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.
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 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 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.
Charles welcomes Tra Bouscaren, 2014 Artist in Residence and Visiting Lecturer at the UTEP Department of Art. Bouscaren is teaching a course called "Aesthetics in Critical Theory" and has programmed a lineup of films into a series called "Border Citing: Film and Video Art." The films depict how visual art and film go hand-in-hand. The films include Vertigo, Dr. Strangelove, Blade Runner, and The Pervert's Guide to the Orchestra."
Charles welcomes back Steve Wilson, author of "The Making of Gone with the Wind," which is also the name of an exhibit curated by Wilson at the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin. This classic 1939 film celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. In this online-only extended interview, Wilson talks about all the major actresses who were considered for the role of Scarlet, why Vivien Leigh was selected for the role, and why casting Clark Gable was so important in getting the movie made. They also discuss the controversy coming from all sides over the film's depiction of slavery and race. Lastly, we'll hear why Rhett Butler's famous last line was nearly re-written. Learn more about the book and exhibit at http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/visit/gwtw/
Charles welcomes Steve Wilson, author of "The Making of Gone with the Wind," also the title of an exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, of which Wilson is the curator. We'll hear some fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about this classic film, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Hear about the open casting call for the role of Scarlet, the years of preparation just to get the film off the ground, and the doubts about the film's success. Part 1 of a 2-part interview. Learn more about the exhibit at http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/visit/gwtw/.
Charles welcomes Bart Weiss back to the show. Bart is the founder and director of the annual Dallas VideoFest, now entering its 27th year! The Video Fest, which is Oct. 9-19 in Dallas, Texas, features an opening night showing of a little-known Hitchcock film with an original, commissioned score. Bart also talks about some of the other offerings, and in this online-exclusive extended interview, explains how the festival has changed over the years and why he is still enthusiastic about film festivals. Learn more about the VideoFest at http://videofest.org/
Charles welcomes filmmaker Charlie Minn, whose latest film is a documentary about the arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the feared leader of the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel. Controversy exists over whether the "real" Chapo was apprehended. Is he still running the cartel behind bars, or is he on the loose while some other impersonator serves time for him?
Es El Chapo? opens at El Paso's Basset Place Premiere Cinemas, the Allen Theaters in Las Cruces, and in Deming's Starmax theaters on Oct. 3. Learn more and view the trailer at http://eselchapo.com/
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/