The first feature-length film of the sound era was 1927’s “The Jazz Singer.” And ever since, Hollywood has produced a steady stream of musicals. This week, we talk with SMU film professor Sean Griffin about the enduring popularity of musical films. His new book is called "Free and Easy?: A Defining History of the American Film Musical Genre" (Wiley-Blackwell).
Short films offer budding directors a chance to learn their craft and established filmmakers an opportunity to play. This week, we talk about this under-appreciated segment of movies with a creator of The Eyeslicer Roadshow, a short film program coming to the Texas Theatre.
DocuFest - the documentary wing of VideoFest - opens Thursday night in Dallas. To get you ready, we preview a pair of films that focus on the arts. "Dare to be Different" (Thursday at 9:15 p.m.) looks at an influential radio station that helped to popularize Depeche Mode, Blondie, Pet Shop Boys and other early '80s acts. And "Ex Libris: New York Public Library" (Saturday at 11 a.m.) is legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman's look at one of the world's largest library systems.