KCRW's The Treatment A treatment, in Hollywood parlance, is a concise overview of a screenplay. On THE TREATMENT, film critic Elvis Mitchell turns the tables and gives the treatment to some of the most influential and innovative forces creating movies and popular art and entertainment. Each week, Elvis speaks with an amazing array of guests, discussing everything from their inner conflicts to their interior design. With a straightforward style that understates his vast knowledge, Elvis is able to extract insights, issues and inspirations from even the most introverted guests. Conversations on THE TREATMENT are mostly comfortable, sometimes contentious, but always fascinating.
KCRW's The Treatment

KCRW's The Treatment

From KCRW

A treatment, in Hollywood parlance, is a concise overview of a screenplay. On THE TREATMENT, film critic Elvis Mitchell turns the tables and gives the treatment to some of the most influential and innovative forces creating movies and popular art and entertainment. Each week, Elvis speaks with an amazing array of guests, discussing everything from their inner conflicts to their interior design. With a straightforward style that understates his vast knowledge, Elvis is able to extract insights, issues and inspirations from even the most introverted guests. Conversations on THE TREATMENT are mostly comfortable, sometimes contentious, but always fascinating.

Most Recent Episodes

Oliver Stone: 'Chasing the Light'

This week on The Treatment, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Oliver Stone sits down with host Elvis Mitchell to discuss his new memoir, 'Chasing the Light,' which covers the first 40 years of his life and career as a filmmaker. Stone won a screenwriting Oscar for 'Midnight Express' and two as a director of 'Platoon' and 'Born on The Fourth of July.' Stone tells Mitchell that he had a rather conventional upbringing until his parents divorced when he was a teenager. "It was devastating," he says, of their separation. "I thought they were in love. I thought we were a happy family. All of a sudden it fell apart in one day." Stone says his parents' divorce caused him to question what is the truth and led him on a path to discover it for himself. That path included enlisting in the army during the Vietnam War. His experience there inspired the film 'Platoon.' Stone says, "the Charlie Sheen character, that's me, more or less. Watching both antagonist and protagonist against each other, the civil war that I saw in every platoon, every combat platoon I was in in Vietnam." His own experience in Vietnam also led him to help tell veteran Ron Kovic's story in 'Born on The Fourth of July.' While perhaps best known as a director of political dramas such as 'JFK' and 'Nixon,' one of the projects Stone says he was most excited about as a young screenwriter was 'Conan The Barbarian.' Stone wrote the script for the film that ultimately starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. "It could have been the most successful series ever," Stone says, "like a James Bond series, one adventure after another." Stone says he wasn't ready to direct the film himself and his first choice to direct, Ridley Scott, wasn't available. He laments that the producers "turned it into a cheaper version, a Dino De Laurentis version of a western with fake cactus." Stone says a sequel to 'Chasing the Light' is in the works.

Katori Hall: 'P Valley'

Playwright and showrunner Katori Hall joins Elvis Mitchell this week on 'The Treatment.' Hall's plays include 'The Mountaintop' and 'Hurt Village,' and her most recent project is the Starz series 'P Valley,' which is about people who work at a strip club in the Mississippi Delta. Hall and Mitchell discuss how her work can often be a "backstage into Blackness" where characters can be unapologetically themselves. She takes issue with her plays and series being called melodrama, saying they are a reflection of real Black experience. And Hall explains why her work is like putting "vitamins into Kool-Aid."

Stephen Root: 'Perry Mason'

Character actor Stephen Root has dozens of television and film roles under his belt, and, as he tells Elvis Mitchell on 'The Treatment,' many of those roles share an outward display of confidence even if that's far from the characters' inner feelings. Root tells Mitchell that that confidence may very well have come from his childhood of moving around and having to start over every few years. Root says his most recent role, Maynard Barnes, the ambitious district attorney on HBO's 'Perry Mason,' is "a peacock on the outside and not a nice person on the inside." He talks about being in the fortunate position of carefully choosing his roles, whether they're in an animated series like 'King of the Hill' horror such as 'Get Out' or a Coen brothers' film. And, he talks about a surprising source of inspiration: Looney Tunes.

Barry Avrich: 'David Foster: Off the Record'

What do Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Bublé have in common? Mega music producer David Foster. Before he became famous for his presence on reality TV, Foster brought his soaring sensibilities and steely concentration to artists like Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, and Chicago. Documentary filmmaker Barry Avrich turned a camera on Foster for the Netflix film, "David Foster: Off the Record," and tracked the difference between control in the studio and the chaos outside of it. Avirch discusses what draws him to such subjects when he stops by "The Treatment."

Sam Wasson: 'The Big Goodbye'

In author and cultural historian Sam Wasson's new book, 'The Big Goodbye', he tells us that the 1970s ended in Hollywood in 1974, with the release of the epochal film 'Chinatown'. He takes us inside the chaotic and creative environment that brought screenwriter Robert Towne, director Roman Polanski, studio chief Robert Evans and star Jack Nicholson together — a once in a lifetime union. This episode originally aired on February 21, 2020.

Gina Prince-Bythewood: "The Old Guard"

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood found a project that fit into many of the themes she's explored in her films going back to her debut, 2000's "Love & Basketball" in, of all places, the pages of an action-adventure graphic novel. She talks about how her upcoming Netflix feature, "The Old Guard", connected many of the dots for her on "The Treatment".

Max Brooks: 'Germ Warfare: A Very Graphic History'

Author and crisis historian Max Brooks ('World War Z', 'Harlem Hellfighters') brings his affinity to translating dystopian scenarios into compelling narrative with his project, 'Germ Warfare: A Very Graphic History'. This episode originally aired on March 10, 2020.

Judd Apatow: 'The King of Staten Island'

Writer/Director Judd Apatow has focused his career on making comedy – and drama – people who, when forced to make a choice between adulthood and remaining a kid, put it off. And the emotional wreckage that indecision leaves. For Pete Davidson's turn and first starring role, Apatow exposes Pete Davidson to indecision. He'll discuss that perspective taking him from '40-Year-Old Virgin' to 'The King of Staten Island' on The Treatment.

Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle: 'Sherman's Showcase Black History Month Spectacular'

The IFC comedy series 'Sherman's Showcase' uses a parody of 'Soul Train' as its launch point, because 'Soul Train' packed so much under its tent. Most importantly, the songs exist for them as music pieces first and foremost — and then, as comedy. 'Sherman' stars and creators, Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, talk about that and more in discussing the upcoming 'Sherman's Showcase Black History Month Spectacular' — in June! on 'The Treatment'.

Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle: 'Sherman's Showcase Black History Month Spectacular'

Holland Taylor: 'Hollywood'

The best actors can make words dance, and we take pleasure in their pleasure. Holland Taylor is just such an actress and in the Netflix series, 'Hollywood,' Ryan Murphy created the space for her to do her magic, which she talks about on this episode of 'The Treatment.'

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