KTEP - El Paso, Texas

On Film

Saturdays at 11am

On Film has aired weekly on KTEP since 1993 and covers contemporary and classic films, filmmaking, film industry developments and the talents of local filmmakers through insightful interviews, reviews and commentary.

National Hispanic Heritage Month has just come to an end, but its impact still remains. This week, Kyle Alvarado joined in to discuss the heritage of Latinos within the world of the cinema. From notable actors, writers, and films, we learned about the immense and sometimes misrepresented presence of Latinos and Latino stories within the American film industry. 

 As Fall approaches, film festivals around the world are still coming up with ideas about how to screen their curated selections. Our local film festival is at the forefront of innovation within this field. Artistic Director and Founder, Carlos Corral, streamed in this week to discuss the upcoming film festival. From October 16 - 25, the El Paso Film Festival will be streamed online with an immense selection of feature and short films. The festival is available via Apple TV, Roku TV, and Amazon Fire TV - all completely free. Donations are highly encouraged and appreciated. 

Documentary filmmaker, Kevin Ford, has just finished his latest project that focuses on the contentious yet bravely changing political climate of Texas. His new documentary explores how politicians, activists, and everyday citizens are beginning to pushback against the harmful rhetoric and policies of our current political status quo. Within the film, Ford specifically focuses on the 2018 midterm political campaigns of El Paso locals, Veronica Escobar and Beto O'Rourke. The Pushback is set to be released on virtual platforms on October 6, and Ford has organized a free virtual premier at 4:00 p.m. on October 5 with a panel that includes both Veronica Escobar and Beto O'Rourke. The Pushback is sure to serve as not only a contemporary look at the current social state of Texas but also as a historical document of the changing tides in Texas. 

Hosting a film festival in the COVID-19 era is no easy task. However, Angie Reza Tures of Femme Frontera is proving that, although it may be hard, it is surely accomplishable. The annual local film festival is going online this year with an impressive lineup set to premier this upcoming November. This local showcase with international zeal is sure to enamor audiences and help to further push female issues and professionals in the cinematic industry despite the current hurdles of living in the pandemic. 

For this week of On Film, guest host, Kyle Alvarado, streamed with, local filmmaker, James Arrabito about the release of his upcoming project I See a Darkness. From a Seed&Spark campaign to anticipated festival presentations across the world, James spoke about the triumphs and pitfalls of producing and releasing a local microbudget film in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. With an emphasis on experimental filmmaking techniques and interpretative symbolism, I See a Darkness helps to bring the local film industry closer to innovative forefronts and streaming screens of domestic and foreign festivals. 

This week's episode of On Film continues the immense discussion of the American Western from last week. With a discussion of the waning prominence of the Western, a reforming of the Western into police procedurals during the 1970's, and the controversial historical revisionism of some films, there was a plethora of topics discussed with Sunhouse Arts' Celine Dipp. 

Sisters Ali and Celine Dipp have been on a mission this summer - exploring various artistic representations of the Southwest. For this week's episode, Celine Dipp switched roles and interviewed our very own Chuck Horak about the history, representation, and artistic flare of the American Western. With a discussion ranging from the beginning of the Western genre with Thomas Edison's early films to a retrospective look at some of the outdated social values of the genre, there was an immense analysis of Western cinema and its artistic effects.  Their project is set to be released this upcoming Labor Day at 2:00 p.m.

 Filmmaker, Pamela Green, spoke to us this week over the phone from Los Angeles to discuss her new documentary - Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache. As director, producer, and writer, Pamela became well aware of the legacy and awe-inspiring work of the "first woman studio head." The discussion ranged from Alice's rise to cinematic prominence at the begining of the medium to Pamela's inspiriation for the project. The film is currently available via video-on-demand.

The COVID-19 pandemic has closed most theatres across the country for months. With a better understanding of safety precautions, many movie theatres have started to open again. Robert Saucedo of Triple Tap Ventures, franchisee owner of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, spoke about how our local Alamo Drafthouse plans to reopen and expand with a new Eastside location currently under construction. With a strong emphasis on safety, this reopening is one step closer towards cinephile normalcy. 

Author Victoria Riskin comes from a family of Hollywood royalty - her mother, Fay Wray, starred in the original King Kong and her father, Robert Riskin, was an Academy-Award winning screenwriter. She spoke to us from Los Angeles to discuss her book Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir. From her parents' upbringing to their prestigious careers there was much to discuss about her recently released biography.

 Frequent On Film contributor, Felipa Solis, joined in this week to review and discuss two streaming selections: Radioactive starring Rosamund Pike and Ron Howard’s new documentary, Rebuilding Paradise. Radioactive is a bio-pic of the life and scientific discoveries of Marie Curie. Despite her uphill battles fighting sexism within the early 1900s scientific field, Radioactive explores her successes as she revolutionized the scientific world and won two Nobel Prizes. Rebuilding Paradise is a human-interest documentary that explores the community of Paradise, California as they rebuild their town after a wildfire devastates their community to ash.

 

In an interview recorded at the 2013 Plaza Classic Film Festival, Charles talks with the legendary actress Rita Moreno.  Rita took dancing lessons at the age of 5, started an early performing career dancing in night clubs and playing a character in a radio serial.  She talks about her discovery by a Hollywood talent scout at a dancing recital, and why she spent her early days in Hollywood trying to be somebody she wasn't.  She eventually landed a groundbreaking role in the 1961 film adaptation of "West Side Story."

As movie theatres are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cinephiles have found new ways to explore the films they love. Former El Pasoan Jack Fields started the Quarantine Theatre Company as a new way to continue his love of movies with his friends. Now with growing attention and membership, this script reading Zoom group has been a new and exciting venture for Fields. With new scripts and live streams weekly, the small group has found light in the slow production gloom of the current pandemic. 

Film archivist, Dennis Doros, streamed in this week to discuss the 30 years of his film archiving and distributing company – Milestone Films. With an emphasis on releasing hard to access films, Milestone Films has made a name amongst the archivist community as a company heralded for its quality and unique selection. Doros also spoke about the focus on restoring and releasing inclusive films and the anticipation of the Association of Moving Image Archivists' annual conference set to safely occur in El Paso once the threat of COVID-19 has been extinguished.

UTEP Professor of Music, Charles Leinberger, called in to discuss the untimely and unfortunate passing of movie music phenom, Ennio Morricone. Morricone's career was one of impressive musical depth that spanned decades of filmmaking. Dr. Leinberger shared his experience of personally interviewing the former trumpeter turned composer as well as analyzing some key works of his. Morricone passed away on July 6, 2020 at the age of 91.

Frequent On Film contributor, Jeanne Creel came into the KTEP studios to discuss and analyze recent film releases Downhill and French film Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Downhill, a remake of Swedish film Force Majeure, stars Will Farell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a married couple at a skiing vacation which provokes tension and disarray. French film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, written and directed by Céline Sciamma, tells the story of two women who find themselves in an island estate in the 18th century. Marianne the artists has been hired to paint a portrait of Eloise. Mariannes challenge is to paint Eloise without her knowing.

Actor and enthusiastic promoter of local film production Mark Vasconcellos dropped by to discuss his upcoming acting workshops for local actors wanting to learn more about film work. He has landed lead roles in films River and Triple Threat as well as landing supporting roles on hit TV series In Plain Sight, Longmire and AMC’s Breaking Bad. Mark discusses the importance of training and the preparation of a technique.

Co-Host Kyle Alvarado sits with filmaker Charlie Minn whom discusses his re-released documentary A Nightmare in Las Cruces with new interviews and footage. While sharing his upcoming projects, Minn shares his career, inspirations and advice for upcoming filmmakers. 

Scenic Arts Supervisor at Texas Performing Arts and co-author of the book The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop Karen Maness joins host Chuck Horak to discuss the comeback of usage of backdrops and the preservation of them. With films such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and shows such as A Series of Unfortunate Events using these illusions, Maness describes the talent and work it takes to crate these backgrounds and the individuality they have versus a greenscreen. Also a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin in the department of Theater and dance, Maness also shares upcoming projects to show the upcoming generations the magic of re-creating this art. 

  

On Film host, Chuck Horak switches seats with, guest host, Kyle Alvarado to discuss the Critics Choice Awards winners, nominess, and losses. From discussing another win for Quenting Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to the acclaimed South Korean film Parasite, this year of filmaking had array of exceptional films. Sharing moments with iconic actors such as Robert De Niro and Rita Moreno to the complex and expensive marketing film campaigns towards critics, there was a wide variety of amazingly interersting topics discussed. 

Jay Duncan, host of the Sunset Film Society, has curated a unique and intriguing series of film screenings for January. With a selection of classic films made by actors turned directors, Jay stopped by the KTEP studios to discuss the upcoming screenings as well as the films themselves. From Marlon Brando's only directorial credit in One Eyed Jacks to Clint Eastwoods directorial debut for Play Misty for Me, there was a slew of information to be discussed.

  • Jan. 18th - One Eyed Jacks
  • Jan. 25th - Play Misty for Me
  • Jan. 26th - Iva Turney Society for Arts & Adventure

Screenings will be held at the International Museum of Art at 1211 Montana Ave. at 2:00p.m.

The "Movie Mom" and editor at RogerEbert.com, Nell Minow called in this week to discuss a decade of exceptional filmmaking. She broke down her own personal list of top films from the past decade while also speaking about how she helps to form these lists for RogerEbert.com. With so many great movies to explore, there was much to be disscussed from the past decade.

Frequent On Film contributor, Jeanne Creel came into the KTEP studios to discuss and analyze two winter 2019-2020 releases. Little Women is a new film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic of the same name by acclaimed director Greta Gerwig. The story presents a universal coming of age story that still is relevent today. 1917 was another film discussed that focuses on a dangerous mission for two infantry soldiers during World War 1. A unique film that incorporates breathtaking cinematography techniques, 1917 is a phenomenal tour de force for director Sam Mendes. 

With 2019 coming to a close, award shows are starting to begin. Frequent On Film contributor and member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Felipa Solis joined us for a unique show describing this year's contenders for the upcoming Critics' Choice Awards Show in January. From the best and worst of cinema this year to the overt and intricate marketing campaigns studios use to get critics' attention, there was much to be discussed about the upcoming Critics' Choice Awards Show.

Frequent On Film contributor, Kyle Alvarado stopped by the studio this week to help discuss some new and interesting film titles currently available. The Laundromat is a Netflix original film that explores the global financial scandal of the "Panama Papers" through the eyes of, filmmaker, Steven Soderbergh. The other film discussed was the entertaining Knives Out - a comedic who-done-it drama following the death of an acclaimed crime novelist. The Laundromat is currently streaming via Netflix, and Knives Out is still at the box office.

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) has made a huge announcement. Their upcoming international film conference will be held in El Paso during November of 2020. President of AMIA and Founder of Milestone Films, Dennis Doros spoke to us over the phone to discuss this announcement. From the work that AMIA does to the importance of moving image archivism, Dennis expressed his excitement for having the upcoming conference here in El Paso. 

Filmmaker and General Manager of Texas Tech Public Media, Paul Allen Hunton dropped by the KTEP studios this week to discuss a variety of topics. Paul spoke about the recent merger between Texas Tech Public Media and KCOS El Paso, his inspirations to become a filmmaker, and the future of documentary filmmaking here in the Southwest. From the ethics of documentary filmmaking to a humble start, there was plenty to discuss.

Re-Air of May 11, 2019

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a self described Chicanadian and international artist, spoke to us from his Montreal office about an upcoiming film that he is the subject of. Megalodemocrat chronicles the awesome and beautiful public art works of Rafael and will have a screening here in El Paso. Rafael also spoke with us about an upcoming public art project that will be displayed in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez during the Fall. 

For this week of On Film, we had a whole slew of guests come in to discuss the Paso Del Norte Foundation's Giving Day event. With the help of, local filmmakers, Carlos Corral and Angie Reza Tures, Tracy Yellen came by the KTEP studios to talk about the monumentous charitable event. With specific funds set up to help local and regional filmmakers, Giving Day had a unique and interesting film twist this year. 

Dia de Los Muertos has come back into the cultural spotlight due to the immensely popular Pixar film Coco. Dr. James Welch, Associate Conductor of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, has brought a very unique presentation that combines this interntionally successful film, a Latin American holiday, and a love of music. The El Paso Symphony Orchestra celebrated the Mexican holiday by playing a live film-to-score symphony to Coco. From the intricacies of doing a live film score to the best parts of Coco, there was plenty to discuss about this unique theatrical expirience.

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