Movies On The Radio

Marsha Gordon and Laura Boyes in studio with State of Things Host Frank Stasio.
Credit Ben McKeown / For WUNC

"Movies on the Radio" is a series of conversations about the silver screen from The State of Things.

Listeners provide feedback about their favorites and least favorites. Then, Frank Stasio and film experts Laura Boyes and Marsha Gordon take an in-depth look at what moves us at the movies.

Laura Boyes is a film curator at the North Carolina Museum of Art and Marsha Gordon is a film professor at North Carolina State University.

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Who are we when faced with widespread contagion? Disease and humanity’s varied responses to sickness are on full-display in cinema – from zombie flicks to documentaries that help deepen our understanding of epidemics in the real world.  

Moviestore / Shutterstock

The next Movies on the Radio is coming up! This month — cinema that takes you on vacation. Films can evoke a specific place so deeply that it transports us far away. It could be to the grit of NC’s own “Bull Durham” or into the Parisian magic of “Amelie.”  Send in your nomination for a chance to be on the next Movies on the Radio. Email us at sot@wunc.org, tweet at us with #sotmovie, or just comment below!

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Dance has been a part of film since the early days of the visual medium. As the dance trends came and went, so did the movies portraying them on the silver screen.

Gold Oscar statues.
Praytino / Flickr

The nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards came out last week and the usual uproar followed. For this edition of Movies on the Radio, we asked listeners, staff, and film experts Laura Boyes and Marsha Gordon which Oscar nods they agree or disagree with.

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We’re STILL waiting on nominations for the Academy Awards. So, in the meantime, we’re making our own list!

What was your favorite film of 2019?

Send your nomination to sot@wunc.org for your chance to be on the next Movies on the Radio with film experts Laura Boyes and Marsha Gordon.

Note: This program will air in February, 2020.

The State of Things is dancing our way to the next Movies on the Radio. Film experts Laura Boyes and Marsha Gordon will talk about your favorite dance movies, from “Singin’ in the Rain” to “You Got Served.”

Warning: This film is not fiction. It is the shocking truth about the coming apocalypse and the events that have led up to it.
Drift Distribution

Who really killed JFK? Why does the water taste funny? What goes on at Area 51? Paranoia is justified in movie classics about nefarious plots reaching to the highest levels of government, church or corporation. Many are allegories, others play upon our wildest fantasies, while some are true-to-life depictions of historical events.

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What is Soylent Green? Who killed JFK? What goes on at Area 51? Paranoia is justified in these classics about conspiracies and cover-ups, reaching the highest levels of government, church, and corporation. For the next edition of Movies on the Radio, we want to know your favorite films about pulling back the curtain and speaking truth to power.

Movie poster that reads 'Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.'
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Steven Spielberg was named the highest-grossing filmmaker in U.S. history last year.

MOTR: The Best of Spielberg

Sep 19, 2019

Steven Spielberg’s work ranges from the gripping war drama “Saving Private Ryan” to the animated series “Pinky and the Brain.” He scared us with “Poltergeist,” and fascinated us with “Jurassic Park.” Spielberg made us laugh at “The Goonies” and cry in “The Color Purple.” Whether writing, producing or directing, Steven Spielberg is one of Hollywood’s elite filmmakers whose name is worth its weight in Oscar gold. This month we want to know about your favorite Spielberg movie? 

 

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. 

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Hollywood continues to change the English language. We constantly quote and misquote cinema — sometimes without ever having seen the referenced film. Sometimes the line we keep repeating simply doesn’t exist! Whether it’s from Monty Python, Spike Lee or Spielberg, movie quotes are the way we map our cultural common ground.

On the next Movies on the Radio, we want to know your notable quotables. What bits of dialogue do you most often pepper into conversation? Which lines do your friends and family inevitably end up quoting?

A colorful card showing all the main characters from the film.
Library of Congress

Follow the yellow brick road to The State of Things’ celebration of the 80th anniversary of the film adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 1939 film’s mesmerizing visuals, hit musical numbers and heartwarming characters are still revered by audiences today.

A black and white photo of the cast of The Wizard of Oz in costume.
Library of Congress

Somewhere over the rainbow, The State of Things is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the film adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 1939 movie is best known for its hit musical numbers, fantastical plotline and use of Technicolor. Judy Garland’s career took off after she portrayed Dorothy Gale on her journey through the magical land of Oz, and the film has since become an American cultural touchstone.

Julie Scott / Wikimedia Commons

Tommy Wiseau’s film “The Room” is a textbook example of a cult movie. It made less than $2000 when it first opened in Los Angeles in 2003, got terrible reviews, and is dubbed by some the “Citizen Kane of bad movies.” Yet years later it became a huge hit.

David Attenborough stands in front of promotional backdrop for "Our Planet" at the series premiere.
Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

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.

Twentieth Century Fox

From Erin Brokovich's fight for environmental justice to the lush natural world in James Cameron’s “Avatar,” nature and the environment often play a starring role in film.

For the next edition of “Movies On The Radio,” we want to know which film about nature stuck with you the most? Is it Reese Witherspoon’s tough journey in “Wild” or maybe the classic animated film “FernGully: The Last Rainforest?”

Braveheart poster
courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Despite the rise in luxury theatres with gourmet food and drink service, movie theater attendance is on the decline in the United States. Many more Americans are choosing to watch the latest releases at home from the comfort of their own couch. But no matter the size of the screen or the price of the experience, sometimes viewers just cannot make it to the end of a film.

MOTR: Films You Walked Out On

Apr 26, 2019

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?

"Lassie Come Home" / MGM

Something in your eye? It’s not your fault, some movies are simply designed to be tearjerkers. On this installment of Movies on the Radio, The State of Things heard from listeners about the films that got the tears flowing.   

Movies On The Radio: Tearjerkers!

Mar 18, 2019
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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?”  

Robert DeNiro in a suit in a casino
Classic Film / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/2TiNL6k

The latest edition of Movies on the Radio is all about gangster, mob and mafia movies. Listeners share their favorite movies focused on the world of crime, from the family business in “Married To The Mob” to the crooked cops in “Training Day.”

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We’re going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. The State of Things wants to know about your favorite gangster, mafia, and mob movies for the next edition of Movies On The Radio.

Movies On The Radio - Best Films of 2018

Jan 23, 2019

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.

Clay Enos / Warner Bros Pictures

Films that draw viewers into the gritty highs and lows of the music world are having a big cinematic moment. There is the new head-banging Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” yet another reincarnation of “A Star is Born,” featuring pop icon Lady Gaga, and the forthcoming “Rocketman” that takes on the rise of Elton John.

Alex Bailey / Twentieth Century Fox

Films that draw us into the gritty highs and lows of the music world are having a big cinematic moment. There’s the new head-banging Queen biopic, a film that takes on the rise of Elton John, and yet another reincarnation of “A Star is Born.”

For the next edition of Movies on the Radio, we want to know which movie about musicians resonates most with you? Is it the dark poignancy of “Ray?” The drug and music fueled tour in “Almost Famous?” How about rise and fall of N.W.A. in “Straight Outta Compton?”

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

From sappy to silly to downright vile, Hollywood has tried for generations to capture the many facets of the American family. Just in time for Thanksgiving, and for this month’s Movies on the Radio program, we asked our listeners for their favorite movies about families. In their choices, listeners often saw a version of their own family struggles splashed across the silver screen.

Bruce Campbell as Ash in 'Evil Dead II.'
Wendy / Creative Commons https://goo.gl/DgesD8

Not all horror movies are scary or spooky. Some films, like “Shaun of the Dead” or “An American Werewolf in London,” actually have a big dose of comedy in them. Others, like “Evil Dead II” or “Troll 2,” play up their campy elements.

'Young Frankenstein' poster
Matthew Nenninger & Tracie Andrews / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/2P9H7Ja

Most horror movies are meant to be spooky and scary...but bad acting or cheap special effects can turn a terrifying tale into campy one. The classic example is “Evil Dead” or a B movie like “Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

Some films blend horror with humor, two genres that some would call opposites. “Shaun of the Dead” and “Young Frankenstein” are two well-known comedy-horror movies.

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. 

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