I’m Christian Genzel, a filmmaker and film journalist from Salzburg, Austria.

TALKING PICTURES is an interview series in which I talk to the people behind some of my favorite movies. From cult movie directors to character actors, from seasoned veterans to brilliant newcomers, from celebrated artists to filmmakers who haven’t received the recognition they deserve – these folks have made some great movies and have lots of fascinating stories to tell.

I’ve written and directed the psychological thriller THE MUSE. My mystery/horror short CINEMA DELL’ OSCURITÀ was nominated for the 13th Street Shocking Short award in 2017. I’m currently working on a documentary on cult filmmaker Howard Ziehm. As a journalist and documentarian, I’ve also interviewed filmmakers such as Jan de Bont, Mick Garris, William Lustig, Uwe Boll, John Cox, Ken Wheat, Patrick Vollrath, Alan J. Levi, Sam Pillsbury and many others. If you want to learn more about me and my work, feel free to visit my homepage or my IMDB profile.

Upcoming episodes will feature interviews with Joshua Michael Stern, Jackie Kong, Menno Meyjes and Carol Heikkinen.

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Talking Pictures #11: Joshua Michael Stern, Director/Writer of SWING VOTE

Today’s guest is director and screenwriter Joshua Michael Stern, best known for his 2013 biopic of Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher, and his 2016 TV series GRAVES starring Nick Nolte as a former president of the United States. In our conversation, we focus on Stern’s 2008 movie SWING VOTE which stars Kevin Costner as a working-class man who suddenly finds himself in a very curious position: through several circumstances, the outcome of the current presidential election will depend on his vote – and so both political parties try to win him over by tailoring their campaigns to what they think…

Talking Pictures #10: Jackie Kong, Director of BLOOD DINER

Today’s guest is cult filmmaker Jackie Kong, best known for her outrageous horror comedy BLOOD DINER – the charming story of two homicidal brothers who dig up their uncle’s corpse and follow the instructions from his undead brain to kill a large number of people so that they can use the body parts to resurrect the ancient Lumerian goddess Sheetar. The film, which came out in 1987, is now well-regarded as an underground cult movie which has seen quite a few successful revival screenings in the past few years. Kong made her first film in her early twenties: a monster…

Talking Pictures #9: Charlie Haas, Screenwriter of MATINEE

Today’s guest is screenwriter Charlie Haas, best known for his work with cult filmmaker Joe Dante. Our conversation focuses on their movie MATINEE, released in 1993 – a love letter to the horror films of the 50’s and 60’s set during the Cuban Missile Crisis: John Goodman plays Lawrence Woolsey, a producer not unlike William Castle, who comes to Key West, Florida, to promote his new monster movie MANT! – half man, half ant, all terror! The story is told from the perspective of a young boy who loves horror cinema, and who befriends the eccentric producer while out in…

Talking Pictures #8: Midge Costin, Director of MAKING WAVES

Today’s guest is sound editor-turned-filmmaker Midge Costin. Midge worked as a sound and dialogue editor on some of the biggest films of the Nineties – ARMAGEDDON, CON AIR, THE ROCK, BROKEN ARROW, CRIMSON TIDE – but also on films like CRY-BABY, LEAP OF FAITH or SWING KIDS. She later became a teacher at the University of Southern California – and most recently, she created a brilliant documentary called MAKING WAVES – THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND which I became aware of when she ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign to finish the film. The film premiered at the Tribeca film…

Talking Pictures #7: John Orloff, Screenwriter of ANONYMOUS

Today’s guest is John Orloff, the screenwriter of Roland Emmerich’s ANONYMOUS – a complex and fascinating historical drama about the theory that William Shakespeare may not be the author of the works of William Shakespeare. Instead, the movie claims that the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, wrote famous plays like HAMLET and ROMEO AND JULIET, and that through complex political scheming he wasn’t able to receive credit for them, but instead a hapless young actor, William Shakespeare, served as a front for him. In our interview, John discusses the long process of developing the script, which began with a…

Talking Pictures #6: Kevin Droney, Screenwriter of MORTAL KOMBAT and WING COMMANDER

Today’s guest is screenwriter Kevin Droney – who adapted not one but two computer games for the big screen back in the Nineties: MORTAL KOMBAT and WING COMMANDER. MORTAL KOMBAT, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and based on the fighting game series that was known for its ultra-violence, was released in 1995 and was a huge success, spending three weeks at the number one spot of the U.S. box office. Unfortunately, WING COMMANDER, released in 1999, was not as successful – in fact, it was a failure both critically and commercially, even though it remains to this day the only…

Talking Pictures #5: Steven E. de Souza, Writer/Director of STREET FIGHTER

As part of our series on video game adaptations, I spoke to Steven E. de Souza, writer and director of STREET FIGHTER. After SUPER MARIO BROS. and DOUBLE DRAGON, STREET FIGHTER was the third video game adaptation to be released in the Nineties, and unlike its predecessors, it actually turned a healthy profit. In our interview, Steven talks about several of the problems that plagued the production of STREET FIGHTER – like co-star Raul Julia’s failing health, which meant that the shooting schedule needed to be rearranged, which in turn meant that there was not enough time to work on…

Talking Pictures #4: Jim Yukich, Director of DOUBLE DRAGON

As part of our focus on the video game adaptations of the Nineties, I spoke to Jim Yukich, director of DOUBLE DRAGON – an adaptation of the popular beat’em up video game series. The movie came out in November 1994, one and a half years after SUPER MARIO BROS. and just a few weeks before Steven de Souza’s STREET FIGHTER movie, so it’s actually the second video game movie to be released – and just like SUPER MARIO BROS., it was a commercial and critical failure, even though the film is much better and more enjoyable than its reputation. While…

Talking Pictures #3: Rocky Morton, Director of SUPER MARIO BROS. and Creator of MAX HEADROOM

For today’s episode, I spoke to British director Rocky Morton – the co-director, together with his then-wife Annabel Jankel, of the infamous SUPER MARIO BROS. movie. Released in 1993, this very first video game adaptation was plagued by endless rewrites and heavy studio meddling, so it became almost a cautionary tale – even though the film has a lot more to offer than its reputation would suggest. Before SUPER MARIO BROS., Rocky and Annabel were also the creators of MAX HEADROOM, the world’s first virtual TV host, who became a cult figure with his own music video show, a series,…

Talking Pictures #2: Mark W. Travis, Director of GOING UNDER

Back in the Nineties, I came across a comedy on German television starring Bill Pullman that was called U-BOOT ACADEMY – a film that seemed to be in the same vein as the POLICE ACADEMY movies, with lovably goofy characters and a delightfully silly kind of humor. Even though Michael Winslow had a small part in it, the film actually didn’t have anything to do with the ACADEMY series, as I later found out – its original title was GOING UNDER. Regardless of its connection or lack thereof to the ACADEMY movies, I loved the film – its visual gags,…