On Film has aired weekly on KTEP since 1993 and covers contemporary and classic films, filmmaking, film industry developments and the talents of local filmmakers through insightful interviews, reviews and commentary.
Writer Charles Bowden, who frequently wrote about border issues including drug cartel violence in Juarez, died Aug. 30 at age 69. In 2011, Bowden made a film that featured a frank discussion with a Mexican hitman who did unspeakable acts before deciding to abandon his profession and live his life on the run with a price on his head. This interview originally aired October 22, 2011, and we re-air it as a tribute to Charles Bowden.
Charles welcomes back fellow Broadcast Film Critics Association member, Felipa Solis, to talk about the end of the summer movie season. Were big-budget popcorn flicks like Guardians of the Galaxy worth the price of admission? Find out what Felipa & Chuck think about Godzilla, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and smaller indie releases like Boyhood and Under the Skin. In this online exclusive extended interview (our "director's cut"), Felipa & Chuck talk about the REALLY bad movies they sat and/or slept through (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)...and they talk about why summer releases are almost always expected to be lighter fare than films released at other times of the year.
Charles talks with Ross Marks of the Creative Media Institute at New Mexico University about an upcoming event that will honor playwright and screenwriter, Mark Medoff. Medoff has written award-winning plays and screenplays from his home base in Las Cruces, and a dinner, roast, and music & dance performance will help raise money to fund the Mark Medoff Visiting Lecture Series. Actor Jeffrey Tambor will emcee the festivities, and invited guests include New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, actress Linda Hamilton, and actor Jesse Plemmons. The dinner has sold out, and very few tickets to the roast and performance by the Las Cruces Symphony are still available via Ticketmaster: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Mark-Medoff-Celebrity-Fundraiser-tickets/artist/1973635.
Charles talks with filmmaker Leo Aguirre about his experience at the Cannes Film Festival where he screened his short film "El Fuego Detrás." Leo's next project, "A Breach on the Horizon," follows a young girl who is immigrating from southernmost Mexico to the U.S. A crowdfunding effort through Indiegogo and Kickstarter is underway now, and you can learn more at https://www.facebook.com/abreachinthehorizon. In this extended online-only interview, Leo talks about how trial & error shaped his filmmaking style, and what filmmakers he turns to when he needs inspiration. Leo has also submitted "El Fuego Detrás" to HBO's Project Greenlight.
Charles talks with Ben & David Stanton, El Paso natives and Los Angeles residents who make a living writing music for movies, TV, and video games. They talk about the unique challenges and freedoms that come with composing for games. Learn more about Ben & David at http://www.thebrothersstanton.com/
Charles talks with actor, producer, director, and writer (and El Paso native) Ryan Piers Williams about his new project X/Y, which tells the story of a group of friends in New York who are struggling with making deep connections in their relationships. Ryan explains why his films tackle contemporary issues in a socially-interconnected world. In this online-only expanded interview, Ryan explains why the characters in X/Y develop self-destructive behaviors as a substitute for affection and physical connection. He also talks about why his films are not necessarily autobiographical, that they are instead inspired by what he directly observes. Follow X/Y on Twitter https://twitter.com/xymovie.
X/Y screens Sat. Aug 16 at 9:30pm at the Plaza Classic Film Festival. Ryan will also be available for a free brunch on Sun. Aug 17 at 11am at the Plaza Classic. More details at http://plazaclassic.com/
Charles continues his conversation with legendary actress Rita Moreno. Rita talks about how her encounter with choreographer Jerome Robbins led to her casting on the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story, which, in turn, led to an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Rita explains that this role was the first in which she finally played a Puerto Rican character. In this online-only expanded interview, Rita talks about the awful accents she had to use in her early roles, why she was disappointed that the Hispanic actors in West Side Story had to have their skin darkened, and why West Side Story "saved her life." Originally aired March 8, 2014.
In an interview recorded at the 2013 Plaza Classic Film Festival, Charles talks with the legendary actress Rita Moreno. Rita took dancing lessons at the age of 5, started an early performing career dancing in night clubs and playing a character in a radio serial. She talks about her discovery by a Hollywood talent scout at a dancing recital, and why she spent her early days in Hollywood trying to be somebody she wasn't. She eventually landed a groundbreaking role in the 1961 film adaptation of "West Side Story." Part 1 of a 2-part interview. Originally aired March 1, 2014.
Charles talks with Christian Gerstheimer, curator at the El Paso Museum of Art, about the museum's exhibit, "No Subtitles Required: The Art of the International Film Poster." The exhibit, which is being presented in conjunction with the Plaza Classic Film Festival in August, features poster art for famous movies created by international artists. Christian tells us why many of these artists who worked under strict censorship rules were not able to see the films they were illustrating. The posters come from the personal collection of Charles and Ann Horak. Learn more at http://elpasoartmuseum.org/ and on the museum's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ElPasoMuseumofArt.
Charles talks with Andy Uhrich, film archivist, about an online exhibition of WWII propaganda films curated by Indiana University. Hear about why these films were created and why they often targeted specific audiences. In this online-only extended interview, Andy talks about why these films are important in understanding the culture of the times. View the exhibit here: http://collections.libraries.iub.edu/IULMIA/exhibits/show/world-war-ii-propaganda-films
In a rebroadcast from March 15, 2014, Charles talks with Bill Morrison, who wrote, directed, edited, and produced the 2002 film "Decasia," which was recently added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry. The experimental film consists of pieces of film that are in various states of decomposition. Bill says the images are meant to invite the viewer's mind to wander. In this online exclusive extended interview, Bill explains the connections that tie the sequences together, despite the fact that there is no narrative arc. He also discusses how the movie grew out of a request to visually accompany a new symphony. http://billmorrisonfilm.com/
Charles talks with Daniel Rios, a student at NMSU's Creative Media Institute; and Katherine Horak, a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Daniel & Katherine recently attended the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Creative Mind Group's efforts to send student interns to prestigious film festivals in Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto. Daniel & Katherine had vastly different experiences at Cannes. Daniel worked under Creative Mind's Networking program, in which he was able to meet with industry professionals. Katherine was involved in the Filmmaker Initiative, and she and a small group of people were brought together to shoot, edit, and submit a film for competition in only 7 days. The resulting film won a number of awards at Cannes. Learn more about the Creative Mind Group at http://www.thecreativemindgroup.com/
Charles talks with Ryan Steven Green, director of the "buddy/roadtrip/docu-dramedy," Circle the Wagen. The film follows two friends who try to make a cross-country trip to California in a vintage Volkswagen bus (therefore the spelling "Wagen" in the film's title!), and their adventures lead them to discover America's vintage VW subculture. Ryan explains why this roadtrip took nearly 4 years to make, including a very long layover in Tucumcari, New Mexico, following a breakdown. http://www.circlethewagen.com/
Charles talks with Neil Michaelsen, President & CEO of Triple Tap Ventures, about the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema which will open in El Paso by Spring 2015. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place June 19 at 11am at 5001 North Mesa, in the Montecillo neighborhood. Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas are a unique combination of restaurant & theater, and Neil will tell us why these theaters stand out compared to your typical cinema-plex. Follow the progress on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlamoEP.
Charles talks with Ray Sanchez, owner of GhostLight Creative, which is presenting its annual 48-Hour film Slam. Filmmakers have 2 days to write, shoot, and edit a film at this event. Beginners, amateurs, and professionals are all invited to take part in the film slam, which gets underway with a briefing on June 20. Proceeds from the 48-Hour Film Slam will benefit the Tapestries of Life orphanage in Mexico. Learn more at http://ghostlightevents.com
Charles talks with Oscar Garza, who wrote a thesis on the famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki for his Liberal Arts Honors Program at UTEP. Miyazaki recently announced his retirement from filmmaking, and Oscar & Charles reflect on Miyazaki's films and how his hand-drawn creations differ from the computer animated films popular in our cineplexes.
Charles talks with Tom Peak, son of the famed poster artist, Bob Peak. Tom is the author of the beautiful book, The Art of Bob Peak, which covers the 40-year career of the "Father of the Modern Hollywood Movie Poster." Bob Peak began his career designing campaigns for companies as varied as Old Hickory Bourbon, Coke, and Time Magazine. Bob Peak's most famous posters included Apocalypse Now, Superman, and Start Trek. In this expanded online interview, Tom Peak talks about his father's early work in commercial magazines, his cinematic and narrative style, and how he was first recruited to design the poster for the film adaptation of West Side Story. http://www.bobpeak.com/
Charles talks with Jay Duncan, founder of the Sunset Film Society, and Robert Ardovino, proprietor of Ardovino's Desert Crossing. Jay & Robert have collaborated to present dinner & a movie at Ardovino's for the Sunset Film Society's monthly film screenings and to celebrate Ardovino's Desert Crossing's founding in 1949. To commemorate that anniversary, the Sunset Film Society will present the 1949 film "Mighty Joe Young" on Sunday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Ardovino's. Learn more at http://sunsetfilmsociety.businesscatalyst.com/events.html#mightyjoeyoung. Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged.
Charles welcomes back filmmaker Charlie Minn to talk about a couple of his latest films. "The El Paso Conquest" highlights the 2 state titles of the incredibly successful Del Valle High School boys soccer team. Only 3 El Paso schools have ever won 2 state titles in any sport. The film premieres on Friday, May 16, at Premiere Cinemas at Bassett Place. http://www.elpasoconquest.com/
Charlie also talks about his forthcoming film "Es El Chapo" which explores the questions surrounding the February 2014 arrest of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. http://eselchapo.com/
Charles continues his conversation with Rick Najera, actor, writer, producer, director, activist, and author of "Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood." Najera believes that the only way Latinos can change the stereotypes of Hollywood is to take control and write their stories themselves. Collaborations and building alliances are crucial in telling the real stories of Latinos on TV and in film. This is an online-exclusive expanded interview with Rick Najera.http://ricknajera.com/
Charles talks with actor, writer, director, and producer Rick Najera. Najera is the author of the book "Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood." Najera has spent over 30 years working in TV and film and has observed the ways the media portrays Latinos and how that image affects the public's perception of Latinos as a population. Part 1 of a 2-part interview. http://ricknajera.com/
Charles talks with Leo Aguirre and Brian Ceely, co-writers of the short film "El Fuego Detrás." Leo & Brian are both UTEP students (freshman and sophomore, respectively), and they talk about how their collaboration resulted in a screenplay in only 24 hours. "El Fuego Detrás" will receive its North American premiere Sat. April 19 at 6 p.m., at the UTEP Union Cinema, prior to its screening at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May. Leo & Brian are seeking donations to help promote the film and to get more crew members to France for its Cannes debut. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/elfuegodetras.
Charles talks to the new Program Director of the Plaza Classic Film Festival, Doug Pullen. Doug tells us about what we can expect from this summer's festivals, including screenings of The Wizard of Oz, The Matrix, Fargo, and Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom. More titles are still to be announced. Special guests include playwrights Mark Medoff and Beth Henley, who will discuss the process of adapting their works for the big screen. The festival is planned for Aug. 7-17, and festival passes are already available here https://epcf.org/plaza_classic_film_festival. Follow the latest news at http://plazaclassic.com/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/plaza.classic.
Charles talks with Karen Wright-Balbier, Instructional Technology Specialists with the El Paso Independent School District, and coordinator of the EPISD Digital Film Festival. All students in Region 19 in grades K-12, regardless of district, are invited to submit 3-minute films for inclusion in the festival. Films can range from animation to documentary to instructional to a newscast. Learn more at http://episddigitalfilmfestival.weebly.com/. Selected films will be screened May 16 at Bowie High School, and the deadline to submit applications is April 18.
Charles talks with actor Christian Kane and writer, producer, and director of the film "50 to 1," Jim Wilson. The film tells the remarkable story of the racehorse Mine That Bird and his unlikely victory at the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Kane & Wilson talk about getting to know the real-life characters and feeling the responsibility to keep the story authentic. They also talk about their bus tour across the U.S., which almost exactly follows Mine That Bird's route to Kentucky. The film and the tour are passion projects of both the director and the film's actors. "50 to 1" opens April 4. https://www.facebook.com/50to1themovie
Charles talks with Charlie Tabesh, Senior Vice President for Programming at TCM, and programmer of the TCM Classic Movie Festival taking place April 10-13 in Hollywood. TCM is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the festival will include a number of activities to celebrate this landmark. The festival will feature dozens of films; the premiere of restored versions of "Oklahoma," "Touch of Evil," "Double Indemnity," and more; and special guests such as Maureen O'Hara and Jerry Lewis. This is the exclusive online extended version of the interview with Charlie Tabesh. http://filmfestival.tcm.com/
Charles welcomes back cinephile Jack Fields to talk about the astounding career of Shirley Temple Black, who was Hollywood's lead child actor during the Great Depression. Jack & Charles talk about her successful early days in cinema, her decision to end her acting career in the late `60s, and her years in public service, acting as Ambassador to the U.N. and Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. View Shirley Temple's impressive filmography at her IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000073/?ref_=nv_sr_3. Read Jack Fields' blog at http://fieldsonfilm.com/
Charles talks with El Paso native actor, writer, and director Ryan Piers Williams. Ryan is the producer of the 2013 film "Kilimanjaro," about a young man who aims to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after his relationship goes sour. Ryan talks about the character-driven story, and why many independent films and cable networks are focusing more on character-centered films. In this online-only extended interview, Ryan also explains the differences between a producer and a director, and why his experience as a writer & director makes him a better producer. He also tells us about his upcoming feature, "X/Y." http://www.kilimovie.com/
Charles talks with filmmaker Charlie Minn, director of the 2010 documentary "A Nightmare in Las Cruces," which told the story of the unsolved 1990 murders at the Las Cruces Bowl, where 2 gunmen shot 7 adults & children execution-style, leaving 4 dead. Charlie talks about the devastating aftermath of the murders, which still have repercussions to this day. He also explains why the film is being re-released in theatres. "A Nightmare in Las Cruces" will screen at the Premiere Cinema Montwood Movies 7 in El Paso. Learn more about the film and upcoming screenings at http://bowlingmassacre.com/.
Charles talks with Ramon Hamilton, director of the 2013 film "Smuggled." The film tells the story of a young boy and his mother being smuggled into the U.S. inside the small compartment of a tour bus. Ramon talks about the immigrants who inspired the movie, and why he made the boy's relationship with his mother the central focus of the film. In this online-only extended interview, Ramon talks about the hard work that goes into the self-distribution and marketing of an independent film. http://www.getsmuggled.com/