox spoke with the World Socialist Web Site during a recent visit to Sydney for the Australian release of Innocence, his latest film. Born in Holland in 1940, Cox immigrated to Australia where he became a photographer and then, in the early 1970s, a filmmaker. Since then he has produced 18 features and several documentaries, including Man of Flowers (1983), My First Wife (1984), Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh (1987), Island (1989), A Woman's Tale (1991), Exile (1994) and Lust and Revenge (1996).
"It is a lot easier to stay with the establishment, but this is not my way of life"
By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2000
Veteran film director, Shohei Imamura, recently visited Australia for “Under the Southern Cross”, a two-day season of Japanese films screened in Canberra and Sydney as part of the Olympic Arts Festival.
Interview with David King at the opening of his exhibition The Commissar Vanishes
By Stefan Steinberg, 29 December 1998
An interview with photographer David King
By Richard Phillips, 12 August 1998
This is the last in the series of articles on the 45th Sydney Film Festival.
David Walsh looks at the San Francisco film festival
By David Walsh, 9 June 1998
This is the last in a series of articles about the 1998 San Francisco International Film Festival
An interview with Richard Linklater:
By David Walsh, 27 March 1998
World Socialist Web Site arts editor David Walsh interviewed Richard Linklater recently in New York City, where the filmmaker was presenting his new film,The Newton Boys, at the American Museum of the Moving Image. Linklater, the director of Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise and SubUrbia, is one of the most interesting filmmakers currently working in the US.
Interview with Kim Dong-won, director of The Six-Day Fight in Myong Dong Cathedral
By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 1998
An interview with Kim Dong-won, director of The Six-Day Fight in Myong Dong Cathedral.
Interview with Hubert Sauper, co-director of Kisangani Diary
By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 1998
An interview with Hubert Sauper, co-director of Kisangani Diary.
By David Walsh, 6 October 1997
I first asked Hsu Hsiao-ming why he had chosen to make a film about foreign workers in Taiwan. Hsu explained that these workers had only started arriving in the country three or four years ago. "I didn't sense suddenly," he went on, "that there were many people around us who didn't look Chinese. But gradually I began to notice Filipino babysitters pushing strollers and also I began to notice the workers on the construction sites. Suddenly we had many foreign workers and I began to take an interest in their lives."