Category: Directors

Larry Charles

larry charles

On today’s show the brilliant writer Jerry Stahl fills in for David while he’s away in Washington hanging out and recording the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. Jerry’s guest is his old friend Larry Charles, who’s credits are so long and varied that we might break the internet listing them all here. But here’s a few: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bruno, Entourage, Seinfeld, Borat…the list goes on and on.

Larry Charles is best known as a staff writer for the American sitcom Seinfeld for its first 5 seasons, contributing some of the show’s darkest and most absurd storylines. He has also directed the films Borat, Religulous, Brüno, and The Dictator.
Although series co-creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld wrote the bulk of the show’s episodes during the first five seasons, Charles was their second in command during this period. Charles had met Seinfeld co-creator Larry David when he was part of the writing staff of the ABC sketch show Fridays, on which David and Michael Richards were also part of the show’s ensemble cast. Charles had been unable to write for the show’s first season, as he had been writing for The Arsenio Hall Show during its production.

Charles is noted for contributing some of the show’s darker storylines and scenes. In the season 2 episode “The Baby Shower” Charles wrote a dream sequence in which the title character, Jerry Seinfeld, was killed. Charles’ episodes also covered such controversial topics as Nazis (in “The Limo”), a psychotic stalker (in “The Opera”) and a hospital patient committing suicide (in “The Bris”). A season-two episode he wrote, “The Bet”, concerning Elaine buying a handgun to protect herself, was never filmed because NBC, some of the cast and the show’s director felt the gun content was too provocative. Charles claimed that his writing on Seinfeld was heavily influenced by Dragnet, Superman and Abbott and Costello.

Charles said he was instrumental in the development of Cosmo Kramer; he felt that “Jerry and George were so well-defined through Larry David and Jerry, that there was less room for me to, sort of, expand on those personas. But Kramer was very unformed at the beginning of the show and it gave me an area of creativity to, sort of, expand upon. So I spent a lot of time with Kramer because he was a character that I could have an impact on in the future of the show”. It was Charles who imbued in Kramer a distrust of authority (especially in his episodes “The Baby Shower” and “The Heart Attack”), and who created the character of Kramer’s notorious unseen friend Bob Sacamano, after his real-life friend of the same name

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Costa Mantis

Costa Mantis

Director of the new documentary revealing the homeless plight in America, “Searching For Safe Ground,” which debuts at this year’s Action On Film International Film Festival in Monrovia California on August 22nd.  Similar to Steinbeck’s “Grapes Of Wrath,” the touching film “Searching For Safe Ground” directed by filmmaker Costa Mantis, chronicles the struggles of a small group of homeless people in Sacramento, California, who fight for their right for a place to sleep while America and the rest of the world swirl in the strife of the new Great Recession.

In “Searching For Safe Ground” you will meet these homeless people, citizens just like you and me – sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, families – who lost their jobs and homes and must try to rebuild their lives from backpacks, rolling carts and tents.

Searching For Safe Ground” challenges the homeless stereotypes and follows John, their leader, as he guides this group of homeless citizens from the ruins of tent city into their battle for the fundamental right to protect and shelter themselves after losing their homes.

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“Give me your tired, your poor

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

-Emma Lazarus 1883, engraved on the Statue of Liberty

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Director Susan Saladoff

Have Americans lost the right to sue? We debunk the myths of “Tort Reform” with director of the documentary Hot Coffee, Susan Saladoff. Hot Coffee is airing on HBO and is also available as a download on iTunes. It chronicles the story of a 78-year-old woman’s quest for justice after coffee from McDonald’s spilled on her lap. What do we really know about her case and the disinformation campaign that turned her trial into a joke? Prepare to be outraged, then hug a lawyer. For more on Hot Coffee go to www.hotcoffeethemovie.com
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Director Kirby Dick

Outrage, written and directed by Kirby Dick, tackles the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who promote anti-gay legislation. On today’s show Kirby discusses the closeted Florida Governor Charlie Crist who a month ago came out as a Democrat but still refuses to come out of the closet. Crist is scheduled to speak tomorrow at the Democratic convention despite the fact that when he was governor Crist supported some of America’s most draconian anti gay legislation. Kirby’s new film, The Invisible War, chronicles the epidemic of rape in the Armed Forces.

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