An Interview With Filmmaker Matthew Cooke

first_img 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make The Evolution and History of the Home Stereo Editors’ Recommendations Need an easy ten step process on how to become a drug dealer? “How To Make Money Selling Drugs” is right up your crack alley. The movie is a stylistic, sometimes tongue-in-cheek documentary about the scary and intense war on drugs. The film is produced by Adrian Grenier from Entourage and Bert Marcus. Cooke and Grenier worked together on a previous documentary titled “Teenage Paparazzo”, and their newest collaboration features interviews with Susan Sarandon, David Simon (creator of HBO’s “The Wire”), Russell Simmons and Eminem. The film steps out of the box when it comes to traditional documentary style filmmaking. We interviewed Matthew Cooke, the writer and director to get his take on filmmaking and talk a little bit about his style.Tell me about your background in regards to documentary filmmaking?I’m a huge fan of action films, sci-fi, noir, mystery, thriller, so in coming into documentary, I wanted to do something that would capture the excitement of fiction.Why did you choose to make this movie?I think this particular [drug] policy is one of the worst public policies in the history of the US. It’s sad, absurd, embarrassing, racist, in the reality of how the policy is exacted today. It’s an extremely important topic.How long did it take to make? When did you start production?We started about three  years prior to now, the majority of the time was spent in editing, finding the right tone and balance.It’s a touchy subject – how did you get some of the characters (ex-drug dealers) to go on record?There were quite a number who said no – the characters we picked were picked because of the level of excitement and adventure [in their stories]. I think the majority are all people who have inspiring turn around stories – hero journeys. Part of the process is sharing with others. Marshall Mathers [Eminem] had a certain story to tell. It was compelling, open and honest, and he was unflinching in his fearlessness. Revealing the horrors of addiction – he was the perfect person to share that story.How did you incorporate style into your film?I spent quite a bit of time painting the backdrops [for the interviews]. I wanted aggressive backdrops for the interviews. The interviews went so well with the colors and it was so fun and exciting to wrap the motion graphics. Hopefully people get a kick out of it.What are some of your favorite brands right now?I’m a huge fan of Opening Ceremony in LA. They have great stuff- I really like Dave Appel – he has a brand called Cohesive – I like his stuff a lot. I also like Band of Outsiders.What is your relationship to fashion?If I had more time I’d get more into clothes. A lot of my friends are stylists and designers- it’s a cool industry.What would you consider the manliest thing you do everyday?I trim my man-beard. If I don’t shave it off completely I will have a man-growth within two to three  hoursWhat are three things you can’t live without?I can live without anything – I am fully prepped to surrender at any moment. If I had to choose – I’d prefer to not live without the Internet. I was recently on a flight from Paris for 11 hours without the Internet. I was upset when I couldn’t connect to Facebook. I also can’t live without Game of Thrones and Venice Beach. “How To Make Money Selling Drugs” is playing at the IFC Center in New York and also available on demand via iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.For more information on Matthew Cooke, you can check out his website here. How to Clean a Fish: A Quick Reference Guide The Lazy Man’s Guide on How to Make Hard Apple Cider Why Mental Health Matters (and Why It’s Time to Change Our Perspective)last_img read more

TunisianGerman couple in court over ricin attack plot

first_imgDusseldorf (Germany): A Tunisian man and his German wife will stand trial from Friday, charged with planning a foiled biological bomb attack in Germany with the deadly poison ricin. Sief Allah H., 30, and his wife Yasmin, 43, were arrested a year ago by an anti-terrorist squad that found 84 milligrams of the toxin in their Cologne apartment. The arrests likely prevented what would have been Germany’s first biological attack, said Holger Muench, head of the BKA Federal Criminal Police Office, at the time. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Federal prosecutors said the couple had “for a long time identified with the aims and values of the foreign terrorist organisation Islamic State”. They decided in 2017 to detonate an explosive in a large crowd, “to kill and wound the largest possible number of people,” said prosecutors ahead of the trial in Duesseldorf. The pair had allegedly researched various forms of explosives before deciding on the deadly poison. They ordered 3,300 castor beans over the internet and successfully made a small amount of ricin, a poison 6,000 times more potent than cyanide that can kill if swallowed, inhaled or injected, according to prosecutors. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaInvestigators also found 250 metal balls, two bottles of nail polish remover as well as wires soldered on lightbulbs. Only the raid and arrests prevented “the production of a larger quantity of ricin and the building of an explosive,” said prosecutors. The couple were caught after a tip-off from the US Central Intelligence Agency, which had noticed the large online purchase of castor seeds, according to German media reports. News weekly Der Spiegel has reported that the couple were believed to have already been radicalised when they met online in 2014. Sief Allah H., a former street vendor and labourer in Tunisia, in 2015 married Yasmin H., an unemployed doctor’s assistant and mother of seven children from four different fathers, the report said. The husband had been in contact with radical Islamists and tried twice in 2017 to travel to Syria via Turkey. His wife helped him with flight and hotel bookings, but both trips failed. Sief Allah H. also volunteered to help the IS in their propaganda work, and did so in early 2018 by publishing material of the jihadist group online, said prosecutors. Later, the couple decided to prepare an attack in Germany itself, and also bought a hamster to test the potency of the ricin. “Very concrete preparations had been made for an act with a … biological bomb, which is a first for Germany,” said Muench. If convicted of the charges of serious violence endangering the country, the defendants could each face up to 15 years in jail. Two suspects were also arrested in August last year in Tunisia in connection with the case. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, remains on high alert after several deadly attacks claimed by the IS group. The worst attack, a 2016 truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market by Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri, claimed 12 lives. The trial is expected to last until the end of August.last_img read more

Video game giant Ubisoft announces 780million Quebec expansion

MONTREAL — Twenty years after coming to Quebec, French video game giant Ubisoft announced plans Tuesday to invest $780 million in the province by 2027, hire more than 1,000 people and open two new studios.Ubisoft’s expansion includes a $135-million investment to open a studio in early 2018 in Saguenay, about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City, said co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot.The company also plans to add 675 jobs in Montreal and another 200 in Quebec City, while opening a fourth bureau in the province in an undisclosed location.“The expertise of Ubisoft’s Quebec studios is one of the motors of the company’s growth,” Guillemot said.He said the company is looking to hire 125 people within five years to work in the Saguenay office.Ubisoft’s studios in the province have developed some of the company’s famous brands including video games Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.The company, which currently has 3,600 employees in Montreal and Quebec City, has taken advantage of the Quebec government’s subsidy program for multimedia firms.Up to 37.5 per cent of admissible salary expenses is eligible for reimbursement with tax dollars.For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, Ubisoft received $90 million from Quebec’s coffers to subsidize employee salaries.Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was on hand for the announcement and said the tax credit program is worth it.“Tax credits on 1,000 jobs created by Ubisoft represents an expense of roughly $160 million,” Couillard said. “It’s a choice we have made.”The province’s subsidy program has been criticized by non-multimedia companies in the province who aren’t offered similar tax credits but who are competing for the same talent.Guillemot said Ubisoft’s Quebec investment has totalled $3.5 billion since 1997 and will increase to $9 billion at the end of its expansion plan. read more