film

Matt Lankes / courtesy of IFC Films

The fact that Richard Linklater’s extraordinary movie Boyhood was filmed over the course of 12 years could come off as a gimmick. Yet this amazing accomplishment is no trick and, thanks to powerful performances and a seamless narrative, it packs an emotional wallop that is both unexpected and hard to shake.

courtesy of Cohen Media Group

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.

They fought on the beaches, in the air, on the sea... and on film. World War II made an indelible mark on pop culture, and it's especially evident on the silver screen.

Clint Eastwood for A Fistful of Dollars / Wikimedia Commons

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".

Guests:

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of July 11-13? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

  • Obvious Child
  • Begin Again
  • Ida

Cynthia Haines:

  • Ida
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Chef

Examine the personal relationships of three disturbed couples and hear the controversy about the political influence of two conservative Kansas billionaires.  

On Friday's Up to Date, our indie, foreign, and documentary film critics examine the latest films showing on area screens.

Canal+ Polska

  Up to Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Chef
  • Belle
  • Ida (English subtitles)

Steve Walker:

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

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.

Sony Pictures

Up to Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Chef
  • Belle
  • For No Good Reason

Steve Walker:

Courtesy / Tipping Point Productions/Cinedigm.

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.

Need to take refuge from the downpours this weekend? Up to Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Ida
  • Chef
  • Belle

Steve Walker:

Take a trip with a Polish nun in training, who finds out her family history isn't what she thought, and navigate the murky world of social media with an outspoken chef.

On Friday's Up to Date, the indie, foreign and documentary film critics join us to talk about what hot-- and what's not-- on your local silver screen.

This week, they discussed:

thehornetsnestmovie.com

Looking for a great film to see during the weekend of May 30-June 1? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Fed Up
  • The Hornet's Nest
  • The Lunchbox

Steve Walker:

courtesy: IFC Films

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.

Looking for a great film to see during the long holiday weekend of May 23-26? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • The Hornet's Nest
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • The Lunchbox

Steve Walker:

RADiUS-TWC

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.

Courtesy / HighRoad Media

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.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of May 16-18? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Joe
  • Only Lovers Left Alive

Steve Walker:

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of May 9-11? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Joe
  • Particle Fever

Steve Walker:

Lionsgate Films

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of May 2-4? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

Steve Walker:

IFC Films

From stories about severe nymphomania to vicious alien femme fatales, our reviewers' material is challenging to say the least.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign, and documentary film critics return to look at some of the new films opening on local screens.

In addition to reviewing new films, we talk with "Hateship, Loveship" director Liza Johnson about her decision to cast comedienne Kristin Wiig in a serious role.

Our critics' list:

KCUR
Courtesy Maloof Collection Ltd.

By their very nature, photographs are loaded with backstory. There's the image itself, deemed important in a moment that becomes frozen for eternity.

And there's the person who snapped the picture, for reasons that are as personal as they are mysterious.

In the fascinating new documentary Finding Vivian Maier, the title character's exceptional photographs are brought to light after years of being hidden away from any and all scrutiny.

Sony Classics

  Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 25 - 27? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Anita
  • Particle Fever
  • Lunchbox

Steve Walker:

KCUR
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Nymphomaniac: Volumes I and II may be the most sexually explicit coming-of-age movie ever seen outside an adult book store. But to call it pornography would minimize and tarnish its cinematic worth.

Like most of Lars von Trier’s films, it’s provocative, audacious, weird, challenging, and hypnotizing – sometimes all at once.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 18-20? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Particle Fever
  • Gloria
  • Lunchbox

Steve Walker:

  • The Unknown Known
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Particle Fever

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.

Donna Lou Morgan

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.

Guest:

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of April 11-13. 

Cynthia Haines:

  • Lunch Box
  • Particle Fever
  • The Unknown Known

Steve Walker:

  • The Unknown Known
  • Particle Fever
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

Bob Butler:

Take a peek at the inner-workings of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and get a look into the life of labor leader Cesar Chavez. When it’s on the silver screen, you’ve got an all-access pass.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign and documentary film critics take a look at the latest films opening in Kansas City.

Our critics' list:

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