Interview: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Directors Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth has a sequel. Unfortunately for us the weather is getting worse, but the movie sequel is just as educational and important, if not more, than the first. An Inconvenient Sequel’s filmmakers Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen stopped in Chicago on their press tour and I had a chance to speak to them. Joining me in the interview are Chicago film critics Jon Espino of The Young Folks and Pat McDonald of Hollywood Chicago. Two very good journalists that I enjoy interacting with. We were all part of the roundtable with Jon and Bonni and the following is what was discussed about the film, global warming and Al Gore. Check it out below:

“I question this all the time, having spent two years with Al Gore, is the work potentially more vital that he’s doing now than he could have done as president? It’s a better question to ask if he hadn’t done it, would anyone else have and where would we be?” — Bonni Cohen

MY TAKE:

I never know what the folks I interview will be like when I meet them, but I always tend to have an idea or image that sort of comes about before I meet them, even for a fleeting moment. In Jon and Bonni’s case, they were fairly similar what I imagined them to be. They were intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful and conversational. These are the sort of people you are drawn to listen to and hear talk about their experience and expertise. I found them to be that way.

I felt we all had solid questions for them. I liked how Jon snuck in a Star Wars mention, Jon directed Star Wars: Episodes 1 & 2, although there wasn’t much of an acknowledgement to Jon’s statement, oops. Someone was gonna bring it up and Jon was the one. I think the answer that might have surprised us most was that Jon and Bonni were married. None of us had any idea! They were so professional that you couldn’t tell. The content in movie wasn’t as surprising given the reality of the climate change, but them being a real life couple might have been the biggest reveal of the day. I wanted to follow-up and ask them how they manage to be on the road for two years with Gore and bring this film together, all while having two teenage kids to tend to. Can’t be easy.

As far as the movie itself, it’s great. One of those must-see documentaries that impacts EVERYONE on this planet. Global warming is a real problem, just look out the window and step outside and you’ll notice. The film clocks in at 98 minutes, but you’d never know due to the engaging effect it has. It draws you in and doesn’t let go.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is out now in theaters in Chicago and nationwide. Check your local listings.

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker

Interview: ‘Pilgrimage’ Director Brendan Muldowney Discusses The Film

Pilgrimage (in theaters & VOD on August 11) tells the story of a group of monks on a journey to Rome in order to deliver a holy monastery relic. The film stars Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal and Richard Armitage. I had an opportunity to talk to the director of the film, Mr. Brendan Muldowney. In my interview Brendan discusses the weather troubles the production encountered during filming, he talks about the three lead actors Holland, Bernthal and Armitage, and he shares with me his former unique hobby, which is quite shocking when you hear it. An excerpt of the interview and the full audio can be found below:

“Tom Holland, who I’ve seen in ‘The Impossible’ and ‘How I Live Now’, he wasn’t Spider-Man, Tom was the first one on. I saw him in those films and I thought he was brilliant. Thought there was a great truthfulness to him, that’s what I was looking for.” — Brendan Muldowney

MY TAKE:

When it came to the weather I expected to hear that it played in naturally to the film. The answer I received was the opposite. Apparently, there was a heat wave while they were shooting and those cool gloomy dark shades of the skies in the background were computer digitized and enhanced.

I really liked the fact that Brendan didn’t give a copout answer when talking about what attracts him to films, good stories being that answer. Brendan’s answer was cult movies. That’s really cool and interesting to hear. I enjoy finding out quirks or special interests of the folks I get to interview. When I asked Brendan this question, he told me he used to canoe for Ireland. I think that’s just badass and so unique. This is the kinda stuff I get a kick out of hearing and would like my readers to know about.

Pilgrimage releases in Theaters, Digital HD and VOD on August 11, 2017

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker

Interview: ‘The Gracefield Incident’ Director Mathieu Ratthe

The Gracefield Incident is a fun and intriguing indie horror film that’s out now. I spoke to the film’s writer/director and star Mathieu Ratthe. Mathieu discusses the concept of the film. The challenges that he faced filming and he answers why we don’t see the monster earlier in the film. All that and more. Here is an excerpt from the interview and the full audio below:

“We shot this film in 13 days, so fast, really fast. I was like how are we gonna do this? So that’s how the conceptual idea of the eye came in. It wasn’t in the script in the first draft. I wasn’t going to be able to do any camera set-up or anything so I was like, alright, I was going to have to put the camera on my shoulder.”  —  Mathieu Ratthe

MY TAKE:

Mathieu is an interesting guy to talk to. He exudes passion for filmmaking. I was surprised to hear a few things he had mentioned. First was that the film shot in 13 days. Even if you aren’t in the know about filmmaking, that sure is fast, or short amount of time to make a film. He started shooting movies since he was 10-years-old, this month marks his 25 year doing this, that’s impressive. I’m amazed that you can become a successful filmmaker without film school, which Ratthe didn’t attend.

I loved the fact that he told me that the reason you don’t see the monster in the film is because he didn’t have the funds to put in in earlier and feature it more in the film. I liked his honesty. I enjoy when filmmakers tell me about stories from the set, in Mathieu’s case, one of them being him switching between the acting and directing which lead him to keep the hat on-screen and even speaking in a different language to the actors.

I enjoyed The Gracefield Incident. You should give it a try. It’s simply in context, but rich on execution and presentation.

‘The Gracefield Incident’ is out and available now in select theaters, Digital HD and On Demand

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker