Film

An improvised scene from 'Midnight Cowboy'
United Artists

People constantly quote and misquote cinema — sometimes without ever having seen the referenced film. Think about lines like “You had me at hello”; “Hasta la vista, baby”; or “Play it again, Sam.” Sometimes the words many of us repeat are never spoken in the movie, and other times they are phrases that actors made up on the spot. Whether it’s from Monty Python, Whoopi Goldberg, or a Spielberg flick, movie quotes are the way we map our cultural common ground.

Film poster showing an illustrated portrait of the lead singer angrily yelling
John Rash

Soon after moving to Mississippi, documentary filmmaker John Rash was looking for a way to fill his evenings. A lifelong member of the punk community, he had his eye out for show billings. One name grabbed his attention — Negro Terror. Once he heard the band's anti-fascist and Black Power politics combined seamlessly in their lyrics and followers, he knew there was a story to be explored.

An 80s art-style movie poster advertisement for VHStival.
Courtesy of VHStival

In 1971, the Video Home System (VHS) was just a dream in the minds of Yuma Shiraishi and Shizuo Takano at the Victor Company of Japan. Yet the engineers were already considering the impact home entertainment could have in forging what they called “the information society.” Affordable equipment radically lowered the bar of entry to movie production. Independent and avant garde film found niche audiences through networks of local video rental stores. The stores were a weekly ritual for many families and a gathering place for community.

Image of popcorn
Creative Commons / pxhere

Greensboro will pilot its first sensory-friendly movie night this Friday. The goal is to be more inclusive of people with certain needs.

Have you ever paid $10 dollars to see a movie in the theater only to walk out long before the credits? Or cozied up on your couch with all intention to watch the latest streaming movie, but you just couldn’t make it through to the end?

A man and a woman sitting across from each other at a diner.
Courtesy of Edith Snow

North Carolina-based filmmakers Eryk Pruitt and Edith Snow have both submitted their work to film festivals plenty of times. But with their latest films, they wanted to do something different: take their work on the road, similar to a book tour.

Movies On The Radio: Tearjerkers!

Mar 18, 2019
Flickr/Creative Commons

Oh, is there something in your eye? It’s not your fault. Some movies are simply designed to be tearjerkers. 

 Maybe you wailed as a tween over Jack Dawson’s cold “Titanic” death, or needed a tissue to get through a classic like “Steel Magnolias.” Did your lip tremble as Simba and Mufasa frolicked as father and son in “The Lion King” without knowing the tragedy in store? Or is it injustice that elicits sobs when you watch scenes from “The Green Mile” or “Precious?”  

Awards season is in full bloom. The Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and The Oscars all consider “A Star is Born” and “Black Panther” among the best films of 2018.

What happens when the world of fine art and the world of filmmaking meet? This month on Movies on the Radio, The State of Things is not tackling the art of movie-making, but rather the art of making movies about art. 

Promotional photo from 1937 screwball comedy 'The Awful Truth' starring actors Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. The actors face away from each other and the scruffy actor dog sits between them.
Columbia Pictures

Film Curator Laura Boyes is a sucker for old romantic movies. But digging for gems from the golden age of cinema also tends to turn up sexist tropes: the two-dimensional secretary, naive blonde and women who flounder without significant male help.

Ron Stacker Thompson
Courtesy of UNC School of the Arts

Ron Stacker Thompson knew from a young age that he wanted to be a teacher. He grew up in Chicago, excelled in school, and loved his time in the classroom. He attended Illinois State University and went on to try his hand at teaching. But his work as a drama teacher quickly led to another career on stage.

Image of two best friends
Flickr/ Stuart Seeger

Best friends are the constant in many people's lives. They rescue each other when a car breaks down. They join go on late-night quests for fast food. And they console and support each other in a time of need. The relationships of best friends have been fodder for movie plot lines for decades and exist in all genres.

Wilmington has seen fewer film deals since the state reduced tax credits.
Allen Forrest / Flickr

Filmmakers have spent less and produced fewer projects in North Carolina in the past two years.

That's when the state changed its film incentives program to a capped-grant program. Before the change, state taxpayers offered credits to filmmakers with a project cap but no statewide limit.

arianta / Flickr

A well-executed remake film can bring a beloved story to a fresh audience. But when a remake is done wrong, it can leave faithful viewers cringing.

For the next Movies On The Radio, The State of Things wants to know what are the best and worst remake films? 

A promotional still with John Wayne and Claire Trevor from the 1939 American Western film 'Stagecoach'.
Wikimedia Commons

A gun-slinging cowboy on a mission of revenge takes down the enemy in a quick-draw duel.  He then rides off on his trusted steed with the setting sun casting long shadows on the rugged landscape. This is one of the iconic narratives in Western film, a genre which has gone through a massive evolution since its “good versus evil” and “cowboys versus Indians” days.

Courtesy Marsha Gordon

Starting in the 1950s, filmmaker Sam Fuller produced war films that gave his characters room to question the design of war and their role in it. He also raised conversations about equality of men on and off the battlefield. North Carolina State University film professor Marsha Gordon authored a new book on Fuller's work called, "Film is like a Battleground" (Oxford University Press/2017) that explores his legacy of genre shifting war films.

The history books documented track star Jesse Owens' experiences at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, hosted in Nazi-controlled Berlin.

But Owens was not the only African-American athlete to represent the United States of America. A new film, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, documents the experiences of 18 African-American athletes representing a country that would not give them equal rights.

Photo of Arab composer Suad Bushnaq
Suad Bushnaq

Suad Bushnaq was born and raised in Amman, Jordan. She composed her first piece of music, a simple birthday song for her brother, when she was just 9 years old. She is now one of a handful of Arab women composers in the world. Her compositions are featured in documentaries and films like “The Curve,” a feature film recently selected at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and film educator. Here he is filming Lloyd Knight, Marth Graham Dance company for the film Echo.
Marco Williams

Note: This is a rebroadcast from earlier this year.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker who is not afraid of telling stories that others don't want to tell. 

He has produced more than a dozen documentaries exploring race, death, violence and the American psyche. His work has earned him an Emmy, a Peabody, and a litany of other documentary awards.

Image of Eric Pickersgill's art installation
Eric Pickersgill

For some artists, making art is about creating something distinct from everything else that came before it. But in a new exhibit on view at The Ackland Art Museum, 11 artists explore the flip side of that artistic impulse. Their work raises questions about the value of creating new objects and explores the ethical and environmental implications of this work.

Bastard Film Encounter

Apr 22, 2015
Bastard Film Encounter 2015
Bastard Film Encounter

  Romantic comedy, horror, and documentary are all genres of films found on Netflix that provide neat boxes for categorization. But what about the films that don’t fit squarely into a category? 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Skip Elsheimer, co-organizer of the Bastard Film Encounter which brings archivists and film enthusiasts together to discuss forgotten, misplaced and awkward films.

Logo for the RiverRun International Film Festival
riverrunfilm.com

The 17th annual RiverRun International Film Festival returns to Winston-Salem this month. 

The film "Cairo in One Breath" takes a look at the Adhan Unification Project.
© 2012 ON LOOK FILMS, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The adhan, or call to prayer, is a 1,400 year-old oral tradition in the process of change in Cairo, Egypt. In 2004, after generations of having muezzins—the man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque—make the call, the Mubarak government decided to make a change. They began to replace Cairo's approximately 200,000 muezzins with a single radio broadcast.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and film educator. Here he is filming Lloyd Knight, Marth Graham Dance company for the film Echo.
Marco Williams

Marco Williams is a filmmaker who is not afraid of telling stories that others don't want to tell. 

The original poster for Dirty Dancing, which was filmed in North Carolina.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dirty-dancing.jpg

From The Last of the Mohicans to Dirty Dancing and Days of Thunder, movies made in North Carolina have gone on to great box office success. 

Tommy Lee Edwards

Comicons, or conventions of comic fans, are best known for throngs of costume-clad attendees and access to the industry’s best comics creators. 

When asked about how he reacted to learning that one of his Daily Show satires was used as evidence to torture a journalist in Iran, Jon Stewart says, "I might have uttered the phrase: 'Are you — with some profane adjective — are you kidding me?' "

"It's so surreal and it's so absurd that it's hard to imagine it as not farce," Stewart tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

That discovery led to Stewart making his first film, Rosewater, adapted from a memoir by journalist Maziar Bahari.

Photo of Chunky Huse, a key grip who has worked in the film industry for more than five decades.
Chunky Huse

  

For more than five decades, Chunky Huse has been working behind the scenes of the film industry as a grip—a master lighting and rigging technician who provides the support to make shots possible. 

Scene from "Frequency" (in picture actresses Lisa Gagnon and Meredith Sause).
KVWorks

 People rarely associate gay and lesbian films with the science fiction genre. But a Durham-based production company, KVWorks, created a sci-fi lesbian web series. 

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