PATTI CAKE$ Writer/Director/Star Interviews & Review

Danielle Macdonald nearly turned down the lead role in Patti Cake$: she’d never rapped before.  She accepted the challenge, and watching her performance it’s hard to believe she’s not a veteran of the genre.  Macdonald practiced rapping in her closet (acoustics were better) and after hearing her Jersey accent on screen, learning she’s Australian only further emphasizes her skill.

Patti Cake$ is an underdog story about Patricia (Macdonald), a rapper who doesn’t look the part but perseveres anyway.  While there’s a unifying theme of loss among the leads, the overarching message is one of finding strength within.

Writer/director Geremy Jasper spent years on this ode to rap.  He utilizes a combination of shooting styles that complement each other well, further emphasizing the more magical elements of the story.

Patti Cake$ also stars Cathy Moriarty, Bridget EverettSiddharth Dhananjay and Mamoudou Athie.

For more about the movie, including exclusive interviews with writer/director Geremy Jasper and stars Danielle Macdonald and Cathy Moriarty, take a look below:


—>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.  Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

All photos and video are courtesy of Fox / Fox Searchlight.

WIND RIVER Review & Analysis

Wind River takes its name from a Native American reservation so large that it covers more acreage than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  With only six police officers to cover the vast territory, FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) and Fish and Game Department tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) step in to help.

The startling truth behind Wind River is just as dramatic; the danger on the reservation knows no bounds.  A two year initiative to decrease crime failed: instead, there was a 7% increase.

Writer/director Taylor Sheridan uses the film to explore multiple issues: murder, missing women, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness in a wilderness where many don’t survive.

For more about Wind River, take a look below:


—>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.  Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

BRIGSBY BEAR *Interview, Review & Analysis*

Brigsby Bear is a comedic ode to nostalgia, friendship and acceptance.  When James (Kyle Mooney, Saturday Night Live) discovers he was raised by kidnappers and is returned to his biological family, he strives to take control of his life again.  Harnessing the only thing he knows, a Brigsby Bear television show which his kidnappers created just for him, he decides to write and shoot the final chapter in his beloved bear’s story.

Rather than turn James into a joke, everyone around him embraces the project and takes it on as their own.  In the process, each of them discover elements that had been missing from their own lives, like the police detective (Greg Kinnear) who always wanted to act.

Brigsby Bear also stars Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Matt Walsh, Andy Samberg, and Michaela Watkins.  It was co-written by Kevin Costello and directed by Dave McCary, Mooney’s childhood friends.

Brigsby Bear and the friends behind it had some bumps–or learning experiences–as they worked to complete their first feature film together.  For more about Brigsby Bear, including an interview with Mooney and McCary about the movie and their process, take a look below:

—>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.  Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

ROMEO IS BLEEDING *Red Carpet Interviews*

The documentary Romeo Is Bleeding found an unlikely star in Donté Clark.  Clark turned to spoken word poetry to transcend the wide-spread violence in his hometown of Richmond, California where knowing a victim of gun violence is a way of life, not the exception.

Director Jason Zeldes first learned of Clark from his cousin, teacher Molly Raynor, who updated him about her talented student.  Zeldes’ interest grew.  Upon hearing about Clark’s writing project, a play about life in Richmond based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, he asked if he could document the process.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Russell Simmons signed on as executive producer after the film’s completion in another coup for the already-successful project.

Romeo Is Bleeding has already been recognized multiple film festival awards, with more surely on the way.

Take a look below for interviews with director Jason Zeldes, stars Donté Clark and Molly Raynor, co-editor Kevin Klauber and executive producer Russell Simmons:


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