Sound on Film Podcast: Louisville’s Mike Fitzer Talks ‘Pleased to Meet Me’ and Kentucky Filmmaking

Our review of “The LEGO Movie,” alongside an interview with Louisville-based, Emmy award-winning filmmaker Mike Fitzer ahead of the Kentucky premiere of his film “Pleased to Meet Me.

Plus, news from around the filmosphere, with the latest on Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to his Oscar nominated documentary “The Act of Killing,” and heavyweight casting news for an as-of-yet unnamed Netflix dysfunctional family drama.

Robert Kahne fills in for regular host Chris Ritter, who is out of town on a film project for the next few weeks, but joins the conversation via phone from Sebago Lake, Maine.

Hello brave listener and welcome to WFPL’s Sound on Film.

Subscribe to Sound on Film using this link.

Find us on Facebook here.

Find us on Twitter here.

Questions? Feedback? Story or guest interview ideas? Contact us at film@wfpl.org.

Special thanks to house band Discount Guns.

Joshua Oppenheimer Returns to Indonesia for “The Act of Killing” Follow-Up (03:22)

Detailing instances of genocide in 1960’s Indonesia, Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” produced by famed filmmaker Werner Herzog, is a frontrunner for the Oscar for Best Documentary.

We now know that the partnership with Herzog will be continuing for Oppenheimer’s next film, “The Look of Silence,” and that the new documentary will return us to the legacy of genocide in Indonesia, but from a much different angle.

Oppenheimer told The Hollywood Reporter:

“In some ways it’s the film I set out to make at the beginning. … It’s about a family of survivors, who find out who killed their son through my work with the first 40 perpetrators I met and filmed before I encountered Anwar (the former gang leader and aging killer who is the focus of The Act of Killing). The youngest brother in this family decides he will confront the men who did this to his brother and it’s about that process.”

“The Look of Silence” was pieced together from footage Oppenheimer shot prior to “The Act of Killing,” and he has not returned to Indonesia since the “Act of Killing” for fear of reprisal.

Herzog described the results of “The Act of Killing” as “a new form of cinematic surrealism,” but “The Look of Silence” seems to have the potential to take a slightly different tact, just by way of its perspective alone.

Friend of the show Colleen Glenn’s interview with Oppenheimer for Charleston City Paper

Unnamed Netflix drama adds Linda Cardellini and Sissy Spacek (09:14)

News came recently of a new and as-of-yet untitled Netflix family drama from the creators of the FX series “Damages.

We’d originally heard that attached talent included Kyle Chandler (an Emmy winner for “Friday Night Lights,” and of film fame for roles in “Argo,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and others) as well as Ben Mendelsohn (who is most famous for his appearances on “Girls” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” but also great in “Killing Them Softly” and “Animal Kingdom”).

But now comes word of the addition of Linda Cardellini (of “Freaks & Geeks” fame and Emmy-nominated for her stint on AMC’s “Mad Men”), as well as Sissy Spacek.  

The series reportedly centers around a series of adult siblings, with Chandler as the older, responsible brother, Mendelsohn the black sheep, Cardellini as the youngest, a yet to be cast fourth sibling, and Spacek as the matriarch.

Review: “The LEGO Movie” (13:50)

Directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, who previously brought us “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “21 Jump Street,” “The Lego Movie” sees cookie-cutter construction worker Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt) thrust out of the mediocrity of following instructions, and into a breakneck adventure to save the universe as he knows it.

With additional voice talent including, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Will Forte, and more, “The Lego Movie” makes use of just about every corner of the interlocking block universe now beloved throughout the world.

“The LEGO Movie” trailer

Interview: Emmy Award-Winning Filmmaker Mike Fitzer (29:00)

Robert talks with Louisville-based filmmaker Mike Fitzer, ahead of the Kentucky premiere of Fitzer and filmmaking partner Archie Borders’ “Pleased to Meet Me.” Topics include working with music legends, Fitzer’s love of his adopted city, tax incentives and the future of Kentucky filmmaking.

Starring legendary “X” frontman John Doe and Academy Award-nominee Aimee Mann, and as adapted from the This American Life story “Everyone Speaks Elton John,” “Pleased to Meet Me” follows a 24-hour musical experiment bringing together a group of musical strangers from varying backgrounds. The film also features Louisville-based actor Timothy Morton.  

“In the film, we had to take a 10 minute radio piece and make that into a 90 minute film, so we obviously injected a lot of dramatic elements, but what we found through the filming that the real life was actually imitating the art,” Fitzer tells us.

On filmmaking in Kentucky, Fitzer said: ”Filmmaking in Kentucky definitely has to grow. And what we need as filmmakers is, we need support from our legislative body. We need to go beyond the horses and bourbon and basketball. Those are all great things and there’s a lot of love for them in this city and this state, but that’s not all that we are as a community.”

“Pleased to Meet Me” has its Kentucky premiere Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Kentucky Center in Louisville, with a Lexington premiere the following evening at the historic Kentucky Theater.

“Pleased to Meet Me” trailer

“Everyone Speaks Elton John,” original This American Life story

Like what you hear? Let’s do something awesome together. Help bring Sound on Film to the masses by posting a rating or review on iTunes.

Comments