All posts by Cati Glidewell

Interview with award winning actress Klara Issova regarding her role as Marie Curie on National Geographic’s GENIUS

Czech Republic – Geoffrey Rush stars as Albert Einstein in National Geographic’s Genius (National Geographic/Dusan Martincek)

Klara Issova plays Marie Curie, the only person to win the Nobel Prize in both Chemistry and Physics, in National Geographic and Ron Howards’s new TV series, GENIUS. The award winning actress who has been in over 60 films spoke with me regarding her role as Curie, Curie’s influence she had on Einstein and gave one of the best answers to my space pirate question I’ve ever heard.

Geek Nerdery: Thank you for speaking with me and Geek Nerdery. I know you worked with National Geographic in the past, what drew you to this project with National Geographic?

Czech Republic – Zoe Telford (Clara Haber) with Johnny Flynn (Albert Einstein) in National Geographic’s Genius (National Geographic/Dusan Martincek)

Klara Issova: Well I worked with National Geographic on Killing Jesus two years ago and that was great and interesting and so happy they have made so many  great feature TV series and movies about strong characters and this was another one and also the second thing is that the whole thing was filmed in Prague and I cooperate with people who worked on another TV series I worked on called Legend starring Sean Bean and it was nice to work with the same crew and showrunner from Prague and the same team working on another great project.

GN: And you are from Prague so you got to work close to home.

KI: Yes, that was really nice so I didn’t have to travel around and got to stay in my own apartment so it was really lovely.

GN: Before you prepared for your role as Marie Curie, were you aware that she had such an influence on Albert Einstein’s life and work?

Czech Republic – Zoe Telford (Clara Haber) with Johnny Flynn (Albert Einstein) in National Geographic’s Genius (National Geographic/Dusan Martincek)

KI: I wasn’t aware of this specific information that they were quite close friends but I read and did research on the role I’m going to play and this it was really special and she is very famous around Europe because she is Polish and Poland is our neighbor and she is an Icon here for people and around the world and of course I read some books about her life and from her childhodd and it wasn’t easy and there were so many challenges in her way but I didn’t know about Einstein and her relationship before, it was suprising for me as well and new information that people will get known from this TV series. 

GN: Especially the way Einstien worked with his wife and how influential she was with the relationship with her husband and the fact Pierre Curie wouldn’t accept the Nobel unless Marie was listed on it.

GN: What do you think Marie Curie would think of the modern woman?

KI;  (laughs) That is a great question! I would like to add something about what you mentioned about the beautiful contradiction regarding the TV series which I totally love and where you can follow Einstein and his wife and on the otherhand you can follow Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s life and quite similar destiny but both marriages ended in very different ways and that was very interesting to me but (laughs) What would she think? I think tell them we are so lucky to live in this time period with all the equipment and internet and everything and everyone has the possibilities and can do anything almost and follow your dreams and women don’t lose this opportunity and to do what you really want to do.

GN: I agree, excellent answer, excellent answer.

KI: Thank you

GN: What do you think geeks will like about this movie?

KI: I think what really is wonderful showing strong characters they have so many obstacles and they fight and they fail and they follow and they try again and again and have to be so patient and so strong and it is crazy to see all the obstacles they had in their way and still stay on their journey and you do the best that you can and with Marie Curie she was really poor and when she was young, when she came to Paris, she starved and she didn’t have any food and kind of things like this, she was cold and hungry and she had permanent obstacles in her way and she stayed on her course and finished school, she studied she became a scientist etc. etc. etc. so I would say it is very inspirational to people and people will see they had positive things in their life and they are heros, Einstein is a hero and Marie Curie is a hero and I don’t know they also had shadows and black moments in their life and people will see they were normal people everybody trying to do their best and so much information about their peronal life this will show. People will see what other people did for us and learn from the history and be thankful and to be so lucky that we don’t have to go thru what they did. We have almost everything and they didn’t.

GN: Yeah at the end of the day Einstein was a man and Marie Curie a woman and dealing with all of the problems that people deal with every day.

GN: I don’t know if this will translate  but do you know what a space priate is?

KI: A what?

GN: A space pirate, a popular example would be Han Solo in Star Wars.

KI: Oh okay. I don’t know who that is.

GN: Who would be your favorite space pirate?

KI: Ohhhhhh, my favorite? I don’t know if he is a pirate but for me it,  would ET count? I would say ET. I was in love with ET when I was really young and always wanted to be his friend and it was a beautiful movie always liked ET and I would say him. 

GN: Technically, yes ET would count as a space pirate because he not only stole Reeses Pieces, he also stole our hearts so yes he would count and kudos to you for being the first person in history to define his as a space pirate. Well done.

KI: (laughs) Thank you 

GENIUS airs Tuesdays on the National Geographic Channel, check your local lisitngs. http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/videos/genius-teaser-trailer/

 

‘Alien:Covenant’ review: Is it more like ‘Alien’ or ‘Prometheus’?

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When I told friends I saw the most recent addition to the Alien family last week, the first question was always the same: Was it more like Alien or Prometheus? And my answer is always the same, Yes but it is also it’s own. Ridley Scott’s masterful direction is both a sequel to Prometheus and a gateway that is leading the audience to Alien. The film’s prologue begins with a young Peter Weyland introducing his latest creation David (played by one of the best parts and performances of this movie Michael Fassbender) to the world. This is where the elements of Prometheus begin, the religious overtones of creation/God making Man. When David asks Weyland, “If God made Man, who made God?”, you can see Weyland’s’s face shift to the realization that his creation has questioned him and asked what he himself would like to know.

Then, piece by piece, the opening title sequence takes you back to Alien and the tone is set of what the audience is in for.  It’s 2104, 10 years after Prometheus and 18 years prior to the original Alien.   The Covenant is carrying the frozen cryosleep crew of twelve and 2,000 other sleepy frozen passengers along with 1000’s of embryos on a 7 year journey to a distant planet Origae-6 when it is thrown off course by a burst of crap/space storm/neutrino shock wave that shreds this gold shield thing and nearly kills everyone. Luckily, the humanoid watching over the ship, Walter (also Fassbender) wakes up the crew and saves the day, except for (spoiler alert) James Franco. If you are not a Franco fan then this is the movie for you because his demise is not pretty. The crew mourns briefly, fixes the ship, hears a beacon on a seemingly perfect new planet and despite the fact that they have a course set to a destination I’m pretty positive some really smart people have done a ton of research on, they take 3/4’s of the remaining crew and go to this equally inhabitable planet to explore and shortly after that all hell breaks loose.

So here are the pros: Covenant is a dark, haunting, exhilarating exploration in space and bloodier than the previous films in the franchise that brings the scares Prometheus lacked.The Xenomorphs are magnificent in size and scare factor and the introduction of the Neomorphs (add that to your lexicon) are both terrifying and adorable. Plush Neomorphs and baby Groots may be THE gift for the kids this summer. There is also a POV from the Xenomorph that I don’t recall experiencing as an audience member before. As for the performances, the standouts are

DF-14740 – Katherine Waterston as Daniels in ALIEN: COVENANT. Photo Credit: Mark Rogers.

Daniels (Katherine Waterston despite her Floyd Christmas haircut) the female lead reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley cautious, couragous and kicking ass. Faris (Amy Seimetz) the ship’s co-pilot who has the most believable performance from the moment she awakens from cryosleep to her encounter with an ill crew member and what transpires after, she is the only member of the team that follows protocol and her fear looks more than real. The standout and star is David/Walter (Fassbender) who is outstanding and entertaining especially in scenes where he acts with, himself. It is clear that writers John Logan and Dante Harper enjoyed writing the scenes between these two characters with a line like, “Watch me…I’ll do the fingering.”

Which leads to the cons: While practical effects were used, there is a quintessential scene where they were not and in my opinion missed the mark where it was an easy target. Award for worst crew in space goes to…. The Covenant. You have 2,000 lives on board your ship and you decide to go exploring? Last time I checked you had a mission and a destination but this shiny penny planet apparently means more than human existense. And who takes 3/4 of their remaining crew to “check out” a perfect uninhabited planet? Do they not show reruns of ANY television show set in space in 2104?

The character development is abysmal. What angers me about this is the 4 minute teaser trailer released 2 months before of a Last Supper with the crew that establishes relationships, personalites, banter and makes you feel and at least know more than 4 of the charachters names. Why this was not added to the final film I don’t understand because this 4 minute addition would have been that touch the film needed.

Despite the lack of character development and storyline plotholes, Covenant is a gorgeous film that splits the feel of Alien and Prometheus. The Covenant ship is a dead ringer for the Nostromo while the landscape of the planet, both barren of life and beautiful is reminiscent of Prometheus.The production design department led by Chris Seagers will be, in my opinion, nominated and possibly winning many accolades during awards season because of their exquisite craftmandship.

Alien:Covenant is a transition film that is an equal mix of Alien and Prometheus with the horror and tension of the original and the ambition to answer the question of creation and life from the latter. While it did not leave me feeling, anything actually, I do believe it is a film with some misses but a film that should be watched and enjoyed in the theater. I guess my disappointment is that I know this is a an A movie that ended up being a B. This is not the end however, which makes me hopeful. Alien:Covenant opens in theaters May 19th.

 

Interview with MindGamers Director Andrew Goth

The movie “MindGamers” asks the audience the question: What if you could instantly connect and share the skills and mind of any human on the planet? Headlined by Sam Neill (“Jurassic Park”) and Tom Payne (The Walking Dead), “MindGamers” follows a group of brilliant students who create a wireless neural network with the possibility to link every mind on the planet via a quantum computer. With the capability of transferring motor-skills from one brain to another they freely spread this technology with the belief that it will be the beginning towards a new equality and intellectual freedom. It is not long before they discover that they themselves are a part of a greater and more sinister experiment that threaten to subvert the network into a means of mass-control.

For one night in U.S. cinemas on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. MT/ 6:00p.m. PT, with playback at 7:00pm local time for AK/HI, a one-of-a-kind event will take place thru Universal Studios/Terra Mater Film Studios and Fathom Events present  “MindGamers: One Thousand Minds Connected Live“. The film is associated with a first in neuroscience and a first for the theater audience, as neuroscientist, Tim Mullen (founder of Qusp) has invented a headband exclusively for “MindGamers” that the audience will wear and will measure the brain activity of an audience of 1,000 people.  While this live event takes place, the data  will be collected from them simultaneously.  These headbands will enable scientists to capture the cognition state of the participants simultaneously via cloud technology and collect data in real time. This amount of cognitive data has never before been measured and Tim hopes that the results will be significant enough to publish in a science journal. The live cinema event will open with introductory talks from Tim Mullen and Mikey Siegel, both leaders in the fields of neuroscience, technology and the collective consciousness. The feature “MindGamers“, billed as “the first action film for the mind” will follow and the event will conclude with a live Q&A and revealing of the first image of a mass-connected mind. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com and one can register to be one of the lucky 1,000 for the event by clicking the link mindgamersmovie.com/#/join (only people in LA and NYC can register).

The director of “MindGamersAndrew Goth debut as a director & writer was in 1999 with the tough and uncompromising Everybody Loves Sunshine (in US released as B.U.S.T.E.D.) starring David Bowie and Goldie. Lionsgate acquired domestic rights and the original screenplay was awarded the Carl Forman prize from BAFTA and went on to be selected as the opening for the Tokyo Film Festival. Goth moved on to the thriller/horror genre directing Cold and Dark and co-wrote and directed Gallowwalkers, a gothic western, starring Wesley Snipes. Andrew Goth answered some questions for Geek Nerdery regarding his newest film, the essentials of darkness and of course, his favorite space pirate.

Geek Nerdery:  What did you enjoy most about working with actors Sam Neill and Tom Payne?

Andrew Goth: Sam is the definition of chilled. He puts immense thought into his role and hones every line,but all with the decorum of a man that has his s**t more than together. Tom (who plays a young version of Sam’s character) has the same potential for taking all in his stride. They both made my life very easy.

Your film brings up being able to connect with the best and the brightest in the world. What do you believe are the benefits of being able to share minds that the film doesn’t show?

Not just the brightest and the best, but all. I think the human drive to connect is incredibly strong. Technology is just creating the tools to enact that instinct. If I wanted to get philosophical and smoke this into making sense, I’d say that the benefit of this tech is that it is helping us to achieve our evolutionary destiny. It would also be very cool to download the skills of a free runner.

What if the brightest have dark sides as well? What are the dangers of sharing minds?

We all have dark sides. Ethically and physically there will be many hurdles to cross when we start sharing minds. The violence in the film represents the hurdles we might face. An exploding star is one, if not the most violently destructive acts in the Universe, but from its ashes, new stars and planet systems are formed. Darkness could be essential.

This seems like a very physical film. Were there any circumstances that pushed the film in a different direction?

The film is all about mind and body. They are indivisible. In the film, your body is capable of whatever your mind imagines it to be.

Why or what do you think geeks will like about this film?

The science is grounded and the women lead the field. Nuff said.

What do want your legacy to be?

As a teen I always wanted to make one piece of art that meant something. Now I really don’t know.

Who is your favorite space pirate?

Mal (Captain Malcolm Reynolds) from FireFly. Easiest question so far.

MindGamers” is in select theaters March 28th.

You can find more articles and reviews by Cati at www.theblondinfront.com and https://www.facebook.com/BlondeInFront/

 

 

 

Gore Verbinski Exclusive Interview

In the new film A CURE FOR WELLNESS, set in a remote Alpine spa, the film centers on star Dane DeHaan as Lockhart, an overly driven Wall Street stockbroker who is sent by his firm to retrieve the company’s CEO, Pembroke (Harry Groener), a patient at the spa, who has made it clear he is not leaving. Once Lockhart arrives at the picturesque and serene sanitarium, the miracle cure the patients are receiving, seem to be making them more ill. As Lockhart digs deeper into the enigma that the cure provides for its patients, he befriends a young woman, Hannah (Mia Goth), a mysterious patient herself and Mrs. Watkins (Celia Imrie), a patient who after doing her own investigation, has some answers that compel Lockhart to compromise his safety and sanity. Lockhart is soon diagnosed with the same ailment as the other patients by Dr. Volmer (Jason Isaacs), the institute’s director and is now trapped himself. Soon Lockhart questions what is his basis of fulfillment and what being well truly means.
On February 9th, I had the fortune to speak with Oscar winning director, Gore Verbinski over the phone regarding the film, behind the scenes circumstances, teeth and space pirates.

Gore Verbinski: Hello!

CG: Hi!

GV: Hi Cati!

CG: Thank you for speaking with me today for Geek Nerdery.

GV: Pleasure.

CG: I have to say, your movie made an impact on me even this morning, getting a glass of water at work and it made me look at it differently.

GV: Fantastic. I hope it has the same effect on what makes people well in the health spa.

CG: I wanted to know with the aspects of the spa, water, eels which I can see as snakes, heights, confined spaces and dentistry, you’ve almost nailed the major phobias of most people, besides clowns and spiders. (he laughs) Do you think that fears contribute to wellness or make people feel better if they confront their fears?

GV: Well I think in our movie there is this place, high above the clouds in the Alps and it has been there for a long time and has watched humanity thru the Industrial Revolution and the advent of personal computers, our obsession with our devices, our cell phones and it’s offering a diagnosis and as Lockhart played by Dane DeHaan is summoned to this place, he is sort of slipping off the map and he is no longer in a waking state and entering this dream logic, so we are taking something very tranquil and soothing and this place of purification and then slowly corrupting it. We are turning those dreams into nightmares and bring there all your personal phobias as you make a movie like this. You try to show them to people in a private room.

www.acureforwellness.com

CG: Definitely. My primary job is working for a dentist, so I have to say you guys did an excellent job in showing the teeth and gums in the x-rays because I read those x-rays and I was probably the only one in that theatre that knew exactly what was going on and that..that was not good.

GV: Yeah, you know it was weird, Cati. As I was on the shoot, I had a problem with a tooth and had to go to a German dentist and in Germany, not really knowing anybody to make this movie and it was very ironic having to be in this chair after constructing this scene in the movie, two guys in masks over me, drilling your tooth, speaking German to each and I had no idea what they were saying. It was uniquely horrifying.

CG: That sounds horrifying! Why did you feel like you needed to make this movie now?

GV: Well, I haven’t really been in this genre for a while and it is a fun place to operate and you are watching Dane Dehaan’s character, Lockhart sort of slowly become assimilated in this place and reluctantly becoming a patient in this facility but really YOU are the patient. You are in a darkened room and worries enshroud an image and narrative to conduct an experiment on the audience. I think that there isn’t really another genre that allows that to occur in quite the same way and or allows you to be as covert in your kind of spellcasting. So I don’t know if that answers the question but I do like and enjoy the process.

CG: That totally answers the question. Were there any behind the scenes circumstances that put you in a different creative direction while filming?

GV: You are always, once you start, like a blank page, for myself and the writer Justin Haythe. By the time I got to the shoot everything, it was pretty precisely planned but then inevitably, you are in triage mode pretty quickly. Whether everybody’s good or when on location our stage caught fire and an entire stage burnt down, so here you adjust and try to hold on to what is most precious and move things around to try to come out with exactly what you need.

CG: Set wise I knew nothing about the castle that you filmed at and it is now on my bucket list.

GV: It is a great place.
CG: It is absolutely breathtaking and from the start this film has some of the most beautiful scenes in cinematography and film making I have ever seen. When you captured the train going into the tunnel, How did you do that with the camera next to the train? That was mesmerizing.

GV: Yeah, that is a really interesting location in Switzerland, where we had to really measure down to the millimeter in the clearance of that camera with that tunnel. So at first we went really slowly and we had attached our camera to the side of the train and backed up and pray that there wasn’t a sway left or right on the track or another train while the camera was going thru there. The movie it really is about two worlds. So you have Lockhart as the Modern Man and there is this, is this kind of ancient place and in the end Lockhart and Hannah in a way don’t belong in either of those worlds so reflections become very important and splitting apart with things and that was one of those locations as soon as I got there, knew as soon as we got there, you start to play with the camera and lens, and it was the location scout that found that place and I immediately knew that was a shot we were going to let play.

CG: Why do you think geeks will like this movie?

GV: I think the fact that you don’t know anything about it, ya know? I think so often these days we go to see a movie and maybe we’ve played the video game or we know the toy, read the book or comic strip or there’s a theme park and this allows you to get back to the time when you went to movies you didn’t know anything about the story and geeking out on that. That’s what excites me. I love finding an old movie I’ve never heard of or never seen and someone refers to it and like rediscover every champion in cinemascope. So serene for me in itself and for everybody, so yeah I think we try to make something even for A audience and not for the masses and hopefully they will find it and those who like it will feel like this one..is a love letter to them.

CG: Who is your favorite space pirate?

GV: My favorite space pirate???

CG: Yes

GV: Oh my God, I don’t know. Can I get back to you on that? You caught me, I always hate those questions like, what’s your favorite movie because they evolve and they change and as soon as I blurt them out, blurt out an answer they are stuck forever… in amber and I’m an evolving being. So who’s yours?

CG: Mine actually is Malcolm Reynolds from Serenity and Firefly

pause

GV: Wow, okay..I hadn’t thought of that.

CG: Most people will say Han Solo and ya know there will be others and even recently there is Mark Watney, Matt Damon from the Martian, who even proclaims himself a space pirate.

GV: That’s true, that’s true, that’s interesting. I’m sorry, I’m going to disappoint you Cati, it’s just that I don’t have a witty enough answer.

CG: No, no I want people to think about it because technically Barbarella is a space pirate as well.

GV: That’s true. Well listen it’s been nice chatting.

CG: It’s been nice chatting with you and if you are ever in Chicago and need any dental work, please keep my number and let me know.

GV: Haha, I’ll look you up. Fantastic!

A CURE FOR WELLLNESS opens nationwide in theaters February 17th.
Cati Glidewell is also the creator of The Blonde in Front