He acted in George Lucas’ first student film. He directed Honey, We Shrunk the Audience for Disney theme parks in 70mm 3-D. He made a virtual reality television series. He studied at USC with actress Nina Foch and “total filmmaker” Jerry Lewis. But as long as he lives, Randal Kleiser will be best known as the guy who directed Grease. He has a new book called Drawing Directors, based on his close encounters with notable colleagues, and has completed a documentary about his high school graduating class called Baby Boomer Yearbook. As Leonard and Jessie learned, Randal lives in the present, looking toward the future.
His name may be most closely associated with Laugh-In, the television comedy phenom of the late 1960s/early 70s, but George Schlatter has spent a lifetime in show business, with countless credentials and friendships to show for it At the age of 94 he’s Still Laughing—which is the name of his newly published autobiography. He kept Leonard and Jessie laughing as he spun tales of working with Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and the stars he launched on Laugh-In like Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin. The stories never stop…...
As president of Duplass Brothers Productions, Mel Eslyn has her finger in a number of creative pies. (She’s an executive producer of the underappreciated HBO series Somebody, Somewhere). The new theatrical release Biosphere bears her stamp as co-writer and director; she even got to direct her “boss,” Mark Duplass, who costars in this provocative comedy with Sterling K. Brown. Leonard and Jessie admire the way Mel and her colleagues work: offering opportunities and a helping hand to deserving beginners.
In this bonus episode, Jessie talks to actors Molly C. Quinn and Jennifer Holland and writer-director Natasha Halevi about their film Give Me An A. In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a number of actors, writers and crew joined forces to create this anthology feature about body autonomy. It’s raw and real, alternately serious and ridiculous, expressing genuine feelings about this startling reality.
The League is the latest documentary directed by Sam Pollard, and like most of his other work it is first-rate: a fascinating history of the Negro League and its often-overlooked contribution to baseball in America. Pollard has won almost every prize imaginable in his field and edited six features with his friend and contemporary Spike Lee. As Leonard and Jessie learned, he is also a major cinephile whose influences are wide-ranging. The League opens in selected theaters on July 7 and heads to VOD one week later, July 14. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this slice of Americana: it is not to be missed.