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

Oct 27, 2015

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.

Patrick Lanigan via Flickr CC /

Donald Trump is praised as “authentic” because he speaks without a practiced politician’s filter.  Meanwhile, pundits knock Hillary Clinton for not putting on a good enough show of authenticity – so, what does that actually mean? And politics is not the only arena where the meaning of authenticity is open to interpretation - what about food? Today we take a look at the myth of authenticity – in politics…cooking…and the internet. Plus, forgery in the art industry is not rare - but a con artist who has been caught and never sent to jail is. We’ll speak to the directors of a film that looks inside the mind of the mischievous shut-in and skilled artist who donated masterful forgeries to more than 46 museums. 

George via Flickr CC /

Since World War II, as many as 100,000 service members have been “less than honorably discharged” for being gay. Now, four years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay vets look to change the record. Today, what goes into rewriting history. Then, forgery in the art industry is not rare -- but a con artist who has been caught and never sent to jail is. We’ll speak to the directors of a film that looks inside the mind of the mischievous shut-in and skilled artist who donated masterful forgeries to more than 46 museums. 

Tom Gill via Flickr CC /

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 /

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. via flickr Creative Commons /

It’s presented as the be-all end- all metric by economists, politicians, and newscasters, but what exactly is GDP? 

On today’s show, the surprisingly fascinating process of measuring gross domestic product, and what this all important economic indicator overlooks.

Plus, the non-profit “Mars One” received over 200,000 applicants for its one way mission to Mars. A new short documentary follows three of the candidates as they vie for a trip they’ll never return from and a place in the history books.

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

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 /

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.

Sleeper Films Of 2014

Jan 8, 2015
Sara Robertson via flickr Creative Commons /

The Golden Globes are coming up, the event that will spark moviegoers to re-watch their favorite – now award-winning – films of 2014. But what about the other films of 2014, the ones that didn’t make the cut? We spoke to Amy Diaz about her list of “sleeper” films – films that are not nominated, but that you should pay attention to anyway. From The Babadook to The Obvious Child, Amy gave us some great suggestions about what to watch on a snow day.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Ed Yourdon via flickr Creative Commons /

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.

Phil Moyer via flickr Creative Commons

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.

Then, comedian Dana Gould, writer for The Simpsons and a B horror movie aficionado, shares his picks for the best Halloween schlock, including the Vincent Price vehicle, The House on Haunted Hill

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

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.

10.28.14: Ghost Towns

Oct 28, 2014
Nick Kenrick via flickr Creative Commons

From the dusty towns of the old west, to the empty mills of the east, there’s just something about abandoned places and the stories they leave behind. Today’s Word of Mouth is all about ghost towns, from neglected Olympic villages to forgotten websites.

We’ll also hear the story of a small town in northern Maine where the ghost of a sea captain is said to roam.

And we’ll visit a ghost town in North Carolina that hit the jackpot when it was transformed into District 12 from Suzanne Collins dystopian novel, The Hunger Games.

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

Change The Sound, Change The Mood

Oct 27, 2014
Alexis Gordon via flickr Creative Commons

When we spoke to Joel Beckerman about his new book Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy, we couldn't help but think of the movie trailer. Designed to show only the best parts of a movie, a trailer's job is to convince you to pay the price of admission, and give you a sense of the movie. Movie trailer directors artfully use sound to create a mood in just a few short minutes. So what happens when you change the sound?

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.


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.

finchlake2000 via flickr Creative Commons

Despite having 94,000 miles of coastline and millions of acres of rivers, America imports 91% of its seafood. Today we explore the case for reviving the nation’s local fisheries. And, we’ll stay local with filmmaker Jay Craven, whose film Northern Borders is now on tour in New Hampshire. He tells us about the economics of regional filmmaking. Plus, word craft for fast times: a writing teacher celebrates the beauty and efficacy of writing short. 

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

USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab via Flickr

Today on Word of Mouth, invasive species like Zebra Mussels to Asian Carp, are destroying biodiversity across North America. Or are they? Also, we'll look into China’s push to build a frozen food infrastructure. The number of urban Chinese households with a refrigerator has risen from just 7 percent to 95 percent in a decade. We’ll find out what that means for global climate change.

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.

W.W. Norton

Author Andre Dubus III talks about his new book "Dirty Love"

  • A successful professional hopes to win back his wife after proving her infidelity. A bank clerk crowding in on 30 and hoping for a family moves in with her compulsive, demeaning boyfriend.  A bartender who fancies himself a poet cheats on his pregnant wife, and a pretty teenaged girl gets shamed on Youtube and reaches out for the promise of a new future and a new love on Skype. These characters all live in the faded beach towns and leafy suburbs of the New England coast. They are united by their clumsy attempts at connection and are the subjects of four loosely connected novellas in a new book called “Dirty Love” by Andre Dubus III. The national book award-winning author of “House of Sand and Fog” and “Townie” again presents gritty, frustrated lives on the skids of the American dream... NOTE: Andre's reading and book signing at the New England College has been rescheduled to April 16th due to weather.
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

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.