The Fabulous Picture Show
About The Fabulous Picture Show
Find out more about the show that brings cinemaphiles face-to-face with filmmakers.
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2010 08:26 GMT

Amanda Palmer, Charlize Theron and Guillermo Arriaga

While others obsess on celebrities and regurgitate press releases, The Fabulous Picture Show (FPS) is the only English-language film programme to focus critically on independent and world cinema - and to place these films in their historical, cultural and political contexts. Packed with exclusive interviews and peppered with abundant clips, it is like the ultimate "Directors Commentary" on the latest in contemporary cinema. There will be a new episode every fortnight - and all past episodes live forever online.

Presented by Al Jazeera English's head of entertainment, Amanda Palmer, at London's Everyman Cinema, FPS brings filmmakers from around the world face-to-face with an enquiring public. Since the show launched in November 2006, more than 75 filmmakers have taken part in these lively, insightful and often revealing Q&As.

Some highlights so far: Sir David Frost reminisced about the heady, epochal time of his life detailed in Frost/Nixon; Oscar-winner Charlize Theron and el grande screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga chatted about Arriaga's directorial debut, The Burning Plain; Iraqi Mohamed al-Daradji described how he was kidnapped twice whilst shooting his first feature, Ahlaam, in Baghdad; the cast of Hunger took us inside one of the most intense, uncompromising and harrowing films ever made; French superstar Guillaume Canet screened his Cesar-winning Tell No One, and described the challenges of being an actor-director; Lebanon's Nadine Labaki presented her acclaimed debut, Caramel, and revealed "how to trick non-actors into acting"; Russia's Sergei Bodrov, who directed the Oscar-nominated epic Mongol, taught us the correct pronunciation of Genghis Khan; hilarious corporate pranksters The Yes Men came clean (or did they?) and explained how The Yes Men Fix The World; director James Toback took us behind the mask of boxing enigma Mike Tyson; Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen took us back to World War II for an exciting look at the Danish resistance in Flame & Citron; Oliver Stone told us how he really felt about George W Bush; Elia Suleiman talked to us about his Buster Keaton-like humour in The Time That Remains; Mira Nair revealed that her filmmaking was born out of feeling like an outsider; and Terry Gilliam took us behind the spectacle of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and into his visual genius.

Beyond these special screenings, the FPS team also scours the international film festivals year round - from Sundance to Berlin, Cannes, Rome, Toronto, Marrakech, Dubai, just to name a bunch - in search of exciting new specimens.

We have featured such legends as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Werner Herzog, Dario Argento, Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, Emir Kusturica, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and the late Sydney Pollack.

Amanda Palmer's exclusive one-on-one with George Clooney led to a half hour special about the ever-charming leading man's rise from pretty boy to red-carpet advocate -an FPS special that is still one of our YouTubers' favourites.

But let's not forget the other great talents whose candid interviews and insights have made FPS a success: Mike Leigh, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Keira Knightley, David Cronenberg, James McAvoy, Danny Boyle, Errol Morris, Nick Broomfield, Michael Winterbottom, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Jackman, Ron Howard, Michelle Yeoh, Danish cult darling Nicholas Winding Refn, costume-design goddess Gabriella Pescucci, and scores more.

To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our Your Views debates

Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.