Roger Ebert has called Ramin Bahrani “The New Great American Director” and, after you’ve seen Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, and this week’s Goodbye Solo, you’ll understand why. Solo is a cab driver who befriends an elderly gentleman named William who has asked him to drive him to Blowing Rock, an immense cliff in North Carolina, in a few weeks. Solo suspects that William has no plans to come back and tries to work his way into this lonely man’s life in the hope of pulling him back from the edge of the cliff before it’s too late. Bahrani is a fascinating interview subject, a highly intellectual and opinionated young man who it feels like is just starting to make an impact on his chosen art form. Goodbye Solo is the best film of 2009 to date and Bahrani was kind enough to give us a call to talk about realism, how he works with his actors, and even his reaction to the most recent Best Picture Oscar winner.
MOVIE RETRIEVER: All three of your films are very realistic. Why does realism intrigue you as a filmmaker?
RAMIN BAHRANI: I think this is an important conversation regardless but can I frame my conversation in relation to what was printed over the weekend? [Bahrani is referring to an article in The New Yorker responding to a piece in The New York Times about "neo-neo realism" that references Goodbye Solo directly.]
MOVIE RETRIEVER: Sure.
BAHRANI: I say that simply because there's been a controversy about it due to the gentleman in The New Yorker and it suddenly becoming a topic of interest. I think, obviously, there are certain elements of realism that are found in lots of films but which do not necessarily have to belong in each film. For example, all of my films have dealt with characters that are working class if not, in some situations, almost worse-off than working class. I think the kids in Chop Shop are financially...Read More
He doesn’t make a big splash on the red carpet and isn’t on the cover of Us magazine every other week (to his great credit), but Colin Hanks has worked steadily and consistently for years in Hollywood. In 2008 alone, he appeared in W., Untraceable, The House Bunny, and episodes of Mad Men and Numb3rs. He also played the lead in The Great Buck...Read More
It’s been a long few years for Kyle Newman. The young director’s comedy, Fanboys, following a group of George Lucas-obsessed friends on a quest to see Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace before its released, wrapped in the summer of 2006 and is just now being released in theaters on February 6th, 2009. What took so long? Well, the involvement of Harvey Weinstein, another...Read More
It's no secret that the Hound has a big, big man-crush on Uwe Boll, a film director who could alternately be described as either the P.T. Barnum or Ed Wood of our generation. Though Uwe has built up a wide canon of video game-based movies (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, to name but a few), he's almost...Read More