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Star Apps: 'The Imitation Game'

Generally, victors win the spoils of war, but all Alan Turing got was a spoiled legacy. Winston Churchill called him the greatest contributor to Allied victory, and today's programmers call him the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, but Turing lived his post-World War II years disgraced by a homosexuality conviction. "The Imitation Game," starring Benedict Cumberbatch, aims to correct this wrong. I spoke with screenwriter Graham Moore ("The Sherlockian," "The Devil in the White City") and actor Allen Leech ("Rome," "The Tudors," "Downton Abbey"), … Read more

Star Apps: 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart bought the movie rights to imprisoned Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari's best-selling memoir, "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival." "The Daily Show" host didn't initially intended to direct "Rosewater" himself, but his investment in Bahari's story became so great that he saw no other way. I chatted with Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari about "Rosewater" and the power of social media for political change.

Jon, with this film being your directorial debut, where did you draw inspiration from? Jon Stewart: … Read more

Star Apps: Kenny Loggins

In the late '70s, Kenny Loggins eagerly left popular duo Loggins and Messina for an even more successful solo career with hits like "This Is It," "I'm Alright," "Footloose," and "Danger Zone." He never predicted he'd someday be in another group -- this time a trio, Blue Sky Riders. I chatted with the onetime king of movie soundtracks about Blue Sky Riders, his thoughts on the "Footloose" and "Top Gun" remakes, and his favorite apps.

How would you describe a Blue Sky Riders show? BSR shows … Read more

Star Apps: Jann Klose

As the first musician in a deeply conservative German family, Jann Klose quickly learned that his musical aspirations would not get support. "When I said I wanted to learn an instrument growing up, I was denied that. I had to go out and do it on my own." Today Klose is a multiple Independent Music Awards winner, best known for his "Song to the Siren" cover and original gay anthem "Make It Better." I chatted with Klose about his classic rock obsession, gaining the support of his family and Buckley collaborators, and his US tour.… Read more

Star Apps: Daniel Ash

Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Tones on Tail) prefers not to revisit his band years, but that doesn't mean he's no longer in love with much of the material he and his bandmates produced. So much so that for his new album, "Stripped," he reimagines 12 of his favorite classic tracks in a contemporary context. I chatted with Ash about why he prefers disco to goth when DJing, CDs to Serato, and YouTube to Facebook.

How long have you been DJing? I've been doing it for about 20 years. I started off in a … Read more

Star Apps: Yelle

Yelle singer Julie Budet calls the production of the band's third album completely crazy, from changes in musical direction and recording studios to getting to work with producer Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Robin Thicke, and Britney Spears). There was so much crazy that Yelle decided to title its third album "Complètement Fou." The French-language release is best appreciated with the Yelle Translator app, which toggles between French and English lyrics. I chatted with Julie Budet about the musically diverse album and the tour, working with Dr. Luke, being buried in blue popcorn, whether she'll … Read more

Star Apps: The Madden Brothers

Maryland-born brothers Benji and Joel Madden always dreamed of making it in California. After 14 years of pop-punk success in Good Charlotte and 10 years as California residents, the two are now performing as The Madden Brothers, and they're sending fans a postcard that reads "We made it!" in the form of new album "Greetings From California." I chatted with Benji Madden, who will soon tour with his brother.

You shocked a lot of people recently when you pulled the plug on Good Charlotte. It freaked a lot of people out when we said we … Read more

Star Apps: Callan McAuliffe

"Kite" is an anime turned live-action movie about Sawa (India Eisley), a young prostitute who becomes an assassin to avenge her parents' murders. You might think it's another formulaic vigilante movie. However, bolstered by an engrossing revenge story, an expert performance by lead actor Callan McAuliffe ("The Great Gatsby," "I Am Number Four") as Sawa's sidekick, Oburi, and thrilling action sequences, "Kite" soars.

Have you seen the original Japanese film? Yes, I saw it shortly after being cast in the film. It's supremely violent and very, very sexual, and … Read more

Star Apps: Michael Cuesta

When Michael Cuesta ("L.I.E.," "12 and Holding," "Homeland") signed on as director of "Kill the Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner as Pulitzer Prize-winning San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, he was already familiar with Webb's controversial story. What he didn't yet know was how much he had in common with the late investigative reporter, who exposed the CIA for engaging in cocaine smuggling to fund Nicaraguan Contra militias. "Gary Webb wasn't what people imagine journalists to be, like snobby intellectuals," he said. "He loved … Read more

Star Apps: Paul Budnitz

A year ago, Ello founder Paul Budnitz was frustrated with all the ad-driven, privacy-compromising social networks, so the established entrepreneur (Budnitz Bicycles, Kidrobot) decided to form his own. For a year, the site was limited to Budnitz and his 100 closest friends, but as demand to join increased, he opened it up to the public. Initially Ello saw a healthy 10 to 15 percent growth rate -- until a combination of dissatisfaction with Facebook's name policy, media attention, and word of mouth thrust Ello into the spotlight. I chatted with Paul Budnitz about Ello's explosive growth, what it … Read more