Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… You know how that ends. This hour on Focus, we talk about Superman, the origins of the character and Superman’s place in popular culture
Superman’s character was created in the early 1930’s and has since has appeared or been referenced in pretty much every form of media – comics, books, movies and even in song. During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Larry Tye, author of the book “The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Super Hero.” He talks with Tye about the creators of the character, movie adaptations and of course, the iconic red cape.
We’ll also hear from Karla Ogle, co-chair of the Superman Festival in Metropolis, Illinois. The festival draws more than 30,000 people to Metropolis, population ~6,000 each year. Jim Hambrick, who founded and curates the Super Museum also joins us.
Do you have questions about the history of Superman? Maybe you’re a huge fan… We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!
“Vinyl sounds warmer….it’s about the experience….I like the crackle….” Do you enjoy listening to music on a turntable? We’ll talk about music in the 21st century and if vinyl’s “comeback” really means anything to the future of the music industry.
According to Nielsen Soundscan, a company that tracks the sale of music in the US, vinyl sales are up by 35% over the same time last year; nearly two million vinyl albums have sold so far in 2013. Nielsen says their data shows that vinyl sales started climbing in 2007 and have kept on going ever since. Interesting considering music hasn’t been released solely on vinyl albums for decades... This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the resurgence of records and record stores and will talk about what makes old-fashioned records so appealing in an era largely defined by digital culture.
As a parent, how do you talk to your kids about the birds and the bees? That very conversation inspired Julia Sweeney’s new book “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother.” She joins us live today on Focus!
Former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney is known for both her infamous character “Pat” and her solo performances. Since her days on SNL, she’s toured as a one woman show exploring love, cancer, family and faith in God Said Ha!, In the Family Way and Letting Go of God. In her new book If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother, she confronts parenting and what it was like for her as a single woman to adopt her daughter, Mulan. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Sweeney about her book, the TED Talk and the embroidered pillow that inspired the book.
We’ll also ask her about “Pat” and her career as a comedian and performer.
Do you have questions for Julia about her life and career? In her book, she writes about her hatred of large strollers and being mistaken for her daughter’s grandmother. Do you relate? Post in the comments section below or find us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.
Roger Ebert’s 15th Annual Film Festival opened last night in Champaign at the historic Virginia Theatre for the first time without Roger. This hour on Focus, we’re remembering him and his mark on film and culture.
Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, screenwriter and journalist Roger Ebert will be remembered as one of the greatest film critics of all time. His mark on the cinema, our culture and our community are undeniable. This hour on Focus, guest host Jeff Bossert talks with Chicgao Tribune film critic Michael Phillips. Phillips filled in for Roger on "At the Movies" when he first became ill and later took over the show. We'll also hear from several members of the Champaign-Urbana community and a long-time Ebertfest volunteer.
Did you know and love Roger? What did he mean to you? To our community? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus.
A new local WILL-TV special, Ebert Remembered, airing at 8 pm Thursday, April 18, will highlight excerpts of WILL-TV interviews with Roger Ebert in which he talks about his childhood in Urbana, his experience at the University of Illinois and his role as a movie critic.
What is it about James Bond? Why did the character spark such a following and why does the character endure? This hour on Focus, we talked about Bond, his cars and his legacy.
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the release of Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale” that introduced the world to the now infamous mystery man, James Bond. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Michael VanBlaricum, a UIUC alumnus and founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, about Bond’s legacy. John Cork, co-author of the book "James Bond: The Legacy" and a documentary film maker and writer known for his knowledge of the character, also joins us.
The premier for the 6th season of MadMen was last night on AMC. Are you a fan of the show? Love it? Hate it? This hour on Focus, guest host Chris Berube talked with three UIUC professors who have just published the book “Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style and the 1960’s.”
The premier for the 6th season of MadMen was last night on AMC. Set in the 1960’s in New York, the television drama follows the lives of advertising executives on Madison Avenue. Some have criticized the show for its portrayal of race and gender politics, while those same elements of the show have drawn critical acclaim from others. This hour on Focus, guest host Chris Berube talks with Robert Rushing, Lilya Kaganovsky and Lauren Goodlad of the UIUC about the show and their book “MadMen, Mad World: Sex, Politics Style and the 1960’s.”
Reporters from Illinois Public Media - Jim Meadows, Jeff Bossert and Sean Powers - choose and discuss their picks for the top IPR news stories of the year.
With Brian K. Johnson, Professor of Journalism, College of Media, University of Illinois
We’ll be taking your questions on cameras and photography as we welcome back to the show Brian Johnson, professor of journalism at the University of Illinois. From time to time he stops by and we talk about the changing technology of picture taking. We can take questions on equipment and also technique. Whether you are a pro or a serious hobbyist, you shoot film or digital, your call will be welcome.
A blimp in flames crashes through the roof of a busy downtown bank; a racial incident at a hot, crowded beach spirals into one of the worst urban riots in American history; a transit strike paralyzes the city; the body of a missing young girl is found, the victim of a gruesome murder. The Great Fire of 1871 holds a notorious place in Chicago history – but these incidents over 12 balmy days in 1919 shaped the city in profound ways and paved the way for the birth of the modern American city.
Did video kill the radio star? If so, it was with a lot of help from MTV. It's hard to remember that the initials MTV, now better known for reality programming, actually stand for "Music Television." In its first decade, MTV lived up to its name - it played music videos all day, the way a radio station played records. Though music videos had been played on television since the 1960s, MTV was the first outlet specifically programmed around music videos. We'll talk with Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, authors of "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution" about the tumultuous first decade of MTV and the videos that made the 1980s and early 1990s memorable.
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