On Film

Saturdays at 11am

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 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.

The Ten Commandments screens Sat. March 26 on ABC.

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)

More recommendations can be found at http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/

Aired March 26, 2016 (originally aired April 4, 2015)

  In the 1960s & `70s, Los Angeles County Hospital performed tubal ligation procedures on a number of Mexican-American women without their knowledge.  These little-known forced sterilizations led a number of these women to sue the doctors, the state, and the federal government.  The film's producer Virginia Espino joins us to talk more about why she chose to document these women's stories in the documentary, "No Más Bebés," which recently screened on PBS (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/no-mas-bebes/).  

Espino will make an appearance at a screening of "No Más Bebés" on Wed. March 23 at 5 p.m., at the UTEP Union Cinema.

Aired March 19, 2016

  Late winter and early spring are usually when the cinematic dregs show up at the cinema, but two exceptions are in theatres now.  Jeanne Creel joins us to tell us about the PG-rated Disney animated film "Zootopia" and Tina Fey's latest release, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot."  These films play to entirely different audiences - find out which plays best for you!

Plus, if you can't make it to a movie theatre, Jeanne offers a streaming alternative for Shakespeare fans...and Charles makes a few suggestions if you still are suffering from "Downton Abbey" withdrawal.

Aired March 12, 2016

  The HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES were America's smallest professional basketball team. The team consisted of working actors in Hollywood who also happened to be little people. The team launched in the 1950s and continued to play into the 1980s. Hear their story with "The Hollywood Shorties" director, Ryan Steven Green on this edition of ON FILM. Ryan had a personal connection with the Shorties - his uncle was a little person who played with the team and who also played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi.   http://hollywoodshorties.net/

Aired March 5, 2016

  The Las Cruces International Film Festival is a 5-day festival that will feature films from all over the world, appearances by filmmakers, and workshops for aspiring filmmakers. Guest appearances include actor Danny Trejo, best known for his role in "Machete," who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.KEAGAN CARNES, Artistic Director of the Las Cruces International Film Festival, join us on this program to share more details.The festival runs March 2-6, and more information can be found at http://www.lciffest.com/.

Aired Feb 27, 2016

  Julian Leyzaola was hired as the police chief of Ciudad Juarez in 2011 at the height of drug cartel violence. Leyzaola drastically reduced the murder rate in his 2 years in office, yet the means by which he achieved these results could have involved corruption, civil rights abuses, and even murder.
Filmmaker Charlie Minn joins us to talk about his latest production, MEXICO'S BRAVEST MAN, which opens locally at Premiere Cinemas in Bassett Place on Feb 26http://www.mexicosbravestman.com/

Aired Feb 20, 2016

  On this program we remember David Bowie, who died on January 10, 2016.  In a re-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/

Aired Feb 13, 2016.

  James Fino is co-executive producer of the Oscar-nominated film "Anomalisa."  In this special online expanded interview, Fino talks about Anomalisa's tough journey from development to the screen while remaining completely independent.  The story was based on a Charlie Kaufman radio play, and Fino explains why the story was tailor made for stop-motion animation.  The realistic animation in this movie created its own challenges, including trays full of individual facial features created with 3D printers.

The film is screening now at local theaters.

Aired Feb 6, 2016

  Buildings and landscape play as important a role in movies as do the actors who move in those spaces. On the next ON FILM, Jennifer Hill of the Texas Tech College of Architecture in El Paso joins us to tell us about a monthly film series that highlights the movies that embrace amazing building and landscape design.  Feb 6: Grand Hotel (1932)March 5: Gladiator (2000)April 2: The Last Emperor (1987)May 7: Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Films screen the 1st Saturday of each month at 11am at the El Paso Museum of Art.Information: 915-594-2030. Aired Jan 30, 2016

Kris Connor Getty Images Entertainment)


   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."  

Rita Moreno was recently honored at the 38th annual Kennedy Center Honors.

Originally aired March 8, 2014.

Aired January 23, 2016



     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."

Rita Moreno was recently honored at the 38th annual Kennedy Center Honors.

Part 1 of a 2-part interview.  Originally aired March 1, 2014.

Aired January 16, 2016.


  Jennifer Merin is the founder and president of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ).  She joins us to talk about the various ways women are represented in film, behind the camera, and as critics.  Not all women like the same kinds of films, and the AWFJ provides a broad scope of views from women film critics across the nation.  The AWFJ's EDA Awards also recognize women in a variety of film roles that aren't necessary represented by Oscar, such as Best Female Action Star and Actress Most in Need of a New Agent!

Learn more about the AWFJ and see the complete list of 2015 EDA Awards nominees at http://awfj.org/.

Aired Jan 9, 2016

In a rebroadcast from May 30, 2015,  we'll hear a conversation with Joan Kramer, co-author with David Heeley, of "In the Company of Legends."  The book recollects Kramer & Heeley's decades-long collaboration in profiling Hollywood legends for PBS and TCM.  Kramer explains how the profiles gave audiences a behind-the-scenes, down-to-earth view of their favorite Hollywood stars, including Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Carson, and Frank Sinatra.  

Aired January 1, 2016

  The holidays leave us with time to take in a few movies. Host Charles Horak welcomes Kyle Alvarado into the studio to give their opinion on whether David O. Russell's "Joy," starring Jennifer Lawrence, or Quentin Tarantino's "Hateful Eight" are worth your time or money. 

Aired Dec. 26, 2015


  The Critics Choice Movie Awards, taking place Jan. 17 in Hollywood, are historically predictive of which films and actors will take the Oscars. The Critics Choice nominations were released earlier this week, and Broadcast Film Critics Association member FELIPA SOLIS joins us on the next ON FILM to talk about what films deserved the nominations, and which movies and actors were overlooked. Tune in to the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, January 17, at 6 p.m. on A&E, Lifetime, and LMN networks.http://www.criticschoice.com/ Aired Sat. Dec. 19, 2015

  David Salcido co-founded BORDERLANDS MEDIA, which is a group that aims to offer local independent filmmakers services such as quality control, aggressive marketing, and assistance in distribution. Borderlands Media is currently accepting short films to be packaged into a future feature-length anthology on the theme The Sins of Man.

Aired Dec 12, 2015

  Two recent movie releases take drastically different looks at America in the 1950s. "Brooklyn" is a beautiful story about an Irish immigrant who comes to America before having to be torn away back to Ireland after a tragedy. "Trumbo" is a biopic of Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted for his political views.  Frequent guest Jeanne Creel joins host Charles Horak for a discussion on these films, in addition to recommending downloadable TV shows and movies.

Aired Dec. 5, 2015

  The Milagro Beanfield War...Easy Rider...Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  These were just a few classic films shot in New Mexico.  What was it about the Land of Enchantment that drew Hollywood like bees to honey?  Jeff Berg joins us to tell us about his new book, NEW MEXICO FILMMAKING, which explores the history of filmmaking in New Mexico, which dates back to the late 19th century.

Jeff will also be presenting his "Made in New Mexico" film program on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 1:30 p.m., at the Rio Grande Theatre in Las Cruces.  http://www.riograndetheatre.com/event/226190

Aired Nov 21, 2015


  El Pasoans are eagerly awaiting the opening of our very first Alamo Drafthouse, which offers a unique movie-going experience, including a full-service restaurant, bar, "ninja" wait staff, and theme nights.  Neil Billingsley-Michaelson, President & CEO of Triple Tap Ventures, and Robert Saucedo, Programming Director of Triple Tap Ventures, join us to give us the latest updates on what we can expect in early summer 2016.  

Updates are available at https://drafthouse.com/el-paso and https://www.facebook.com/AlamoEP.

Aired Nov. 7, 2015


   This online-only extended interview features local film buffs Kyle Alvarado, Jeanne Creel, and Oscar Garza as they talk about which movies sends shivers up their collective spines.  If you're looking for a good supernatural flick, they recommend The Haunting (1963) and The Cabin in the Woods.  If classic films are more your style, the gang suggests Curse of the Demon (1958) and Bucket of Blood (1959).  If you can't get enough zombies, werewolves, and vampires, don't miss Only Lovers Left Alive, Dawn of the Dead (classic or remake), and Let the Right One In (the original Swedish version).

If you'd like a complete list of Kyle's, Jeanne's, Oscar's and Charles' picks, email Norma Martinez at normam@utep.edu.

Happy Halloween!

Aired Oct. 31, 2015

  Architecture is as important a component to a film as is an actor or a director. The Texas Tech College of Architecture is hosting a Architecture Film Series that will highlight some amazing films with equally amazing architecture.  Jennifer Hill of the Texas Tech College of Architecture joins us to talk about the fall series of films which will screen monthly at the El Paso Museum of Art. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/elpaso/arch/?page_id=678 or call 915-594-2030.Oct 24: Blade RunnerNov 14: Mulholland Dr.Dec 12: In the Mood for LoveFilms are free and screen at 11am at the El Paso Museum of Art. Aired Oct. 17, 2015

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.  In this re-broadcast from Nov. 22, 2014, 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.

Learn more about the book "Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design" at http://www.kentuckypress.com/live/title_detail.php?titleid=3865#.VG5HJjTF98E

Aired Oct. 10, 2015.

  Film historian and Sunset Film Society President Jay Duncan joins us to talk about the October films that will be screened as part of the weekly Classic Film Series at the International Museum of Art.  THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN kicks things off on Oct. 3...followed by THE NIGHT GALLERY, MISERY, and HOUSE OF WAX.  Plus...the Sunset Film Society presents a Horror Movie Triple-Feature on Oct. 25 at Ardovino's Desert Crossing...featuring THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE HORROR OF DRACULA, and THE SIXTH SENSE.

Learn more at http://www.sunsetfilmsociety.org.

Aired Oct. 3, 2015

 In a rebroadcast from Aug. 16, 2014, 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/

Aired Sept. 26, 2015.

  In September 2014, 43 Mexican student-teachers went missing in Guerrero, Mexico. They still have not been found, and rumors swirl of a massacre and a government cover-up.  Charles Horak talks with Charlie Minn tells us about his latest film "43" which investigates the disappearance of the 43 students, and features interviews with the students' families.

Aired Sept 19, 2015.

  Host Charles Horak talks with Vladan Nikolic, writer, producer, editor, and director of the independently-released film ALLURE.  The film follows the lives of 4 women living in New York City - a Chinese student filmmaker, a Mexican immigrant, a French journalist, and an Estonian escort.  Nikolic talks about the real-life inspiration behind the film, and why he chose to digitally distribute his film.  

Learn more at http://www.allurethefilm.com/.

This is an online-only expanded version of the on-air interview, which aired Sept 12, 2015.

  In a rebroadcast from March 14, 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.

Aired September 5, 2015.

  Charles Horak talks with Carlos Corral, producer & partner with Mindwarp Entertainment, and host of EP Film.  Corrall talks about the unique nature of the El Paso film scene, and the cooperation and networking that takes place amongst area filmmakers.  

Aired Aug. 29, 2015


   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/

Aired Oct. 11, 2014.

  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/.

Aired Oct. 4, 2014.