FROM Jonathan Cavendish
Director Andy Serkis and producer Jonathan Cavendish on 'Breathe' Actor Andy Serkis has played many roles in his 20-year-plus career where he looks like himself. But he's best known for his pioneering roles in performance capture, in which computer technology transforms him into characters like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, the towering King Kong, and the highly evolved Caesar in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy. In 2011, Serkis and producer Jonathan Cavendish created Imaginarium, a performance capture studio in the UK. They've also made the new film Breathe , with Serkis stepping behind the camera to direct. It's not the kind of movie you'd expect from people focused on new technology -- it's an old-fashioned love story starring real humans. For Cavendish, Breathe is a very personal project -- the story of his extraordinary parents. Cavendish's father Robin was stricken with polio in 1958 and became paralyzed from the neck down, unable to breathe without a ventilator. At the time, few people in that condition lived long and all were confined to hospital beds. Breathe depicts Robin Cavendish's battle to change that. In the film, Andrew Garfield plays Robin, while Claire Foy plays his wife Diana, who is determined to help him escape from the hospital. Robin Cavendish went on to become a pioneer in the fight for rights for the severely disabled. Breathe is the first film Serkis has directed to hit theaters, though it's not technically his directorial debut. He has been at work on a long-gestating performance-capture version of the Jungle Book -- not from Disney but from Warner Brothers. That film is still in post production. Serkis and Cavendish tell us about some of the projects in the works at Imaginarium, and share why they wanted to make a rather old-fashioned film like Breathe, a hopeful movie that demonstrates triumph in the face of adversity. They also talk about Andrew Garfield's commitment to the role (including wearing a mold of Jonathan Cavendish's teeth!), and another of Serkis' contributions to the film: you can hear him play saxophone on the soundtrack.
Hua Hsu: A Floating Chinaman Author Hua Hsu stops by to discuss his book A Floating Chinaman, recounting the life of 1930's actor/writer H.T. Tsiang and his struggles entering the American literary world.
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."
Trump says goodbye Paris Accord: What does it mean for U.S. and the planet? President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Trump was to renegotiate a new deal, but will that happen?
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."