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Sean Baker Makes a Passionate Case For the Big Screen in Surprise Screen Talk Appearance at NYFF

The "Red Rocket" director also explained his opposition to day-and-date distribution at the live podcast event.

Anne Thompson, Eric Kohn, and Sean Baker at NYFF’s Screen Talk Live event.

With the New York Film Festival back to its in-person routine, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson returned to the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center for a recording of their weekly Screen Talk podcast in front of a live audience — and this time, they were joined by a surprise guest. After the hosts discussed some of their favorite films of the festival (as well as the brief detour they took to see “No Time to Die” at a nearby theater), Baker showed up in the audience for the Q&A session and then joined the pair onstage. Baker was attending NYFF ahead of the screenings for his dark comedy “Red Rocket” in the Main Slate. The Cannes-acclaimed title stars Simon Rex as a down-on-his-luck former porn star, and the filmmaker spoke at length of the challenges he faced in depicting a character that some audiences wouldn’t exactly find likable.

However, Baker also focused on bigger-picture issues related to the state of exhibition. After making a passionate case for why movies belong on the big screen, Baker explained his opposition to the day-and-date release model, and why the pandemic has changed his perspective. In the audience Q&A, he also shared a hilarious memory from the premiere of “The Florida Project” at NYFF.

Listen to the full episode below. 

Screen Talk is available on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify, and hosted by Megaphone. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter. Browse previous installments here, review the show on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on Apple Podcasts right here.

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