Interviews

First look at Sherlock Season 4… and some extra tidbits

Flip up your coat collars, Cumberbunnies and… Watseekers? The First Look trailer for Season 4 of Sherlock went live yesterday, as Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) and Amanda Abbington (Mary Watson) joined executive producers Mark Gatiss (also Mycroft Holmes) and Steven Moffat on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Let’s watch.

We last saw our friends when the deliciously gaslit Sherlock: The Abominable Bride aired on Masterpiece on New Year’s Day. As of July 24, the team was two weeks from finishing filming for Season 4.

So … what do we see? Continue reading First look at Sherlock Season 4… and some extra tidbits

Director’s Cut: Rob Cohen & “Being Canadian”

This week on Director’s Cut,  it is my pleasure to welcome accomplished writer/director Rob Cohen to discuss his very funny documentary Being Canadian. Rob’s body of work as a comedy writer is impressive. His writing credits include The Simpsons – he wrote the ‘Flaming Moe’ episode –The Ben Stiller Show & The Big Bang Theory. Most recently he was working on podcast phenomenon Marc Maron’s show as both writer and director.

Being Canadian is Rob’s love letter to his homeland but was educational for him as well. It is an extremely well-directed and well-produced film, and as with most of Rob’s creations, it’s very funny and very dry. Rob interviewed tons of celebrities, most from Canada and a few from here in the States. The interviews are interesting, funny and set in some crazy locales. As a comedy writer and self proclaimed student of the craft myself for many years, even I was surprised at how many great comedians and writers are from Canada. Their ratio of great comedy writers to actual residents probably far outweighs what we have here and it hurts at little. Well, okay a lot. But at least it’s a little warmer here? 

As great an interview as Rob is, he was a great sport too, hanging out to riff and do some improv with me as we delved into his mysterious Hollywood legend that he always downplays. We explored the ‘myths’ of his career like – Is the Milhouse character from the Simpsons really based on you? Did Aimee Mann really write a song that was inspired by you? Is there an action figure from Austin Powers 2 based on your character? And of course Did you really have a classmate named, Peter Poontip? Be sure to check out the web extras for the answers. Continue reading Director’s Cut: Rob Cohen & “Being Canadian”

Director’s Cut: J.T. Arbogast & “Angel’s Perch”

This week on Director’s Cut, we welcome writer-producer-actor J.T. Arbogast to discuss his film Angel’s Perch. Arbogast, who makes his home in Los Angeles, hails from West Virginia. It’s a place he is still very fond of and where Angel’s Perch was shot. He was happy to come to Madison to discuss his passion project which hit very close to home and was semi-autobiographical.

Angel’s Perch is about hot-shot architect Jack, who is handed the project of a lifetime. At the same time, he is dealing with the death of his young wife, and his grandmother’s ailing health and dementia. Yes, the film has a lot going on emotionally, but Arbogast and his team pull it off. The plot has a little something for everyone, from young busy professionals more focused on their careers to those who know or have dealt with relatives dealing with a family member with dementia. Arbogast is a good actor and portrays an earnest and compassionate leading man as his story unfolds. 

In addition to writing chops, Arbogast has an eye for comedy and a background as well. He studied improv comedy for years and brought his talents to this personal story. Angel’s Perch is peppered with comedy throughout the film and it is well placed. It happens just when the viewer needs a break from heavier plot moments. Angel’s Perch is folksy and will tug on the heart strings just the right amount and make you laugh a little, too. Join us this Saturday night at 10 p.m. for Director’s Cut and Director’s Cut Presents on Wisconsin Public Television…your home for independent film!

Director’s Cut: Mike Batayeh & “Detroit Unleaded”

This week on Director’s Cut,  we welcome actor Mike Batayeh to discuss the film Detroit Unleaded. Mike is a co-lead in the film and while I primarily talk to directors and producers, I think it’s great to get a perspective from an actor’s point of view. Mike is animated and passionate about the film plus has a long list of acting credits. 

Detroit Unleaded tells the story of a young Arabic couple who meet at a gas station run by Sami (E.J.  Essi) in inner city Detroit. Sami takes over the operation after his father’s death and has bigger dreams. But when he meets Naj, played by the beautiful Nada Shouyahib, it helps ease the pain. Batayeh plays Sami’s cousin who has big entrepreneurial plans for the two of them as they compete with the more upscale, successful station in the neighborhood. Continue reading Director’s Cut: Mike Batayeh & “Detroit Unleaded”

Director’s Cut: Michael Neelsen & “Last Day at Lambeau”

Look alive Packer fans! This week on Director’s Cut,  I had the pleasure of interviewing director Michael Neelsen about his documentary Last Day at Lambeau. This is a fascinating look at the last days of Brett Favre’s career with the Green Bay Packers. Although the bridge between Favre and the Packer organization has recently been rebuilt, Last Day takes us back to when the unthinkable happened: Favre left the Packers and to make things worse, eventually donned a Minnesota Vikings uniform! 

Continue reading Director’s Cut: Michael Neelsen & “Last Day at Lambeau”

Here and Now: Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan Talks Presidential Politics

As the presidential primary season moves into Wisconsin with next week’s April 5 statewide election, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, joins Frederica Freyberg on this week’s Here and Now to talk about the elections, the Republican candidates and his role as the chairman of this year’s GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Watch the full interview online below and tune in to Here and Now on Wisconsin Public Television 7:30 Friday night. Find full voting information, polling places, candidate profiles and election news from WPT and WPR at WisconsinVote.org.

Director Stanley Nelson on Central Time and Director’s Cut

directors_cut_nelsonDirector Stanley Nelson visited Madison last week after the release of his newest documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Watch Nelson’s interview with Pete Schwaba on Director’s Cut tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television, which will be followed by a broadcast of the new film.

In this clip from Nelson’s interview for WPR’s Central Time, the prolific director discusses the cultural backdrop of his newest documentary. Want to hear more? Listen to the entire archived interview here.

Garden Expo: Dan Tyler’s Search for Abundance

“This is a great way to spend a cold February day. It has us all looking forward. Ken Burns called it ‘the fond expectancy of spring.’” – Dan Tyler, Garden Expo Volunteer and Speaker

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Each year, the Garden Expo brings thousands of people in from the cold to share their love of gardening. We wouldn’t be able to organize this event without the help of dedicated volunteers, folks who are passionate about their experiences and willing to share with others.

I sat down with Dan Tyler, an avid gardener and Madison resident, to talk about his personal experiences and his presentation on maintaining small-scale eco-yards.

DanTylerWhat inspired you to start presenting at Garden Expo?
I’ve come to the Garden Expo for years. I enjoy getting a lot of ideas and sometimes pick up a little equipment, but I especially love the opportunity to be on the stage.

I’m a volunteer; I’m not sponsored by anyone or selling any product, but it’s important to me to tell my story. I’m a younger homeowner, and I think it’s part of the American dream to own some land of your own. I always looked forward to that, and it became an enjoyable journey from a quarter-acre of lawn to a quarter-acre of abundance.

You use the word abundance a lot; can you talk more about that idea?
The notion of abundance – and I’m not talking about higher production rate – is the notion that the earth gives so much when you tend to its ecosystem, even on a small scale. Even a small yard can do a lot for you.

A lot of people today, we don’t have a lot of want in our life. We have so much going for us. Some people discover abundance out of need, but the more I study or contemplate it, I see that it’s about spending time on projects that are meaningful. I’m here at Garden Expo because I like to share that with people. Continue reading Garden Expo: Dan Tyler’s Search for Abundance

Director Stanley Nelson Visits Madison

Director Stanley Nelson’s work — which includes impactful American Experience documentaries Freedom Summer and Freedom Riders, and the unprecedented upcoming documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — is important, unrivaled and prolific.

In advance of the Feb. 16 nationwide premiere of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party in detail, Nelson is taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Madison this week.

While in Madison, Nelson will attend a free screening  at the Madison Central Library, sit down with Wisconsin Public Television Director’s Cut host Pete Schwaba for an exclusive interview about his film, and appear Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 3:15 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time.

Needless to say, everyone at WPT is excited to welcome Nelson to the studios, and we hope that you can take advantage of the opportunity to meet this prolific director while he’s here or tune in to one of his interviews. Check out the details of Nelson’s screening and appearances below, and mark your calendars for the premieres of Director’s Cut: Stanley Nelson and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Feb. 16 on WPT.

Continue reading Director Stanley Nelson Visits Madison

The Final Forte: Where Are They Now?

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To watch this year’s competition at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 29, visit The Final Forte page, tune in to WPT’s livestream or listen live on WPR. If you miss the live show, you can also catch the competition by watching the broadcast on WPT

Each year, some of the most talented young artists in the state vie for top honors in the final round of the Bolz Young Artist Competition. With all of the buzz around the competition itself, it’s easy to forget that soon afterward, these amazing young musicians go on to do great things! With that in mind, producer John Gerbig set out to catch up with some of the previous contestants and discover what they’re doing today. Continue reading The Final Forte: Where Are They Now?