24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Live chat

Chat with 'The Raven' actor John Cusack on Thursday

April 24, 2012 | 12:55 pm

Edgar Allan Poe and John Cusack
Romantic comedies of the 1980s like "Say Anything" and "Sixteen Candles" launched John Cusack's career, but since then, his acting resume has continued to broaden -– from the thriller "1408" to the dark comedy "Being John Malkovich" to the quirky dramedy "Martian Child."

Now Cusack is preparing for the release of "The Raven," in which he plays 19th century writer Edgar Allan Poe. And at noon Thursday (Pacific time), you can chat with Cusack live on 24 Frames about "The Raven" and his other films.

Opening Friday, "The Raven" mixes the "history, fantasy and legend" of Poe, the actor told an audience at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books over the weekend.

A period mystery/thriller, the film follows the crimes of a madman inspired by Poe's dark and horrifying poems and tales. A Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) recruits the expert on these stories — Poe himself, of course — to get inside the mind of the killer and help track him down.

The role "was a great opportunity to immerse myself in Poe's mind. It's not a place I'd want to immerse myself in year-round, but it's a nice place to visit," Cusack said at the Festival of Books.

Cusack began visiting that mind in August 2010, when he was cast in the film and spent several months researching the author before a two-month shoot in Eastern Europe.

Sign up for the live chat with Cusack below.


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— Emily Rome

Photo: The real-life Edgar Allan Poe, left, and John Cusack in "The Raven." Credit: Larry Horricks / Relativity Media.

Live chat with 'Trespass' director Joel Schumacher on Oct. 14

October 10, 2011 |  2:06 pm

Joel Schumacher

Veteran filmmaker Joel Schumacher, whose Nicole Kidman thriller "Trespass" opens Friday, will be joining us for a live online chat at 11 a.m. PDT on the day his film hits theaters.

The prolific writer-director, whose career has spanned nearly 40 years, premiered "Trespass" at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. In addition to Kidman, the home-invasion film stars Nicolas Cage, Cam Gigandet and Liana Liberato. In the film, a wealthy businessman and his family are taken hostage in their own home and attempt to fight back and try to turn the tables on their captors. 

Schumacher has been rather active the last few years. "Trespass" follows his 2010 film "Twelve" and his 2009 effort "Blood Creek." His film directing career began with the 1981 Lily Tomlin vehicle "The Incredible Shrinking Woman." He went on to make such noted films as 1985's "St. Elmo's Fire," 1987's "The Lost Boys," 1990's "Flatliners," 1993's "Falling Down" and 1995's "Batman Forever," among many others.  

To schedule a reminder for the chat, just fill out the form below. And be sure to join us Friday.


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-- Todd Martens

Photo: Joel Schumacher at the Toronto International Film Festival. Credit: Reuters.

Live chat with 'The Lucky One's' Nicholas Sparks on Oct. 13

October 7, 2011 |  6:30 am

Live chat with Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks, whose book "The Lucky One" is getting the big-screen treatment in April, will be joining us for a live online chat on Thursday, Oct. 13, starting at 10 a.m. PDT.

Sparks is a popular and prolific author with more than a dozen novels to his name, the latest of which, "The Best of Me," hits shelves Oct. 11. His previous titles include "The Notebook," "A Walk to Remember," "Dear John" and "The Last Song." The upcoming adaptation of "The Lucky One," starring Zac Efron as a Marine trying to find a mystery woman who he believes was his good luck charm during the war in Iraq, is Sparks' seventh book to be made into a movie.

Warner Bros. has also bought film rights to "The Best of Me," a tear-inducing tale of former high school sweethearts who reunite 25 years later. Sparks is co-producing the movie with Denise DiNovi, who produced "The Lucky One," and filming is scheduled to start in 2012.

To schedule a reminder for the chat, just fill out the form below. And be sure to join us Thursday.


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— Noelene Clark

Photo: Nicholas Sparks in 2010. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times.

Live chat with 'The Way's' Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen on Oct. 7

October 3, 2011 |  3:30 pm

Martin Sheen in The Way
Emilio Estevez, eldest son of actor Martin Sheen and brother to Charlie Sheen, made his name in Hollywood independently of his famous father. He grew to fame using his birth name (rather than his father's screen name) as a member of the so-called 1980s Brat Pack group of young actors in such films as "The Breakfast Club" and "St. Elmo's Fire." Estevez turned to writing and directing in the late '80s and in doing so has worked directly with his father and brother several times.

Now, with his latest and perhaps most personal film to date, Estevez directs his father in a lead performance in "The Way." The film, about a man's decision to trek Spain's Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) after his estranged son (played by Estevez) unexpectedly dies on the same nearly 500-mile-long journey, is a quiet meditation on healing and spirituality. "The Way" opens Oct. 7.

So what led to the two pairing up on a film? Sheen's insistence that his son write a project for him. What led to shooting the film in Spain? Sheen has Spanish roots, and Estevez's son lives there and was hired on for the project, making it a three-generation family affair.

Join Estevez and Sheen in a live chat about the film at noon on Oct. 7. Sign up for a reminder below.


— Elena Howe

Photo: Martin Sheen in "The Way." Credit: David Alexanian.

Live chat with 'A Better Life' director Chris Weitz and star Demian Bichir

July 1, 2011 |  4:06 pm

A Better Life

Director Chris Weitz calls “A Better Life” the “biggest movie” he’s ever made. Given the film’s budget (about $10 million) and its subject matter (the plight of a gardener in the United States illegally) it seems like an odd statement, even more so because Weitz has made the much splashier “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” “The Golden Compass” and “About a Boy.”

But Weitz believes the story of “A Better Life” -- which examines the often perilous personal challenges facing so many invisible people living in America -- is far more important than any subject he’s yet addressed as a filmmaker.

What made Weitz, whose grandmother was born in Mexico, want to make such a radical directing departure? How did he work with Los Angeles gang members to ensure that “A Better Life” was as accurate as possible? How does he hope the film might inform or change the immigration debate? Join Weitz and the film’s star, Demián Bichir in a live chat about “A Better Life” on July 7 at noon. Sign up for a reminder below.


Trailer: 'A Better Life'

Movie review: 'A Better Life'

Chris Weitz's 'Better Life' shines light on illegal immigrant issues

-- John Horn

Photo: Jose Julian, left, and Demián Bichir in "A Better Life." Credit: Merrick Morton / Summit Entertainment


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