Circle Cinema

On this edition of ST, we speak with A.O. Scott, chief film critic at The New York Times. Scott has a new book out; it's called "Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth." As was noted of this work in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "This stunning treatise on criticism from...Scott is a complete success, comprehensively demonstrating the value of his art.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about a fascinating new documentary film depicting the rise and fall of E.W. Marland, the legendary -- and often controversial, and always colorful -- Oklahoma oilman who was also the state's 10th governor. "High Stakes: The Life and Times of E.W. Marland," shot on location in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is the newest creation of co-producers Steve Herrin and Scott Swearingen, who have also made docs about Woody Guthrie, Thomas Gilcrease, and Willard Stone.

On this installment of ST, we meet a young Oklahoma filmmaker named Taylor Mullins, who tells us about his new documentary, "Oklahoma Shakedown." As the controversy continues over whether waste-water disposal is playing a role in our state's alarming rise of seismic activity, this film profiles various Oklahoma geologists and residential property owners who have decided to take action to stop these incessant quakes.

On this installment of ST, a look back at several of the more notable movies of 2015 with Michael Smith, the film critic at The Tulsa World. He joined this city's daily paper in 1996, and just to be clear about matters from the outset: Smith recently wrote in that newspaper that he thinks "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is the "best film in [that] franchise." Really? That good?

On this edition of ST, we learn about the first-ever Tulsa American Film Festival, which, per its website, "showcases independent feature and short films from across the U.S., highlighting Native American films, Oklahoma-based filmmakers, local student short films, a classic Oklahoma-centric film retrospective in addition to panels and parties." The festival happens later this week, from the 15th through the 18th, with screenings at the Circle Cinema and other events at the Woody Guthrie Center and the Gilcrease Museum.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about a newly created feature-length documentary film, "Boomtown: An American Journey," which depicts the history of the City of Tulsa. Our guests are Russ Kirkpatrick, the producer and executive producer of this film, and Michelle Place, the executive director of The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, which originally commissioned it.

On today's StudioTulsa, we learn about a new documentary film called "Misfits," which was screened last week at a special event at the Circle Cinema. This film, which was directed by the Danish filmmaker Jannik Splidsboel, and which debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, is (per its listing at the IMDB website) about "three American teenagers from conservative Tulsa [who] are struggling with isolation and instability....

On this presentation of ST, we speak with Marja Mills, a former reporter and feature writer with The Chicago Tribune. Mills is also the author of a bestselling memoir, "The Mockingbird Next Door," which details the time she spent getting to know novelist Harper Lee -- the author, of course, of the immortal "To Kill a Mockingbird" -- as well as Lee's older sister, Alice. Mills will discuss this recently published book (its origins, its development, its major findings, and so on) tonight, Monday the 8th, at 6:30pm at a Book Smart Tulsa event at the Circle Cinema.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Jonathan Scott Chinn, a filmmaker who lives and works in New York City, and who formerly worked as the producer of this radio show, from 1999 till 2001. Chinn's first feature film, which he directed, is a newly released drama/comedy called "The Widowers." It tells the story of best friends Jake and Jonathan, whose wives have both died in tragic accidents.

On this edition of ST, a discussion of the distinctive films of writer/director Wes Anderson, whose vivid, detailed, and meticulously crafted movies include "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," and "Moonrise Kingdom" --- as well as "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which is still in theaters nationwide. Our guest is Matt Zoller Seitz, a critic for New York magazine who has a new book out about Anderson's decidedly ornate cinematic world.

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