Life & Arts

Austin Film Scene
1:45 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Why 'The Hunger Games' Filmmakers Came to Austin With 'Mockingjay - Part 1'

'Hunger Games' Director Francis Lawrence, right, with actress Julianne Moore.
Lionsgate Publicity

The third film in the popular “Hunger Games” series hits theatres on Friday. To drum up anticipation for “Mockingjay Part-1," the filmmakers are traveling the globe for special premieres. So far they’ve been to London, L.A. and Austin. 

KUT sat down with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson to talk about the film and why they made a stop in Central Texas.

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Arts Eclectic
12:58 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Meet 'Ghost Horse' Author Thomas McNeely

Thomas McNeely was named a Dobie Paisano Fellow in 2000, and has just published Ghost Horse, the novel he began during that fellowship. It's largely autobiographical, focusing on an eleven-year-old boy growing up, as McNeely did, in mid-1970s Houston. That was a time of great transition and social tension in Houston; McNeely remembers it as a time when society made it, "after a certain age... not okay anymore" to be friends with kids of other races.

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In Black America Podcast
10:21 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

In Black America Podcast: The Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships

Dr. James C. Wadley, Ph.D

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. James C. Wadley Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Human Services program at Lincoln University, and founding editor of The Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships.

Wadley’s academic and professional background in human sexuality education and educational leadership has enabled him to galvanize scholars and practitioners in the field of sexology across the world.

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Austin Film Scene
1:39 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Oscar-Nominated Costume Designer Talks Dressing Superman and Amy Adams

Michael Wilkinson created a new Superman suit for the film "Man of Steel."
Michael Wilkinson

Oscar-nominated costume designer Michael Wilkinson is making his first-ever trip to Austin this weekend. He's the subject of a special event with the Austin Film Society on Sunday.

Wilkinson is known for his work on films including "American Hustle", "Man of Steel" and "Noah". He's also working on the upcoming film "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Wilkinson spoke with KUT about his varied collection of work and some of his favorite past projects.

On His Goals for Superhero Costumes:

With superhero films, you want people to come out of the theatre and talk about the costumes and how inspiring they are and how cool they look when they're on a billboard that's like 10 stories high and you want to show people different creative worlds that they haven't seen before and take them to new inspiring, compelling places."

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Texas Standard
3:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

'A Sudden Light' Explores Fathers and Sons Across Five Generations

Susan Doupé Photography

Every family has a history – but few have a history as tangled as the one in Garth Stein’s new novel, “A Sudden Light.”

The Riddell family is driven by regret and bitterness – even a hint of madness. One 14 year-old boy finds himself thrust into the middle of it all, on a summer trip to the family homestead.

Stein speaks with Texas Standard’s Emily Donahue about his newest novel, the controversy surrounding his previous novel, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” and what it was like to write a book spanning five generations of the same family.

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In Black America Podcast
6:26 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Dr. Allison Willis on How Race Affects Parkinson’s Treatments

Credit University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

On this edition of "In Black America," producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Allison Willis, assistant professor of neurology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

In her study Dr. Willis finds that African Americans with Parkinson’s Disease are less likely than whites with the disease to receive deep brain stimulation surgery to reduce tremors.

Parkinson’s Disease affects more than 2 million Americans, and deep brain stimulation surgery has been shown to be effective but involves extensive pre-operative testing and may include costs not covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare.

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Arts Eclectic
4:01 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

See and Hear 'Yakona'

The award-winning documentary film Yakona, about the San Marcos River, tells its story without words; it's made up mostly of shots of the river itself, often from under the water. Without dialogue or narration, the film's music is often called upon to convey emotion or to inform the narrative

Yakona's score, by Austin composer Justin Sherburn, is therefore vital to the film, and this month, he'll perform that score live for two screenings of the documentary.

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Life & Arts
11:39 am
Mon November 10, 2014

This Army Parachuter Strapped a Camera to His Head to Land in DKR Stadium

The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute into Darrell K. Royal Stadium before a football game between the University of Texas Longhorns and the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

In a Veterans Day tradition, the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuted into Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium ahead of the Longhorns' game against West Virginia on Saturday.

One of the Golden Knights, Staff Sergeant Brandan Parra strapped a GoPro camera to his head for the jump (he also raises a Texas flag on the way down). Check out the video:

Arts Eclectic
3:17 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

See '17,000 Observations' at Laguna Gloria

Lucky Dragons, Rendering for 17,000 Observations at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 2014

This Sunday afternoon, LA-based art collaborative Lucky Dragons will present a new site-specific work at the Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria. Titled 17,000 Observations, the work will comprise both a sculpture and a live music performance.

Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck of Lucky Dragons visited Laguna Gloria for inspiration (at one point camping onsite for 24 hours), and created the two components of the work specifically for the space. The sculptural aspect is a mobile made up of several round mirrors, which will rotate freely and reflect the surrounding forest in new and interesting ways. The music performance is inspired by the birds who live in and around Laguna Gloria; it'll be performed by several musicians placed at different spots. As one wanders the area, he or she will hear different elements of the piece.

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Austin Film Scene
4:25 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Get Lost With an 'Indian Cowboy' Searching for His Identity – and His Gun

Chaske Spencer, known for his roles in the "Twilight" films, stars in "Winter in the Blood."
"Winter in the Blood"

The Austin Film Society is screening “Winter in the Blood” this evening.

The film’s been on the festival circuit for more than a year – and has been picked up for national distribution. Some of the attention it’s gotten is thanks to its star – Chaske Spencer – who fans of the “Twilight” movies know as an ab-bearing werewolf.

In this film, Spencer plays Virgil First Raise – an Indian cowboy who struggles with questions of identity and heritage while on a mission to get his gun back from his runaway wife.

The filmmakers describe “Winter in the Blood” as a neo-noir – mixing dream elements and flashbacks with the modern tale. But much of the focus and coverage of the film has actually not been on the film itself but over issues of race. That’s because “Winter in the Blood” is based on a book by Native American author James Welch and it features a mostly Native American cast. But it was written and directed by white men – including Austin-based filmmaker Alex Smith.

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In Black America Podcast
6:05 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Dr. Mable Johns, Minister and Former Blues and R&B Singer

Dr. Mable Johns

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Mable Johns, minister, author, and former Blues and R&B singer.

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Get Involved
6:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Get Involved Spotlight: Hand to Hold

From Hand to Hold, this month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Mission: To provide comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications.

Vision: To enable a network of families to offer support, comfort and understanding to one another, and to provide them with knowledge, information and resources to reduce the impact of prematurity and ensure the best outcome for their children and family by:

  • Empowering parents to advocate for their children
  • Encouraging individual, couple and family counseling when needed
  • Providing resources and information for managing insurance and financial issues
  • Educating parents about the challenges their babies might face and preparing them to meet those needs
  • Sharing support and resources necessary to help all children thrive and enjoy a full and satisfying life

Hand to Hold, a nonprofit based in Austin, serves NICU families nationwide, providing comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications. Hand to Hold’s core service is matching experienced peer mentors with new parents who have had a child in the NICU to offer support and equipping parents with education they need to care for their baby, family and themselves.

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Texas Standard
12:31 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

How Storytelling Can Ease Your Child's Fears This Halloween

Halloween's a time when parents and children can "walk into … darkness and face a fear," says Sparkle Stories' David Sewell McCann.
flickr.com/stevendepolo

Tonight, kids across Texas head door-to-door in search of Halloween candy. But some parents may fear more than a fleeting sugar rush – Halloween can also fill children's heads with scary and gory imagery that's tough to dislodge.

While Halloween's filled with all manner of things that go bump in the night, it also offers parents the chance to address their kids fears.

David Sewell McCann knows a thing or two about talking to kids. His "Sparkle Stories" podcast offers original children's stories each week – including stories that can put confusing or frightening events into context. 

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Apple
8:30 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out As Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to a crowd before he is honored by the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Alabama state Capitol on Monday.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 3:15 pm

Tim Cook, the head of the world's most iconic technology company, has come out today in an op-ed on Bloomberg Businessweek, saying he's never denied his sexual orientation but "I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now.

"Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day," Cook writes.

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Arts Eclectic
12:40 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

See 'Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase' Live

Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase is a project years in the making.  The brainchild of Austin's Brian Beattie, Ivy isn't just an album and isn't just a book. It's a full-scale "audio movie" that tells the story of young Ivy Wire's adventures in the underworld through songs, sound effects, narration, and dozens of illustrations; the physical version of Ivy includes a CD and a hardcover book.

Beattie cast a who's who of Austin singers for the album, including his former Glass Eye bandmates Kathy McCarty and Scott Marcus, Bill Callahan, James Hand, Will Sheff, and Daniel Johnston; young Grace London plays the title role. 

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Austin Film Festival
2:29 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Antonia Bogdanovich Opens Up About Her Famous Family and Her First Feature Film

Antonia Bogdanovich on the set of the short film "Phantom Halo" was based on.
"Phantom Halo"/Station 8 Films

KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

Antonia Bogdanovich is filmmaking royalty.

Her dad is Peter Bogdanovich – the director of films including “Paper Moon” and “The Last Picture Show.” Antonia’s mother – the late Polly Platt – also worked on that film among many others. She produced “Bottle Rocket” – the movie that launched Wes Anderson's award winning career.

But while Antonia Bogdanovich has worked in and around the film business for decades – it took her a while to get behind the camera.

She's making her feature directorial debut at the Austin Film Festival with “Phantom Halo.”

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Austin Film Festival
5:35 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Special Operations Soldiers Share Their Stories of PTSD in New Documentary

Tyler Grey (center) shares his story of reintegration in "That Which I Love Destroys Me."
"That Which I Love Destroys Me"

KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

Austin-based filmmaker Ric Roman Waugh got his start in the stunt business. His film credits include "Gone in 60 Seconds," "Total Recall," and "Hook." He then went on to work with tough guys including Val Kilmer and Dwayne Johnson as a director and screenwriter.

"That Which I Love Destroys Me" is Waugh's first documentary. It follows two special operations soldiers as they explore the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It screened at the Austin Film Festival.

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Austin Film Festival
4:00 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

New Documentary Explores Whether Texas is Keeping its Public Education Promise

"The Texas Promise" is about the state funds - and cuts funding - to public education.
thetexaspromisemovie.org

KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

“The Texas Promise” is screening at the 2014 Austin Film Festival. It tells the story of the $5.4 billion in cuts to education that the Texas Legislature made in 2011 and follows the ongoing legal challenge to that cut and efforts to restore some of that funding.

It’s an ongoing issue Texans ought to be very familiar with but producer/director Vanessa Roth came to this story from the outside.

Roth's documentary work has mainly focused on education and the foster care system. She says the story about how Texas is funding education is one the country needs to know about.

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Arts Eclectic
3:28 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Delve into 'The Strange Case of Edward Hyde and Dr. Jekyll'

Just in time for Halloween, Trouble Puppet Theater Company will unveil The Strange Case of Edward Hyde and Dr. Jekyll. It's of course inspired by the classic horror tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, but it's not at all a straight adaptation.

For Trouble Puppet founder Connor Hopkins, finding a way to put an original spin on well-known stories is a welcome challenge. In the case of 'Jekyll and Hyde,' Hopkins and his team found a way to take a tale with a very well-known twist and make the story surprising and unexpected.

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In Black America Podcast
12:59 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Fighting HIV/AIDS In The African American Community

Dr. Donna Hubbard McCree, Ph.D

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Donna Hubbard McCree, Associate Director for Health Equity, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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