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IndieWire’s Movie Podcast: Screen Talk (Episode 103): ‘Neon Demon’ Showcases Amazon Studios’ Big Goals

17 hours ago

Amazon Studios has been generating headlines for a while now, but with this week’s release of two movies — “Neon Demon” and “Wiener-Dog” — the company’s lofty goals are being put into practice. Or, at least, some of its lofty goals. But what are those goals, anyway? In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson discuss Amazon’s current track record as well as some of the bigger ambitions it has further down the line, including its plans for Oscar season. The pair also touch on summer movie season and salute the career of the late Anton Yelchin.

Listen to the full episode above.

Screen Talk is available on iTunes. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on and be sure to let »

- Indiewire Staff

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David Simon’s ‘Show Me a Hero’: How Director Paul Haggis Controlled Chaos

23 June 2016 1:16 PM, PDT

HBO limited series “Show Me a Hero” is noisy. Cacophony reigns in crowded city council meetings packed with yelling onlookers and jostling media microphones. It’s hard to figure out just what is going on. Oscar Isaac as beleaguered Nick Wasicsko, the youngest mayor in America, pounds his gavel to no avail. Adapted from Lisa Belkin’s 1999 book by David Simon and his “The Wire” collaborator Bill Zorzi, “Show Me a Hero” digs into the unsexy ’80s true story about the pitched battle between the haves and have-nots in Yonkers, New York over court-ordered public housing. When HBO finally greenlit the series, it was with the knowledge that this story is as resonant as ever.

While the WGA-nominated writing is brilliant, a pivotal member of this team of storytellers earning rave reviews is DGA-nominated Paul Haggis, who directed all six episodes. Haggis said he eagerly leapt at his first television »

- Anne Thompson

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‘The Neon Demon’: Nicolas Winding Refn Reveals Why His Cannibal Model Movie Is Autobiographical

22 June 2016 9:44 AM, PDT

Read More: ‘The Neon Demon’ New Clips: Elle Fanning Shows Her Walk in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Cannes Thriller

On the phone from his Copenhagen kitchen the week before Cannes, Nic Winding Refn knows the drill. He’d already brought two violent underworld thrillers starring Ryan Gosling to compete at Cannes, and served on the jury. Los Angeles-set “Drive” was a global hit, while “Only God Forgives,” set in Thailand, was more divisive and controversial.

So as soon as Refn finished his latest film, horror story “The Neon Demon” (which had already been acquired by his “Drive” distributor Bob Berney for Amazon Studios release, one of five in the festival), he submitted it to Cannes. “Then you hold your breath as long as you can,” he told me. “I was lucky I didn’t have to hold it for too long. I was able to go on living.”

And Refn »

- Anne Thompson

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‘The New Yorker Presents’: How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series

22 June 2016 8:48 AM, PDT

Produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions, “The New Yorker Presents,” which Amazon revealed in weekly installments starting in February, is unlike anything else. Each of the 10 half-hour episodes is a uniquely curated set of documentary and fiction shorts, comedy, poetry, animation, and cartoons drawn from the rich content of The New Yorker. Both unexpected and hugely entertaining, the series is up for Emmy consideration in the informational program category.

Look at the range of the first two shows. They include Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) on bull riding, Edwidge Danticat on the connection between Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration Series” and outbreaks of racist violence in America, Nick Paumgarten on closing the $2.4 billion Revel casino, cartoons by Roz Chast, Benjamin Schwartz, and Liana Finck, a look at The New Yorker’s archive library and fact-checking department, a beekeeper and a man who raises pigeons who work atop tall buildings, and »

- Anne Thompson

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How ‘Outlander’ Showrunner Ronald D. Moore Brought Women’s Voices to the Sexy Bodice-Ripper (Emmy Video)

21 June 2016 6:00 AM, PDT

Ronald D. Moore envisioned a season of premium television, broken into one-hour segments, as soon as he read Diana Gabaldon’s first book in the historical fantasy romance series “Outlander.” It’s how his mind works. He saw the world, respected Gabaldon’s attention to research and detail — and her ability to write a bodice-ripping romance (more than 25 million copies sold worldwide) that’s packed with unexpected plots twists. Having worked in the “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica” universes, Moore knows how to create a grounded, immersive world with engaging characters who carry you through the narrative. (Eight Season One episodes are on available on Netflix.) “Outlander” may be a fantasy, but it’s believable. And sexy as hell.

We spoke as “Outlander” Season 2 was unspooling on Starz, leaving behind the rugged Scottish highlands for Jacobean intrigue in Versailles. “It was great to do something fresh and completely different,” Moore said. »

- Anne Thompson

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