Steve Walker

Arts Reporter

Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens. 

In addition, Walker has taught creative writing and film criticism classes at the Kansas City Art Institute and currently teaches at the University of Kansas. His writing has appeared nationally in The Sondheim Review, The Advocate and Theater Week, and locally in The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Business Journal, Ingram's, The Pitch and Review.

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Up to Date
10:46 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' July 12-14, 2013

The boys vanquish a watermelon in 'The Kings of Summer.'

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of July 12-14? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens. 

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Up to Date
12:39 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Cool DVDs For A Hot Summer

Up to Date's independent, foreign & documentary film critics recommend The Intouchables on DVD.

If you're trying to escape the summer heat, stay cool indoors with one of our independent, foreign and documentary film critics' recommendations of films recently released on DVD.

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Up to Date
12:31 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' July 5-7, 2013

'We Steal Secrets' is on two of our critics' lists for this weekend's Three to See.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of July 5-7? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens. 

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Film
10:21 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Film Review: 'We Steal Secrets' Debates Whether WikiLeaks Is Heroic Or Traitorous

Julian Assange speaking at the balcony of Ecuador embassy in London.
Credit Poiesia / Wikimedia--CC

In Alex Gibney’s engrossing new documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, that organization’s founder, Julian Assange, comes off as complex, enigmatic, and narcissistic. By the end of the 130 minute running time, viewers will know much more about him and his passions yet still be stumped about whether he’s a hero, a megalomaniac, or a terrorist.

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Up to Date
9:56 am
Fri July 5, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, July 5, 2013

'20 Feet From Stardom' is one of our independent, foreign and documentary film critics' picks this week.

A grumpy widower tries to remember his wife by joining her old choir, and a group of Los Angeles teenagers live it up by breaking into celebrity homes. 

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Film
6:59 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Film Review: Out Of The Shadows After Being '20 Feet From Stardom'

Darlene Love, left, and the new generation of background singers get their due in '20 Feet From Stardom.'
Credit Courtesty Radius/TWC

Music lovers will be thunderstruck by the immense roster of talent in Morgan Neville's salute to background singers called 20 Feet From Stardom. It's a jubilant, rich and moving portrait of the vocalists who indelibly put their stamp on classic songs while finding a place for themselves front and center just out of reach.

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Up to Date
9:28 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' June 28-30, 2013

Cynthia Haines recommends the film Frances Ha this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of June 28-30?

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Performance
12:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

'The Death Of Cupid' Reinterprets The Sex Strike Of Aristophanes' 'Lysistrata'

Katie Gilchrist, as Khaos/Reconciliation, belts out a number with the chorus.
Julie Denesha KCUR

With the opening this week of The Death of Cupid at the downtown performance space The Living Room, author and director Kyle Hatley is revisiting a play he's been refining since 2008. Its eternal themes of peace, war and sex have its roots in ancient Greece but still maintain a relevance to what the world looks like today.

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Film
3:52 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

'Bling Ring' And 'Kings Of Summer' Find American Youth Lost Or Under Arrest

In "The Kings of Summer," teenage boys build a makeshift retreat from suburban angst.
Courtesy hollywoodreporter.com

Two new films opened the same day that offer clever, stylized looks at American teenagers feeling besieged and taking their sad lives into their own industrious yet limited hands.

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Up to Date
11:12 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' June 21-23, 2013

Joss Whedon shot his version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in only 12 days.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of June 21-23? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Local Actors Heighten The Authenticity Of 'Real Pirates'

Kevin Payne as Richard Noland, a member of the Whydah's crew.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The remains of a sunken pirate ship found off of Cape Cod, Mass. in 1984 form the ballast of the traveling National Geographic exhibit Real Pirates, opening June 22 at Union Station. The exhibit also features some 200 artifacts found nearby on the ocean floor and, to heighten its authenticity, Union Station has hired a number of actors who will be playing real and fictitious pirates that visitors will be encouraged to engage.

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Film
7:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

LGBT Film Festival Serves Up Divine Fare With A Dash Of James Franco

James Franco is the director of "Interior. Leather Bar."

Any film festival centered around themes that appeal to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered audiences or their supportive allies is sure to be as eclectic as its targeted demographic. This year’s Kansas City LGBT Film Festival at Tivoli Cinemas in Westport makes good on that promise.

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Up to Date
11:18 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' June 14-17, 2013

Hava Nagila is one of Steve Walker's picks this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of June 14-17?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Up to Date
1:15 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' June 7-9, 2013

Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's is one of our critics' Three to See.

Looking for a great film to see this weekend, June 7-9, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Up to Date
10:03 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See', May 31-June 2, 2013

'Mud' stars Matthew McConaughey.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of May 31-June 2, 2013

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Film
8:12 am
Fri May 31, 2013

'What Maisie Knew' Is That Her Parents Were Utter Failures

Julianne Moore and Onata Aprile as mother and daughter in "What Maisie Knew."
Courtesy Millennium Entertainment

There’s no more important job than parenting, and it can go wrong in so many ways. In the powerful new drama What Maisie Knew, an updating of the 1897 Henry James novel to contemporary New York City, the audience sits by helplessly watching what happens when the wrong people fall into that job.

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Film
8:11 am
Fri May 31, 2013

'Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's' An Epitaph For Designers And Shoppers Alike

The famous facade of Bergdorf Goodman in "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's."
Courtesty Entertainment One Films

There are few American inventions as intoxicating as the department store. In the opinions of high-end shoppers and designers alike, there may be none more lusted after and lauded than Bergdorf Goodman, profiled in the style of a 90-minute commercial in the entertaining new documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's.

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

As American Heartland Theatre Winds Down, Debra Bluford Reflects On Her Career There

Debra Bluford, as Miss Abigail, makes a face of disapproval of modern dating methods.
Julie Denesha KCUR

New theater companies and performance spaces are increasingly popping up in Kansas City. So when the American Heartland Theatre announced it was closing its doors in August, it was a startling development, especially to an actor like Debra Bluford, who has spent a good deal of her acting life there.

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Up to Date
10:06 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See', May 24-27, 2013

Kon-Tiki

  Looking for a great film to see this Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-27, 2013?

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Visual Arts
3:55 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Artists Explore The City As Labyrinth In 'rises Zora'

Jeanette Powers and Ezhno Martin in a 'rises Zora' performance.
Josephine Moynihan Special to KCUR

Like any city of its size, Kansas City was designed and developed on an urban grid of streets and boulevards in order to make the city work. The Charlotte Street Foundation is currently presenting a month-long multimedia project that features nearly 40 artists who, in their own way, address how the city's layout is both influential, essential, and an ever-mysterious labyrinth. 

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Film
3:12 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Michael Shannon A Family Man, Hit Man And 'The Iceman'

Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder in 'The Iceman'
Courtesy digitalspy.com

As intense as actor Michael Shannon has been on screens large and small, his chilling performance in Ariel Vroman's The Iceman ups the ante. 

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Up to Date
9:45 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See', May 17-19, 2013

In The House

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of May 17-19, 2013?

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Film
6:30 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Writing Teacher Finds A Prodigy With Problems In 'In The House'

Kristin Scott Thomas rapt by writing in "In the House"
Courtesy Cohen Media Group

Fans of both independent and foreign films can trust that, if they feature Kristin Scott Thomas, they're worth an investment of time, thought, and money.The bilingual actress has impeccable taste and can lift even mundane films to a place of esteemed elegance.

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Up to Date
11:44 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See', May 10-12, 2013

Renoir

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of May 10-12, 2013?

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Film
9:38 am
Fri May 10, 2013

‘Renoir’ A Portrait Of An Artist In Decline

Michel Bouqet at work as "Renoir"
Courtesy Samuel Goldwyn Films

To look at the collected paintings of Pierre-Auguste Renoir is to see all possible colors and textures made more rich and tactile by the light. Gilles Bourdos’ evocative Renoir is less a comprehensive biography than a portrait of the man in his golden years (played with astonishing physical accuracy by Michel Bouquet) when his output is hardly dented at all by his physical impairments.

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Up To Date
11:47 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See', May 3-5, 2013

Credit Porchlight Films

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of May 3-5, 2013?

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, May 3

The Angels' Share

A rebound romance, a look at the omnipresence of the digital world and a German girl’s confused journey at the end of World War II are all competing for moviegoers’ attention this weekend.

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Up to Date
1:58 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' April 26-28, 2013

"The Gatekeepers" remains on critic Cynthia Haines "Three to See" list.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 26-28, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Film
8:05 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Tip A Tumbler Of Fine Scotch To 'The Angels' Share'

The cast of 'The Angels' Share'
Courtesy Sixteen Films/EPA

It takes great skill to make a movie that balances potentially incongruous tones of brutality, comedy and hope. With the marvelous new movie The Angels’ Share, director Ken Loach demonstrates that he is gifted enough to do that.

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Film
5:48 am
Fri April 26, 2013

From A Mucked Up Life, 'Mud' Barrels Through

Matthew McConaughey and Tye Sheridan make unlikely comrades in 'Mud'
Courtesy Roadside Attractions

A 14-year-old Arkansas kid gets mixed up with a murderer while pondering romantic notions about the meaning of love in Jeff Nichols’ assured and beautifully written Southern melodrama Mud.

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