film

Satirist Chris Morris, Writer-Director of Four Lions: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Chris Morris

Writer-director Chris Morris' new film, Four Lions, is a farce in an unexpected milieu: a terror cell. The film follows the lives of five British-born terrorists as they plan and attempt to execute a suicide bombing. Their efforts (and failures) were inspired by years of research by Morris, who tells us that he became fascinated by the real terrorism stories that struck him as funny. One group of bombers filled a boat with explosives, planning to blow it up alongside a US naval warship. The boat sank while they argued on the dock. Another terrorist was mocked by his compatriots for peeing too loud. He blamed the Jews who manufactured the too-thin bathroom door.

Four Lions was shortlisted for the World Cinema Narrative Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. As a guest on our show, Sundance programmer Trevor Groth told us that while the film was uproariously funny, its greatest achievement was in humanizing the would-be murderers who are its subject. Four Lions enters staged release on November 5th, distributed under the new Drafthouse Films banner.

Morris made his name in the UK and among comedy fans with a series of incisive news satires in the 1990s. The Day Today parodied newscasts with absurd, buffoonish reporters and ridiculous headlines like "Where Now For Man Raised By Puffins?" Steering the ship with utter conviction was Morris behind the anchor desk. The news magazine satire Brass Eye went even further, at one point convincing a Minister of Parliament to introduce a resolution against "cake," a drug that the show had made up out of whole cloth. Morris himself went undercover, asking real street dealers for made-up drugs until they threatened him with violence. Most recently, Morris was a regular on The IT Crowd, created by past Sound of Young America guest Graham Linehan. Another past Sound guest has also been a frequent collaborator: Armando Iannucci, director of In The Loop.

Chris Morris was named #11 in a poll of "comedians' comedians" conducted by the BBC in 2005, finishing one slot behind Richard Pryor, and ahead of comedy legends like Bill Hicks, Peter Sellers and Steve Martin.

Four Lions & the US of A

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One of the best films we saw at Sundance this year was Chris Morris' Four Lions. It's a satirical look at a London-based group of terrorists. UK-born terrorists, specifically. In the Q&A after the film, Morris talked about the sheer idiocy of terrorists he'd read about in his research, and he was unflinching in satirizing the would-be murderers. What's most remarkable about the film, though, is that these horrible, horrible doofuses are also quite human. That's a pretty remarkable achievement in my book.

The movie opens in a couple of cities November 5th, and it spreads across the country from there. Don't miss it.

The AV Club from The Toronto Film Festival on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Noel Murray
Guests: 
Scott Tobias

Noel Murray and Scott Tobias of The AV Club share their picks from the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. They discuss Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist, which is animated from a script by Jacques Tati. Also: Darren Aronofsky's latest, Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman as a ballerina struggling to find the passion to play the Black Swan in Swan Lake. In The Trip, director Michael Winterbottom supervises an impression-off between British comics Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.

They also say they had a number of disappointments at the festival, including It's Kind of a Funny Story (despite a great turn from Zach Galifianakis) and Danny Boyle's latest, 127 Hours. They also didn't like the seriocomic Will Ferrel vehicle Everything Must Go.

Noel and Scott joined us from CIUT in Toronto - our thanks to the station and to Chris Berube, who engineered our session.

Douchebag in Theaters

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Drake Doremus on The Sound of Young America from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.

When we were at Sundance this year, we interviewed director Drake Doremus about his sweet, funny little film Douchebag. You can check the interview out above if you missed it. The movie's in theaters in New York as we speak, and it's coming to LA on October 8th.

Now, if we could just get the wonderful, wonderful movie "Boy" into theaters here in the States...

Elijah Wood Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Elijah Wood

Elijah Wood emerged as a child star in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His first role was in a Paula Abdul video, directed by David Fincher, in 1989. Within a few years, he was a movie star, working in films like Radio Flyer and North. In his review of the 1994 film The War, Roger Ebert wrote that Wood was "the most talented actor in his age group, in Hollywood history."

Wood made the transition to adult acting gracefully - when he was 18, he packed up his bags and moved to New Zealand to star in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He's also appeared in films like The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Everything Is Illuminated and Sin City.

Wood is part of the ensemble cast of the new film The Romantics, which follows a group of young people from the rehearsal dinner to the ceremony of their close friend's wedding. The film will be released September 10th, 2010.

"Markets of Britain" by Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz

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From our pals at BoingBoingTV and the minds behind Look Around You, a great new short film to celebrate the release of the US Look Around You DVD. Robert Popper was a guest on The Sound of Young America in 2008, and Peter, who'll be a regular on the new Will Arnett sitcom on FOX, assures us he'll stop by our New York studios soon.

The AV Club Picks for July 2010: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Josh Modell
Guests: 
Nathan Rabin

Nathan Rabin and Josh Modell join Jesse to recommend the best of popular culture. Nathan chooses Louis CK's Louie and the new film The Kids Are All Right. Josh Modell chooses Inception and Children's Hospital.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 138: Morgy with Martin Starr

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Guests: 
Martin Starr

Martin Starr joins Jordan and Jesse to discuss the demise of his show Party Down, favorite restaurants, secret sex parties and more.

Action Items:
* What is the dumbest lyric in a song you genuinely love?
* Ever been too serious about board games to disasterous effect? Have any strategies for Jesse?

Paul Rust + Pee-Wee?

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What news could be better than the news that Paul Reubens is working on a script for a new Pee-Wee movie at the behest of producer Judd Apatow?

How about the news that he's working on it with MaxFunPal Paul Rust?

IT'S TRUE.

Holy cow, right? HOLY COW.

The AV Club on The Sound of Young America: June 2010

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Kyle Ryan
Guests: 
Genevieve Koski

On this edition of The Sound of Young America, Kyle Ryan and Genevieve Koski from The AV Club meet with Jesse to talk about some of the "hip and happening" things going on in pop culture at the moment.

Film wise, Kyle and Jesse discuss the documentary Winnebago Man about... well the Winnebago Man. Next, Genevieve talks with Jesse about the direction of the Starz show Party Down.

On the musical front, Jesse and Kyle find relief in the latest release from the Roots, How I Got Over. And lastly, Genevieve chimes in about the new Robyn album, Body Talk Pt. 1.

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