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Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle actor Shawn Telford about his first feature film, "BFE."  It's the story of disaffected youth in a small Idaho town. The film had its local premier at the Seattle International Film Festival.

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Ross Reynolds speaks with film maker Don Sellers and Karen Matsumoto, the daughter of World War II hero Roy Matsumoto. 

Roy Matsumoto enlisted in the army to get out of a Japanese American internment camp. He went on to serve  as a translator for the Merrill’s Marauders behind enemy lines in the Burma and won a medal for outstanding bravery.

KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Ross Reynolds interviews Bryan Storkel, the co-director of a new documentary called "Fight Church" about cage fighting Christian ministers, and Preston Hocker, one of those ministers who is known as the "Pastor of Disaster." 

AP Photo/Joel Ryan

David Hyde talks to Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Pixar and Disney animation, about managing creative people and his new book "Creativity Inc: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way Of True Inspiration."

The Misunderstood Fans Of 'My Little Pony'

May 9, 2014
Courtesy of Everfree NW/Benjamin Ruby

In an unforgiving world, who wouldn’t want to retreat to a place where friendship is magic? Bronies are a group of people who live by that. They’re fans of the newest version of  the children's show, My Little Pony. RadioActive youth producer Chris Otey introduces us to some members of the local herd of bronies.

My Little Pony was a TV show for little girls that first appeared in the 1980s. And you might think that 2012’s revamped version, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is also just a show for little girls. But it’s grown into something a little different. And that has created a following of people who have aptly been named “bronies.”

I am one of them.

Flickr Photo/Barack Obama (CC-BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks to Syracuse University professor, Robert Thompson about what politicians get out of prime time cameos. First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on the television show Nashville tonight, and there is a long history of political figures hitting their mark in prime time.

At the German hotel where Jos Stelling's The Girl and Death takes place, the guests include everyone from incapacitated men and women patiently awaiting death (the hotel seems to function in part as a makeshift sanatorium) to lively if somewhat unhinged residents given to impromptu performances of Romeo and Juliet monologues in the dining hall.

Who Is Dayani Cristal? attempts to humanize the many who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border by focusing on just one: a corpse found in the lethal Arizona desert with the words "Dayani Cristal" tattooed on his chest. The documentary follows the models of several genres of fictional films: the forensic procedural, the road movie, the man-who-wasn't-there mystery.

In 'Blue Ruin,' Revenge Is Not Served Cool

Apr 25, 2014

Revenge at the movies is a dish best served not cold, but cool. Homemade justice isn't just meted out by the wronged onscreen; it's delivered with swagger, style, and steely-eyed bad-assery. Michael Caine as Carter, Uma Thurman as The Bride, Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey: These are all individuals who are suave under pressure and look pretty hip to boot, in well-tailored three-piece suits, canary yellow racing leathers, and black leather jackets. (Shotgun, katana, and .38 Special accessories definitely not optional.)

PBS/Ken Burns

Ross Reynolds talks with filmmaker Ken Burns about his new documentary, "The Address."

The film captures the story of a school for boys with learning differences and disabilities in Vermont where the students are encouraged to recite President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

The new film Hateship Loveship was adapted from an Alice Munro short story and stars Saturday Night Live alumna Kristen Wiig in a performance that's a far cry from her outrageous characters on the comedy show.

In it, Wiig plays Johanna, a caretaker in Iowa assigned to help a grandfather, played by Nick Nolte, look after his 14-year-old granddaughter, Sabitha. Sabitha's mother died in a car accident when Sabitha's father, Ken, played by Guy Pearce, was driving drunk and high.

Rebecca Eaton's book "Making Masterpiece."

Marcie Sillman talks with Rebecca Eaton, PBS Masterpiece's 25-year executive producer, about her book, "Making Masterpiece," which describes the lows of budget cuts and the highs of hits like Downton Abbey.

This interview originally aired on November 5, 2013.

'The Samaritans:' When 'The Office' Meets International Aid

Mar 25, 2014

Steve Scher speaks with Hussein Kurji, creator of the new comedy TV series "The Samaritans," a mockumentary set in Nairobi, Kenya. Kurji talks about the fictional NGO that "does nothing."

'Jodorowsky's Dune': The Greatest Film That Never Was

Mar 21, 2014

"Dune will be the coming of God."

A frisky tour of the Gallic equivalent of the U.S. State Department, The French Minister boasts robust pacing, screwball-comedy banter and an exuberant central performance. For most American viewers, though, the movie could use footnotes to go with its subtitles.

Feared and feared for in equal measure, today's teenagers are prisoners of pop and punditry. Branded as bad seeds or delicate flowers, they take shape in the public mind as either neglected or overprotected by their parents, abused by or abusive of the Internet, oversexed or terrified of sex. Is coming of age the pits, or what?

Many years ago, the great and grumpy British TV writer Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective, Pennies From Heaven) rounded a corner in a prominent New York art museum and stood wondering whether the coiled thingy on the wall in front of him was a work of art or an emergency fire hose.

"I'm sorry you have to see my pancake face."

Those are among Shailene Woodley's first words as she opens the door to a suite in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. She's got a publicists' luncheon later in the day — otherwise, she explains, under absolutely no condition would she have worn makeup for an interview.

Wes Anderson's New Hotel Proves Pretty Grand Indeed

Mar 7, 2014

Chances are you've already made up your mind about Wes Anderson. Either you're willing to go with the meticulous symmetry of his dollhouse compositions, the precious tchotchke-filled design sensibility and the stilted formality of his dialogue, or you check out of his storybook worlds in the first five minutes. On the evidence of his eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, it's clear no one is more aware of his idiosyncracies than Anderson himself — and he's not apologizing.

Talk about meeting cute: The first time they're alone together, the protagonists of 300: Rise of an Empire rip each other's clothes off. But then Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia (Eva Green) can't decide if they want to make love or war.

When people talk about Bollywood movies, they usually mean Indian romances with extravagant musical numbers. But there are smaller Indian films, too, and one that has earned international acclaim at film festivals is opening tomorrow in major U.S. cities. It's called The Lunchbox.

Decades after the end of World War II, the partly burned body of a young woman was found in a wooded area near the Norwegian town of Bergen. Her possible connection to a long-simmering Norwegian scandal, one dating back to the war, became the subject of a novel by Hannelore Hippe — and, in turn, of Two Lives, a new thriller loosely based on that novel.

'Non-Stop': Liam Neeson, Armed And Dangerous Again

Feb 28, 2014

"Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?" So asks one character in Edgar Wright's excellent 2007 comedic tribute to buddy-cop movies, Hot Fuzz, in a moment meant to highlight the simultaneous ridiculousness and awesomeness of that particular action-movie trope.

You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.

"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."

Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from The Sixth Sense to Thor to last year's Grownups Two. He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.

"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."

How One Winner Changed The Academy Awards

Feb 27, 2014
Flickr Photo/Davidlohr Bueso (CC BY-NC-ND)

In anticipation for the Oscars this weekend, Steve Scher sat down with Swing Years host Amanda Wilde to discuss the history of the Best Original Song category.

Steve McQueen's film "12 Years a Slave" is nominated for nine Academy Awards.

The 86th annual Academy Awards is this Sunday, and one of the films expected to take home the Oscar is Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave.”

Almost two decades after publishing his last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, elusive cartoonist Bill Watterson is back — with a film poster. The documentary, Stripped, is a self-described "love letter to comic strips" that includes interviews with, among others, Jeff Keane of Family Circus, Richard Thompson of Cul de Sac and Watterson himself.

Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP

Ross Reynolds talks with Almost Live alum Bob Nelson about the film, "Nebraska."

Nelson, who now lives on Whidbey Island, is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. "Nebraska" is up for six Oscars this Sunday.

Screenshot from Animal Planet video.

If you’re walking outside this weekend in Woodinville, Wash., that’s not just birdsong coming from the trees.

Bear Creek Studio was featured on an episode of Animal Planet’s show Treehouse Masters. The crew from the reality show built a recording space for the music studio 18 feet up in the cedar trees.

The episode airs Friday at 10 p.m. and has brought in a couple of musical guests. CeeLo Green drops in to play and is joined by the treehouse’s Fall City designer Pete Nelson, who takes a turn at the microphone – for better or worse.

Shirley Temple, who charmed the nation as a child movie star in the 1930s and went on to become one of the nation's diplomats in posts that included ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, has died.

She was 85.

The Associated Press writes that publicist Cheryl Kagan says the actress, known as Shirley Temple Black in her private life, died late Monday evening at her home near San Francisco. Kagan tells the AP that Temple's family and caregivers were with her.

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