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Meryl Streep’s “me too” moment

Liz Hannah wrote The Post’s script last year, in the anticipation that Hillary Clinton would soon be the USA’s first female president. When voters elected a man credibly accused of sexual assault by a dozen women instead, and later, Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a serial sexual predator, seemingly enabled in his depravity by half of Hollywood, the movie acquired a new and unintended resonance.

Steven Spielberg: selling The Post in a post-truth era

Spielberg’s film is a stirring defence of the media’s role in a democratic society. “The free press is a crusader for truth. To me that’s just a fact, not a partisan perception,” he says. The Oscar judges may agree, but polls consistently show that a majority of Americans, Democrats included, do not.

“How come something written forty years ago rings so true?”

Published in the Sydney Morning Herald on June 10, 2017. In April 1968, the assassination of Martin Luther King was followed by a wave of urban riots. Troops were sent in to in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. to quell unrest. Two months later, author James Baldwin appeared as a guest on Dick Cavett’s television […]

Being Spike Jonze: “It’s all play.”

“It has always felt like me and my friends making things,” he says. “Play doesn’t mean it’s always fun and frivolous. You can play with the deepest ideas. Play can be melancholy and surreal and dig into deeper things, as long as you’re coming at it with a sense of exploration.”

Susan Sarandon will not back down.

“I, of course, would want to see a woman president. I hope it doesn’t have to be a millionaire that’s married to an ex-president for that to happen,” she says. “I’m more afraid of Hillary Clinton’s war record and her hawkishness than I am of building a wall, but that doesn’t mean that I would vote for Trump.”

‘Hate’ crimes? Tarantino attacks.

“I didn’t know that it was going to be such a serious meditation on the post-Civil War era,” he says. “And I had no idea that events in the news would be corresponding with the themes we were dealing with. You’ve got institutional racism running rampant in this country. We’ve got into a polarised, lines drawn camp that we haven’t experienced since the Civil War.”

Steven Spielberg: the war’s cold, so wrap up warm.

A few minutes before our scheduled meeting, I am installed in the corridor outside Spielberg’s room. An Italian journalist is gushing about the film as he leaves. “It’s like John Ford doing John Le Carre,” he says. “I like that,” replies Spielberg. “Print that.”

Can he take it to the bridge? Chadwick Boseman gets on up.

Whatever he makes of the film, Brown will enjoy the reminder that he is immortal. He used to say that he was born dead – that the first breath had to be blown into him. As a child, after surviving four minutes connected to mains electricity he concluded that he could not be killed. Get On Up is merely his latest reincarnation.

Paul Thomas Anderson, Thomas Pynchon and Joaquin Phoenix walk into a bar…

Inherent Vice, the movie we’re here to discuss, is a rambling tale of conspiracy and paranoia set in the fictional town of Gordita Beach, California, in that sour post-Altamont, post-Woodstock, post-Manson Family moment, the literal and figurative end of the sixties.

Tim’s Big Eyes: a break from the Burton-esque.

I ask Burton what he makes of the comparisons between Margaret Keane’s art and his own. “It gets panned,” he replies instantly, with feeling. “That show they had here at the MOMA, critically, it was completely ‘this isn’t art…’ And at the same time, it had the attendance ratings of a Picasso show.”