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 ( and Stephen Becker, reporter for Art and Seek, from KERA (
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The Big Screen




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Mar 22, 2017

Former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin has maintained a public profile in retirement as an analyst for the NFL Network and even a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars." This week, we talk with him about "Slamma Jamma," a movie out Friday in which he plays a smarmy sports agent. And we ask him about some of his favorite sports movies.

Mar 17, 2017

At this week’s South by Southwest Conference, a number of movies with local ties made their debuts. Our recap includes conversations with some of the North Texas stars of those films, including Wyatt Cenac and Todrick Hall.

Mar 8, 2017

Some of the most iconic stories in movie history have been set in Texas. This week, we talk about an upcoming screening series that brings these films back to a pair of historic Dallas theaters.

Mar 1, 2017

South Asia is home to one of the biggest film industries in the world. And this weekend, some of those films will make their way to North Texas. This week, we preview the DFW South Asian Film Festival.

Feb 22, 2017

Of the five films nominated for best documentary this year, three of them focus on African Americans. This week, we conclude our Oscar preview series talking about "I Am Not Your Negro," a film that reminds us of writer James Baldwin’s significance – 30 years after his death.

Feb 15, 2017

“La La Land” leads the pack this year with 14 Academy Award nominations. We continue our Oscar preview series this week with a look at how “La La Land” pays tribute to the movie musicals that preceded it.

Feb 8, 2017

Our annual series looking at Oscar-nominated films continues this week. Up next is a conversation about "Hidden Figures" and high-level math with Kizuwanda Grant of Paul Quinn College .

Feb 1, 2017

Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at some of this year’s Oscar-nominated films. First up is "Fences," an adaptation of the August Wilson play, and a conversation with a Dallas actor who’s twice played the role for which Denzel Washington is nominated.

Jan 25, 2017

Some of the movies that received Oscar nominations this week debuted a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival. This week, we talk about some of the films that played this year’s festival - which wrapped last week - including some with Texas ties.

Jan 18, 2017

Liener Temerlin, the Dallasite who was a titan of the American advertising industry, died late last week. He was 88. This week, our Big Screen team talks with James Faust of the Dallas Film Society about Temerlin’s vast contribution to the world of film.

Jan 11, 2017

Lawmakers in both the Texas House and Senate are introducing bills to abolish a program that offers incentives to lure movie and television productions to the state. This week, we talk with the head of the Dallas Film Commission about what ending the incentive program would do for the Texas film industry.

Jan 4, 2017

For people with synesthesia, stimulating one sense triggers an involuntary experience in another sense. For example, someone might associate certain sounds with specific colors. Through the years, experimental filmmakers have played with that idea. This week, we talk about a film series showing Sunday at the Nasher Sculpture Center that explores what music might look like.

Dec 21, 2016

Turn on the television this week and it won't be hard to find a Christmas movie. This week, we talk about some of the better modern holiday films and take a trip back in time to revisit the classics.

Dec 14, 2016

In “Jackie,” Natalie Portman plays First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as she processes her husband’s assassination. This week, we talk about how the movie separates itself from other JFK stories by focusing on the small moments surrounding one of the biggest stories in American history.

Dec 8, 2016

LGBT audiences can regularly see characters they identify with in movies these days. That, of course, was not always the case. This week, we talk with a founder of a local series for LGBT moviegoers about a film that has resonated in that community for decades – "Auntie Mame" from 1958.

Nov 30, 2016

A film opening in North Texas this weekend took quite an unusual route to the screen. This week, we talk with the director of "Three Days in August" about turning to a screenwriting competition for his script.

Nov 16, 2016

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” takes place mostly during halftime of a Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. The movie is based on the book of the same title by Dallas author Ben Fountain, and this week, we talk about how the film captures one soldier’s experience coming back from war.

Nov 9, 2016

The Lone Star Film Festival opens its 10th edition Thursday night in Fort Worth. This week, we preview this year’s lineup with the festival’s executive director

Nov 2, 2016

If you’ve seen a classic movie poster re-imagined by a contemporary artist, there’s a good chance it was commissioned by an Austin company called Mondo. This week, we visit Mondo’s gallery in Austin to talk about movie posters with Mondo creative director Rob Jones.

Oct 28, 2016

Philip Roth is one of America’s greatest living writers. The words that’ve earned him a Pulitzer Prize and a pair of National Book Awards, though, are notoriously hard to translate into screenplays. This week, we talk about why "American Pastoral" is the latest on the list of duds with Derek Royal, a Roth expert from UT-Dallas.

Oct 19, 2016

In the early 1970s, the Up Stairs Lounge was one of the centers of gay life in New Orleans. That was before an arsonist set fire to the club, killing 32 people in what was the largest mass murder of gay people in the U.S. until June’s shooting in Orlando. This week, we talk with the Dallas director of "Upstairs Inferno," a new documentary about the tragedy.

Oct 12, 2016

This year’s Dallas VideoFest features D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent film “The Birth of a Nation.” There is a twist, though: The movie, which is known for championing the Ku Klux Klan, has been re-cut and re-scored by an internationally known African-American DJ.  This week, we talk with DJ Spooky about putting his own stamp on one of history’s most notorious films

Oct 5, 2016

“The Birth of a Nation” looks at the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. The film is generating serious awards buzz, as well as controversy. This week, we focus on the historical events that inspired the movie with Edward Countryman, an SMU professor who specializes in American history.

Sep 28, 2016

Michael Nesmith spent his formative years in Dallas before joining the Monkees and becoming an international star. On Saturday, he returns to his hometown to accept an award not for his musical accomplishments, but for his work in television and film. This week, we speak with him from his home in California.

Sep 21, 2016

Mike Judge is known these days as the creator of the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley.” It was another workplace comedy, though, that solidified his place in Hollywood. This week, our Big Screen team looks back at "Office Space" – a film Judge developed while living in North Texas. It kicks off the Mike Judge Film Series that begins Thursday at the Texas Theatre.

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