The Seattle International Film Festival's director and chief curator, Carl Spence, is stepping down after more than 20 years with SIFF.

Spence joined the organization in 1994 as an assistant to the festival founders.

Seattle resident Amanda Knox on the roof of the KUOW parking garage in Seattle's University District.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

When Amanda Knox enters a coffee shop in Seattle, she just wants a cup of coffee.

Sometimes that’s what happens.

It's well-known that Dear Leader was crazy about movies. What's less known — at least in the West — is that infamous North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il was so crazy about them that he kidnapped a South Korean actress and a movie director in 1978 and forced them to work for him for years. That story is the subject of a new documentary called The Lovers and the Despot.

Bill Radke speaks with Stephen Quinn, host of CBC Radio's On The Coast, about a complaint filed on behalf of Vancouver animation workers. Animators claim they worked in terrible conditions and weren't paid for overtime during the creation of the Seth Rogan film, "Sausage Party."

Bad Moms is a movie about good moms who try to go bad. Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn play suburban Chicago mothers who find themselves ground down by the daily cycle of school drop-offs and pick-ups, soccer games, supermarket runs, errands, chores and endless worries. One night they wind up at the same bar after a PTA meeting and together they decide to let loose.

Letting mice watch Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The Hong Kong film industry is best known for martial arts and crime thrillers, and for launching the careers of international stars like Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-fat. But the most celebrated Hong Kong movie of the past year is not of the same mold. It's a low-budget, overtly political independent film presenting a dark vision of Hong Kong's future.

Actress Olivia de Havilland, the last surviving star of the most popular film of all time, retired from showbiz decades ago, apparently feeling that 49 films, two best actress Oscars, and a best-selling memoir were accomplishment enough for one career.

Friday in Paris, she celebrates her 100th birthday, which seems a good moment to reflect on the mix of sparkle and resilience that marked her public life.

Art meets real life on so many levels at the Northwest premiere Tuesday of a new movie. "Tracktown" is set in Eugene, Oregon, the city now emblazoned with Tracktown USA banners. The movie tells the story of a young Olympic hopeful -- convincingly played by an actual Olympic hopeful.

When Finding Nemo came out in 2003, it was Dory, the plucky, forgetful blue fish, who taught us all, in the face of adversity, to "just keep swimming."

Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory, says she was "flattered and honored and awed" to have her legacy tied to such a determined and positive little fish.

Dory came along during a particularly tough time for DeGeneres — "I hadn't worked for three years," she tells NPR's Kelly McEvers.

Can comedy reform a swing hater?

Jun 14, 2016
Negin Farsad performs at TEDWomen2015, May 29, 2015.
Flickr Photo/TED Conference (CC BY NC 2.0)/

Bill Radke speaks with social justice comedian Negin Farsad about how she believes comedy can change people's negative views of Muslims and other minorities. Her new book is "How To Make White People Laugh." 

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset pictured in 2013.
Flickr Photo/Sergey Galyonkin (CC BY SA 2.0)/

Ross Reynolds interviews Sandy Cioffi, curator of the virtual reality festival SIFFX, within the Seattle International Film Festival. Cioffi describes the unique ability of VR productions to evoke empathy and emotion and explains how people who don't attend the festival can experience VR for themselves.

Screenshot from the trailer for 'Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell.'

Kim Malcolm talks with Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths about her picks for the Seattle International Film Festival. Griffiths recommends "Captain Fantastic" and "Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell."

Griffiths directed "The Night Stalker, which is also playing at SIFF.

Week in Review panel Paul Guppy, Bill Radke, Zaki Hamid and Joni Balter
KUOW Photo,Isolde Raftery

Was KUOW too private about its negotiations to buy a public radio station? What say should the public have in bathroom privacy? Should the private Seattle University accommodate its students differently from a public university? What does Woody Allen’s private life have to do with Seattle’s viewing public?

film movie
Flickr Photo/StudioTempura (CC-BY-NC-ND)/

Bill Radke talks with Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur and The Stranger's Sean Nelson about Seattle International Film Festival's choice to open this year's festival with the new Woody Allen film.