Frank and Tim’s BEST OF 2016!


Join us as we go our favorite films of 2016, give our assessment of the Oscar nominations, DC Films, and what are some of our favorite overlooked films by the Academy.  We hope you guys enjoy!

32nd Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival


4161418625791602350-account_id1We’re very excited to publish our 32nd Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival podcast.  This year, Frank was able to get red carpet interviews with Executive Director of the festival, Roger Durling, film historian Leonard Maltin, Naomie Harris of MOONLIGHT, Stephen McKinnley Henderson of FENCES, David Crosby who wrote and performed an original song for LITTLE PINK HOUSE, filmmaker Derek Wayne Johnson who premiered his film, JOHN G. ALVIDSEN: KING OF THE UNDERDOGS at SBIFF, Aaron Taylor-Johnson of NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, and filmmaker Damien Chazelle who wrote and directed LA LA LAND.  On the latter half of the podcast, Frank is joined with Devin Godzicki who took photographs and attended panels with Frank at this year’s SBIFF.  They discuss a film they saw, SEPTEMBER 12th, and end the conversation with a brief chat about LA LA LAND.


Best Actor 2017

Denzel Washington is the modern day Cary Grant.  He carries himself with grace and dignity.  He is charming, affable, and is one of the few cinematic icons that is worthy of that title.

Denzel was honored at the 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival, receiving the Maltin Modern Master Award with a two-hour question and answer with Leonard Maltin.  It was incredibly joyous to listen to Denzel speak about everything from SAINT ELSEWHERE to FENCES.

He was very candid, yet gracious when he spoke about himself and his early career.  He frequently lauded the late Bruce Paltrow, producer of SAINT ELSEWHERE, who released him early from his television contract so he could star in A SOLDIER’S STORY and CRY FREEDOM.  He spoke in a very fond and sentimental way about Paltrow, attributing to his generosity that allowed Denzel to become the star he is today.

Denzel spent a lot of time talking about his childhood and how he accidentally found his calling as an actor.  He spoke about how he was continuously told he was a natural on stage and how that led to his ego being inflated. He learned early on that his natural talent as an actor could only get him so far, so he constantly studied and practiced his craft.

He spoke about his relationship with Spike Lee and how no one in Hollywood had employed and birthed more black actors and crew in Hollywood at the time. Denzel’s son now works for Lee as an assistant, and Denzel’s son told his father that Spike truly has earned his name.  He credits Lee with forcing him to become the actor he is today, that no one had pushed him and challenged him as much as Spike did.

Denzel just won best actor at the Screen Actors Guild, and he is poised as the front-runner heading into the Academy Awards at the end of the month.  Executive Director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Roger Durling, called Denzel’s turn in the film the pinnacle of his career.  Durling is correct, Denzel is a marvel in the film, and he knows when to yield the screen to other performers in the film.  His subtlety in the film allowed Viola Davis to outshine Denzel, in his most Denzel performance.
Denzel is one of the few actors left in Hollywood that not only draws the masses to the theatre, but he also is the epitome of a role model. To say that Denzel is one of the greatest actors ever does not do him justice.  He is more than an actor, he’s more than a director; Denzel Washington is an iconic titan.

Denzel Washington’s FENCES

This truly is a remarkable film.  It is made with so much delicate care and craftsmanship, the entire two hours and nineteen minutes is fluid and seamless.  It’s the picture that feels like Denzel Washington has been working his entire career to not only make, but perfect.
Set in a dilapidated Negro ghetto in 1954, Washington is the tough and oblique patriarch of a family suffocated by their hopes and washout of the American Dream.  Viola Davis not only gives her career best performance, as Washington’s steadfast wife, she easily gives one of the best performances in recent cinematic memory.

While the performances and Washington’s perfection behind the camera are a sight to behold, the cinematography by Charlotte Bruus Christensen, production design by David Gropman, and editing by Hughes Winborne are so perfect, they go unnoticed.  As the film progresses, whether it is a performance, an aesthetic, or a technical aspect, they work in such unison that nothing stands out, the score does not out perform the editing nor does the writing outshine Davis.

The narrative strikes a hidden chord between being timeless and culturally and politically relevant.  It’s a tough story about a (black) working class family that deals with the conventional setbacks of life, yet they have their own uniquely complex set of hurdles that are undoubtedly self inflicted.

FENCES is truly the epitome of a Best Picture.  Everything, and I mean everything, is perfected in the film.  It has all the ingredients to be that Best Picture, but what makes the film surpass the run of the mill, end of the year Oscar bait,  is at its core it is filled with an unmatched amount of heart about what it is to be a family.



image1Podcasting Them Softly is honored to present a discussion with feature film editor Hughes Winborne! Some of his credits include the Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, The Help, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Great Debaters, and Sling Blade. He won the Academy Award for his editing work on the 2005 film Crash, and this winter, his latest project, Fences, re-teams him with director and star Denzel Washington — the film looks absolutely fantastic and we can’t wait to see it. We hope you enjoy this informative and entertaining chat where we found out more about Hughes‘ process, his experiences, and some his inspirations. Enjoy!