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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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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.

May 16, 2018

This weekend, North Texas residents will have the opportunity to have their home movies digitized - and contribute to the state’s archives. This week, we talk with the organizer of Spotlight on North Texas about how what's on your old VHS tapes and Super 8 film could help to preserve the area’s history.

May 3, 2018

In the mid-1990s, Bone Thugs N Harmony was one of the biggest acts in hip hop, with hits like "The Crossroads" and "1st of tha Month." A new documentary about the group called "Sons of St. Clair" plays the Dallas International Film Festival, and we talk about it with its director.

May 1, 2018

The Dallas International Film Festival begins its eight-day run May 3. We preview this year’s lineup, which includes a documentary about a man who changed the face of public television. Joining us is DIFF artistic director James Faust.

Apr 25, 2018

Kevyn Aucoin applied lipstick to Cindy Crawford’s lips, blush to Janet Jackson’s cheeks and mascara to Barbra Streisand’s eyelashes. The go-to makeup artist of the 1990s is the subject of a new documentary playing at the USA Film Festival, and this week we talk about his life and work with Dallas supermodel Chandra North, who sat in his chair on many occasions.

"Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story" plays Friday night at 7 at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

Apr 18, 2018

Denton’s annual Thin Line Fest plays documentaries in an effort to examine the “thin line” between fact and fiction. The festival also features photography and music, and this week we preview the film component with its programmer.

Apr 11, 2018

More than 60 films covering a range of environmental issues will screen in Dallas starting Friday. This week we preview the event with the artistic director of Earth X Film.

Apr 4, 2018

A filmmaking competition is trying to encourage young, black directors to develop their skills. It's called Gentleman Jack Real to Reel, and it's open to black filmmakers 21 and up. Screenings of the finalists will happen in six cities - including Dallas (date TBA) - and the winner earns $10,000 to further his or her career. All the details on entering are at the contest's website. This week, we talked with spokesman Omari Hardwick (of the Starz series "Power") about how making short films is often the first step toward Hollywood.

Mar 28, 2018

Houston native Wes Anderson is known for making quaint, lighthearted films in which the stakes are really never high enough to make the audience sweat. His signature style permeates “Isle of Dogs,” Anderson’s return to stop-motion animation. This week we talk about how Anderson's aesthetic translates to Japan - and about the line between appreciation and appropriation.

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