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Up to Date
10:27 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Making A Pie, Telling A Story

Joyce Maynard speaks with Steve Kraske on Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR

The smell of pie might inspire most of us to get a fork and plate, but for one author, it means a story. 

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with the woman behind the new Kate Winslet-Josh Brolin film Labor Day about writing, pie and more.

Guest:

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Up to Date
1:37 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

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

The documentary 'Bettie Page Reveals All' is on Cynthia Haines' 'Three to See' this week.

This year's Academy Award nominations are out, and to no one's surprise, independent, foreign, and documentary films are on the list.

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of Jan. 17-19.

Click the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines:

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Up to Date
12:24 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, January 10

'August: Osage County' is on our critics' list this week.

The latest round of film releases coming to area theaters have heavy subjects to say the least.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign, and documentary film critics return with some praise and some scorn for the latest films to hit the silver screen.

From the story of a family that is ruined by cancer, prescription drug abuse, and divorce to the intimate tale of a man who falls in love with a computer personality, these powerful narratives are sure to raise a few tears and some divisive opinions.

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Film
8:42 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Film Review: A Family's Heirlooms Are Spite And Malice in 'August: Osage County'

Meryl Streep (bottom) plays Violet Weston, the matriarch of a screwed up family, comforted - sort of - by her daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts).
Credit Weinstein Company

If done well, movies about dysfunctional families are able to elegantly dance that fine line between humor and pain. Terms of Endearment succeeded at finding that balance, as does the film adaptation of Tracy Letts's Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County, where an unplanned death reopens life-long yet still festering wounds. The Weston clan of Osage County, Okla., must have a family tree that looks like a weeping willow. It is headed up by Beverly (Sam Shepard), a college lecturer and occasional poet, and his poly-addicted wife, Violet (Meryl Streep), who personifies how pills came to be known as mother’s little helpers. Of their three grown daughters, only Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) has stuck close to home; Barbara (Julia Roberts) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) long ago picked up stakes for relationships by turn strained or serially monogamous.

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Up to Date
12:54 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

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

'The Great Beauty' is on Steve Walker's list this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Jan. 3-5? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Philomena
  • American Hustle

Steve Walker:

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Film
6:00 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Film Review: Even In Spiritual Decline, Rome Remains 'The Great Beauty'

Toni Servillo plays a writer pondering what he has accomplished and what he may still achieve in 'The Great Beauty.'
Credit Courtesy of Janus Films

Throughout Paolo Sorrentino’s exuberant and strange film The Great Beauty,  a 65-year-old writer whose only hit novel was published 40 years prior struggles with his own reputation and mortality, as well as that of his beloved Rome, Italy. According to Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) and his jaded circle of friends, Rome is over and done – finito. As one of his friends says, the only decent people left in Rome are the tourists.

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Up To Date
11:58 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Dec. 27-29

Credit Paramount Vantage

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Dec. 27-29? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • American Hustle
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
12:40 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Dec. 20-22

"The Punk Singer" tops critic Steve Walker's list of indie, documentary and foreign films showing this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Dec. 20-22? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • American Hustle
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave

Steve Walker:

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Film
6:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Film Review: 'The Punk Singer' Who Influenced Rock Stars More Famous Than Her

'The Punk Singer' provides a glimpse at the life of artist and musician Kathleen Hanna.
Credit Allison Michael Orenstein

On the basis of Sini Anderson's enlightening and electric documentary The Punk Singer, many will come to consider its subject, Kathleen Hanna, one of the most influential musicians they've never heard of. But they can't walk away forgetting her.

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Up to Date
1:55 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, December 13

'The Armstrong Lie' is on our critics' list this week.

Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace after years of secrets and denials was ripe for telling on the silver screen. When the complicated web of performance-enhancing drugs collapsed, his career lay in ruins.

On Friday's Up to Date, our indie, foreign and documentary film critics share their reviews of the latest films to hit area screens and talk about their favorites of this year.

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Up to Date
1:54 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

The Film Critics' Top 10 Indie, Foreign And Documentary Films Of 2013

The Crash Reel is just one of the films in our critics' top 10 for the year.

It's that time of year again, and Up to Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics have picked their favorite films of the year. Drumroll, please, for Cynthia Haines, Steve Walker and Bob Butler's choices. 

Here are their favorites (in no particular order) with some descriptions from Steve Walker:

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Film
7:00 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Film Review: Alex Gibney Documentary Unravels 'The Armstrong Lie'

The documentary Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney started to make in 2009 about Lance Armstrong ended up being something else entirely. Called The Armstrong Lie, the film contains footage that was shot as recently as May 2013, including the minutes following Armstrong’s confessional but smug and non-contrite interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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Up to Date
11:18 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 6-8

Philomena is on Steve Walker's list this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Dec. 6-8? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Muscle Shoals
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • All is Lost

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
10:46 am
Fri December 6, 2013

DVD Gurus: Reporters On Film

Ace in the Hole is one of the DVD Guru's favorite films about reporters.

From a manufactured media circus, to a desperate game of cat-and-mouse with a serial killer, Hollywood sure knows how to romanticize journalism.

On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to talk about some of their favorite films that feature reporters. We'll dive into some thrilling vampire conspiracies, reports gone wrong, and others that are sure to set off the investigator in everyone.

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Film
5:19 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Film Review: In 'Philomena,' The Cruelties Of Youth Are Forgiven

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan become unlikely allies excavating her past in 'Philomena.'
Credit The Weinstein Company

In Stephen Frears' heartfelt and moving Philomena, the most effective shots are among the simplest a filmmaker can employ: tight close-ups. In this case, the camera’s focus is on the furrowed, and inspiringly lived-in face of the great Judi Dench. Playing a woman who longs to discover the whereabouts of the son taken from her when she was a teenager, Dench gives the title character a strength and resolve that has gotten her through the fifty years since she last saw her son.

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Up to Date
1:04 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Nov. 22-24

'Blue is the Warmest Color' is on Steve Walker's list this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Nov. 22-24? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens. 

Cynthia Haines:

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Muscle Shoals
  • Dallas Buyers Club 

Steve Walker

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Film
6:00 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Film Review: 'Dallas Buyers Club' Becomes A Haven For People With AIDS In The 1980s

Rayon (Jared Leto) and Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) become unlikely allies in 'Dallas Buyers Club.'
Credit Focus Features

In 1985, just a handful of years into the AIDS epidemic, if someone appeared gaunt, splotchy, and paper-thin, it was suspected that they had contracted HIV. Though gay men made up a large percentage of those infected, the virus was transmitted via body fluids like blood and semen - with no regards to sexual orientation. Still, any man who contracted HIV during that Age of Ignorance was branded a contagious homosexual. As was Ron Woodroof, the profligately heterosexual rodeo cowboy robustly played by Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club.

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Central Standard
2:30 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

New Documentary Claims Missionaries Are Exporting Anti-Homosexual Values To Africa

Credit Roger Ross Williams / God Loves Uganda

A new film, now playing in Kansas City, makes a startling case – that American evangelicals, in the name of doing mission work, have triggered something in Africa that’s very different from prayer and worship and medical help for the needy. Instead, the film suggests, they’ve influenced governments and societies to discriminate against gay and lesbian people … or worse.

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Up To Date
12:38 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Up to Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See," Nov. 15-17

Adèle Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux star in the much talked about film 'Blue is the Warmest Color.'

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of November 8-10? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Muscle Shoals
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Blue is the Warmest Color

Steve Walker

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Film
6:00 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Film Review: A Love Affair Ebbs And Flows In Controversial 'Blue Is The Warmest Color'

Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) falls for Emma (Léa Seydoux) in 'Blue is the Warmest Color.'
Credit Sundance Selects

Blue is the Warmest Color, the winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is a frank and honest examination of a relationship from a heated first glance to its dying embers. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film rides waves of passion, bliss and anger in such truthful ways that anyone who’s been madly in love will identify with the couple, even if the parties happen to be two women. And to boot, the movie is wonderfully alive.

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Up to Date
2:33 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

The Film That Shaped America's JFK Memories

The Zapruder film recorded the moment Kennedy was shot.

The silently haunting images of the Zapruder film captured the moment John F. Kennedy was shot during that famous Dallas parade in 1963. Those images have become part of the mythology that surrounds the event, both for the conspiracy theorists and others. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Max Holland, who has analyzed the effect of the film on how the American people understand the 50-year-old assassination.

Guest: 

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Up to Date
1:40 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Nov. 8-10

Cynthia Haines and Steve Walker both recommend "12 Years a Slave" this weekend.
Credit Fox Searchlight Pictures

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of November 8-10? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Wadjda
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • All is Lost

Steve Walker

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