film

Tom Gill via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/LNxeQ

America's first blockbuster: a depiction of the Civil War and early Reconstruction that featured  white actors in blackface, portraying feeble-minded or rapacious slaves, culminating with masked Klansmen galloping in to save the South. On today show, we talk about the film that set of a resurgence of savage Klan activity and has had an enduring influence on American racism and politics. Then, vexillogists, people who study flags. Here's a trick: if you want to design a great flag, start by drawing a one-by-one-and-a-half inch rectangle on a piece of paper. And finally -- what happened to surrender? It's becoming increasingly rare. 

Where Were You: The Mekons

Jul 16, 2015
Press Photo / http://billions.com/mekons

We're better off crafting our own things in isolation. The best times when the band has really been? When we thought nobody was that interested in us, so I think that's when the really creative moments have come about, when we didn't think there was anything at stake, when we could just do what we wanted. - Jon Langford

Rumor has it, they once asked a bass player to leave because he was too good.  

Miranda July: The First Bad Man

Feb 19, 2015

Miranda July. Maybe you know her from her quirky and charming 2005 film “Me And You And Everyone We Know,” which won the special jury prize at Sundance – but since then she’s made a second film, a book of short stories, a messaging app, and has performed all over the world, and now she’s written a novel.

July’s debut novel The First Bad Man continues her skill at revealing uncomfortable moments and unexpected truths … in a very funny way.

Judy van der Velden via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/b3PGUM

Diamonds are forever. Or so we thought. Turns out that global sales of diamonds and fine jewelry have been sluggish since the global recession. On today’s show,  from iPhones to better production of costume bling, is technology killing the jewelry industry?

Then, Selma, Gone Girl, and Interstellar are among this year’s Oscar snubs. We’ll approach the academy’s cold-shoulder from a different angle, and reveal entire categories notably absent from the awards.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Ed Yourdon via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bcz7De

Last month’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic relations sparked waves of speculation about what the thaw means for diplomacy, trade, and tourism. On today’s show: what normalized relations mean for Cuba’s internet infrastructure.  

And we usher in awards season by going off the red carpet. We’ll celebrate some of the best films of 2014 that were not nominated for a Golden Globe.

Plus, we kick off a new series on offbeat college courses, The Uncommon Core. Today: Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Hammer & Saw Films

A marathon, of course, is 26.2 miles long. Elite runners can complete these races in just over three hours. Ultra-running events can be one hundred miles long. And as grueling as that sounds, these events are growing in popularity.

The documentary “100: Head/Heart/Feet” follows an ultra-runner from New Hampshire, Zak Wieluns, as he takes on the Vermont 100 Endurance Race.

When it comes to rigid safeguards against the Ebola virus, New York’s governor says “Better safe than sorry”. But what happens when panic inflates the price of public safety? On today’s show, calculating the cost of over-reaction.

We’ll also explore how the power of sound can make or break an experience. When the ad agency for Royal Caribbean chose a lively, catchy tune for a series of commercials for the cruise line, it didn’t exactly match the wholesome, fun loving image they were trying to promote. 

Then, we’ll speak with the Israeli musician known as Kutiman, about crafting an album made entirely of unrelated sound samples from YouTube videos.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Dana G(h)ould's Six Picks For Spooky Flicks

Oct 30, 2014
via DanaGould.com

We had the pleasure of speaking with Dana GoOoOoOuld about his favorite Halloween movies. If you haven't solidified your spooky viewing schedule for tomorrow night, here's a list of his recommendations with links for where you can watch them.

Listen to the full interview:

WEB EXTRA: After the interview, Dana and Virginia talked about a few more scary movies and Dana gave us his best spooky laugh. Listen below:

nshepherd via flickr Creative Commons

When an unrecognizable number shows up on your phone during election season, chances are pretty good that the caller is someone taking a poll. On today’s show, turning the tables on pollsters. We’ll find out how they view polling accuracy and ethics for Election 2012.

Also today, the aging bunnies –  a group of Playboy centerfold models now in their 60s and 70s, reject the idea that they victimized, and remember a more tasteful time for the men’s magazine.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

The New Hampshire Film Festival is getting underway this week in Portsmouth.

One film that’s getting a lot attention this year is called Slingshot. It’s named for a device that creates clean drinking water in areas where such water isn’t usually available. And it’s notable because it comes from New Hampshire inventor Dean Kamen. The film follows Kamen as he develops, tests and promotes the Slingshot, and reflects upon his career, his inventions, and why he does the work he does.

Sara Robertson via flickr Creative Commons

As the air grows colder, we leave behind the hot summer blockbusters, and move to more serious films, many of which will be vying heavily for award show attention. On today’s show we go behind the spotlight to examine the art of how actors create characters. Then, we’ll explore the next frontier: exo-solar planets.  The search for planets outside our solar system – with the idea that discovering one just like ours – is a real possibility.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Picking out a movie can be a lot like browsing the cereal aisle - the more options you have, the harder it is to decide what to watch. It's especially difficult for subscription-based services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offer you more programming than you can even browse in one sitting. In our monthly segment "On Demand", we help make your movie nights memorable by offering our favorite movies and shows being made available this month.

Sara Robertson via flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Boston Globe movie critic Ty Burr about the wealth of Korean films available to watch here in the United States. This is a list of the films he mentioned in the interview he thinks are worth watching.

Poetry

Director: Chang-dong Lee

Ted Eytan via flickr Creative Commons

When it comes to news reporting, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is among the most difficult and sensitive topics to cover. On today’s show, NPR’s ombudsman talks about the difficult task of achieving balanced reporting, and the role perception plays in interpreting the news. Plus, forget the fashion of New York City, London’s music scene, and the bright lights of Tokyo. Why South Korea may become the coolest place on the planet. 

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


7.02.14: Amateur Sleuths, A Pet Owl and Oculus Rift

Jul 2, 2014
user ZaCky via Flickr Creative Commons

The National Institute of Justice estimates that up to 40,000 unidentified human remains have been collected and stored in evidence rooms across the country. Today, we talk to Deborah Halber about the growing number of internet sleuths trying to solve America’s coldest cases. Then, we look into the growing digital house key market. Plus, a heartwarming tale of a man and his owl. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

When I Walk: Talking with filmmaker Jason DaSilva

Jun 20, 2014
zeevveez via Flickr Creative Commons

On today’s show we talked to documentary filmmaker Jason DaSilva. In 2005 Jason was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He was only twenty five years old, but had more films and praise under his belt than most twice his age. Two years later, when he was on a beach vacation with his family, his brother caught a moment on tape which changed the course of his life. He fell, and for the first time since his diagnosis, was unable to get up by himself. It was from this painful and significant moment that his most recent film, When I Walk, was born. 

On today’s episode we talked to Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of The Found Footage Festival. The Found Footage Festival began in 2004 out of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Pickett and Prueher, childhood friends from Wisconsin, began their collection in high school by picking up unintentionally funny VHS videos from various sources (a lot of garage sales).  The festival tour where they showcase their collection originated out of the need to fund their full-length documentary, Dirty Country (2007), which follows a raunchy country singer and small-town family man, Larry Pierce. 

The Found Footage Festival has now completed their seventh volume. They tour across the US and will be completing a UK tour this summer. On Thursday, June 19 the FF Festival will be in Bethlehem, New Hampshire at the Colonial Theatre at 7:3o PM, 18 years of age and up. If you’re nearby, tickets are for sale here. If not, we have made a short list of some of the many hilarious videos that Pickett and Prueher have curated. Check out more on their website.

Roadsidepictures via flickr Creative Commons

Title sequences have a practical function, sure. They convey the whos, wheres and whens of a production while segueing into the story. They are also the first impression, the opportune moment to set up the tone of a film or show. Through music, imagery, and written or spoken dialogue, title sequences can be the most artistically influenced aspect of a production. Though not always true, title sequences can even be the best part of a show or movie that is otherwise full of overplayed clichés and unoriginal storylines.  At Word of Mouth, we searched and sifted for those iconic title sequences we thought packed that extra artistic punch. While most correlate to the quality and success of the production as a whole, others, well, others might not.

Check out some of our favorite film and TV title sequences below. Yours didn't make the list? Share it on Facebook!

Beacon Radio via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth is putting on the glam, rolling out the red carpet, and practicing our best paparazzi poses for the Academy Awards this Sunday. (Isn't everyone?) But first we're preparing with some film history – smear campaigns, artistic title sequences, and controversial kisses in films have been wowing fans and critics for decades. This Sunday marks the 86th Academy Awards, but not all movies are Oscar-worthy. Hence The RAZZIES, whose goal it is to recognize the worst of the worst. So whether you're preparing for the red carpet or a drive to the office, we've got a star-studded show worth that extra time in the makeup chair or pickup truck.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Marc Moss, Tony Alter & Atemisa ., via Flickr Creative Commons and lakestreetdive.com

Today's Word of Mouth is brought to you by: Rejection. All artists have been there, feeling confident about a submission only to find out that someone  "regrets to inform" them that their work has been denied for publication.  Well, Word of Mouth is here to commiserate with rejection letters from literary greats. Then, what do film studios do when forced to substitute an actor? Use fake shemps, of course. Taking a musical turn, we revisit the Word of Mouth love song and the fantastic listener submissions. (Really, they're awesome!) Finally, the band Lake Street Dive released their fourth LP 'Bad Self Portraits' last week, we'll dig up an interview we did with the band from 2012.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


Harold Ramis, Of Comedy Fame, Has Died

Feb 24, 2014
Justin Hoch via flickr Creative Commons

It's a sad day in the Word of Mouth cube as we remember an actor and filmmaker who brought so much joy and so many laughs through his decades-long work. Beloved comedy actor and filmmaker Harold Ramis has died, but his comedy is timeless. Ramis' influence endures both on and off screen. His comedic repertoire is classic, having co-written Animal House, directed Groundhog Day, and starred in Ghost Busters.        

Thank you, Harold Ramis, for giving us all of the laughs and leaving us with all of the feels. You will be missed.

Sodium Fox

The Golden Globe and SAG Awards nominations are out, launching  awards season into full effect. Among those getting the most nods are director Steve McQueen’s “12 years a slave”, and David O'Russell’s “American Hustle”.  We’re not going to tread through the all-too-familiar “best of 2013” territory today. We’re forging a new path through the worst films of the year. Joining us is Bill Goodykoontz, chief film critic for Gannett and The Arizona Republic who wrote "A Year in Review: 10 Worst Movies of 2013"

via onlydaughterfilm.com

Eighteen-year-old Dawn has never met her father; raised by her mother in a rural New Hampshire town, they are barely getting by. Dawn works at a bait and tackle shop by day and turns tricks at night to fund an escape from her dead-end life.  A cascade of bad events set Dawn on the road to find the father her mother doesn’t want her to find. He’s not so keen on the idea either. Our guest, Aaron Wiederspahn wrote, directed and starred in the film, “Only Daughter.”

For anyone who’s ever driven by a crumbling old New Hampshire barn and wondered what could be in there, here’s one answer…a stack of dusty old film reels that turned out to be the only surviving reel from a long lost 1911 film. The movie, called Their First Misunderstanding , was written by and stars Mary Pickford, one of the most beloved actresses of the  silent film era. We spoke with Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Keene State College Dr. Larry Benaquist about the discovery of this rare, important and now celebrated film.

Courtesy Keene State College/Library of Congress

We use the phrase “long lost” more often than is probably warranted, but this story certainly qualifies.

Several years ago a contractor was cleaning out a barn in Nelson that he’d been hired to demolish. He found a 35 millimeter film projector and seven reels of nitrate film. Among those was a short film that had not been seen in decades. The film, called “Their First Misunderstanding,” stars an 18 year old woman named Mary Pickford, who would become one of Hollywood’s first and biggest stars.

via scalisto.blogspot.com

Werner Herzog is one of the leading figures of world cinema. In addition to making more than 60 films, he’s produced more than 20 operas, published books and screenplays and articles, acted in films and produced art installations.

His films are known for their unnerving originality and difficult locations. He’s shot films deep in the jungles of Thailand and Brazil, through bone chilling temperatures in Antarctica, and under strained conditions from political coups to maneuvering in a cave of prehistoric art with only hand-held cameras and minimal crew.

His latest work is extreme in a different way… a startling public service announcement about the dangers of texting while driving. Herzog joined us from the studios at Dartmouth College, where he’ll be in residence this weekend.

danceforparkinsons.org

A few years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, writer, producer, and Public Radio host Dave Iverson learned that the Mark Morris Dance Group was teaching dance to people with Parkinson's at its Brooklyn headquarters.  Dave was touched - and produced a special on the dance group for the PBS Newshour and the PBS series Frontline.

More recently, he's rounded up a team of pros to film students preparing for their first public performance. He’s launched a Kickstarter project called “Capturing Grace" to finish the film.

Also joining us is David Levanthal – who until recently was one of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s most celebrated dancers. He’s now focusing entirely on dance for PD, the program working with Parkinson’s patients.

Courtesy Kingdomcounty.org

When people talk about shopping local, they’re usually referring to buying food, books, and other goods and services  from a regional supplier as opposed to buying online or from big box store.

tadophoto via Flickr Creative Commons

Banish the bridge game, and shove off the shuffleboard… competitive table tennis for seniors is the subject of the new film “Ping Pong”, which airs tonight on PBS’s POV series.

The film shows the arch rivalries and individual motivations of the traditional sports drama, ramped up by the presence of cancer, dementia, and the physical deterioration at the end of life. The film’s producer is Anson Hartford, and he joins us to talk about it.

The City Dark

Aug 8, 2013
(Photo by Dave Dehetre via Flickr)

PBS is hosting an encore broadcast of the documentary The City Dark. The film, part of the POV series, will be airing on August 12. Last year we spoke with director Ian Cheney about light pollution and the development of the film. Here is our conversation with him after the debut of the documentary last summer.

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