During this episode of Focus, we talked about film and its role in public discourse. Host Craig Cohen talks with Ben Kenigsberg, Film Section Editor for Time Out Chicago, and Richard Leskosky, an Associate Professor (retired) of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, about this year’s Academy Award nominees and the political statements they make. We discussed waterboarding and the capture of Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty, mental health issues raised in Silver Linings Playbook and the different depictions of slavery in Lincoln and Django Unchained. We also asked whether it’s a conflict of interest in Argo wins best picture; after all, it is a picture about how Hollywood came to the rescue...
The Truth… about insects, is out there. At least that’s May Berenbaum’s position on the matter. This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talks with Berenbaum, University of Illinois Professor of Entomology, about this year’s Insect Fear Film Festival. We’ll ask her about this year's X-Files theme, and the character from Season 3 of the X-Files who is named for her. Bambi Berenbaum, an entomologist who appears the episode “War of the Coprophages,” is named for May. We interviewed Chris Carter Tuesday, February 19 on Focus and asked him about it. Find the podcast here.
Cohen also talks with Berenbaum about conspiracy theories surrounding UFO’s and her upcoming article in American Entomologist about how UFO’s are most likely insect swarms. Then, we'll discuss what’s in the future for cyborg insects, robotic bugs equipped with transmitters, cameras and recording devices.
Do you have questions about insects… real or robotic? Join our conversation! Connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter or post in the comments section below.
This September marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. An estimated 100 million copies of the book have been sold since its publication, but interest in The Hobbit sees no signs of abating, as the first of a trilogy of Hobbit films by Peter Jackson opens this December. Author Corey Olsen, who produces a podcast called The Tolkien Professor, feels that The Hobbit has lived far too long in the shadow of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. His idea is to turn attention back to what he calls "this brilliant little book." Olsen is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland and the President and founder of the Mythgard Institute, a new online teaching center for the study of Tolkien and other works of imaginative literature.
This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, November 06, 2012, 10 am
With Stefan Kanfer (Writer, Editor; Film Critic)
With Josefina Lopez (Writer; Playwright; Screewriter; Artist in Residence, University of Illinois)
With Ash-har Quraishi (Emmy Award-Winning Television Journalist, Writer, Photographer and Filmmaker), and , and Basma Babar-Quraishi (Award-Winning, long-form, documentary, and breaking news Producer)
With Richard Leskosky, Ph.D. (Associate Director Unit for Cinema Studies and Assistant Professor, University of Illinois; Film Critic, The News-Gazette), and , and David Desser (Emeritus Professor and former Director of Cinema Studies, UIUC; Adjunct Professor of Critical Media Studies, Department of Film and Television, UCLA)
Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Mod
With Jason Zinoman (Critic and Reporter covering theater for The New York Times)
With Susannah Gora (Entertainment Journalist)
With Peter Kuran (Hollywood Special Effects Expert; Film Writer, Director, Producer, Editor)