I haven't seen a single one of the Oscar-nominated films. Are you reading anything great right now that is worth mentioning? Yeah, let's not go into that [ laughs ]. So two of your recent films, Salt and Fire and Into the Inferno , both involve volcanoes. What fascinates you about volcanoes? There is something very cinematic about volcanoes. You can see clearly into the inferno.
Since I decided not to shoot in central Asia on the real Lake Aral, [we were] in the salt flats of Bolivia and there was a volcano right at the border, at the shores of the salt flats. I decided to incorporate it into the movie. Much of your work has revolved around these environmental themes recently. Has Donald Trump's presidency made you more concerned about the possibility of some sort of environmental catastrophe?
Well, I think the environment is more something that's ruled by the individual states. I want to point out that California is moving ahead with solar energy and wind power and whatever. You don't care so much about what any American president thinks about the environment. Besides, we are waiting too much for presidents or international bodies or consortiums to do something. Every one of us could easily reduce waste or energy by a quarter. Every single one of us could do that. I'm not waiting for politics to do something good or to do something stupid.
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I have reduced my, quote unquote, "waste of energy" by at least 25 percent. But President Trump himself is a climate change skeptic. Is that concerning to you? But whether he's a skeptic or not, he will not decide much of the battle. You were quoted recently in an interview saying that you regard Trump with "great, strange fascination. Is that accurate or is that a misreading?
Who misread it?
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Of course, everybody knows there's something—something unique and something we haven't had before. The first independent in the White House. But you don't admire him or you do? No, come on. Forget about it. I have never admired a president. And certainly not this one. Don't, don't drag me into politics. That's not what our interview—we are talking about Salt and Fire.
And of course Trump is the president of the United States because he was voted into office, period. We have to deal with him now.
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Or the world has to deal with him. Are there any cinematic opportunities that have been opened by this new reality? I'd love to talk about your documentary Lo and Behold as well. I've never seen the internet approached in quite the same way. Did making the film change any of your own digital habits? I know you've been skeptical— I don't have any digital habits. Skeptical about it? Yes, I do use the internet for email and sometimes I do read the newspaper online. Did it change how you view the online world?
But I'm a good observer, I think.
Strange enough, although I still do not use a cell phone, I think I made the only real competent film on the internet. The only one? I guess so. Because whatever you see out there is purely technical. Your film was very concerned with the extremes of internet life: the people who are addicted to the internet, for instance, and then on the other extreme, the people who were allergic to WiFi signals.
What you're saying is there is no other film that captures it quite the same way?
Yeah, and of course there are certain glories of the internet that you haven't seen as explicitly. For example, video gamers joining into research of very complex foldings of enzymes, which the biggest supercomputers in the world could not solve. It's something totally unprecedented and glorious. Do you have any desire to live among those people in West Virginia, completely cut off from the digital world?
I wouldn't. And besides, they are so-called—I say it in quotes—refugees from electronic smog. Because in West Virginia all radio waves are shut off because of a gigantic observatory. Some sort of a—how do you call it—a huge disc that connects radio waves from outer space. Let's talk about Queen of the Desert. How did you find working with Nicole Kidman?
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Oh, she's one of the finest actresses we have anywhere in the world. It's a little bit bizarre that the film is going to be released theatrically only a week after Salt and Fire. Queen of the Desert should have been released a year and a half ago.
But things happen as they happen. Munich Steven Spielberg explores the psychic toll of living in the moral murk of espionage via the story of a group of Mossad agents charged with finding and killing the Palestinian terrorists behind the massacre of members of the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics.
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Spy Melissa McCarthy plays a desk-bound, overlooked CIA agent who unexpectedly gets the call-up after the apparent death of her flashy partner Jude Law. She also has help from a gifted supporting cast whose standouts include Rose Byrne and Jason Statham, in a pitiless spoof of the sort of macho tough-guy roles he normally takes. Foreign Correspondent Though it eventually went all-in in supporting the war effort, Hollywood was shy about calling out Nazi Germany until the U.
Germans, after all, went to the movies, too. Isolationist senators even held a Senate subcommittee to investigate the presence of pro-war sentiment in Hollywood movies as late as September of The only problem: Connery left the series after the previous film, leading the merely adequate George Lazenby to take over.
When Connery came back a few years later after Lazenby walked away, he was stuck with the so-so Diamonds Are Forever , making it that much harder not to ponder what might have been. The film whisks through various plot convolutions, but the real attraction is the sharp dialogue David Mamet co-writes the script , the tense scenes of spycraft in practice, and action sequences that Frankenheimer must have been waiting his whole career to shoot.