WBEZ | Film http://www.wbez.org/sections/film Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Kim Jong Un reportedly kills defense chief with missile http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-15/kim-jong-un-reportedly-kills-defense-chief-missile-112039 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP-Ahn%20Young-oon.jpg" title="South Korean men pass by a TV news program showing images published in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper of North Korea's ballistic missile believed to have been launched from underwater and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 9, 2015. (AP- Ahn Young-oon)" /></div><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205641964&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Kim Jong Un reportedly kills his defense chief with missile</span></span></p><p>North Korea has reportedly executed &nbsp;Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol by anti-aircraft guns. Reports say he was put to death, in part, because he was disrespectful to North Korea&rsquo;s leader Kim Jong Un, doing things like falling asleep at military events. The reports come from South Korea&rsquo;s intelligence agency, but have not been verified. History professor, Bruce Cumings<em> </em>joins us to discuss the latest news out of North Korea.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p>Bruce Cumings, professor of history at the University of Chicago and author of <em>Parallax Visions: Making Sense of American-East Asian Relations at the End of the Century</em>, <em>The Korean War: A Histor</em>y and <em>North Korea: Another Country, </em>joins us to discuss the latest news out of North Korea.</p><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205642483&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Milos Stehlik on opening night of Cannes film festival</span></span></p><p>Film Contributor, Milos Stehlik, reports from the Cannes International Film Festival. He&rsquo;ll tell us about the latest happenings, &nbsp;including a festival ban on celebrity selfies, the Auschwitz-themed movie <em>Son of Saul</em> by first-time director Laszlo Nemes and of course, he&rsquo;ll tell us why he hated the <em>Mad Max</em> reboot.</p><p><strong>Guest: </strong></p><p>Milos Stehlik, WBEZ film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</p><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205642992&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Weekend Passport: &#39;Tasso&#39;s Journey&#39; A Greek love story</span></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. &nbsp;This week he&rsquo;ll tell us about a book reading at the National Hellenic Museum that takes us back to Greece during World War II.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Nari Safavi, WBEZ contributor and co-founder of Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</p><p><a href="http://seasonsofsun.com/">Paula Burzawa</a>, author of the book, <em>Tasso&#39;s Journey, A Novel</em>.</p></p> Fri, 15 May 2015 13:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-15/kim-jong-un-reportedly-kills-defense-chief-missile-112039 Spike Lee defends 'Chiraq' title for movie about Chicago http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/spike-lee-defends-chiraq-title-movie-about-chicago-112029 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/spike.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Filmmaker Spike Lee says people judging his new Chicago movie from afar &ldquo;don&rsquo;t know what the hell they&rsquo;re talking about.&rdquo;</p><p>Controversy has swirled around Lee&rsquo;s film &ldquo;Chiraq,&rdquo; a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA4YUC4GOhQ">slang term</a> for Chicago violence. Flanked by dozens of residents who&rsquo;ve lost loved ones to gun violence, Lee addressed those concerns on Thursday at St. Sabina Catholic Church in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of things have been said about this film by people who know nothing about the film. A lot of people have opinions about the so-called title of the film, again, know nothing about the film,&rdquo; Lee said. &ldquo;People act like they&rsquo;ve never seen none of my films, like I got pulled off the street. I&rsquo;ve been doing this since 1986. In fact, everything I&rsquo;ve done has led up to this film.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee didn&rsquo;t take questions or give details about the film, which reportedly is a <a href="http://www.screendaily.com/im-global-cannes-bound-with-chiraq/5087677.article#.VVCuC8l-vXM.twitter">musical </a>that riffs off of a Greek tragicomedy. While the city is often perceived as the national posterchild for violence, Lee said the story is bigger than Chicago because it&rsquo;s about violence in America.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/04/29/402971445/residents-of-troubled-chicago-neighborhood-wary-of-spike-lee-s-chiraq">Much of the criticism</a> is directed at the name &ldquo;Chiraq,&rdquo; which combines parts of the names Chicago and violence-torn Iraq. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has told the director that it was unfair to the people in the Englewood neighborhood where the film takes place.</p><p>But Lee said that it&#39;s an artist&#39;s job to hold a mirror up to what is happening in the world without fear in order to tell the truth.</p><p>&quot;This is not a joke. This is not a game,&quot; Lee said. &quot;This is real life and death and that&#39;s the way we&#39;re going to approach this.&quot;</p><p>He noted that 14 people were shot overnight in Chicago, and three of them were killed.</p><p>One of the parents standing alongside Lee was Sarah Turner, whose 42-year-old son, Michael, was shot four times in the back in 2013. No one was ever arrested in the killing.</p><p>She said the movie title &quot;Chiraq&quot; was appropriate.</p><p>&quot;Because it is what it is; it&#39;s a war zone,&quot; she said. &quot;You can&#39;t feel comfortable all over and even in your own homes. Every time you turn on the news somebody&#39;s being shot. Babies are being shot right in their own homes.&quot;</p><p>Father Michael Pfleger, the priest of St. Sabina, has been a staunch supporter of Lee and last weekend allowed auditions for movie extras at his parish.</p><p>Actor John Cusack, a Chicago native appearing in the upcoming movie, said art must be courageous.</p><p>&ldquo;There really is no controversy around this film except for a bit of manufactured political controversy. A few people say it&rsquo;s controversial and then the press repeats it. But controversial to whom?&rdquo; Cusack said. &ldquo;I am 100 percent sure that the great city of Chicago can survive a film of conscience just as it did <em>Transformers</em>. I love my city Chicago and would never do anything to hurt it.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee recalled receiving similar criticism in 1989 when he released <em>Do the Right Thing </em>about race in urban America.</p><p>&ldquo;There were people who said this film would cause riots all across America. And black people are going run amok. People wrote that this film would stop David Dinkins from being the first African-American mayor of New York. But those people ended up on the wrong side of history,&rdquo; Lee said.</p><p>He thinks the same thing will happen with his latest film set in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;They are going to look stupid and be on the wrong side of history. We&rsquo;re here for peace,&rdquo; Lee said.</p><p>Filming is expected to begin this month.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</em></p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a>.&nbsp;Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p></p> Thu, 14 May 2015 13:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/spike-lee-defends-chiraq-title-movie-about-chicago-112029 Thousands try for role in 'Chiraq' http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/thousands-try-role-chiraq-112009 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 10.30.55 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Auditions for a Spike Lee movie about violence on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side inspired thousands of people to stand in line in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on a chilly, gray Saturday.<br /><br />Spike Lee&rsquo;s film, called &lsquo;Chiraq,&rsquo; has garnered criticism from politicians and others who think the term reflects poorly on the city.<br /><br />But as aspiring cast members stood for hours in line outside St. Sabina Academy, most said they didn&rsquo;t see a problem with the name of the film.<br /><br />The problem, they say, is that the South and West sides of Chicago really are like war zones.<br /><br />Many expressed hope that the movie and its title would bring much-needed attention to the less affluent parts of the city.<br /><br />More than 2,500 people had gone through the audition process by about 2 p.m., standing for pictures and leaving their contact information.<br /><br />&ldquo;I knew there&rsquo;d be a lot,&rdquo; said Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor at St. Sabina. &ldquo;But I didn&rsquo;t know there&rsquo;d be this many.&rdquo;<br /><br />Pfleger said by the end of the day, he expected to see more than 4,000 people.<br /><br />The casting call had asked for people of all ethnicities from age 7 to 75.<br /><br />&ldquo;Grandmas and gang members, all the same, in line,&rdquo; Pfleger said.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been great. It&rsquo;s been a very powerful, very positive thing here at 78th and Racine. I mean, when&rsquo;s the last time we ever heard a casting call for a movie being held in the<br />heart of the black community?&rdquo;<br /><br />Pfleger says he personally doesn&rsquo;t see a problem with Spike Lee calling the movie &lsquo;Chiraq.&rsquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;I think Spike is a good brother, I think he&rsquo;s a conscientious brother, and I think people that are here say they want to be connected with Spike Lee.&rdquo;<br /><br />Filming is expected to begin later this month.</p></p> Sun, 10 May 2015 10:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/thousands-try-role-chiraq-112009 Orson Welles Centennial Festival http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-08/orson-welles-centennial-festival-112006 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" centenary="" class="image-original_image" orson="" span="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Orson%20Wells%20Color%20Old%20620.jpg" title="Portrait of actor and movie director Orson Welles during a press conference in Paris, Feb. 22, 1982. M. Welles is in France to receive the “Legion of Honor”, highest French distinction. (AP Photo/Jacques Langevin)" welles="" /><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204555716&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Orson Welles Centennial Celebration</strong></span></span></p><p><span>A Chicago-area celebration of the centenary of Orson Welles takes place throughout the month of May in Woodstock, Illinois, where Welles spent his formative years. The Orson Welles Centennial Festival begins tonight, Friday May 8</span>th, with a screening of a new documentary by Chuck Workman, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles. Film contributor, Milos Stehlik, spoke with film critic and Welles scholar, Jonathan Rosenbaum, about Orson Welles and his legacy.</p><p><strong>Guest Host: </strong></p><p>Milos Stehlik is WBEZ film contributor and director of <a href="http://www.facets.org/">Facets MultiMedia</a></p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3459-b500-26f7-c379bee73768"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3459-22a0-72de-434fc78282e5">Jonathan Rosenbaum</span> is a film critic, <a href="http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/">blogger</a> and scholar on Orson Welles. He&#39;s the author of the book <em>Discovering Orson Welles</em> and&nbsp; co-author of the edited volume <em>This is Orson Welles</em>.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>EVENT:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3468-22f9-b51d-fe6955b815f0">Jonathan Rosenbaum will appear the <a href="http://www.welleswoodstock.com">Orson Welles Centennial Festival</a></p><p dir="ltr">May 8 - May 23</p><p>Woodstock, IL at various locations</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204556960&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>65th Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration</span></span></strong></p><p>The greatest peacemaking institution of the last century is arguably the European Union. May 9th marks the 65<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the <a href="http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/schuman-declaration/index_en.htm">Schuman Declaration</a>. At the time, Robert Schuman was France&rsquo;s foreign minister. His declaration&rsquo;s aim was to make war between European states impossible as stated in the declaration&rsquo;s opening line, &ldquo;World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll celebrate the peacemaking power of the EU and discuss threats to its future.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-83b38682-345b-b0a1-894f-52219bd70430"><a href="https://sites.google.com/site/aaronfreemansite/Home?previewAsViewer=1">Aaron Freeman</a> is a WBEZ contributor, artist-in-residence at the Chicago Council on Science &amp; Technology&nbsp;and self-declared Schuman declaration enthusiast</p><p dir="ltr">John McCormick is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Politics at Indiana University and author of the book <em><a href="http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=581141">Why Europe Matters: The Case for the European Union</a></em></p><p><strong><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-fb16e14c-3457-1a94-0e03-9a178a014368"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204558557&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Weekend Passport:</span> Russian Music and Ballet, Middle East Poetry and Travel the globe frugally</span></span></strong></p><p><span>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll recommend a concert that blends Russian folk music with classical and electronic music, a poetry festival featuring Iraqi and other Middle Eastern poets and we&rsquo;ll find out how to travel the globe, on $50 a day.</span></p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Narimon Safavi, WBEZ contributor and co-founder of <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/">Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</a></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-fb16e14c-3460-45e5-9d3a-b74da4fb4be2">Matt Kepnes is author of </span>the book <em>How to Travel the World on $50 a Day </em>and editor of the &#39;<a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com/">Nomadic Matt</a>&#39;, travel blog</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 May 2015 11:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-08/orson-welles-centennial-festival-112006 Worldview: War in Ukraine Could Escalate http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-01/worldview-war-ukraine-could-escalate-111976 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ukraine%20cms_0.JPG" title="Ukrainian tank at frontline near Mariupol in Feb 2015 (Photo by Askold Krushelnycky)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203476188&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Ukraine/Russia Hostilities Could Soon Escalate</span></span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Journalist Askold Krushelnycky has covered Russia and Ukraine for decades - from accompanying mujahedin groups as they fought in the Soviet-Afghan war to watching Russian troops land in Crimea. Krushelnycky was recently embedded with Ukraine&rsquo;s 37th Mechanized Infantry Battalion fighting in the port city of Mariupol. He&rsquo;s in Chicago to talk about what he&rsquo;s witnessed in the current standoff between Ukraine and Russia. And Krushelnycky will tell us what he believes are the chances of more major military action in Ukraine in the coming months.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Guest:</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Askold Krushelnycky is an independent journalist, formerly correspondent for the Sunday Times and editor of the Kyiv Post</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong><em>EVENT: </em></strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><a href="http://uima-chicago.org/on-the-battlefields-of-ukraine-life-with-a-volunteer-battalion/">On the battlefields of Ukraine: life with a volunteer battalion Journalist - Askold Krushelnycky</a></em></div><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90">Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Saturday, May 2nd at 6pm, </span></em><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90">2320 W Chicago Ave.</span></em><em style="line-height: 1.2;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Cambria; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203476977&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></span></em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Milos Stehlik Talks with Ivo Felt about the Estonian film &#39;Tangerines&#39;</span></span></p><p><em>Tangerines(Mandariinid)</em> is set in 1992, just as the Soviet Union was breaking apart and tensions flared between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists. The film tells of two soldiers, from opposing sides. Film contributor Milos Stehlik and the film&#39;s producer, Ivo Felt, discuss the film.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p><em>Milos Stehlik, WBEZ film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</em></p><p><em>Ivo Felt, producer of the film Tangerines (Mandariinid) </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203478829&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Weekend Passport: Poesia en Abril and Chicago Asian-American Author Readings</span></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. On this literary edition of weekend passport we&rsquo;ll tell you about a Spanish language poetry festival and a celebration of Asian American writers.</p><p><strong><span>Guests:</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Noah Cruikshank (Crook-shank) is the Marketing Manager at Open Books and the Board President of the Chicago Writers Conference</span></em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Vu Tran (Voo Tran) is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago and author of the upcoming novel </span>Dragonfish.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Irizelma Robles Alvarez is a Puerto Rican poet, essayist and anthropologist. </span></em></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><em><span>EVENTS:</span></em></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1128-4c24-8c24-edb2b0f5092b">1) Vu Tran will participate in r</span>eadings with Chicago-based Asian American authors Nami Mun, and Alec Nevala-Lee.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1129-3412-0143-d9c60db76c05">Friday, May 1st, 6 pm, Open Books River North, 213 W. Institute Place, </span>Event co-organized by Open Books and the Chicago Writers Conference</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>2) Irizelma Robles Alvarez will perform as part of the Poetry Foundation&rsquo;s Poesia en Abril event.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Friday, May 1st at Comfort Station in Logan Square (there are also readings and events on Saturday)</em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 14:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-01/worldview-war-ukraine-could-escalate-111976 Emanuel tells Spike Lee he doesn't like name 'Chiraq' for film http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/emanuel-tells-spike-lee-he-doesnt-name-chiraq-film-111886 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/spikelee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he told film director Spike Lee that he&#39;s not happy the working title of Lee&#39;s upcoming motion picture is &quot;Chiraq.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel says he and Lee had an &quot;honest, frank conversation&quot; Wednesday and suggested the name would be offensive to the many good people who live in the Englewood neighborhood where the film takes place.</p><p>The mayor says he thinks that the subject Lee told him his film would deal with &mdash; black-on-black violence &mdash; is an important topic that should be examined.</p><p>But he says he&#39;s not pleased the title might be &#39;Chiraq,&#39; a word that suggests the city is as violent and dangerous as the war zone of Iraq.</p></p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/emanuel-tells-spike-lee-he-doesnt-name-chiraq-film-111886 Oprah's Harpo Studios in Chicago to close in December http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oprahs-harpo-studios-chicago-close-december-111649 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/harpo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Oprah Winfrey will close Harpo Studios in Chicago, where she filmed &quot;The Oprah Winfrey Show&quot; for more than 20 years, this December, and will transition production for her cable network to a studio in California.</p><p>Harpo Studios and the Oprah Winfrey Network made the announcement Tuesday. OWN recently moved into a new studio in West Hollywood, California, and work currently done at Harpo Studios in Chicago will now be done there.</p><p>Winfrey sold the Harpo Studios property in Chicago&#39;s West Loop neighborhood to a developer last year for about $32 million. She said in a statement Tuesday that Harpo Studios has been a &quot;blessing&quot; in her life and she&#39;s now &quot;looking ahead&quot; to inhabiting her California studio.</p><p>The city named the street outside Harpo Studios &quot;Oprah Winfrey Way&quot; in 2011.</p></p> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oprahs-harpo-studios-chicago-close-december-111649 Academy Award fever sweeps public radio http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/academy-award-fever-sweeps-public-radio-111590 <p><p>The 87th Academy Awards are tonight, but if you&#39;ve been listening to WBEZ you already know that. Public media had film fever lately, publishing in-depth interviews and stories on the filmmaking process. Here&#39;s a selection of our favorite interviews with Oscar-contenders, stories about the film industry and analysis from thoughtful critics.</p><p><span style="font-size: 24px;">Best Director Nominees</span></p><p>Our own <a href="http://nerdettepodcast.com/listen">Nerdette Podcast</a> had a wonderful interview with <em>Boyhood</em> director Richard Linklater. He explained how his approach to the film was informed by novel-writing and nerded out about the Ingmar Bergman film, <em>Fanny and Alexander</em>, &quot;I realized this is the greatest film about that view of the magical thinking of a kid.&quot;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191621846&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/KeatonBirdman.png" style="float: left; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Michael Keaton and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Courtesy of Fox Searchlight)" /><em>Birdman</em> director Alejandro González Iñárritu told <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2014/09/01/39126/birdman-alejandro-gonzlez-inarritu-michael-keaton/" target="_blank">Southern California Public Radio&#39;s <em>The Frame</em></a> he felt Michael Keaton&rsquo;s performance was &ldquo;almost a miracle.&rdquo;</div><blockquote><p>&quot;During the writing process, I had Michael Keaton as one of the highest possibilities, but then when I finished I knew that he was the best. Not only because he will bring the authority to really talk about what we talk about when we talk about superheroes. That would be Michael, because he, in a way, is the pioneer of that. That will bring the authority, a kind of a meta-dialogue to the film.</p><p>&quot;At the same time, I always have considered Michael Keaton to be a phenomenal actor because he navigates drama and comedy. He has been the bad guy, the funny guy, and I needed somebody who can really navigate those two genres and I think few actors can do that. What he did is extraordinarily difficult, honestly. I think I have worked with great actors, but what he did it was almost a miracle, I have to say.&quot;</p></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP722953903556.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Ralph Fiennes and Wes Anderson (AP/Thibault Camus)" />Writer/director Wes Anderson <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2015/02/10/41493/wes-anderson-says-the-grand-budapest-hotels-succes/" target="_blank">told <em>The Frame</em></a> that the success of <em>The Grand Budapest Hotel</em> was a &ldquo;total mystery.&rdquo;</div><blockquote><div>&ldquo;I could come up with some notion, but it&#39;s complete guess work ... I had one a few years ago, [&quot;The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou&quot;], that I thought, This is an ocean-going adventure story, it&#39;s the most commercial idea I&#39;ve ever had...[but] almost no one went to see it. I thought I was making a kind of Spielberg movie. The world did not share my perspective on this. Up until the moment there&#39;s a real public screening &mdash; and it&#39;s not a test screening, the movie is finished and we are at a film festival&nbsp; or something &mdash; I have absolutely no sense of how it&#39;s going to go over at all. And really, even after that, I tend not to.&rdquo;</div></blockquote><p>While Benedict Cumberbatch has recieved most of the attention over <em>The Imitation Game</em>, director Morten Tlydum has also been nominated for Best Director on his first English-language feature. He <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2014/09/02/39151/telluride-the-imitation-game-screenwriter-and-dire/" target="_blank">told <em>The Frame</em></a>:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;What drew me to the project is that it&#39;s a tribute to people who are different &mdash; who are thinking differently, who [don&#39;t] really fit into the norm, whose ideas are not like anybody&#39;s ideas &mdash; and I think that is so important. We as a society &mdash; we as a species &mdash; if we&#39;re going to move forward, we have to listen to those who think different &mdash; who are not seeing it in the same way as everyone else.&quot;</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Best Picture Nominees</span></p><p><em>Selma</em> was a favorite for nominations in a number of Oscar categories, but was limited to Best Picture and Best Song. This slight prompted an insightful conversation on WBEZ&#39;s <em>General Admission</em> podcast about the value of making lists about art and how they can starkly show the industry&#39;s lack of diversity.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191665733&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The most controversal film among the Best Picture nominees, <em>American Sniper</em> became a central point on <em>Filmspotting</em>&#39;s Oscar preview episode. They looked back to another Clint Eastwood directoral effort for comparison&mdash;<em>Unforgiven.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/190985372&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Whiplash</em> writer/director Damien Chazelle <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2014/10/09/39765/whiplash-director-damien-chazelle-painful-virtuoso/" target="_blank">told <em>The Frame</em></a> that he was inspired by musicians he knows in real life.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;There are a few musicians that I know who seem on the outside like very asocial or somewhat unemotional people, people who aren&#39;t capable of emotions, and people think they&#39;re very cold inside.</p><p>And they&#39;ll be like that, and then you&#39;ll hear them play their instrument, or you&#39;ll hear the music they write, and you&#39;ll hear emotions come out of that music that you&#39;d never expect coming from that person, and that to me is always this fascinating thing, these people who truly can only communicate through music.</p><p>So I wanted to make a movie about people who live music in that way and compare that to what it&#39;s like in the outside world. You know, a guy who gives his heart and soul to a music school and an instrument and then he goes out to dinner with his family and he&#39;s met with indifference, and what that sort of does to you when your interior passion doesn&#39;t line up with what the world wants from you.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Hollywood Jobs</span></p><p>NPR&#39;s <em>Morning Edition</em> contined their ten-year tradition of unleashing Susan Stamberg on Tinseltown backlots for her series &quot;<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/147290803/hollywood-jobs#" target="_blank">Hollywood Jobs</a>.&quot; In this year&#39;s installment Stamberg profiles soundtrack loopers, food stylists, costume designers, location scouts and prop makers.</p><p>In a similar vein, <em>Marketplace </em>learned <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/logistical-mind-behind-boyhoods-12-year-shoot" target="_blank">what exactly a first assistant director does</a> and did the numbers on the <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/economy-red-carpet" target="_blank">economy of the red carpet</a>.</p></p> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/academy-award-fever-sweeps-public-radio-111590 Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah dies http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-23/saudi-arabias-king-abdullah-dies-111448 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/King Abdullah.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-03c4e882-17c2-1d25-93e4-be52a7c6de4a">King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at the age of 90. </span>His half-brother, Salman, has been confirmed as the new king. We&rsquo;ll take a look at his legacy and his successor with Joseph Kéchichian, a senior writer for <a href="http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/dr-joseph-a-kechichian">Gulf News</a> and the author of several books on Gulf affairs.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/the-death-of-king-abdulla/embed?border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/the-death-of-king-abdulla.js?border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/the-death-of-king-abdulla" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: The Death of King Abdullah" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 09:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-23/saudi-arabias-king-abdullah-dies-111448 At the Oscar nominations, it's a good year to be an idiosyncratic man http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oscar-nominations-its-good-year-be-idiosyncratic-man-111405 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/birdman-1resize-cd7db05b4df1f65214edda519363243bebd71451-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Oscar nominations are in (you can see the full list&nbsp;<a href="http://oscar.go.com/nominees?cid=oscars_nominees_announcement_cadillac" target="_blank">here</a>), and&nbsp;<em>Birdman&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<em>The Grand Budapest Hotel&nbsp;</em>lead with nine nominations each, followed closely by&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game&nbsp;</em>with eight. Speaking of eight, this year, eight films will compete for Best Picture:</p><p>1.&nbsp;<em>American Sniper</em>, starring Bradley Cooper, based on the memoir of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.</p><p>2.&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, Richard Linklater&#39;s 12-year chronicle of the life of a boy from kindergarten to college.</p><p>3.&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, starring Michael Keaton as an actor who once played a superhero and attempts a comeback on Broadway.</p><p>4.&nbsp;<em>The Grand Budapest Hotel</em>, Wes Anderson&#39;s offbeat but meticulously drawn story of a concierge played by Ralph Fiennes and his young protege.</p><p>5.&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game</em>, liberally adapted from the actual life of Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke Germany&#39;s Enigma Code during World War II and was later prosecuted for homosexuality.</p><p>6.&nbsp;<em>The Theory Of Everything</em>, about the marriage and early career of scientist Stephen Hawking.</p><p>7.&nbsp;<em>Whiplash</em>, the tense tale of a drummer played by Miles Teller facing off against a teacher played by veteran actor J.K. Simmons.</p><p>8.&nbsp;<em>Selma</em>, Ava DuVernay&#39;s dramatization of the events surrounding the Selma civil rights marches of 1964 and the development of the Voting Rights Act.</p><p>Lead actors nominated include Steve Carell for&nbsp;<em>Foxcatcher</em>, Bradley Cooper for<em>American Sniper</em>, Benedict Cumberbatch for&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game</em>, Michael Keaton for<em>Birdman</em>, and Eddie Redmayne for&nbsp;<em>The Theory Of Everything</em>. Lead actresses are Marion Cotillard for&nbsp;<em>Two Days One Night</em>, Felicity Jones for&nbsp;<em>The Theory Of Everything</em>, Julianne Moore for&nbsp;<em>Still Alice</em>, Rosamund Pike for&nbsp;<em>Gone Girl</em>, and Reese Witherspoon for&nbsp;<em>Wild</em>.</p><p>On the supporting actor side, the nominees are Robert Duvall for&nbsp;<em>The Judge</em>, Ethan Hawke for&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, Edward Norton for&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, Mark Ruffalo for&nbsp;<em>Foxcatcher</em>, and J.K. Simmons &mdash; the expected winner &mdash; for&nbsp;<em>Whiplash</em>. Supporting actresses are Patricia Arquette for&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, Laura Dern for&nbsp;<em>Wild</em>, Keira Knightley for&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game</em>, Emma Stone for&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, and Meryl Streep for&nbsp;<em>Into The Woods</em>.</p><p>Once upon a time, there were five Best Picture nominees each year. The awards for 2009 expanded the field to ten. But in 2011, the number was adjusted again so that it could be anywhere between five and ten, depending on the way the votes fell. For three consecutive years, this has resulted in a nine-film field; this year, it shrinks slightly.</p><p>Every year, there is a capricious quality to the nominations that makes it difficult to draw any particular meaning from them, but there are likely to be a few discussion points floating around today in the wake of these announcements.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Even for the Oscars &mdash;&nbsp;<em>even for the Oscars&nbsp;</em>&mdash; this is a really, really lot of white people. Every nominated actor in Lead and Supporting categories &mdash; 20 actors in all &mdash; is white.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Every nominated director is male. Every nominated screenwriter is male.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Shall we look at story? Every Best Picture nominee here is predominantly about a man or a couple of men, and seven of the eight are about white men, several of whom have similar sort of &quot;complicated genius&quot; profiles, whether they&#39;re real or fictional.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Particularly in light of these two points, the lack of a Best Director nomination for DuVernay (nominations went to Alejandro González Iñárritu for&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, Linklater, Bennett Miller for&nbsp;<em>Foxcatcher</em>, Wes Anderson, and Morten Tyldum) is a disappointment not only for those who admired the film and her careful work behind the camera, but also for those who see her as a figure of hope, considering how rare it is for even films about civil rights to have black directors, and how rare it is for any high-profile project at all to be directed by a woman. Scarcity of opportunity tends to breed much lower tolerance for the whimsical sense that nominations normally have, so that even people who know better than to take Oscar voting to heart feel the sting of what seems like a deliberate snub. (While the film has been criticized for the places were it takes liberties with facts, that issue doesn&#39;t comfortably explain any challenges it faces with voters, given the welcoming of&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game&nbsp;</em>and<em>Foxcatcher</em>, both of which have been criticized for substantial alterations to the stories of not supporting characters but principal characters.)</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Similarly, David Oyelowo was considered a good bet for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in&nbsp;<em>Selma</em>, but the film was shut out of everything except Best Picture and Best Original Song. How a film can qualify for Best Picture and have practically no other elements worthy of recognition is an eternal &mdash; but here, particularly painful &mdash; bit of bafflement. (My friend Bob Mondello will be heartbroken that Timothy Spall was not nominated in the same category for&nbsp;<em>Mr. Turner</em>. Bob also points out that there are zero big box-office films among these eight Best Picture nominees.)</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Christopher Nolan&#39;s<em>&nbsp;Interstellar</em>, perhaps the most anticipated film of the year that doesn&#39;t involve superheroes, grabbed five nominations, but other than the score, they&#39;re all visual/sound &mdash; nothing in writing, acting, directing, or cinematography.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-The strong showing for&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, with six nominations, and&nbsp;<em>The Grand Budapest Hotel</em>, with nine, is awfully nice for those who like to think you can still get Oscar nominations without throwing your film into the fourth quarter (or, in fact, the last couple of weeks) of the year.&nbsp;<em>Boyhood&nbsp;</em>opened all the way back in August, and&nbsp;<em>Grand Budapest&nbsp;</em>in March 2014, which &mdash; for the purpose of this kind of thing &mdash; is practically 2012.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-While the expanded field was once expected to perhaps provide spaces in the Best Picture race for well-regarded blockbusters, kids&#39; films or even superhero movies, that has never taken hold, as it might have this year with something like&nbsp;<em>Guardians Of The Galaxy&nbsp;</em>or&nbsp;<em>The Lego Movie</em>. Instead, it seems to provide space for more of the most traditionally Oscar-ish films to make the cut.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Wes Anderson is a beloved director for many movie enthusiasts, and this is the first time he&#39;s been nominated outside of writing (for&nbsp;<em>Moonrise Kingdom&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<em>The Royal Tenenbaums</em>) and animation (for&nbsp;<em>The Fantastic Mr. Fox</em>). Along with Linklater, he&#39;s perhaps transitioning from an indie writer admired for offbeat storytelling to a maker of Best Picture contenders.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Four of the eight nominees are dramatizations of real events. That&#39;s well within range for recent years, as prestige pictures have more and more focused on telling stories with various levels of connection to history. And after&nbsp;<em>12 Years A Slave</em>,&nbsp;<em>Lincoln</em>, and&nbsp;<em>The Help</em>, this makes four years in a row that a film focused on the story of race in America has been in the running.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-The documentary&nbsp;<em>Life Itself</em>, about Roger Ebert and made by popular documentary filmmaker Steve James, was one of the most-discussed docs of the year, but was not nominated for Best Documentary Feature. (Nominees were&nbsp;<em>Citizenfour</em>,&nbsp;<em>Finding Vivian Maier</em>,&nbsp;<em>Last Days In Vietnam</em>,&nbsp;<em>The Salt Of The Earth</em>, and&nbsp;<em>Virunga</em>.) It&#39;s going to be received as a significant snub, but honestly, if anyone would have known, at least intellectually, not to take it to heart, it would have been Roger Ebert.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-The extraordinarily popular and well-received&nbsp;<em>The LEGO Movie&nbsp;</em>failed to get a nomination for Best Animated Feature against&nbsp;<em>Big Hero 6</em>,&nbsp;<em>The Boxtrolls</em>,&nbsp;<em>How To Train Your Dragon 2</em>,&nbsp;<em>Song Of The Sea</em>, and&nbsp;<em>The Tale Of Princess Kaguya</em>. Gotta say: nothing against the other nominees, because I haven&#39;t even seen all of them, but I can&#39;t explain that one. At least they nominated the song, so I, for one, will soothe myself with 85 consecutive choruses of &quot;Everything Is Awesome.&quot;</p><p><em>-via <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2015/01/15/377406709/at-the-oscar-nominations-its-a-good-year-to-be-an-idiosyncratic-man">NPR&#39;s Monkey See</a></em></p></p> Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oscar-nominations-its-good-year-be-idiosyncratic-man-111405