Focus

WILL - Focus - April 05, 2013

Coming up on Focus: Mad Men, The War on Drugs, and Bond….James Bond

Are you a fan of AMC’s “MadMen”? Who do you think is the best James Bond? Is it time for the US to end the war on drugs?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.

MadMen Cast

Coming up next week on Focus, we’ve got a little something for everybody – from James Bond to gardening, we welcome you to join our conversation!


WILL - Focus - February 22, 2013

The Academy Awards and Focus’ New Host

Today on on Focus, host Craig Cohen talked with Time Out Chicago’s Film Editor about this year’s Oscar nominees and the politlcal statements they make. Then, during the second half of the program, he talked with Jim Meadows, who will be Focus’ new interim host starting Monday.

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(Duration: 55:01)

a photo from the audience at the Oscars in 1988

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...


WILL - Focus - February 21, 2013

The 30th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival

Have you ever pet a cockroach? If you’ve been longing to, you’ll get that chance this weekend at the Insect Fear Film Festival. This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talked with UIUC entomologist May Berenbaum about this year’s festival, cockroaches in all their glory, and flying insect swarms as UFO’s. Find the podcast here. 

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(Duration: 50:11)

May Berenbaum with an insect

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.

Categories: Animals, Cinema, Environment

WILL - Focus - December 28, 2012

Exploring JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit

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(Duration: 51:33)

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




WILL - Focus - February 27, 2012

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football: A Documentary Film

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football: A Documentary Film

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(Duration: 55:01)

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)

Categories: Cinema, Community, Education, Sports

WILL - Focus - February 24, 2012

The Academy Awards Nominations and Films of 2011

The Academy Awards Nominations and Films of 2011

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(Duration: 50:36)

With Richard Leskosky, Ph.D. (Associate Director Unit for Cinema Studies and Assistant Professor, University of Illinois; Film Critic, The News-Gazette), and David Desser (Emeritus Professor and former Director of Cinema Studies, UIUC; Adjunct Professor of Critical Media Studies, Department of Film and Television, UCLA)

Categories: Cinema

WILL - Focus - September 16, 2011

Shock Value

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(Duration: 55:25)

Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror

With Jason Zinoman (Critic and Reporter covering theater for The New York Times)

Categories: Cinema, Entertainment


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