Joshua Oppenheimer, director of The Act of Killing

Cinema Royale talks to Joshua Oppenheimer, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing. The documentary follows Oppenheimer as he talks to members of Indonesian death squads, asking them to reenact their crimes as though they were in a Hollywood film. The film has garnered critical claim and attention from such famous filmmakers as Werner Herzog, who executive produced it.

Oppenheimer “began making the film in collaboration with a community of survivors,” who, rather than be interviewed themselves, advised him to approach the death squad leaders. He found that “every single one of them was boastful, every single one of them would recount the killing often with smiles on their faces… I had this awful feeling that I had walked into Germany forty years after the Holocaust only to find the Nazis still in power.”

Listen to the full episode here.

The Most Anticipated Films of 2014

FilmGordon Radio gives their most anticipated movies of 2014.

They discuss The Monument Men, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and John Goodman. The pushed-back release is reminiscent of “a couple years ago when Shutter Island got bumped out of the awards ceremony and moved to February.” They say that they are “really excited” for the film, and that the late release “may be a blessing in disguise, because a lot of those Oscar expectations are gone now and it can just be an entertaining film.” They also praise “everything George Clooney has done behind the camera.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Author Richard Kadrey

America’s Most Haunted talks to supernatural fiction author Richard Kadrey, whose works include Dead Set and the Sandman Slim series.

The book “came out of that sort of central image of Zoe, the young protagonist, in the record shop discovering the secret room… with LPs that aren’t labeled like regular ones… they have just strange symbols on them.” Zoe eventually finds a record with “veins and arteries and what appears to be a beating heart.” The image “came out of nowhere” to Kadrey before the story itself, and he “really wanted to find out who that girl is.”

Listen to the full episode here.

The World’s End’s Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, and Edgar Wright

FilmGordon Radio talks to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, stars of sci-fi comedy The World’s End, as well as its director, Edgar Wright. The three have previously worked together on Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, as well as the TV sitcom Spaced.

Wright talks about his inspirations behind The World’s End, saying that he wanted to position the villain as “unavoidable change… all of the bars starting to look the same… commercialization of the culture.” Pegg discusses their choice to work in sci-fi, saying that “genre cinema is always a good metaphor… it’s a language we understand, what we grew up consuming”

Listen to the full episode here.

American Idol finalist Blake Lewis

Northwest Prime talks to American Idol finalist Blake Lewis.

Lewis talks about his drive to work hard, saying that “I get my work ethic from my dad and my talent from my mom… I work as hard as I can and I have fun doing it.” He’s grateful to the show, saying that he ” will forever be synonymous with American Idol, and that’s great… I was one of the first people to ever arrange his own music on the show,” although he “didn’t really get along too well with the producers.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Media mogul Russell Simmons

America Meditating talks to Russell Simmons, business magnate co-founder of Def Jam Recordings.

Simmons talks about his life as a vegan and meditation enthusiast. He says that “in America, the discussion about yogic philosophy or yogic science has been growing consistently, and that wave of consciousness has propelled me for the last twenty years. He mentions Minister Louis Farrakhan as an inspiration, saying that “it took a really street type of organization to really reach out to the kind of ignorance that I operated from… that’s what the Nation of Islam has done for millions of African Americans.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Talking to The Sugarhill Gang

Making History Happen talks to Wonder Mike and MAster Gee of 1970s rap group The Sugarhill Gang.

They talk about what inspired them to make music, saying that “when I was a young kid I saw the movie Hard Day’s Night by the Beatles and I looked up at the screen and thought ‘damn, thhat’s crazy’ to have girls chase you and people love you, I gotta do that.” Mike talks about “going back through my 12th grade year of high school” after having recorded their hit single “Rapper’s Delight” the summer before.

Listen to the full episode here.

Actress Denise Vasi

Joy Keys talks with actress Denise Vasi, star of VH1′s scripted drama Single Ladies.

Vasi talks about her recent marriage to director Anthony Mandler. Vasi had actually been speaking to a psychic for the past few years, who told her that “the man that I would meet and marry would be carrying around this very large brow book,” which turned out to be her husband’s leather-bound pitch for a movie. She also talks about her odd sleepwalking habits and healthy eating diet.

Listen to the full episode here.