Interviews: September 11th Movies

Since the events of September 11th 2001, several films have come out about the events of that day.

I’ve had the opportunity over the last few years to interview people directly connected with what happened and some key films related to it.

The first major release to deal specifically with 9/11 was United 93 (2006), which dramatised the events surrounding United Airlines Flight 93, after it was hijacked during the attacks.

That year I spoke with Ben Sliney, the FAA national operations manager – the man responsible for grounding all air traffic that day – who director Paul Greengrass hired in an advisory capacity before letting him play himself in the movie.

Later that summer I also spoke with Will Jimeno, the Port Authority Police officer who survived the World Trade Center attack and was buried under the rubble for a total of 13 hours, along with fellow officer John McLoughlin.

Their story was the basis for Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center (2006), which starred Nicolas Cage as McLoughlin and Michael Pena as Jimeno, and we spoke about the day, his long rehabilitation process and the movie.

Two years later James Marsh directed the documentary Man on Wire (2008) about Frenchman Philippe Petit, who conducted an illegal wire walk between the Twin Towers in August 1974.

I spoke with Philippe about his extraordinary act and the subsequent film, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary.

You can listen to the interviews here:

[audio:http://filmdetail.receptionmedia.com/September_11th_Interviews_Ben_Sliney_Will_Jimeno_and_Philippe_Petit.mp3]

You can also download our interview podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Music Credits: ‘Dedication’ by John Powell from United 93; ‘Jimeno Sees Jesus’ and ‘Alison at the Spotlight’ from World Trade Center by Craig Armstrong; ‘Fish Beach’ by Michael Nyman from Drowning by Numbers; ‘Gymnopedie No. 1’ by Anne Queffélec and composed by Erik Satie

> Download this interview as an MP3 file
> Find out more about the September 11th attacks at Wikipedia

Interview: Duncan Kenworthy on The Eagle

The Eagle is a historical drama directed by Kevin MacDonald and adapted from Rosemary Sutcliff‘s 1954 historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth.

Set in Britain during 140 AD, it tells the story of a young Roman officer (Channing Tatum) and his slave (Jamie Bell), who venture to the North of England in order to find the eagle standard of an ill-fated legion who disappeared several years before.

Duncan Kenworthy has produced several British films, including Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Lawn Dogs (1997), Notting Hill (1999) and Love Actually (2003) and he has wanted to make this film for a number of years.

I recently spoke with him about its development, the historical accuracy of the piece, choosing Kevin MacDonald as director and the current state of the British film industry after the closure of the UK Film Council.

Listen to the interview by clicking below:

[audio:http://filmdetail.receptionmedia.com/Duncan_Kenworthy_on_The_Eagle.mp3]

You can also download this interview as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

The DVD and Blu-ray is out in the UK on Monday and includes the following extras:

  • Audio commentary with director Kevin MacDonald
  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Eagle: The Making Of A Roman Epic
  • Pocket blu
  • The Eagle: Creating the Standard 45 Min Making Of Documentary

Universal Pictures release The Eagle on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 25th July

Download this interview as an MP3 file
> Buy The Eagle on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon UK
Official website
Find out more about Roman Britain at Wikipedia

Interview: Liz Garbus on Bobby Fischer Against The World

Bobby Fischer Against The World is a new documentary about the rise and fall of the legendary American chess player and his 1972 match with Boris Spassky.

The film explores Fischer’s rapid rise to national fame and the political significance of his clash with Spassky, which attracted global media coverage as a wider Cold War confrontation between America and Russia.

It then delves into the later years of his life as he effectively retired at the peak of his career and became a wandering enigma, exiled from his own country, making controversial statements after 9/11, before eventually retreating to Iceland where he died in 2008.

Directed by Liz Garbus, it premiered at Sundance earlier this year and mixes rare archive footage and photos, along with interviews from those close to Fischer as well as figures such as Gary Kasparov and Henry Kissinger.

I recently spoke to Liz in London at the offices at Dogwoof, who are releasing the film in the UK, and you can listen to the interview by clicking below:

[audio:http://filmdetail.receptionmedia.com/Liz_Garbus_on_Bobby_Fischer_Against_The_World.mp3]

You can also download this interview as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Dogwoof release Bobby Fischer Against The World at selected UK cinemas on July 15th

> Download this interview as an MP3 file
> Official website for Bobby Fischer Against The World
> Get updates for the film via Facebook and Twitter
> Find out which local cinemas are playing the film
> Follow Dogwoof on Twitter
> Find out more about Bobby Fischer at Wikipedia

Interview: Anthony Richmond on Nicolas Roeg

Cinematographer Anthony Richmond worked alongside director Nicolas Roeg on Don’t Look Now (1973) and The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976).

Don’t Look Now is an adaptation of the short story by Daphne du Maurier, and stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as a married couple who travel to Venice only to haunted by the death of their recent daughter.

It recently topped Time Out’s list of the 100 best British films and remains a remarkably atmospheric drama with its brilliant editing, haunting visuals and great use of the wintry Italian locations.

The Man Who Fell To Earth is a cult adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel about a mysterious man (David Bowie) who seemingly arrives from another planet and builds a vast business empire before becoming a recluse.

An unusual and rewarding film, it has aged like a fine wine with an inventive approach to time and enduring exploration of the forces that shape modern society.

Both films are getting re-releases on Blu-ray and I recently spoke to Anthony about his work on what are now seminal films of the 1970s.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here:

[audio:http://filmdetail.receptionmedia.com/Anthony_Richmond_on_Nicolas_Roeg.mp3]

You can also download this interview as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Optimum Home Entertainment release The Man Who Fell To Earth today on Blu-ray and Don’t Look Now is out on June 27th

> Download this interview as an MP3 file
> Buy The Man Who Fell To Earth on Blu-ray and pre-order Don’t Look Now from Amazon UK
> Anthony Richmond at the IMDb
> Nicolas Roeg at Wikipedia
> Review of The Man Who Fell To Earth Blu-ray

Interview: Charles Ferguson on Inside Job

This week sees the UK release of Inside Job, a documentary which examines the global financial crisis.

Directed by Charles Ferguson it explores the deeply troubling relationship between financial and political elites which triggered the current recession.

Opening with a startling prologue about how Iceland’s economy was ruined, it sets up in microcosm the wider story of how, over a period of 30 years, successive governments have allowed large financial institutions to inflate an economic system until it eventually burst in the autumn of 2008.

One of the most important documentaries in years, it was the most critically acclaimed film at the Cannes film festival last May and has been nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar.

I spoke with director Charles Ferguson and producer Audrey Marrs at the London Film Festvial last October and we discussed how they made the film and the issues it raises.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here:

Or here:

[audio:http://filmdetail.receptionmedia.com/Charles_Ferguson_on_Inside_Job.mp3]

You can also download our interview podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Inside Job opens in selected UK cinemas from Friday 18th February

> Download this interview as an MP3 file
> Full Inside Job review from the LFF
> Official site
> Detailed press notes for the film (essential reading)
> Reviews of the film at Cannes from MUBi and Metacritic
> Get local cinema listings for the film via Google or FindAnyFilm