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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.

Sequel Movies On The Radio — Your Picks For Best And Worst

Laughing manically toward the left, Lanchester sports a massive beehive hair-do with squiggly white strands on the side.
John J. Mescall
Universal Pictures
Elsa Lanchester in 'The Bride of Frankenstein.'

It is the season of undead film franchises. You can catch plenty of reboots and movie series in which they had to swap out the lead actor after a decade of sequels. While some series recycle the first film’s formula, others break the mold.

A pioneering example mentioned by listener Austin Simons is “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935), which carries on the timeline from the original 1931 “Frankenstein” while switching the focus from the doctor to the monster. Nick Knittel called in from Durham to highlight how “Doctor Sleep” (2019) uses a jump in chronology in addition to a perspective shift to bring a new life to the iconic setting of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” (1980). Other studios rely on an expansive cinematic universe to generate fodder for follow-up plotlines. Listeners also shared their thoughts about series like “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings,” which inspired fans to write sequels and spin-offs themselves.

An old poster for the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre showing an old car and the slogan "Best Family Entertainment under the Stars"
Credit Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
The Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre has shown films since 1949 in Henderson.

Host Frank Stasio discusses listeners’ picks with film experts Marsha GordonandLaura Boyes. Gordon co-directed the short film "All the Possibilities...", is a film professor at North Carolina State University and a public scholar at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Boyes is the film curator for the North Carolina Museum of Art and the curator of the Moviediva series at The Carolina Theatre of Durham. 

Halloween screenings across North Carolina:

Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
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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