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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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Feb 20, 2019

Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic in years with tight races in many of the major categories. This week, we conclude our Oscars preview series by picking some winners and thinking through how the show will work without a host.

Feb 13, 2019

“Bohemian Rhapsody” has earned more than $800 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing rock biopic of all time. And along the way, it’s racked up five Academy Award nominations, including best picture. This week, we continue our Oscars preview series by talking with a rock critic about how the film captures the essence of Queen.

Feb 6, 2019

The movie “Green Book” is nominated for five Oscars, including best picture, best actor (Viggo Mortensen) and best supporting actor (Mahershala Ali). This week, we talk about the film and the green book from which the movie gets its name with the curator of the Dallas Civil Rights Museum (who also happens to have once lived in a house listed in the book).

Jan 30, 2019

In “The Favourite,” a pair of attendants in the Court of Queen Anne battle it out for the monarch’s attention. The film is nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and this week we continue our Oscars preview series by looking at how it depicts life in 18th Century England. Our guest is Kathleen Wellman, Dedman Family Distinguished Professor of History at SMU.

Jan 23, 2019

“If Beale Street Could Talk” earned three Oscar nominations earlier this week. Barry Jenkins was one of the honorees for his adaptation of James Baldwin's novel, and this week, we launch our annual Academy Awards preview series by talking about the story from book to screen with Baldwin expert Kenton Rambsy, assistant professor of African American Literature & Digital Humanities at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jan 16, 2019

Next week, the Denton Black Film Festival will show more than 60 films centered on the lives of African Americans. One of those films is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year: "Imitation of Life," the Douglas Sirk movie that earned two Oscar nominations in 1959. Joining us for a conversation about that film and the rest of the schedule are Linda Eaddy, director of film programming, and Walid Khaldi, who serves as the festival's historian.

Jan 9, 2019

Over the next four days, 22 North Texas film festivals are coming together to produce one mega festival to rule them all. It’s called Best of Fests, and features films that played at festivals over the last year.

Jan 2, 2019

The 1960s produced “The Graduate,” “Psycho,” “Bonnie and Clyde” and many other classics. This week, we talk with SMU film professor Rick Worland about how these films are often overshadowed by the decade that followed - and about how they continue to influence the films we see today. His new book is called "Searching for New Frontiers: Hollywood Films in the 1960s"(Wiley-Blackwell).

Dec 26, 2018

It's hard to find a consensus No. 1 movie of 2018. The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association (of which The Big Screen is a part) picked "A Star Is Born." The Big Screen went with "You Were Never Really Here" (Chris) and "The Favourite" (Stephen). And everything from "Roma" to "If Beale Street Could Talk" to "Black Panther" has topped other lists. So with that, here's our picks. Check out Dallas Morning News culture critic Chris Vognar's top movies of 2018. And find Stephen Becker's here.

Dec 18, 2018

“Roma,” the new film from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón, takes its title from the Mexico City neighborhood in which it is set. It’s a part of town Alfredo Corchado knows well as the Mexico correspondent for The Dallas Morning News. This week he joins us for a conversation about how the film captures a slice of Mexican life.

Dec 12, 2018

In 2014 a white, Methodist minister set himself on fire as a protest against racism in his home town of Grand Saline, about an hour east of Dallas. This week, we talk with Joel Fendelman, the director of a new documentary about the incident and how it's forced the town to reconcile its past and present.

"Man on Fire" begins streaming on PBS.org on Tuesday and will air on KERA-TV in January.

Dec 5, 2018

It’s been three years since a traffic stop in Waller County, Texas, erupted into a physical confrontation between a white officer and black motorist and ended with her death while in custody. This week, we talk about a new documentary that tells the story of Sandra Bland’s death and her family’s search for justice.

"Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland" is currently airing on HBO.

Nov 21, 2018

In “Boy Erased,” a young, gay man is forced by his deeply religious parents into what’s known as conversion therapy. Growing up in Oklahoma, Curtis Smith went through years of similar therapy before he was able to accept who he is. And today, he's pastor of Trinity Metropolitan Community Church in Grand Prairie, which serves the LGBT community. This week, Smith joins us to talk about how "Boy Erased" handles a practice that leaves some scarred for life.

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.

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