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Every month, The State of Things hosts a conversation about a topic in film. Host Frank Stasio talks with Laura Boyes, film curator at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and Marsha Gordon, film professor at North Carolina State University. And we want to hear from you. Submit your choices by email or tweet us with #SOTMovies.

Movies On The Radio: How Films About Nature Educate And Enchant

David Attenborough stands in front of promotional backdrop for "Our Planet" at the series premiere.
Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
Sir David Attenborough poses for photographers upon arrival for the premiere of a new series of Our Planet, at the Natural History Museum in central London, Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Man versus wild is an enduring theme in film that continues to draw movie-goers to the box office. From the 1998 IMAX epic “Everest” to the solo-survival story in “Cast Away,” movies about nature probe how experiences in nature shape human’s understanding of their own capabilities.

But as our relationship with the planet changes, so too does the way it is cast on screen. Documentaries like “Before the Flood” narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and the “Our Planet” Netflix series with David Attenborough explore how human activity is also decimating the earth’s natural beauty.

Before the Flood (2016) On this edition of Movies on the Radio, film experts Marsha Gordon and Laura Boyes discuss listener’s favorite movies about nature and the environment. Gordon is a film professor at North Carolina State University. Boyes is the film curator at the North Carolina Museum of Art and the curator of the MovieDiva series.

Deliverance (1972) Green (1973) and Maude (1971) will lead a Q&A session after the screening of the film “KIFARU” on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at North Carolina State University. The film follows the lives of two young Kenyan rhino caretakers and is directed by NC State alumnus David Hambridge.
Boyes will screen Howard Hawks’ “Ball of Fire” at The Carolina Theatre in Durham on Wednesday, July 10 at 7 p.m. and “A League of Their Own” at The Carolina Theatre on Thursday, July 11 at 7 p.m.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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