Author Wally Lamb

Halli Casser Jayne talks to bestselling author Wally Lamb, author of such novels as She’s Come Undone and I know This Much Is True, as well as his newest, We Are Water.

Lamb calls the new book “an examination of an American family at this moment in time,” taking inspirations from the changing world around him: when he started work on the book,  “President Obama had just moved into the White House, and gay marriage had just been legalized in Connecticut, where I live.”

Listen to the full episode here,

Carol Maraj, mother of Nicki Minaj

Cyrus Webb talks to Carol Maraj, mother of rapper Nicki Minaj.

They talk about Carol’s newly-released first single, “God’s Been Good,” described as “a culmination of [her] life of faith.” She says that “it’s really touched me to see the responses and the love that people have shown me.” She hopes that it will “change lives and help many people along the way.” “I wanted people to understand, even when they’re unaware, that He’s there.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Film Critic A.O. Scott

Eddie Huang talks to film critic A.O. Scott of the New York Times.

Scott talks about his history with New York, saying that “I’ve lived in Brooklyn for a long time, more than twenty years… family roots go back three generations.” He calls Spike Lee “one of the great sons of Brooklyn,” and discusses his place in the ongoing discussion about gentrification, saying that “there’s very little discussion of the social and economic violence that drives some of it.” He also acknowledges that “anyone who is likely to be talking about this issue is implicated.”

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Captain America directors Joe and Anthony Russo

Cinema Royale talks to Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Marvel’s new film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which the hosts classify as a “paranoid government thriller conspiracy film.”

The Russos talk about their love for filmmaking, saying that “we have very eclectic taste, we like all the genres… big films, small films, commercials, everything, it’s all film for us,” and calling a large action film “something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.” They “identify what it is we like about certain movies” and use them as influences, citing The French Connection as an inspiration for the way they film car chases.

Listen to the full episode here.

Funny women of film

Betty Jo Tucker talks about famous female comedians, including Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Debbie Reynolds, and Gilda Radner.

Of Tina Fey, she commends “her ability as a performer” and says that “she also is a great writer… the first female head writer for Saturday Night Live.” They go on to call her “self-deprecating” and claim that “she doesn’t seem to know how much of a comedy genius she is,” which they concede adds to her “charm.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Jason Bateman interview

Cinema Royale talks to Jason Bateman, director and star of the new movie Bad Words.

Bateman talks about setting boundaries for his rough, foulmouthed character, saying that certain lines “might seem completely acceptable on the page, and then you show up on the set, [and you realize] there’s no way you’re going to get away with saying something like that… you just have to hope that your meter is consistent with the majority of the audience. If you feel like it’s gone too far, you need to dial it back.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Divergent reviewed

RU Instant Reaction Review reviews Divergent, the new movie based on Veronica Roth’s series of young adult dystopian sci-fi novels.

The critics describe the film as “one of those vehicles that is clearly built for an audience that has read the book,” as well as wanting to “obviously wanting to fill the niche that The Hunger Games… and these other dystopian teen films do.” They were”confused by a few things, not having known the source materials,” but found it overall “kind of fun” but nonetheless “choppy and uneven.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Noah reviewed

ScreenPicks reviews Noah, the new biblical epic directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins. The film has proved controversial due to its religious themes. The critics call it “bizarre, as Darren Aronofsky can be”,” but concede that it’s “told in a fairly straightforward way” and remains mainly faithful to its source. They also praise Crowe’s performance, as well as his onscreen chemistry with Connelly, and question whether the film could lead to more mainstream biblical films.

Listen to the full episode here.