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 Mick Garris, Jonathan Mostow, 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.

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Talking Pictures #16: Jan de Bont, Director of TWISTER

Filmmaker Jan de Bont became famous as one of the most creative and exciting cinematographers of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. He started out in the Netherlands where he worked on Wim Verstappen’s controversial film BLUE MOVIE and quickly became known for his collaborations with director Paul Verhoeven on movies like TURKISH DELIGHT, KEETJE TIPPEL and THE FOURTH MAN. He continued working with Verhoeven in America on FLESH & BLOOD and BASIC INSTINCT and became a sought-after DP for blockbusters like DIE HARD, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, LETHAL WEAPON 3 and FLATLINERS. But Jan de Bont is also a…

Talking Pictures #15: Steve Beck, Director of THIR13TEN GHOSTS and GHOST SHIP

Filmmaker Steve Beck created two notable horror movies in the early 2000’s: THIRTEEN GHOSTS, which came out in 2001, and GHOST SHIP, which followed in 2002 – both of them produced by Robert Zemeckis, Joel Silver and Gilbert Adler for their company Dark Castle Entertainment. THIRTEEN GHOSTS was a remake of William Castle’s B-movie classic by the same name from 1960, whereas GHOST SHIP was an original story. Both movies are effective ghost stories starring several recognizable actors like F. Murray Abraham, Gabriel Byrne, Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Lillard, and even a young Emily Browning. The real star of both films,…

Talking Pictures #14: Bert I. Gordon, Director of THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN

Our latest episode features a very special interview with a legendary filmmaker who put his own unique stamp on horror movies. His initials are B.I.G., and size is also one of the major themes of his movies which featured giant lizards, giant grasshoppers, giant cats, giant spiders, giant rats, giant ducks and yes, even giant teenagers. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Mr. Bert I. Gordon, who, starting in the Fifties, created many beloved B movies like THE CYCLOPS, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN, BEGINNING OF THE END, EARTH VS. THE SPIDER, ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE, VILLAGE OF THE…

Talking Pictures #13: Zak Penn, Screenwriter of READY PLAYER ONE

Today’s guest is Zak Penn, best known as a screenwriter on several big-budget superhero movies like X-MEN 2, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, THE INCREDIBLE HULK and THE AVENGERS. Zak also wrote the 1993 comedy LAST ACTION HERO starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he directed a wonderful mockumentary called INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS, in which he, together with German director Werner Herzog, ventures out to find the Loch Ness monster. My conversation with Zak focuses on his work on Steven Spielberg’s 2018 sci-fi movie READY PLAYER ONE, which Zak adapted from Ernest Cline’s novel by the same name. The story is set…

Talking Pictures #12: Jeremy Pikser, Co-Writer of BULWORTH

Today’s guest is screenwriter Jeremy Pikser, best known as the co-writer of Warren Beatty’s political satire BULWORTH for which they got both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe nomination. In BULWORTH, a senator decides to end his life and spend his last few days telling the truth wherever he goes during his re-election campaign – which, naturally, completely disrupts the world of politics. Jeremy talks about the genesis of the movie, which came out in 1998, during Bill Clinton’s 2nd term, about the difficult writing process with Warren Beatty, about truth in politics, about the often-discussed ending of the…

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…

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