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The Big Screen

The Big Screen looks in-depth at the most interesting new release in theaters each week. We also have a weekly conversation with a major movie star or mover-and-shaker in the North Texas film scene and we highlight movies and DVDs to watch this weekend. The Big Screen is hosted by Chris Vognar, movie critic for The Dallas Morning News (dallasnews.com) and Stephen Becker, reporter for Art and Seek, from KERA (artandseek.org).
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Nov 14, 2018

In a new documentary, seven veterans mostly from Texas detail their experiences in Vietnam - from the draft to boot camp, battle and back home. This week, we talk with the editor of "The Mark of War," who searched through thousands of hours of footage from the war to tell a personal story of people who served. Humanities Texas hosts a free screening of the film Thursday night at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

Nov 6, 2018

The Lone Star Film Festival begins five days of films Wednesday in Fort Worth. And Gregory Beck is going to be busy. The Fort Worth director has not one but TWO shorts in the fest. His documentary "Buck 'Em" tells the story of a North Texas bullrider making a living on the rodeo circuit. And his narrative film "You're Served" centers on a process server with a unique sense of humor. Plan your festival going and report back on what you see.

Oct 31, 2018

In the film “1985,” a young man returns home for the holidays burdened with how he’ll tell his family that he’s dying of AIDS. It’s the latest from Austin resident and former North Texas director Yen Tan, who talks with us about how a story set in the past can inform the present. The film previously played at SXSW and the Dallas International Film Festival in the spring and opens at the Texas Theatre on Friday.

Oct 24, 2018

When we watch horror movies, it’s the creepy music that sets us up for the big scares. So it’s notable that one of the original horror movies -- 1931’s “Frankenstein” – doesn’t have any music at all. That changes next week when the Dallas Winds perform a newly conceived score alongside the film. This week we talk about how music works to put us on edge with Jerry Junkin, who will conduct the score.

Oct 17, 2018

Oct. 17-21, Moviegoers in Fort Worth will get an early look at some films that will soon be vying for Oscars. This week, we preview Modern Cinema, which runs through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Joining us is Christopher Kelly, the former Fort Worth Star-Telegram movie critic who curated the lineup.

Oct 10, 2018

Robert Redford has said that his new movie, “The Old Man and the Gun,” will be his last. And if that’s true, it means a Dallas director will guide his final performance (which is getting great reviews, BTW). This week, we talk about the experience with the film’s director, David Lowery.

Oct 3, 2018

Ted Cruz and challenger Beto O’Rourke are in the home stretch in their campaign for the U.S. Senate. And while many Texans have their minds made up, a new documentary is taking a nonpartisan look at the race to educate the undecided. This week, we talk with Steve Mims, director of "Run Like the Devil," which screens Oct. 12 as part of Docufest.

Sep 27, 2018

In the past few weeks, Dallas Sonnier pulled off an impressive feat by bringing his film "Dragged Across Concrete" to the Venice Film Festival and then turning around a week later and taking "The Standoff at Sparrow Creek" to the Toronto International Film Festival. The producer joins us to talk about sharing those films with the world - and about basing his production company, Cinestate, here in North Texas.

Sep 19, 2018

From “Singin’ in the Rain” to “Saturday Night Fever,” "Dirty Dancing" and “La La Land,” dance has made its way into countless Hollywood classics. An event this weekend celebrates how these two art forms complement one another, which we talk about with Danielle Georgiou, whose short film and choreography will be featured.

Sep 5, 2018

Artist Frank Reaugh lived and worked in Dallas through the first half of the 20th Century. And his pictures of longhorn steers roaming the landscape helped to define Texas at the time. This week, we talk about Reaugh’s legacy, the subject of the documentary “Frank Reaugh: Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains.” It airs Thursday night at 10 p.m. on KERA-TV as part of the new season of Frame of Mind, curated by Bart Weiss, who joins us for the conversation.

Aug 29, 2018

For the last decade, Josephine Decker has made the festival circuit with her short films and documentaries (we first talked with her at SXSW way back in 2009). And now, with her third feature - called “Madeline’s Madeline,” she’s getting the attention of major critics and earning raves in the process. This week, we talk with the Highland Park native about her big break - and about her next project starring Elizabeth Moss.

Aug 22, 2018

Blaze Foley is a name only diehard music lovers are familiar with. But if you’re a fan of Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt or John Prine, you’re a fan of Foley’s. A new movie about the Austin singer-songwriter’s life opens this weekend, and we sat down with its writer, director and native Texan, Ethan Hawke to talk about it.

Aug 15, 2018

Appalachia is seen as one of the keys to President Trump’s 2016 victories. And since then, scholars and historians have turned their attention to the often overlooked region. Appalachia and the stereotypes about it are explored in a new documentary called "Hillbilly" playing the Women Texas Film Festival, and this week, we talk with Justina Walford, the fest's artistic director.

"Hillbilly" screens Saturday afternoon at 2:30 at the Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley and will be followed by a Q&A with director Ashley York.

Aug 8, 2018

In the “Never Goin’ Back,” a pair of hard-partying teenage girls dream of hitting the beach. Instead, their lives are consumed with keeping their heads above water as they struggle to make rent. The film has made the rounds on the festival circuit, debuting at Sundance before slots at SXSW and the Oak Cliff Film Festival. It's collected some nice reviews along the way. And now, it's finally out. This week, we talk with Augustine Frizzell, its Dallas-based director, about telling a story she once lived.

Aug 1, 2018

Guitar players the world over idolize Stevie Ray Vaughan. But the guitar player he idolized was his big brother, Jimmie. The Oak Cliff natives are the subject of a new documentary called "From Nowhere: The Story of the Vaughan Brothers," and this week we talk with director Kirby Warnock, who covered the duo from their earliest days through their rise to fame. His film screens Thursday and Friday night at the Texas Theatre, just blocks from where they grew up.

Jul 25, 2018

Santos Rodriguez was just 12 years old when he was murdered in the backseat of a Dallas Police car. A new documentary called "Santos Vive" marks the 45 anniversary of that day, and this week we talk with its director, Byron Hunter. For more on efforts to memorialize Santos, take a listen to KERA's Stella Chavez's report from earlier this week.

Jul 17, 2018

Every year, the Asian Film Festival of Dallas shows selections from Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. This year’s festival looks beyond those traditional hotbeds, by including a movie from Kashmir. We preview this year's event, which also includes the repertory favorites "Tokyo Drifter and "Yi Yi."

Jul 11, 2018

Broadcast News” earned 7 Oscar nominations for its portrayal of the inner-workings of a television newsroom. The movie is part of a local series that looks at how the media is portrayed on screen, and this week we talk about how “Broadcast News” is one of the few that gets it right.

Jul 2, 2018

The Houston Chronicle has published a new list of the greatest Texas movies of all time. And if you were expecting, say, “Giant” or “The Last Picture Show” at the top … you’re in for a surprise. This week, we look at the list with one of the critics who put it together.

Jun 26, 2018

The Nigerian film industry – known as Nollywood – is the established hub of the African film world. This weekend, though, North Texas audiences will get a chance to see movies made in Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda and other countries across the continent. This week, we preview the African Film Festival.

Jun 20, 2018

One of the most important figures in the history of public television is the subject of a new documentary. This week, we talk about the life and times of Fred Rogers and the film "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

Jun 12, 2018

This week, there are opportunities to see a documentary about a rock ‘n’ roll legend -- and a film from the 1920s accompanied by a live orchestra. They’re playing at the 7th Oak Cliff Film Festival, and we talk about 'em with the team that programmed this year's event

Jun 5, 2018

The movie industry is under pressure – both from the public and from within – to become a more-inclusive place. This week, while in town for the recent BookExpo America event in New York City, we grabbed some time with John Gibson, head of the Motion Picture Association of America’s diversity and inclusion initiative, to talk about making movies that tell everyone’s story.

May 30, 2018

One of the country’s major distributors of Asian films is based in Plano. This week, we talk with Doris Pfardrescher, head of Well Go USA Entertainment, about turning a company that began as a dealer of karaoke discs into a major player in the Asian film world.

May 23, 2018

If you prefer your hot summers inside the cool air conditioning of a movie theater, there are plenty of good options heading your way. This week, we preview the summer slate - including a slew of North Texas film festivals. And we check in on "Solo," which opens this week.

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