FF: Hey Adnan! It truly is a delight being able to interview you for our site launch. How are things going?
AV: Tremendous! Happy you guys reached out. Movie lovers should always congregate.
FF: Many people know you for your great work on ESPN (Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter, Mike & Mike, Ryen Russillo show) but you also have your own movie podcast called ‘Cinephile’, correct?
AV: Yes we started May of 2016 and it’s been a labor of love, minus the labor. I’m so grateful to have a platform to discuss my passion for cinema and have interviews with actors, directors, etc.
FF: What are some of the things you do and topics you discuss on your podcast?
AV: I review movies right out of the gate, generally 2 or 3 new releases or new to DVD. Then an interview with someone who has a new project that has come out. We also have a segment called Actors Showcase in which we rank the top 5 movies of a certain actor/actress. I’ll do Streaming Suggestions with film recommendations of what’s new on Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now. And lastly we always have Scorsese Stories, in which I tell a story about my hero Martin Scorsese and discuss one of his films.
FF: Your passion and knowledge for all things film is evident. Where did that passion come from?
AV: My mom always loved movies but wanted to watch something with no swearing, nudity or violence. So that cancelled out everything except for The Little Mermaid. I therefore went to the library and found old classics we could enjoy together with subject matter I would appreciate. So we found a common ground with film noir, and classic gangster movies starring Bogart, Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. And once I fell under the swell of Scorsese (watched GoodFellas with my brother not my mom!) well at that point, there was no going back.
FF: So you grew up in Canada. Are American films as big in Canada as they are here? Or do you think it’s demand is shared with Canadian productions & other International films?
AV: Oh they are huge. Especially growing up in Eastern Ontario, there’s a heavy American influence in culture with the New York state border only an hour away from where I was in Kingston, Ontario.
FF: If we may, what is your favorite Canadian film of all time? Mine happens to be The Sweet Hereafter, in fact I think I would rank that movie as one of my all timers.
AV: I will go with another Atom Egoyan film, Exotica, for its haunting mood and devastating ending. The Sweet Hereafter is excellent though. Generally it has to be something from either Egoyan or David Cronenberg although now Denis Villeneuve, another talented Canadian director has entered the fray.
FF: Can you give us a particular movie, you saw growing up, that really struck a chord with you…or perhaps made you realize your enthusiasm for cinema?
AV: GoodFellas I found made me so drunk with possibilities of the cinema. I found every frame of it mesmerizing and began me on my quest to devour all things Scorsese.
FF: Working in sports for almost two decades and currently on ESPN, clearly, it’s a huge part of your life. What were your favorite sports teams to root for growing up?
AV: I am a flyers fan since my brother was an Oilers fan because of Gretzky and they faced each other in the Stanley Cup in 1985 and 1987. I loved the Yankees dynasty because Jeter is one of my favorite athletes all time. I became an Eagles fan because of Randall Cunningham and those great defenses during that time (and it was conveniently another Philly team.) And I rooted for the Knicks in my youth but also pull for the Raptors since it’s my hometown.
FF: Ok, here is another favorite movie question. The overall consensus between movie historians and critics alike is that Raging Bull is the greatest sports movie of all time. Do you agree?
AV: I agree. Every frame of it is soaked in beauty. Only Scorsese with his exceptional team could turn a story about an unrepentant brute into something resembling high art and exquisite poetry.
FF: Speaking of great movies, Oscar season is right around the corner. Any particular films you’ve been anticipating to see? Also has there been a movie already released this year that you believe will be in strong Oscar contention for ‘Best Picture’?
AV: Dunkirk will be nominated for Best Picture and Christopher Nolan is the favorite to win Best Director. I can’t wait to see the new PT Anderson film starring Daniel Day Lewis or the new Alexander Payne film starring Matt Damon.
FF: I want to get your opinion on this. Although I’m sure there are several answers. Biggest Oscar snub the past decade?
AV: Scorsese’s Silence being ignored for Best Picture and Best Director. Incomprehensible.
FF: Last, but not least. if you could put 3 movies in a time capsule, for human beings, or perhaps other unfamiliar forms of life to find and watch 500 years from now. What movies would you choose?
AV: Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and GoodFellas. Those are my 3 favorites. Although if it’s for all time, I’d need to have a laugh, so I’d find a way to sneak in The Naked Gun!
FF: Adnan, thanks so much for joining us today. Continued good luck with all your endeavors and we hope to hear from you soon.
AV: Much appreciated!
*You can subscribe and stream episodes of Cinephile: The Adnan Virk Movie Podcast on Itunes. Also check out Adnan Virk’s Podcast instagram: @adnanvirk_cinephile
Contributed By Brandon Colon