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.
Charles and Kyle Alvarado of the El Paso Times talk about some of the strong women that dominated the box office last weekend. "Pitch Perfect 2" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" might not have a lot in common, but their powerful female leads made an impression on moviegoers. They'll discuss the films and offer their picks on what you may have missed in the cinema and on TV.
There is no love like a mother's love, and on this show, Charles talks with film enthusiast & collector Jay Duncan about the famous mothers in cinema. Jay is also director of the Sunset Film Society which is screening one of the great all-time mother-centric films, "Mildred Pierce" (1945), on Sunday, May 17 at noon, at Ardovino's Desert Crossing http://www.sunsetfilmsociety.org/.
Charles & Jay share their recommended list of mom movies under various categories:
BALANCING ACT: Erin Brokovitch...As Good as It Gets...The Incredibles...Imitation of Life...Mrs Miniver...I Remember Mama...Aliens...Terms of Endearment...Mildred Pierce...Stella Dallas...The Thin Man.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE: Juno...Knocked Up...Philomena.
SURROGATE MOMS: Aliens...Snow White & the Seven Dwarves...The Blind Side...Auntie Mame...Raising Arizona.
MOTHERHOOD - THE HORROR: Psycho...Carrie...Rosemary's Baby...The Manchurian Candidate..The Babadook.
Charles talks with Ken Winoker, music producer and member of the Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra. Winoker and his fellow band mates have orchestrated the images of filmmaker Ken Brown, whose trippy works were often shown in the backdrop of concerts in the late `60s by Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and even B.B. King. Learn more about Ken Brown at http://www.kenbrownpixpop.com/.
View a sample of the Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra's take on "Wavey Lines" here:
Charles talks with Hector Galán, producer & director of "Children of Giant," a documentary which examined in further detail how the 1956 epic film "Giant" portrayed social issues that hadn't been covered in Hollywood films at the time, including feminism, class division, and the discrimination faced by Mexican-Americans. In this online-only version of the interview, Galán talks about the unity felt on the set by the actors and the locals, and about the segregation that resumed following the film's production.
Charles chats with fellow cinephile Oscar Garza about 2 films they recommend: "Danny Collins" starring Al Pacino as an aging rock star, and "It Follows," a horror film about a sexually-transmitted curse. Plus they offer recommendations for viewers who prefer watching films or TV programs on Netflix: the British drama "The Fall" starring Gillian Anderson, and the new Marvel Comics TV series, "Daredevil," the one NOT starring Ben Affleck.
Charles talks with filmmaker Viviana Garcia Besné and Alistair Tremps about the project "Fascinating Eye on the Border." Viviana and her cousin, photographer Monica Lozano, are presenting this special collaboration on Sunday, April 12, at 2:30 p.m., at the Plaza Philanthropy Theatre (http://elpasolive.com/calendar/985-jewel-box-series-fascinating-eye-on-the-border). The Calderón brothers were Viviana's & Monica's great grandfathers, and the brothers' reputations as theater owners and film producers is renowned across Mexico and the borderland. Besné's film "Perdida" explores the Calderón family history. In this online-only extended interview, Viviana & Alistair also talk about the upcoming film "Shadow Collectors," which explores the efforts to preserve original film prints after they have been digitized. Many of the original prints are either left to decay or thrown out altogether.
Charles talks with Jeanne Creel, former Film Studies lecturer at the University of Texas at El Paso, about the ABC's annual Easter tradition of screening Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 epic, "The Ten Commandments." They'll talk about why certain movies hold sway only during certain times of the year, and, though it's considered a timeless classic, how "The Ten Commandments" could be considered a metaphor for the Cold War. Even to this day, Old Testament films ("Noah," "Exodus") reflect the social concerns of the day.
Charles and Jeanne also recommend the following spiritually-inspired films:
Babette's Feast (1987) / The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) / Philomena (2013) / The King of Kings (1927) / Ben Hur(1959) / Saving Grace (2000) / Noah (2014) / Exodus:Gods and Kings (2014)
In a rebroadcast from November 15, 2014, Charles talks with Dennis Doros, co-founder of Milestone Films, about Shirley Clarke, a groundbreaking independent filmmaker in the 1950's and `60s. Milestone Films recently launched Project Shirley (http://www.projectshirley.com/), an effort to release Clarke's films theatrically and on DVD. On this extended, online edition of our conversation with Doros, we'll find out more about Clarke's final film about jazz musician, Ornette Coleman. Learn more about Milestone Films at http://www.milestonefilms.com/
Charles talks with Father Ed Carpenter and Patricia Delgado, organizers of the Pax Christ Film Series in El Paso. The series is in its 9th year, and focuses on films & documentaries that touch upon social justice issues. Their next film, "Bidder 70," will screen on April 12 at 3pm at the Mother Teresa Center, 2400 E. Yandell. A complete schedule of films is available at https://sites.google.com/site/pxcelp/pax-christi-film-series/pax-christi-film-series-2015.
Charles talks with journalist & author Mark Harris, whose latest book is "Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War." Just out in paperback, the book follows 5 acclaimed Hollywood directors who covered WWII - John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Mark explains what the directors were expecting when they went to war, and how they changed when they returned. In this expanded, online-only interview, Mark also talks about John Ford's experiences on D-Day, and how reading the directors' letters helped him better understand the men behind the camera.
In a rebroadcast from August 9, 2014, 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.
Charles talks with Charlie Tabesh, Senior Vice President for Programming at TCM (Turner Classic Movies) about the upcoming TCM Classic Film Festival, taking place March 26-29 in Hollywood CA. The theme of the festival is "History According to Hollywood" and will screen nearly 80 films, including "The Sound of Music," "The Diary of Anne Frank," "Malcolm X," "Young Mr. Lincoln," "Apollo 13," and many many more. The festival also features special appearances by Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Julie Andrews, Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell, and others. This online-only extended interview also includes a conversation on the camaraderie felt by TCM fans at the festival.
Charles talks with filmmaker Michael Cramer, director of "TRUTH," a film shot & produced in southern New Mexico by PRC Productions. The film follows a diverse group of college students who stumble into a top secret facility deep in the Gila [heela] Wilderness and become infected with a deadly virus.
The film will receive its world premiere Feb. 27 & 28 at 7pm at the Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main in Las Cruces. Learn more at http://riograndetheatre.com/. The film premieres in Silver City NM on March 6 & 7 at Light Hall Auditorium on the WNMU campus. More information at http://movies.wnmu.edu/.
Charles talks with filmmaker Adam Smith, director of the documentary "The Land of Many Palaces," which examines Ordos, the giant city China built to house thousands of relocated farmers. Ordos is just one of many cities that China plans to develop for relocation purposes. Learn more about the film at http://www.thelandofmanypalaces.com/.
The film will screen in El Paso on WedFeb 18 at 4:30pm in Room 208 of the UTEP Physical Sciences Building, and will screein in Las Cruces Thu Feb 19 at 7:30pm in Room 111 of O'Donnell Hall at NMSU.
Writer and Santa Fe resident Jeff Berg returns to the program to talk to Charles about the current state of the art house cinema. Streaming services and the conversion to digital has brought some challenges to some cinemas, but local support, premium service, and the desire to share a movie-going experience keep these small venues alive. Read Jeff's article on art house cinemas in the January 2015 edition of Film Comment magazine http://www.filmcomment.com/article/sure-seaters-tough-it-out. Jeff also programs a Reel New Mexico series, learn more at http://reelnewmexico.com/
Charles talks with Madeline Moya, curator and producer of the online exhibit "When Texas Saw Red," produced by the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. The exhibit explores the Cold War through moving images captured in government films, propaganda films, and home movies shot by Texas citizens. In this online-only expanded interview, Madeline explains how the exhibit opened her eyes to the complexities of the Cold War...complexities that were not taught in the schools she was attending. http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php?title=News:When_Texas_Saw_Red
Charles and fellow Broadcast Film Critic Association member Cynthia Haines for a wrap-up of the Critics Choice Movie Awards held Jan. 15 in Hollywood. The awards show was held on the same day that the Oscar nominations were announced, so Cindy & Chuck will talk about the films that were overlooked by Oscar but lauded by the critics. They'll also recommend some little-seen outstanding films that we can catch on-demand or on Netflix. This is an online-only extended interview.
Film historian Jay Duncan joins Charles in the studio to talk about the legacy of the actors & filmmakers who died in 2014. Because we don't have enough time in the show to talk about each and every one of them, Jay provided this list for our online visitors:
1. Riz Ortolani (87) Jan. 23 -Italian film composer
2. Maximilian Schell (83) Feb. 1
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman (46) Feb. 2
4. Shirley Temple (85) Feb. 10 -#1 boxoffice star from 1935-38- -Ambassador to Ghana & Czech-
5. Sid Caesar (91) Feb. 12 -American comic, actor & television pioneer-
6. Harold Ramis (69) Feb. 24 -American comedy actor, director & writer-
7. Alain Resnais (91) Mar. 1 -French film director
8. Mickey Rooney (93) April 6 -#1 boxoffice of 1939-
9. H.R. Giger (74) May 12 -Swiss Surrealist painter, sculptor & set designer-
10. Martha Hyer (89) May 31 -American actress- (widow of mega-producer Hal B. Wallis -1966-86)
11. Ruby Dee (91) June 11 -Actress, poet & playwright- (widow of Ossie Davis - 1948-2005)
12. Eli Wallach (98) June 24
13. Paul Mazursky (84) June 30 -American director, screenwriter & actor-
14. James Garner (86) July 19
15. Robin Williams (63) Aug. 11
16. Lauren Bacall (89) Aug. 12
17. Richard Attenborough (90) Aug. 24 -British actor & director-
Sam & Shawn Calvillo are owners of Eye-Deal Optique in El Paso (http://www.eyeglassrepairelpaso.com/), but they also have a side business of providing custom eyewear for several Hollywood movies. Charles talks with Sam & Shawn about how they got their start in the movies, the challenges they sometimes face in getting just the right eyewear for their actors, and they share their memories of Robin Williams, who they worked with in several films, including "Mrs. Doubtfire." In this expanded online version of the interview, Sam & Shawn also talk about their first venture into filmmaking, the 2001 film "Lloyd."
From the 2012 Plaza Classic Film Festival, Charles talks onstage to legendary actress Eva Marie Saint about her role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film "North by Northwest." She talks about the kissing scene between herself and Cary Grant, the homosexual undertones between the characters played by James Mason and Martin Landau, and filming the famous Mount Rushmore scene. In this online-only extended interview, Eva Marie talks about having Hitchcock buy her all manner of dresses, shoes, and jewelry for her part in the film. Plus, Chuck impersonates Cary Grant and James Mason! Originally aired Aug. 17, 2013.
Charles welcomes Jennifer Hill, Director of the Library and Writing Lab at the Texas Tech School of Architecture, to talk about movies and architecture. So many iconic buildings have been prominently featured in film, and Jennifer offers some of her favorites. Her list includes The Fountainhead, Topkapi, Brazil, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse, Rear Window, Rebecca, Psycho, La Dolce Vita, and Blade Runner.
The El Paso Museum of Art is running a series of architecturally-themed movies on Saturdays at 11am beginning Jan. 3. For more information, call the museum at 915-532-1707.
Charles welcomes Felipa Solis, fellow member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, to talk about the recently announced nominations for the Critics Choice Movie Awards. Some of the top nominations went to Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, and The Theory of Everything. Charles & Felipa talk about their favorites, and which films and performances they felt were overlooked. The Critics Choice Movie Awards airs Jan. 15 at 7pm on A&E. http://www.criticschoice.com/
Romantic Comedy: Frank Capra’s 1934 screwball comedyIt Happened One Night; Lake Bell’s 2013 film In A World.
Books: Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War (2014), Mark Harris; Taschen’s film books. Monographs on Directors and Actors; For the animation inclined, The Art of Pixar.
Scores / Soundtracks: Classical Connoisseur: John AdamsI Am Love.
Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection Warner Home Video.
The Drive Jacket-worn by Ryan Gosling in 2011's Drive. Available at various online retailers, including Amazon, with prices starting around $130.
The Princess Bride Playing Cards.
Book for Star Wars geek: Star Wars The Costumes.
Netflix Membership. Access to Netflix's catalog with a gift card subscription ranging anywhere between one month ($7.99) to a year ($95.88).
Joss Whedon: The Biography ($21.20); Harry Potter: The Creature Vault ($26.16) . Other interesting concept art books: Godzilla: The Art of Destruction ($32.64) and The Art of Film Magic: 20 Years of Weta ($64.49); The Science of Interstellar ($19.81)
In a broadcast from July 13, 2013, Charles talks with legendary filmmaker DA Pennebaker about the making of the 1973 concert film "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," which turned out to be the very last concert presented by David Bowie's androgynous Leper Messiah. Pennebaker talks about what attracted him to music/concert films, and why he knew right from the start that David Bowie was going to be a musical presence to be reckoned with decades into the future. Pennebaker also shares a story about ABC-TV's censored screening of the film. In this online-only extended interview, Pennebaker also talks about mixing the music for the film, why he asked audience members to take flash photos during the concert, and about the changes he's seen in filmmaking over the last 6 decades. Learn more about Pennebaker at the Pennebaker Hegedus Films website, http://www.phfilms.com/
In a re-broadcast from March 16, 2013, Charles talks with Jeanine Basinger, film studies professor at Wesleyan University, and author of the new book, "I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies." Basinger talks about how marriage has been portrayed over the decades in the cinema, and why modern movies don't necessarily focus on marriage so much as relationships in general. This is an online-exclusive extended interview.
Saul Bass was a graphic designer whose movie posters and motion picture title sequences were instantly recognizable. The Man with the Golden Arm...Vertigo...Psycho...Anatomy of a Murder. Charles talks with Jan-Christopher Horak (no relation), the author of a comprehensive book about the life & work of Saul Bass. Chris explains how Saul Bass made the transition from advertising artist to one of Hollywood's greatest artists, and we'll also hear about the unresolved controversy over whether Saul Bass - NOT Alfred Hitchcock - was responsible for the famous shower scene sequence in "Psycho."
In this online-only extended interview, we'll learn more about why Bass' minimalist design was so foreign to the Hollywood imagery of the day, and why Otto Preminger and other directors were so drawn to Bass' designs.
Charles welcomes Nellie Killian, curator of a recent Chris Marker retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music BAMcinématek. Chris Marker was a French filmmaker, photographer, and multimedia artist whose works explored time, memory, and political upheaval. Read more about the retrospective at http://www.bam.org/film/2014/chris-marker.
Charles chats with actor Chris Osborn, a native of El Paso (and Eastwood High School graduate) who is starring in the new horror film "Exists," directed by the maker of "The Blair Witch Project," Eduardo Sanchez. "Exists," like "Blair Witch" is a found-footage type of film, but Chris explains what sets "Exists" apart from its predecessor. Chris' character in the film is constantly filming the action around him, so he talks to Charles about the challenges of shooting his own footage while still remaining in character. "Exists" is currently in limited release. Learn more on the film's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/existsmovie.
Charles talks with Zach Passero and Austin Savage, the producer/editor and actor (respectively) of the short film "While You Were in a Coma," a production which is being created with the help of the crowd-powered social site, TentSquare.com. Members of the site have a voice in each production, from the earliest development to completion. In this extended, online edition of the interview, Zach & Austin talk about how this site is both similar to, and different from, crowd funding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.