Film

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!

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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"

Larry Darling via flickr Creative Commons

The afternoons are getting darker, the trees are bare, and the furnace is snapping on; it’s November in New England. A time when we shift indoors and enjoy some quiet before the holidays are upon us. It’s also a great time for movies, when the studios trot out their Oscar contenders and the crush of holiday blockbusters have yet to arrive with guns blaring and special effects thrusting. 

Amy Diaz is editor and film critic for The Hippo, she and film consultant and commentator, Garen Daly are with us to talk movies. Specifically what you see between now and Thanksgiving.

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.

Null Value

In July of 2007, the sleepy suburban town of Cheshire, Connecticut woke up to a house set ablaze, three fatalities, one survivor, and two suspects caught fleeing the scene.  What had started as a home invasion and robbery had ended in rape, arson, and a triple homicide.  A new full-length documentary debuting on Monday, July 22nd on HBO explores how the Cheshire murders scarred the town, terrorized the survivors, and sparked public debate in a state poised to abolish capital punishment.  Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, who together produced and directed The Cheshire Murders, joined us to discuss their film.

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.  

onlytheyoungfilm.tumblr.com

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. 

via amazon.com

“Yellow Cocktail Music: The Great Gatsby Jazz Recordings”, is a kind of way-back machine for the contemporary songs featured in the new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Jay-Z, Will-I-Am, and Beyoncé, are featured on the original soundtrack and this follow-up album imagines what the songs might have sounded like coming out of a Victrola in 1922…with help from the Bryan Ferry Orchestra. Joining us to discuss the album is Baz Luhrmann; the distinctive director, producer, and screenwriter for Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, among others, including the movie that kicked off the summer blockbuster season – The Great Gatsby.

via bethlehemcolonialtheatre.org

The Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, is among the oldest continually running movie theatres in the country, and is currently the only venue for showing independent movies in northern New Hampshire. Now, nearly 100 years after opening its doors, The Colonial may have to stop showing films. Like many indie theaters across the country, The Colonial has to convert to the digital format adopted by the film industry if it wants to show new releases. The theatre recently launched a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign to help pay for and install digital projection equipment. Stephen Dignazio is executive director of The Colonial Theatre and joins us to discuss the campaign.

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 Rock...it matters more than you know.

Plimptonmovie.com

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.

lancesbrewerytour.com

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.

via lifesupportmusic.org

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. 

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