Film

Author Interviews
12:34 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 12:35 pm

When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.

Through the 1930s, Hollywood and the federal government held a mutual suspicion of each other. But after Pearl Harbor, the War Department asked Hollywood directors to make short documentaries that could be presented in theaters before the featured films. The ideas was to show Americans what was at stake, give them a glimpse of what our soldiers were going through and stir up patriotic feelings.

Read more
NPR Story
4:17 am
Mon March 3, 2014

France Mourns Filmmaker Alain Resnais

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 10:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The prolific French filmmaker Alain Resnais died over the weekend, at the age of 91. Resnais' films captured international awards for over seven decades. And as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, he was making movies up until the very end.

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Alain Resnais cemented his reputation as a filmmaker with the 1959 classic, "Hiroshima, Mon Amour," made with author Marguerite Duras as scriptwriter.

(SOUNDBITE OF "HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

Read more
The Two-Way
11:41 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

'12 Years A Slave,' 'Gravity' Win Big At The Oscars

Red carpet's ready: The rope line awaits at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 9:37 am

After several days of heavy rain in Los Angeles, the sun came out just as the 86th annual Academy Awards got underway at the Dolby Theater.

The big award of the night, for Best Picture, went to 12 Years a Slave. The film tells the harrowing tale of Solomon Northup, a free black man in New York who was sold into slavery. (See the full list of winners below.)

Read more
The 86th Annual Academy Awards
6:08 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

The Human Moments We Miss, Backstage At The Oscars

Every year, Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznick covers the Oscars from behind the scenes.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

Picture this: You're standing on a stage. You're the center of attention in an auditorium filled with over 3,000 people. Roughly 40 million more are watching you on TV.

No, this isn't a nightmare — it's the Academy Awards. Every year, the standout members of the film industry are presented with Hollywood's highest honor: an Oscar.

But what happens after you've won the coveted gold statue? What does it feel like to walk away from the flashbulbs and fans, and step into the quiet darkness behind the curtains?

Read more
Monkey See
8:00 am
Sat March 1, 2014

What The Oscars Mean, And What They Don't

In Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, one of nine best picture nominees in the running on Sunday night, Sandra Bullock plays an astronaut careening through space after an accident.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:35 pm

On Friday's All Things Considered, Bob Mondello and I — fresh off our run of video salutes to Internet comments — chat with Melissa Block about what, if anything, is satisfying about the Oscars.

Bob points out the difficulty in bringing yourself to care about a contest that so often leaves out the worthiest contenders; I make the best case I can for Oscar season as a potential time of discovery; and we consider a couple of canards about best picture that might help you pick a winner.

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:19 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Documentary Tells Chilling Story Of Race & Education In South Texas

Institute of Texan Cultures

A new documentary called "Stolen Education" reveals a little-known South Texas story.  It all started in the town of Driscoll. It was 1956 and a school there was doing something odd -- and illegal.

“They were placing children with Spanish surnames automatically into three years of first-grade track," explained Enrique Alemán, Executive Producer of the documentary.  “They called it a beginner, low and high first grade. Parents found out about that and contacted Dr. Hector P. Garcia, founder of the American GI Forum.”

Read more
Movie Reviews
12:24 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Liam Neeson's Action Chops Take Flight In 'Non-Stop'

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Liam Neeson became a bankable action hero in 2008 with the thriller "Taken." Now almost 62, he's still getting out of tight corners with his fists in the new action thriller "Non-Stop," most of which unfolds on a transatlantic flight from New York to London. The film also stars Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

Read more
The 86th Annual Academy Awards
8:53 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Oscar Glow, Today's Tech Help Short Films Find Their Fandom

One of this season's Oscar-nominated shorts is Mr. Hublot, a French-language animated film about a reclusive man who must learn to adapt to a new housemate — a robot dog.
Zeilt Productions

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

In 'Stalingrad,' Where The Fog Of War Is Plenty Thick

Teenage civilian Katya (Mariya Smolnikova) shares a ruined apartment with a gang of Soviet soldiers during the battle of Stalingrad in Fedor Bondarchuk's Stalingrad.
Sony Pictures

If you're only going to see one film about the Battle of Stalingrad — and there are many — Stalingrad would be the wrong choice. Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk's treatment of the World War II turning point is shallow and contrived, if sometimes impressively staged. The movie wins points, however, for sheer wackiness.

Read more
Movies
1:23 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

'12 Years A Slave' Screenwriter Talks Grit, Grace And Survival

12 Years A Slave writer and producer John Ridley joined Michele Norris in NPR's Studio 1 for a wide-ranging conversation.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 3:53 pm

Was screenwriter John Ridley a bit nervous the night before this year's Academy Award nominations were announced? Absolutely.

How could he not be, when everywhere he went people approached him to say that he deserved an Oscar nod for his work on the film 12 Years a Slave. But those nerves were not evident when he sat down before a live audience at NPR Headquarters just hours before he did indeed get that Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Read more

Pages