When Mike Nichols and Elaine May teamed up again for the first time in over thirty years, it was to adapt Francis Veber’s most famous and celebrated works, the 1978 film la Cage aux Folles. Veber’s films had been remade in English before – in fact, he’d directed a number of them – but this one was the big one so it needed to be big.

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When asked to adapt the hit stage show “La Cage Aux Folles” to the big screen, director Édouard Molinaro knew he had to get comedy writer/director Francis Veber involved to not only get the story out of the one-set show and open up the world, but also — and more importantly — to flesh out the core relationship so the film wasn’t just all stereotypes.

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Is this an activist film? How does this film fit in director Agnieszka Holland’s oeuvre? Does magical realism work in a crime drama? Tune in to this week’s show to get answers to these questions and more.

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For Agnieszka Holland’s third and final (she says) film about the Holocaust, she landed on a unique story that has shades of others before and after detailing gentiles saving Jews, but that’s set in a very unique location – the sewers below the city.

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When Agnieszka Holland was given early pages from Solomon Perel’s unfinished memoirs about surviving the Holocaust, she was immediately taken by it. The fact that it was about a young Jewish boy who stayed alive by hiding out as one of the Hitler Youth among other things was fascinating to her, but it was his lack of embellishing and complete honesty that drew her in.

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Many consider the 1979 mini-series adaptation of John le Carré’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” to be not only the definitive le Carré adaptation but also that Alec Guinness to be the definitive George Smiley. Because of that, tackling the story again can be seen as a tricky task. Luckily, the team behind the film adaptation in 2011 found the right people, the right director, and the perfect actor to fill Guinness’ shoes.

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John le Carré’s book “The Little Drummer Girl” was somewhat controversial as it managed to offend both the Israelis and the Palestinians in its depiction of its terrorism story. Controversy, however, can often be seen as a moneymaker, at least that’s what the team at Warner Bros. must’ve thought when they set to work right away of adapting it and having George Roy Hill direct it.

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When John le Carré wrote his third novel “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold,” it was such a success and brought him so much acclaim that it essentially outed him as a spy for MI6. He’d been doing it for only five years, but in that time, he learned a great deal about how the machine worked and was able to bring that world to life with greater accuracy than had been seen before.

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Ron Stallworth’s story seems ridiculous and unbelievable, but it’s true – as an African American undercover cop with the Colorado Springs Police Department, Ron infiltrated the local KKK group with one of his fellow detectives and managed to bring them down. It’s the sort of story that Spike Lee seems perfect for, so who better to direct it than Lee himself?

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Does this feel like Spike Lee at his most Lee-ish? How effective is the satire in this film? Does Damon Wayans take his performance too far? Tune in to this week’s show for these answers and more.

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