Del Toro's new movie, Nightmare Alley, is a film noir starring Bradley Cooper as a murderer who joins a traveling carnival, first as part of the crew, and then as part of a clairvoyant act. The Oscar-winning Mexican director talks about researching psychics, his feelings about mortality, and why he relates to Frankenstein's monster. Del Toro also directed The Shape of Water, the Hellboy movies and Pan's Labyrinth.
Welsh actor Matthew Rhys plays the title role in the new HBO series, Perry Mason. His version of the iconic criminal defense attorney is younger and more hardboiled than the one Raymond Burr played in the popular TV show from the '50s and '60s. The new series focuses on Mason as a divorced private investigator in the early 1930s in Los Angeles — before he became a lawyer.
Film directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez are the team behind the new film Sin City, based on Miller's graphic novel series of the same name. Miller's Sin City series garnered numerous awards, including the Harvey and the Eisner Awards.
David Atkins directed Novocaine, a new film starring Steve Martin. It's about a dentist who's lured into a life of crime. Atkins is also a drummer and songwriter, and participated in the creation of several songs on the movie soundtrack. He also wrote the screenplay for the film Arizona Dream, starring Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway and Lili Taylor. It something of a cult classic in the U.S., although it was successful overseas. Novocaine is his feature film directorial debut.
Film director Samuel Fuller died yesterday at the age of 86. Fuller's B-movies of the 50s and 60s have influenced many other directors. His 1982 movie, "White Dog," about a racist who trains a dog to attacks blacks, was considered too controversial to be released in this country. It was finally shown in a retrospective of his work in New York. Among his works: The Big Red One, Verboten, and I Shot Jesse James. (Originally aired 8/2/91).
Director Curtis Hanson and actor Russell Crowe from the new film "L.A. Confidential" which is adapted from the 1990 novel by James Ellroy. (James Ellroy is a previous Fresh Air guest whose memoir "My Dark Places" was about his mother's murder in L.A. in 1958) The film, which has received a lot of attention at film festivals including Cannes, and Toronto, is about corruption and retribution in L.A. in the 1950s and 60s. (THIS INTERVIEW CONTINUES INTO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SHOW)
Price's books include The Wanderers, Bloodbrothers, and Clockers, which was a National Book Critic Circle Award nominee. He was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1986 for his screenplay of "The Color of Money." His newest credit is "Kiss of Death," which stars David Caruso, Samuel Jackson and Nicholas Cage.
Film Director John Dahl. His new film is a thriller called "Red Rock West." It takes place in a tough little town in Wyoming over a forty-eight hour period. It has a film noir feeling and plot that twists and turns. It stars Nicholas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle and J.T. Walsh.