Moviegoers, rejoice! The Circle Cinema is turning eighty-five! The theatre opened on July 15, 1928, with a showing of "Across the Atlantic," starring Monte Blue --- in this picture, according to advertisements from the period, Blue "flies to France...and...finds romance." The Circle is Tulsa's only remaining historical movie theatre (and the only theatre in town built before the 1960s); it's listed with the Oklahoma Historical Preservation Office and on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the more famous lines attributed to John Ford (1894-1973), the iconic film director who made many of the finest Westerns ever to come out of Hollywood, goes like this: "When the truth becomes legend, print the legend." That line is from "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," a movie from the early 1960s, but it just as clearly applies to "The Searchers," the classic Western from 1956, with John Wayne and Natalie Wood, which is commonly seen as a Ford masterpiece.
Our guest on this installment of StudioTulsa is Jonathan Rossetti, a young actor/writer/director who grew up in Tulsa and is now based in Los Angeles. Rossetti joins us by phone from Oklahoma City, where his newly completed indie film, "Home, James," will have its public debut tomorrow, Saturday the 8th, at 2pm at the Harkins Bricktown Cinema 2. "Home, James," which Rossetti directed, co-wrote, and stars in, is appearing as part of OKC's annual deadCenter Film Festival.
Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is A.O. Scott, who's been a film critic at The New York Times since 2000. Scott will appear at a "Talking Heads" lecture/Q&A this evening (Thursday the 4th) at Congregation B'nai Emunah in Tulsa, near 17th and Peoria. The event begins at 7pm, and there's an optional dinner beforehand, beginning at 5:45pm.
Move over, Oscar; your uber-hyped, high-octane night of movie-making awards and accolades is now done with. This evening, Monday the 25th, at 7pm here on the University of Tulsa campus --- in the Gussman Concert Hall of the Lorton Performance Center --- the TU Film Studies Department will present its Fifth Annual Spring Film Festival, which is free to the public. This will be a juried festival, wherein prizes will be awarded after the screenings for Best Film, Runner-Up, Best Original Score, and Audience Choice. Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Prof.
On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion with the well-known Hollywood actor --- and children's book author --- Bob Balaban. When we spoke with Mr. Balaban by phone, back in early October, he had just put out a book called "The Creature from the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast" (Penguin Young Readers Group). We spoke with him about this work, and about his efforts as a writer and actor --- and film producer / director / screenwriter --- more generally.
Our guest on this installment of ST is J.B. Kaufman, an author and film historian on the staff of the Walt Disney Family Foundation. He's just put out an extensively detailed and lavishly illustrated coffee-table book, "The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'" This year marks the 75th anniversary of this classic film's initial release, and Kaufman's hefty volume explores every facet of the making of the film, with pages and pages of never-before-published facts and artwork.
On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with Keith Ochwat, the Managing Director of the non-profit Documentary Foundation, which has produced some notable films that have appeared on PBS-TV. This organization's latest film, "Age of Champions," is due to appear on PBS in 2013. It's an inspiring, highly engaging group portrait of several different athletes/participants in the National Senior Olympics, and Ochwat is the film's producer.
On this edition of ST, we speak with the renowned artist, art director, cartoonist, and illustrator Wayne White --- along with the filmmaker Neil Berkeley, who's directed a documentary about White's influential and still-thriving career, "Beauty Is Embarrassing." This film premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, and it will be screened tonight, the 15th, at the Philbrook Museum of Art (at a "Third Thursday" event, beginning at 5:30pm), and tomorrow night, Friday the 16th, at the Circle Cinema (at 6pm).