The People's Forest

Jul 15, 2013
David Huntley

“The People’s Forest” a new film about the White Mountain National Forest by filmmaker David Huntley premieres next Tuesday. The 48 minute documentary examines a dramatic period in the life of New Hampshire’s great woods from 1860 to 1910 and shows how the human forces that conspired to nearly destroy the land came together again to save it.  Sean Hurley spoke with the filmmaker and has this story.

In Santa Clarita, a town in southern California, there’s not much to do. The documentary feature Only the Young focuses on several teens who live there and follows them as they navigate growing up amongst the foreclosed homes and drained swimming pools that form the landscape of their youth. Only the Young premieres tonight as part of PBS’s POV series. Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims produced and directed the film, and Elizabeth Mims joined us from KUT in Austin. Also with us was Kevin Conway, one of the subjects of the film.

Franz Nicolay

Brianna Hammon was in the second grade when she was first restrained and secluded, strapped into a bolted down chair, in a segregated classroom for physically disabled students.  Now in her late twenties, Brianna told her story with the help of a speech-generating device at the 2012 TASH Summit in Long Beach, California – one of five testimonies that were recorded for the new film “Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories”.  The film’s director is Dan Habib - former photo editor for the Concord Monitor, now filmmaker-in-residence at the institute on disability at the University of New Hampshire. 

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Our favorite content from Word of Mouth's weekday show...all wrapped up in one gratifying and glam program.

This week: The emerging forum for high school confessions on Facebook; a sunny picture for the relationship success of online daters; a documentary looks at the life of experiential journalist George Plimpton; Dr. Who's potential recast as a woman; and Glam matters more than you know.

If there was ever a man who knew how to fail fabulously, it was writer, journalist, and editor George Plimpton.  Ten years after his death, and sixty since he helped launch esteemed literary magazine The Paris Review, Plimpton is probably best known for his amateur antics among pro athletes – taking hits from light-heavyweight champ Archie Moore, playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and taking the mound at Yankee Stadium. His accounts of these stories, now acknowledged as the beginning of participatory journalism, effectively transformed Plimpton one of the greatest everyman writers in modern memory. 

For the new documentary Plimpton!, directors Tom Bean and Luke Polling combed through countless hours of footage to create a film posthumously narrated by its own subject.  Already out in select cities, Plimpton! opens Friday, June 21st at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts. 

DVIDSHUB via flickr Creative Commons

The Pentagon has often played a role in shaping blockbuster films…at least those featuring tanks, ships, and other military gear. We wondered about the relationship between Hollywood and the D.O.D.…what do filmmakers have to do to get access to all that firepower?

To find out, producer Taylor Quimby called Sean McElwee. He’s a freelance writer who blogged about what studios that collaborate with the military have to give up – in terms of creative – and even ideological – control of their movies.

Meet Lance and Aaron Rice, whose project “Lance’s Brewery Tour” will be taking them across the country to some the best breweries in North America. Since launching “Lance’s Brewery Tour; A Beer Genius with Autism and His Dream.” on Kickstarter on May 13th, they have begun to receive national attention for the project.

Lance Rice is a brewery historian, who for forty years has been becoming an expert on all things beerish. He plans to write a book about North American breweries and their history, based partially on the trip he hopes to take with his nephew, Aaron. The kicker in all this is that Lance has autism.


We dug up this interview from 2008 with Jason Crigler, the composer of the musical score for Make Sure it’s Me.

In August of 2004, Jason Crigler, a highly-regarded guitarist, suffered a brain hemorrhage during a gig in New York City. His pregnant wife rushed him to the hospital and got the bad news: doctors told Jason’s family that he might not live through the night, and if he did, little of the Jason they knew would be left.

Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters /Landov

Last year we interviewed Pamela Yates about her documentary Granito: How to Nail A Dictator which details the indictment of General Efrain Rios Montt, believed to be responsible for the murder of 200,000 mostly indigenous Mayan Ixil people during the Guatemalan genocide.

alanwoo via flickr Creative Commons

Nate Silver opened the public’s eyes to the power of predictive statistics… now, having already conquered politics, marketing, and social media, data-crunchers are taking on their next big challenge: Hollywood. Brooks Barnes is a media reporter for the New York Times – he recently wrote about Vinny Bruzzese, a statistician and former professor who’s using big data to slice and dice Hollywood screenplays

The Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire marks its 35th anniversary with an event tonight at Red River Theatres in Concord. On the program is a screening of The Invisible War, the Oscar-nominated documentary about sexual assault in the military that is now being used to educate members of the Armed Forces.  We spoke on this program to the film’s director about how sexual violence is tolerated – even expected in the military culture – and how rarely such offenses are prosecuted.  But the reality is that those experiences are not unique to the military… in a new study to be released by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence, the similarities between what happens here and in the military are made evident.  It is a sobering reminder that domestic and sexual violence crimes are an all too common occurrence, even in New Hampshire. joining us today to discuss their roles in educating the public about domestic violence are two women who are on the front lines.

I Saw The Sign: The Old-Fashioned Art Of Sign-Painting

Apr 10, 2013
Photo By Stephanie Booth, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Hand-painted signs once dotted the landscape. They brought color, style, and distinction to stores and products, and were the nation’s first form of advertising…and today, with computer graphics and large-scale printing available for cheap, they are pretty much going the way of the horse and buggy… But a number of hand-painting holdouts are sticking with brushes – and are the subject of Sign Painters, a new documentary film about the craft directed by Sam Macon and Faythe Levine.  

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

We bring you a collection of tasty segments we know you'll love, using the powers of public radio telepathy. 

The Invisible War

Mar 20, 2013
The U.S. Army vis Flickr Creative Commons

Testimony by victims and military officials in front of congress this month has shed light on the scope of sexual assault in the military service. Men and women who sign up for military service put their lives on the line for our country. Yet a woman serving in the military is more likely to be sexually assaulted than killed by enemy fire.

Girl Rising” is a new documentary directed by Academy-Award nominee Richard Robbins and the centerpiece of a global campaign called 10X10 (“Ten Times Ten”), which is dedicated to educating and empowering girls. The film is premiering this Thursday, March 7th, at hundreds of simultaneous public screenings across the U.S, including one at Fox Run Stadium in Newington, New Hampshire.


Ai Weiwei is China’s best known artist and the sharpest thorn in the side of its government. He’s a humorous and clever digital dissident, whose installations, viral videos, and tweets mock Chinese censors, and have made him an international symbol for freedom.      

After years of attempting to cozy up to him with bribes and favors, the Chinese government turned on Ai Weiwei, charging him with tax evasion and bulldozing his freshly built studio in Shanghai. Then, on April 3, 2011, he disappeared.

The Tuareg have been fighting the government of Mali on and off for more than a century. Their rebellion intensified when the fiercely independent Tuareg allied themselves with Islamic Jihadists to fight the government and made huge territorial gains in the north of the country.

This week, the French launched a military intervention in Mali- once a French colony. The U.S. State Department is also considering limited involvement, including logistical support and training for intervention forces in the region. The Tuareg, however, just want to continue eeking out their lives in the desert.

Filmmaker Ron Wyman tracked Bombino down in Burkina Faso, where he was living in exile. That was the beginning of a creative collaboration that produced the iTunes best-selling album, Agadez and the feature film, Agadez: The Music and the Rebellion. We spoke with Ron in March about discovering Bombino, and we thought hearing him again would provide a timely window into a little known tribe of nomads who are now in the news.

Audio Pending...

Hobbit Still MGM Studios

Corey Olsen, English Professor at Washington College and author of the book “Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit”, discusses the lasting appeal and tonal evolution of the classic children’s novel. 

Virginia Prescott notices that recent movie reviews include as much critical analysis into facial hair as they do to cinematography, sound design and acting. Check out Virginia's take on the phenomenon here:

Rene S / Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Pimpin' Your Thanskgiving Faves

A.P. food writer and cookbook author J.M. Hirsch shares his tips on how to “pimp” your Thanksgiving dinner to make it impress without stress. Make your own butter in five minutes, stuff your turkey with fresh herbs, and make sure to dry your potatoes before you mash them. And as far as salad? Forget it. Thanksgiving comes but once a year, so splurge.

Part 2: A Vegan Thanksgiving???/Chocolate... Yum

The 2012 Short Short Story Film Festival comes to New Hampshire Technical Institute’s Sweeney Auditorium in Concord this Friday and Saturday. Now in its sixth year, the festival explores a form of film-making that values depth and story over screen-time.

ww_whist via Flickr Creative Commons

Chances are you’ve never heard of the disease known as XP.  It’s a very rare, usually fatal genetic disease affecting one in one million children in the United States…a disproportionate number of Navajo people living on a reservation in the western United States suffer from the disease…which makes exposure to sunlight fatal.  Adi Lavi  along with Maya Stark, is co-producer and co-director of Sun Kissed, which follows a family on the Coyote Canyon Navajo Reservation, as they confront cultural taboos, t

Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa is home to one of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels and the heart of darkness in the nation’s drug war.  El Velador, The Night Watchman, is a deceptively quiet documentary film about a country devolving into chaos and violence and makes its debut on PBS POV series Thursday September 27th. Filmmaker Natalia Almada joins us from WCBE studios in Columbus, Ohio to talk about the film.

Horia Varlan, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

A group of arts and media business owners have formed a coalition hoping to encourage film and TV production in the Granite State. 

The New Hampshire Production Coalition is currently developing a legislative plan that would help New Hampshire compete with more film-friendly states like Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

Tim Egan, of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the coalition’s president.

“Film, television, digital design, video gamers…  All the creative economy type industries don’t really have a trade association.”

Produced with Emma Ruddock

As a music video director Dan Huiting has worked with many prominent musicians such as Bon Iver and Andrew Bird. In addition to directing music videos Huiting is the senior producer of the "City of Music" series on Pitchfork.TV, photography director and editor at MN Original on TPT, and a filmmaker.  

Longtime residents of Manchester may remember a large, stylized sign in the mill district, for Pandora sweaters, one of the area's biggest operations. A recent documentary tells the story of Pandora and of its longtime owner, May Gruber. It’s called “Sweater Queen.”

Nancy Beach is producer of the film, which is screening later this week in Manchester. She tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about May Gruber's life and career.

Courtesy The Work of 1000 Civic Engagement Program

June is National Rivers Month, which means it’s a good time to talk about a recent film chronicling the effort to clean up the Nashua River. It’s called “Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000” and has been screened at a number of environmental film festivals.

Susan Edwards is the film’s producer, and she talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about, the film, Marion Stoddard and the Nashua River.

Pamela Yates was a young, idealistic filmmaker when she went to Guatemala in 1982 to make a documentary about a hidden war. 200,000 people were murdered in the Guatemalan conflict, many indigenous people living in the highlands. Pamela and her colleagues met guerilla fighters, and tagged along on army sweeps…she even interviewed then President of the Republic, General Efrain Rios Montt.

Here’s the set-up…a doomed group of teens isolated on location X -- a campsite, fairground..dorm. A psychopathic killer, often disfigured, stalks them…brandishing sharp weapon X…many are killed in graphic, gory ways until only final girl X survives…cheered on by the adrenaline-surged audience...

(Photo courtesy New York Time Out)

If you ever want to know the state of the American politics and culture at any point in the past hundred years, look to Hollywood. Casablanca (1942) reflects American patriotism and sense of purpose and belief in supporting the war effort and On The Waterfront (1954) gives a read on the Cold War anxieties that permeated American society. So what happened in American cinema after September 11th? We have film reviewer for New England Cable News Garen Daly with us to talk about what Hollywood has been reflecting back to us about that day since.