There's a scene in Cédric Klapisch's warm, exuberant comedy Chinese Puzzle that perfectly captures both the beauty and complications of a life well lived. A discussion between two men (one living, one a hallucination) proposes that a piece of embroidery is an apt metaphor for the human condition: on one side is a lovely picture of a moment captured in time. But turned over, one sees all of the knotty entanglements.
A half century ago, nobody expected much of Sergio Leone’s 1964 Italian Western A Fistful of Dollars – not even its young American star, Clint Eastwood. On Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske explores how this film's fiery success ignited the popularity of an entire genre known as "spaghetti westerns".
As the march toward full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in America advances at varying speeds, there remains a sense that the LGBT community can still be marginalized in the movies. That's what makes film festivals like Out Here Now so relevant to the LGBT communities and their staunch allies.
In Kelly Reichardt’s astonishingly good thriller Night Moves, a trio of environmental activists gets trapped in a political and deadly morass of their own making. Played by Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard, they demonstrate to a fault what happens when passion for a cause is trumped by human frailty.
There's a deliberate seediness to the Texas noir Cold in July that makes it both entertaining and calculating. Directed by Jim Mickle, it stars Michael C. Hall as Richard, an ordinary man around whom extraordinarily violent things happen, all triggered by an act of self-defense that leaves a home intruder dead and his living room splattered with brain matter like a Jackson Pollock.
William Joyce has captivated young audiences and their parents with his whimsical and imaginative characters in film, TV, and in books. The creator of Rolie Polie Olie and The Guardians of Childhood has a new book and film, The Numberlys. Joyce talks with Steve Kraske about what inspires the characters he creates.
Just who’s to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games and vending machines, to name a few.
To the makers of the new activist documentary, “Fed Up,” the bottom line of blame lies with a simple substance poured into our diets every day: sugar. And the pushers of what this film calls a drug and “the new tobacco” are the food industry and our own government.
“What if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?” the film’s narrator, TV journalist Katie Couric, says in the film’s open.
For all the comic book mayhem thrust on summer movie audiences, there’s never a sense that anything’s at stake besides how much money the studios will bank. That’s what makes the new documentary The Hornet’s Nest – a movie about a real war, not one constructed of computer graphics - essential viewing to people crying out for substance.
For every Million Dollar Baby, there’s a film like The Rookie. Even Steven Spielberg, who climbed the heights of Hollywood with E.T., Indiana Jones and Saving Private Ryan hit the bottom with 1941.
On Friday's Up to Date, the DVD Gurus return to examine how even a great director can come out with a flop. In their sights are Clint Eastwood, Mike Nichols, John Boorman and other directors who have been silver screen darlings and rotten tomato rejects. We look at films that range from completely bizarre to just plain bad.
Science fiction fans will recognize him as Commander William Adama from Battlestar Galactica, but Edward James Olmos is also well known for his activism in the Latino and Chicano community.
On the first half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske sits down with Olmos to discuss his long career in Hollywood and his numerous efforts to reach out to Chicano youth. Olmos gave the Cesar Chavez Lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday.
The University of Kansas is hosting the Africa World Documentary Film Festival this Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12.
The convener of that festival, Daniel Atkinson, visited the KCUR studios to talk about the films he chose to show and the ideas he hoped to convey through the wide range of stories these documentaries tell.