The Broken Projector Movie Podcast
A movie podcast that isn't boring.

If you're reeling from an explosive summer, you're in luck. There are currently two movies in theaters (and in the VOD-o-sphere as well as iTunes) that are both hilarious and treat relationships with a complexity and realism that you might be missing. The first is Sleeping With Other People, a romantic comedy where Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie use a safe word for when they're feeling sexual tension. We'll talk with writer/director Leslye Headland about finding honesty with a high concept.

The second is People Places Things, the story of a graphic novelist/teacher (played brilliantly by Jemaine Clement) who is going through divorce, trying to be a good father and trying to contemplate defining his life now that half of it is over. We'll also speak with its writer/director, James C. Strause.

Plus, Geoff and I will answer some of your screenwriting questions, and, since I'm moving across the planet over the next two months, we'll briefly consider the role packing up everything plays in a handful of films.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode103.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 10:12am EDT

Filling in for Geoff this week, Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham hangs out for the hour, so we use Age of UltronBack to the Future and his Kaiju-battling film to discuss plot density (and the 2015 trend of convoluted messes) in big adventures.

We also discuss his newest project, a directorial debut called The Curiosity that was born out of the abject despair of getting his television show at Fox canceled before it even aired. After dedicating his life and hard work to something that will never be seen, he's found redemption in a new idea and new learning curve.

Gigantic robots and hard-working people making good. What's not to love about this episode?

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode102.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 9:12am EDT

Everybody cut loose. Because Kevin Bacon is chasing you, and he wants to bury you in the woods.

Bacon stars in the indie flick Cop Car as a bad guy sheriff whose siren-topped vehicle is stolen by two young boys running away from home. This joy ride was co-written and directed by Jon Watts, who will take on the next Spider-Man movie, so it's a dark artifact of what his aggressive and comedic sensibilities if you're looking for a hint of what he might bring to the Peter Parker table. Plus, Bacon offers some stellar suggestions for actors who are in scenes without any other actors to talk to.

Geoff and I will also say goodbye to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and answer your screenwriting questions about pagination and the first step after your last step.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode101.mp3
Category:Actor Interviews -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

It's our 100th episode, and to celebrate we've invited some special guests to help us count 100 of the 1,00,000 reasons we love movies.

We aren't interviewing anyone, handing out screenwriting advice or getting too deep in our discussion of Top Gun this week, so we hope you consider this episode as a shot of adrenaline that recharges an already-well-lit passion.

We hope you see yourself in these reasons. We hope that you add to the list with your own experiences. We hope that we're able to tell 100 different stories just by evoking these favorite moments, scenes, props, lines of dialogue and memories.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode100.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 7:28am EDT

The most radical thing about The Look of Silence isn't that a man sits knee-to-knee while interviewing the men who brutally murdered his brother, but that the man approaches those interviews with the goal of forgiving them.

Direct download: The_Look_of_Silence_-_Joshua_Oppenheimer_Interview.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 8:10am EDT

What does it really mean for a movie to be "patriotic"? Every list of patriotic movies features the same rah-rah films celebrating our military prowess, our national history and our small town pastimes, but what if you had to make a list of patriotic movies that didn't include The Patriot or The Sandlot or Saving Private Ryan or any of the others?

Is it possible that a mockumentary about a beauty pageant can both celebrate and make fun of tradition? Are the rebellious teenagers of Dazed and Confused more American than apple pie? Can the married owners of The Birdcage be emblematic of family life in this country?

These questions and more as Geoff and I explore 8 unconventional patriotic movies. Plus, even more quandaries as we answer your screenwriting questions about compelling characters, villains who want to get caught and more.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode99.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 4:25am EDT

Everyone else was doing it, and since we're nothing if not topical, we've decided to rank every Pixar movie, but we're also going beyond a simple list to discuss what makes Pixar magical (and/or disappointing). Will we put Up ahead of Toy Story? Will we put Ratatouille ahead of Finding Nemo? Will the ranking ultimately be arbitrary because there's only cosmetic distance between each entry of the top ten?

Satisfy your curiosity for these questions now.

To help us out, we've invited FSR Associate Editor Kate Erbland and Mousterpiece Cinema co-host Josh Spiegel to wrestle with the most important cultural, position-based question of our time.

You should follow Kate (@katerbland), Josh (@mousterpiece), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode98.mp3
Category:Movie Reviews -- posted at: 11:13am EDT

This week on the show, we explore the curious trend of summer high school movies developing cancer -- why are so many YA summer releases designed to make us cry? Who's up for a triple feature of Paper Towns, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Fault in Our Stars?

Plus, Geoff offers a control-based hypothesis for why book fans have produced a loud backlash to Game of Thrones this season.

And our special interview this week is with John Cusack. Jack Giroux speaks to the veteran actor about playing Beach Boy genius Brian Wilson in Love and Mercy.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode97.mp3
Category:Actor Interviews -- posted at: 7:07am EDT

Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 are both out this weekend, and since we're nothing if not topical, we're covering both because they make an excellent double feature.

First up, special guest co-host John Gholson will review Fury Road without spoilers, while placing it within the larger context of the Mad Max Universe and explaining why we should feel free to buy into the hype. Then, he and I will discuss the issue of the dearth of Black Widow action figures and why we can't be too quick to call the toymakers evil.

For the grand finale, Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 screenwriter Kay Cannon joins us to explain what's inherently funny about placing two naked people into a scene about joining a collegiate club and to talk about how her experiences on 30 Rock helped pave the way for writing feature films.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode96.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 8:59am EDT

Kevin Pollak's latest movie is a documentary that questions whether pain is necessary to create the kind of comedy that resonates. Misery Loves Comedy sees an enormous amount of professional funny people explaining their experiences, and Pollak joins us this week to discuss the myth of the tortured artist and what he learned crafting 700 hours of footage into a 90-minute movie.

Plus, Geoff and I will dissect a serious scene from a comedy -- specifically the To The Pain speech from The Princess Bride -- in order to see how one cup of dirt and three cups of sugar can create meaningful dramatic moments in a movie that makes you laugh. 

Double plus, we'll have a spoiler-free interrogation reviewification of Avengers: Age of Ultron that sends us to the corner store for ear plugs. 

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode95.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 10:06am EDT

Now that we've had time to process Ex Machina, it's easy to recognize that we haven't had enough time to fully process Ex Machina. However, we're going to dive into the deep end of its concepts, philosophies and plot devices with writer/director Alex Garland. We'll also discuss the game theory of misdirecting your audience and compare the isolation of Ex Machina to Garland's other scripts.

Plus, with Geoff still on assignment, we're pleased to have author and screenwriter Jason Arnopp fill in as guest-host for a conversation about what horror and sci-fi have in common.

You should follow Jason (@jasonarnopp), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode94.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 9:02am EDT

When she was ten years old, Marya E. Gates' favorite actor was Nicholas Cage. That's not the only thing you need to know about her, but it's definitely important. She's also currently spending an entire year watching only movies directed by women, and she's our guest co-host this week.

We'll have a thorough, frank discussion about her experience watching movies made by women, the challenges facing female directors and the potential solutions to bring greater equality and more voices to the studio system.

Plus, we'll lighten things up a bit by celebrating the hallmark style of 80s movies. Naturally that involves a lot of lace and werewolf fur.

You should follow Marya (@oldfilmsflicker), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode93.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:28am EDT

If you're standing in the rain with a lost love, this is the perfect episode to listen to. It'll dry you right out.

This week, Geoff and I will briefly question why Nicholas Sparks keeps getting away with writing the same exact story over and over before sharing a list of some of our favorite tragedies. Somehow, the topics blend together perfectly.

Plus, we'll answer screenwriting questions about annoying characters and overbearingly bleak tones, and The Immigrant writer/director James Gray will talk about actors with surprising styles and what he got out of film school.

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode92.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 8:35am EDT

This week on the show it's our honor to have modern indie pioneer Hal Hartley join us to discuss love, religion and revenge in his latest movie Ned Rifle.

Plus, we brainstorm 6 pitches for animated children's movies that Disney should remake as live-action, and Geoff's pick for what actor should play Ursula in a dark Little Mermaid wins everything.

Double plus, we answer your screenwriting questions about managing to live while attempting to sell a script in L.A., the difficulties for non-English-speaking writers, and the guidelines for killing your main character in a blaze of glory at the end. 

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode91.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 8:51am EDT

Should TV shows and movies with mysteries at their hearts reveal their answers or is it better to let the top spin? What's the right balance in making your audience wonder and making your audience gasp at the answers? Geoff and I will consider these questions with Lost, Agatha Christie and Inception in tow. Plus, Geoff offers a 4-layer dip for categorizing mysterious stories. We'll call it the Oldboy Upstream Color Spectrum until someone else comes up with a better name.

The bigger question on the show this week is whether we want the things we think we want. With new episodes of The X-Files coming soon, and so much geek culture co-opted, repackaged and dumped on our doorsteps, it's starting to seem like the disappointments outweigh the anticipation.

Our big finish is a conversation with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the filmmakers behind the romance-horror Spring, where a misguided old monster and a misguided young monster help each other while falling in love. It's as if Linklater and Cronenberg had a baby (with dragon wings and squid arms).

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode90.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 5:33am EDT

Do you have to move to Los Angeles to become a professional screenwriter?

This is probably the most common question that aspiring professional screenwriters have. The answer is also the most hated, most despised, most likely truest pieces of screenwriting advice that aspiring professional screenwriters can get. However, instead of merely ending the conversation by insisting you uproot your life in order to make your dream come true, Geoff and I want to dissect and explain exactly why living in Los Angeles is so vital to creating and maintaing a career as a screenwriter.

Plus, we explore and revel at the concept that Cinderella, Captain America and Harry Potter are all the same character.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode89.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 8:56am EDT

If you've ever stuffed DVDs into envelopes or furiously filled out Without a Box submission forms in order to prepare your baby, your darling, your movie to be sent off to a film festival for their harsh and final judgment, this one's for you. DC Shorts founder and programmer Jon Gann joins us to discuss some common mistakes made by filmmakers attempting to get their work screened and to talk about the philosophy behind how his team chooses what movies they pick.

Plus, Geoff and I answer your screenwriting questions about avoiding procrastination, specialized drafts and how to write scene description without going overboard.

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode88.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 6:08am EDT

In EverlySalma Hayek's title character is stuck inside a highrise apartment with well-armed bad guys constantly coming through the door. She'll need a lot of fire power and guts to survive the night.

Naturally, director Joe Lynch says, "the whole movie is about a mother and daughter reconnecting."

Our conversation with the filmmaker obviously covers the emotion and tonally wild action of Everly, but we also cover topics like making movies that Hollywood won't and the European techno-erotica of RoboCop. Plus, Lynch's enthusiasm should replace the three cups of coffee and that eight ball you were planning on crushing today.

Also on the program, I try to pinpoint exactly why the Oscars feel perfunctory and devoid of meaning.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode87.mp3
Category:Director Interviews -- posted at: 8:46am EDT

Gary Whitta got a big break with The Book of Eli, a spec screenplay where he doesn't so much save the cat as he kills it and cooks it over a spit within the first few pages. Now he's coming off writing for one of the stand-alone Star Wars movies, he's working with Mark Millar on Starlight, and his debut novel "Abomination" is available for pre-order through an innovative publishing platform. It has everything in the above image and more.

Whitta joins me this week as our special guest co-host (Geoff is on assignment in Kazakhstan), and we discuss the dominance of The Empire Strikes Back, the slightly ironic relationship movies have to comic books now and why he might not have done the very thing that brought him success knowing what he knows today.

Things get educational, so grab a notepad and a splashguard.

You should follow Gary (@garywhitta), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode86.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 10:59am EDT

Last week we looked at American Sniper as a political football, and this week we turn to a fresh take on military life which will sadly only get a fraction of the attention Sniper did. 

Amira and Sam star Martin Starr will discuss preparing to play an army veteran, finding humor and nuance in an important script and the vital way in which the movie portrays a progressive Muslim girl. 

Plus, Geoff and I will weigh in on the blockbuster-ish news about Ghostbusters getting an all-female cast and Indiana Jones hypothetically looking to Chris Pratt to take the whip and fedora. 

Then, Rob Hunter will take some time out of shivering in the cold at Sundance to tell us his five favorites of the fest. You'll want to write these down and hunt them down in the future. 

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode85.mp3
Category:Actor Interviews -- posted at: 8:56am EDT