Rank #1: (Episode 143) "I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter" Journalist: Jesse Barron.
Journalist Jesse Barron shares his insight on this very difficult and complex case.
In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy died by suicide in his car at a parking lot in Fairhaven, Mass. Police soon discovered a series of alarming text messages from his girlfriend, 17-year-old Michelle Carter, that seemed to encourage him to kill himself. This discovery sparked sensational headlines nationwide, leading to a trial that raised difficult questions about technology, social media and mental health, while asking if one person can be held responsible for the suicide of another.
In 2012, teens Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy fell in love. They lived hours apart and met in person no more than five times, but exchanged thousands of texts over a two-year period. After Roy was found dead in his car in July 2014, what appeared to be a standard case of suicide by carbon-monoxide intoxication took a shocking turn when investigators discovered alarming text messages on his phone. Carter, 17 at the time, had urged Roy to kill himself, even after he had second thoughts and removed himself from his car.
Directed by Erin Lee Carr (HBO’s At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal and Mommy Dead and Dearest) I Love You, Now Die explores the complicated relationship between Carter and Roy, drawing on some of the thousands of texts they exchanged over two years to chronicle their courtship and its tragic consequences. Featuring unprecedented access to the families, friends and communities that were forever changed by this unusual case, the documentary explores the changing nature of the justice system today, following a story that has wider implications for society at large, both online and in real life. The film presents a well-rounded look at a bizarre tale that was a deadly convergence of mental illness, loneliness, pop culture and technology.
In July 2017, Michelle Carter was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of Roy. In August 2017, she was found guilty and began her 15-month prison sentence in February 2019, following a failed appeal.
I Love You, Now Die includes footage from Michelle Carter’s trial, where the filmmakers had the only camera allowed in court and supplied the pool camera for this historic case. It also features interviews with key individuals in the story, including: Conrad Roy’s immediate family; Joseph Cataldo, Michelle Carter’s defense attorney; Dr. Peter Breggin, an expert witness for the defense; police detectives; and journalists who covered the case extensively.
The documentary premiered at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival.
I Love You, Now Die is directed and produced by Erin Lee Carr; produced by Andrew Rossi; co-producer, Alison Byrne; original music, Ian Hultquist; cinematographer, Bryan Sarkinen; editor, Andrew Coffman; executive producer, Sheila Nevins; senior producer, Sara Bernstein.
Jul 28 2019
Rank #2: (Episode 170) "Lion" Movie Composer: Dustin O'Halloran.
Dustin O’Halloran is a composer based in Los Angeles.
He founded indie rock band Devics with singer Sara Lov, who he met while studying art at Santa Monica College.
In 2004, he released his first record as a solo artist, Piano Solos. He has since released three more solo records, the latest of which is Lumiere (2011), which featured contributions by Peter Broderick and Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid), and was mixed by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson. With A Winged Victory for the Sullen, his project with Adam Wiltzie, Dustin O’Halloran has released two albums, A Winged Victory for the Sullen (2011) and Atomos (2014).
He has gone on to score a number of films and TV shows, including Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006), Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy (2011) and Jill Soloway’s Transparent (2014–). He was awarded a Primetime Emmy Award for his original Transparent theme.
Dustin O’Halloran collaborated with Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) to score Lion (2017), and they won an AACTA Award for their score and were nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA.
Dustin has also composed music used in Nike commercials and worked with Katy Perry.
Welcome the immensely talented, Dustin O'Halloran.
Jan 26 2020
Rank #3: (Episode 126) "Searching for Bobby Fischer" Author: Fred Waitzkin
Author of recently released... "Deep Water Blues"....Fred Waitzkin was born in Cambridge Massachusetts. His father was a salesman, and his mother, an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor. To the best that he can recall, Abe and Stella never shared a warm moment. Early on Fred considered careers in sales, big game fishing, and Afro Cuban drumming but by the age of thirteen decided he would be a writer. Both of his parents were strong literary influences along with Ernest Hemingway: “His little sentences thrilling me with descriptions of men pulling in huge sharks and marlin.”
Waitzkin was an English major at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. During the summer vacation following his junior year, he met Bonnie on a sword fishing trip, and a year later they were married. He received a master’s at New York University and for a time considered pursuing a career as a scholar of seventeenth century poetry. He taught English at The College of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, but admits that it wasn’t love of teaching poetry that intrigued him about St. Thomas, but rather the rumors of thousand-pound blue marlin that were said to graze twelve or fifteen miles north of the island on a patch of ocean called “the saddle.”
Following the St. Thomas years Fred and Bonnie settled in New York City. After collecting a great many magazine rejections for his short stories, Waitzkin began writing feature journalism, personal essays and reviews for numerous magazines including Esquire, Forbes, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine, Outside Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.
In 1984, Waitzkin published Searching for Bobby Fischer, the story of three years in the lives of Fred and his chess prodigy son, Josh Waitzkin. The book became an internationally acclaimed best seller. In 1993 the movie version was released by Paramount and that same year was nominated for an academy award.
In 1993, Waitzkin published, Mortal Games, a biography of world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. It has been described as, “a remarkable look inside the world of genius—a brilliant exploration of obsession, risk and triumph.”
In 2000 he published, The Last Marlin, a memoir that was selected by The New York Times as “a best book of the year.”
In the spring of 2013 St. Martin’s Press published The Dream Merchant, Waitzkin’s first novel. In a starred review Kirkus wrote, “Waitzkin offers a singular and haunting morality tale, sophisticated, literary, and intelligent. Thoroughly entertaining. Deeply imaginative. Highly recommended.” A second novel, Deep Water Blues, published in 2019 by Open Road Media, is set on a remote a sparsely populated Bahamian island where a peaceful marina becomes a battleground.
Fred Waitzkin lives in Manhattan with his wife Bonnie. He has two children, Josh and Katya, and two cherished grandsons, Jack and Charlie. Fred spends as much time as possible on the bridge of his old boat Ebb Tide trolling baits off distant islands with family and friends.
Meet the very kind and talented: Fred Waitzkin.
May 01 2019
Rank #4: (Episode 106) "Green Book" Nick Vallelonga.
The film Green Book (2018) is the true story of Nick Vallelonga's father Tony Lip, who went on a tour of the segregated south in the early 1960s with pianist Dr. Shirley Green Book is written and produced by Nick Vallelonga, Peter Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie. It is directed by Peter Farrelly. It stars Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip, Mahershala Ali as Donald Shirley and Linda Cardellini as Nick's mother, Dolores. Director Peter Farrelly cast real family members to play roles in the film. Nick's brother, Frank Vallelonga, plays Rudy, Tony Lip's brother. The real Rudy Vallelonga, plays his and Tony's father, Nicola, and Lou Venere plays his and Dolores' father, Anthony. Nick Vallelonga also plays the role of Mob Boss Augie. Tony Lip went on to become an actor, appearing in many films and TV shows including The Godfather, The Pope of Greenwich Village, and Goodfellas. Lip is best known for his role as New York Crime Boss Carmine Lupartazzi in the HBO series "The Sopranos". "Green Book is released by Universal, Dreamworks and Participant Media.
Meet: Nick Vallelonga
Dec 12 2018
Rank #5: (Episode 107) "Braveheart" Actor: Angus Macfadyen
Angus Macfadyen is a phenomenal actor who has shined in such movies as Braveheart, The Lost City of Z and We Bought a Zoo and in theater and TV (see below).
Meet the incredible: Angus Macfadyen.
Educated in France, fluent in French.International Baccalaureate, Copenhagen.MA (Hons) in French and English, University of Edinburgh.Trained at CENTRAL SCHOOL OF SPEECH AND DRAMA, London.STAGE:
Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
- Faculty Of Rats
- The Tempest
- The Beautiful And Damned
- Cloud Nine
- The Immortals
Has written various plays, including 1905, which was winner of the 1991 Questors Theatre Student Playwriting Award.FILM:
- Pleasure Drivers (Dir: Andrzej Sekula)
- The Virgin Of Juarez (Dir: Kevin James Dobson)
- Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Dir: Callie Khouri)
- Equilibrium (Dir: Kurt Wimmer)
- A Woman’s A Helluva Thing (Dir: Karen Leigh Hopkins)
- Titus (Dir: Julie Taymor)
- Cradle Will Rock (Dir: Tim Robbins)
- Lanai-Loa (Dir: Sherwood Hu)
- Snide And Prejudice (Dir: Philippe Mora)
- Nevada (Dir: Gary Tische)
- Styx (Dir: Alex Wright)
- Second Skin (Dir: Darrell James Roodt)
- Façade (Dir: Carl-Jan Colpaert)
- Still Breathing (Dir: J.F. Robinson)
- Joseph's Gift (Dir: Philippe Mora)
- Warriors Of Virtue (Dir: Ronnie Yu)
- The Brylcreem Boys (Dir: Terrence Ryan)
- Braveheart (Dir: Mel Gibson)
- 5ive Days To Midnight (Sci-Fi Channel)
- Spartacus (USA)
- Miracles (ABC)
- Jason And The Argonauts (NBC)
- The Rat Pack (HBO)
- Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (NBC)
- 15: The Life And Death Of Philip Knight (YTV)
- Two Golden Balls (Bard Entertainment)
- Takin’ Over The Asylum (BBC Scotland)
- The Lost Language Of Cranes (BBC)
- Soldier Soldier (Central)
- God Of Happiness (Channel Four)
- Care (YTV)
Dec 19 2018
Rank #6: (Episode 131) "Pulp Fiction" Actor: Paul Calderon.
Paul Calderon was born on a remote farm with no electricity or runningwater high in the beautiful, ruggedmountains of Puerto Rico. He movedas a kid from that wild freedom to theshock of NYC where he honed his senseof drama in the tenements and toughstreets of the Lower East Side andSpanish Harlem. After a stint playingsemi-pro baseball, his dream of going pro was shattered by a shoulder injury. Later he joined the Army, serving inGermany for several years while hestruggled to find a new dream.Back in the States he went to acting schoolunder the GI Bill, studying with Sonia Moore,Kim Stanley, Bobby Lewis, Irene Moore andWynn Handman. As a writer he publishedseveral short stories, optioned screenplays,and was a co-writer of Abel Ferrara's cultclassic "Bad Lieutenant", in which heco-starred opposite Harvey Keitel.He was made a member of the Actors Studioin 1984, and eight years later was one of the founding members of LAByrinth Theater Co.,where as writer/director he helped mentorsuch talent as Philip Seymour Hoffman,Stephen Adly Guirgis, Sam Rockwell,David Zayas, Lauren Velez & Manny Perez.As an actor he has had the honor andgreat fortune of working with some of the greatest talent of our time - Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Sidney Lumet,Spike Lee, Nick Nolte, Gerard Depardeiu,Christopher Walken, Steven Soderbergh, Steve Buscemi, Martin Scorcese, Edy FalcoTim Roth, Ellen Burstyn, Quentin TarantinoSydney Pollack, Melissa Leo, Woody Allen,Alejandro Inaurritu and George C. Wolfe. He's won numerous awards for his theater,film and television work, including an Obiefor his performance in "Blade to the Heat" at the Public Theater, and a SAG Awardnomination for his part in the ensemblecast of Boardwalk Empire's final season.For many years he's been on the faculty of NYU Tisch Graduate Film School,The Lee Strasberg Institute, andThe School of Visual Arts.
May 22 2019
Rank #7: (Episode 140) "12 Years a Slave" Actor: Kelsey Scott.
Kelsey Scott is an Emmy Award nominated actor and writer that has appeared in such Television and Films as- True Detective, Fear the Walking Dead and the Academy Award winning 12 Years a Slave.
Meet the beautiful and talented: Kelsey Scott.
Jun 27 2019
Rank #8: (Episode 111) "The A-Team" Actor: Dirk Benedict.
Dirk Benedict was born in Montana on March 1st, 1945. He was raised in the country, far away from anything connected with movies or acting. He gathered his first experiences in acting (on a dare) in a college production of "Showboat" where he got the main part. His father, a lawyer, died when Dirk was 18, which was hard for him to take. While working on Georgia Georgia(1972) in Sweden, he made the first contact with a macrobiotic diet and changed his eating habits drastically. He was 26 at that time. A few years later, doctors found that he had cancer of the prostate. He refused to accept the usual treatment and moved away to a secluded cottage. Dirk managed to cure himself from cancer by following the rules of his macrobiotic diet. When he got his part as "Starbuck" in Battlestar Galactica (1978), the doctors stated that he was in good health. Dirk's main successes were "Battlestar Galactica" and The A-Team (1983) in which he played "Templeton - The Face - Peck".
Meet: Dirk Benedict.
Jan 16 2019
Rank #9: (Episode 105) Actor: Jeff Kober.
Kober's big screen career began with the film Out of Bounds (1986), in which he played the first of his signature nefarious characters - "Roy Gaddis", a small-time drug dealer with murderous inclinations. This role led to more film opportunities in The First Power (1990), Tank Girl (1995) (a comedic turn), Defining Maggie (2002), World Without Waves (2004), and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes II (2007), among others. Never one to balk at taking a chance in the acting field, Kober has also appeared in several short independent films - the Academy Award-winning Session Man (1991) and, most recently, Lucid (2006), another film that has garnered a number of awards at independent film festivals across the country. He has done extensive stage work, most prominently, as "the father" in Jenny Sullivan's autobiographical work "J For J" and "Defying Gravity". Being a creature of diverse talents, Kober is also a noted artist (he was responsible for the paintings attributed to his character "Daedalus" on Kindred: The Embraced (1996) and is the c/o author of "Art That Pays: The Emerging Artist's Guide to Making a Living" along with Adele Slaughter. On the personal front, Kober is twice divorced (Rhonda Talbot, Kelly Cutrone) and the father of one son. He has, at present, finished work on The Hills Have Eyes II (2007) (set for release in March 2007)-in the role of "Col. Lincoln Redding". Kober's next film was Multiple (2008).
Jeff has been in two of the most popular television shows in history. Sons of Anarchy and his role as Joe in The Walking Dead.
Jeff is also heavily involved in photography and Meditation.
Meet Jeff Kober.
Dec 06 2018
Rank #10: (Episode 162) "The Devil Next Door" Director: Daniel Sivan.
A Cleveland grandfather is brought to trial in Israel, accused of being the infamous Nazi death camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible...
Director Daniel Sivan and I talk about his much talked about Documentary.
Dec 10 2019
Rank #11: (Episode 128) "Dog Day Afternoon" Writer: P.F. Kluge.
P.F. Kluge- "Anyone who knows me, or my work, is well aware that what I write is based on my experience of a place, its history, character, and story-telling possibilities. My first novel, The Day That I Die, and my most recent novel, The Master Blaster, are set on my frequently-revisited Peace Corps island of Saipan. The Philippines and my home state of New Jersey have engendered books. So have Gambier and Kenyon College. I'm utterly familiar with the place I call home and sometimes wonder if — congenial as it usually is — it has lost its ability to surprise me. That, it turns out, is a mistake. July 4, 2015 startled me. Fresh from yard work, unshaven and unkempt, I made my way into the village, looking forward to chatting with friends and neighbors, listening to speeches, watching a notoriously quaint Independence Day parade. The usual stuff. But I was ambushed — pole-axed — when I saw my Kenyon classmate (1964) and lifelong friend, Perry Lentz at the podium, announcing the 2015 Gambier Citizen of the Year. Me. The applause, the plaque, the bouquet of roses — which I couldn't quite figure out how to hold with real dignity — were unforgettable."
Meet the supremely talented and immensely underrated P.F. Kluge.
May 07 2019
Rank #12: (Episode 163) "Castle Rock" Actor: Mathilde Dehaye.
In 2019, she's been portraying Amity in the J.J. Abrams & Stephen King series, Castle Rock.
Meet the very talented and fearless: Mathilde Dehaye.
Dec 17 2019
Rank #13: (Episode 130) "Interstellar" Actor: Leah Cairns.
Leah Cairns was born on June 2, 1974 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is an actress, known for Interstellar, Battlestar Galactica, 88 minutes, Travelers and so many more.
Meet the beautiful, funny, talented: Leah Cairns.
May 15 2019
Rank #14: (Episode 165) "Miracle" Patrick O'Brien Demsey.
Patrick's iconic role as Mike Eruzione of the epic 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team in "Miracle"... the greatest sports story in the history of modern day sports-continues to impact thousands of athletes and dreamers from professional athletes to those children just starting to realize what "dreaming" is.
Welcome the awesome, talented and very cool...Paddy Demsey.
Dec 29 2019
Rank #15: (Episode 134) "Game of Thrones" Actor: Tim Plester.
Tim Plester is an actor, playWrite and documentarian.
His filmography includes Game of Thrones, After Life and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Meet the very kind and talented: Tim Plester.
May 31 2019
Rank #16: (Episode 127) "Eddie and the Cruisers" Actor: Michael Pare.
Best remembered for playing Eddie in Eddie & the Cruisers (1983) and its sequel, Eddie & the Cruisers 2: Eddie Lives! (1989), Michael Pare makes his living appearing in B-movies and straight-to-video actioners. The Brooklyn-born Pare started out as a New York Culinary Institute-trained sous chef and then a model. He started acting at a friend's suggestion and studied under Uta Hagen and Marvin Nelson. His first break came from playing tough student Tony Villicana on the adventure/comedy series The Greatest American Hero (1981). This led to the leading role in the made-for-television film Crazy Times (1981). Following his work in Eddie & the Cruisers, Pare starred in The Philadelphia Experiment (1984). His shot for major movie stardom came from director Walter Hill, whose own career was taking off following the success of his Eddie Murphy vehicle 48 Hrs. (1982). Hill cast Pare in the lead of Streets of Fire (1984). The director had originally meant for it to be the first of an action trilogy starring Pare, but the film failed at the box office. Subsequently Pare became the star of numerous low- and medium-budget features and the occasional made-for-cable television movie. In 1987, he starred in the short-lived television series Houston Knights. He reappeared in a big-budget feature, Village of the Damned, in 1995, but despite it's fairly big-name cast, it was unsuccessful, and Pare returned to B-movies such as Raging Angels (1995) and Bad Moon (1996).
Meet: Michael Pare.
May 05 2019
Rank #17: Breaking Down 12: Our favorite movies about loss and grief.
Doug and I break down our favorite movies about loss and grief.
May 04 2019
Rank #18: (Episode 166) "The Crown" Actor: Jason Watkins.
Jason Watkins is an English stage, film and television actor. He played the lead role in the two-part drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor. His most recent performance as Prime Minister Harold Wilson in "The Crown" is absolutely phenomenal, and personally speaking my favorite performance of the year.
Jason is very kind, immensely talented, has a wonderful sense of humor and I consider myself extremely fortunate in having the opportunity to converse with him.
Meet Jason Watkins.
Jan 02 2020
Rank #19: (Episode 168) "The Shawshank Redemption" Actor: William Sadler.
William Sadler is an iconic actor whose filmography includes Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted Face the Music (August 2020), Die Hard 2, The Green Mile and his absolutely phenomenal performance as "Heywood" in the best movie in the history of cinema, The Shawshank Redemption.
Meet: The very cool, kind and supremely talented, William Sadler.
Jan 13 2020
Rank #20: 20 Minute Movie Review: "The Rise of Skywalker"
Film Guru Darek Thomas breaks down "The Rise of Skywalker"
Dec 22 2019