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Live And Let Live – Or Not

The rains have come and with the rains have come the ants. My wife was rather grossed out and suggested poisoning them wholesale. Now after humans, ants have the most complex society on earth and the nest they have built under our house is the size of New York on an ant scale, stretching well… Read more »

Vote for KXCI!

Best of Tucson Weekly

Vote for KXCI in The Tucson Weekly’s 2015 Best of Tucson. Be sure to hurry because voting ends August 2 at 11:59 PM. KXCI is in the running for several categories. Here’s a link to the ballot to give your opinions on all things Tucson! We’re one of the choices for Best Radio Station for Music… Read more »

Results

Makers of film comedies often invent weird characters and put them into outrageous situations for laughs, a strategy which does work sometimes. A less common, and more interesting approach is to recognize that most ordinary people are weird in some way—so once you create an amusing premise, you can let your characters behave in ways… Read more »

Howl’s Moving Castle

Is there a better animation director than Hayao Miyazaki? Could there be? It seems to me, for many reasons, that he’s the best in the world at what he does. Or what he did, I should say, because last year, to the consternation of his fans, he announced his retirement from filmmaking. Now, if you’re… Read more »

Lambert & Stamp

I’ve been a fan of the British rock group The Who since my early teens, but I never knew much about their story. A fascinating new film reveals aspects of their story that are more unusual than I could have imagined. Made by first-time director James D. Cooper, it’s called Lambert & Stamp, and right… Read more »

Touch of Evil

The prevailing myth about Orson Welles is that he was his own worst enemy. Well, there’s some truth to that, but what isn’t said often enough is that Welles was dedicated to breaking cinematic rules in order to make innovative films, and that was not okay with the men who ran the Hollywood studios. You… Read more »

Speedway and Swan Poem Playlist for Episode 3, June 21, 2015, with guest co-host Maggie Golston

SwanoverSpeedway

Speedway and Swan Poem Playlist for Episode 3, June 21, 2015, with guest co-host Maggie Golston “I want a literature that is not made from literature” writes Bhanu Kapil in her book, Ban en Banlieue. Poet and musician Maggie Golston joins host Brian Blanchfield to read selections of poetry that might answer that call: Kapil, Alice Oswald, Miles Champion,… Read more »

Merchants of Doubt

It’s well known that documentaries generally have a smaller audience than fiction films, and it’s become a tried and true piece of wisdom for non-fiction filmmakers that they need to find an entertaining way to hook the viewers in, to get them interested. In his latest film, Merchants of Doubt, Robert Kenner cleverly manages this… Read more »

Slow West

The Western film has been pronounced dead more times than I can count. Still, once in a while someone makes a Western. For example, a young Scottish writer-director, John Maclean, has just made one, his first feature length film, called Slow West. I think that might be a pun on “Go West,” but I’m not… Read more »

Speedway and Swan / Episode 2 / Guest co-host John Melillo / May 31, 2015

Speedway and Swan Poem Playlist for Episode 2, May 31, 2015, with guest co-host John Melillo Writer and musician John Melillo and host Brian Blanchfield talk waves, wave machines, drone versus decadence, and “words that tend toward pure sound.” Lots of great work from the new poetry shelves (Donna Stonecipher, Caroline Bergvall, Eric Ekstrand, Tyler Brewington, etcetera), some… Read more »

Spring in a Small Town

Many in the West are unfamiliar with Chinese films, especially those that are older, but a vibrant Chinese cinema has existed since the beginning of movies, with the industry in the old days mostly centered in Shanghai. One of the most beautiful Chinese films, and most influential on later filmmakers, was Spring in a Small… Read more »

Chicago Tribune Recognizes KXCI as Leader in New Music

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  KXCI is ahead of the crowd in getting new music to the people. KXCI’s own Music Director Duncan Hudson was interviewed for this Chicago Tribune article that highlights why radio stations need to be constantly updating and refreshing its sound.

Clouds of Sils Maria

The films of Olivier Assayas have such a wide range in style and subject matter that they practically defy categorization. One of things I admire most is that he’s not a perfectionist, and his awareness that a film will always have flaws is woven into his aesthetic—it’s part of his approach. His latest movie is… Read more »

The Salt of the Earth

German director Wim Wenders is best known for his fiction films from the 70s and 80s, especially 1987’s worldwide sensation Wings of Desire. In recent decades, however, he’s devoted much of attention to non-fiction movies that focus on outstanding artists, for example the great Cuban musicians of The Buena Vista Social Club, and more recently… Read more »

While We’re Young

Noah Baumbach makes comedies about real stuff—in other words, he looks humorously at various aspects of life that he’s familiar with. His previous two films, Greenberg and Frances Ha, dealt with people who are having trouble growing up despite having graduated from college. His latest picture is called While We’re Young, and this time he’s… Read more »

Oscar and Lucinda

Once in a great while a film will defy expectations by delivering the richness and unique characters that we usually only find in novels. Such is the case with Oscar and Lucinda, a 1997 film by Australian director Gillian Armstrong It’s a drama with the look and feel of a period epic that at the… Read more »

Wild Tales

Six stories involving extreme reactions to stress are given the apt title of Wild Tales, a film from Argentina, written and directed by Damian Szifron. At least that seems to be the common theme of the movie—anger, revenge, and dishonesty also thread their way through these stories. Szifron seems to enjoy putting his characters through… Read more »

Still Alice

Still Alice, a film by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, tells of a professor at Columbia University named Alice Howland, who at the age of 50 is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and fights to preserve her memory and awareness for as long as she can, while her family—her husband and three adult children, deal… Read more »

Va Savoir

Jacques Rivette is one of the veterans of the French New Wave that rocked the world of cinema in the 1960s. He hasn’t made as many films as the others, and is therefore not as well known as he deserves to be. A good example of what he can do, released in 2001, is a… Read more »

CAN’T WAIT EPISODE 001 Part 2

Nick Prevenas, Matt Milner, and Rusty Boulet-Stephenson answer listener questions about the start of the NBA playoffs.

Maps to the Stars

Maps to the Stars opens with a simple credit sequence against a painted backdrop of stars in the sky. There’s a kind of pun intended. The maps referred to in the title are more prosaic—the tourist maps that you can buy in Hollywood that can guide you to the neighborhoods and homes of various movie… Read more »

Leviathan

The best works of art, in film and in literature in general, often have a multilayered quality. They can be enjoyed and appreciated on one level, while additional levels of meaning and significance reveal themselves for those who are open to them. This is the effect that Leviathan, the latest film from Russian director Andrey… Read more »

KXCI & Arizona Gives Day 2015 & You

Arizona Gives Day Logo

Pledge your support to KXCI on Arizona Gives Day 2015– a powerful 24 hour online giving experience that unites Arizonans around causes they believe in. Hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Arizona Gives Day is a great way for nonprofits to connect to the larger community. Last year KXCI… Read more »

Night and the City

   Night and the City, a 1950 crime drama directed by Jules Dassin, tells the story of petty gambler and hustler Harry Fabian (played by Richard Widmark) who finds what he thinks is a perfect stroke of luck: a chance encounter that puts him in a position to be a big player in the London… Read more »

Mr. Turner

The artist as hero—it’s a persistent myth, and of course filmmakers have long been in the habit of putting heroes at the center of their stories. English director Mike Leigh, himself one of the foremost artists of cinema, knows very well that an artist is a human being, subject to the same flaws and even… Read more »

A Film Snob’s Favorites of ’14

I’ve decided that a “best films of the year” list is an illusion. All I can really give you is a “favorite films that I saw this year” list. There are so many excellent films being made, but only a fraction of them played on a big screen here. The reason? Tucson’s one art house… Read more »

Selma

As timely as it is, Selma, the new film by Ava DuVernay, also represents a refreshing approach to historical drama. In depicting a crucial period in American history, it resists the softening that too often mars our view of the past, choosing instead to favor the pain and complexity that we tend to ignore. Selma… Read more »

Inherent Vice

You’ve heard of a shaggy dog story. Inherent Vice, the marvelous new film by Paul Thomas Anderson, is a shaggy hippie story. Joaquin Phoenix plays a stoner private detective named Doc Sportello, with wild unkempt hair and muttonchop whiskers, living in a southern California beach town in 1970. He is visited by an ex-girlfriend named… Read more »

Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal has done a lot of good interesting work over the years. Now he’s turned in what I would call a virtuoso performance, playing a very disturbing and unappealing character, Louis Bloom, in Nightcrawler, written and directed by David Gilroy. We first meet Lou Bloom stealing copper wire from a warehouse and slugging the… Read more »

The Great Beauty

Self-confidence doesn’t seem to be a problem for Italian director Paolo Sorrentino. His latest picture, The Great Beauty, winner of the foreign language film Oscar this year, opens with amazing audacity. After a prologue featuring a choir singing weird ethereal music near the great fountain of Acqua Paola in Rome while Japanese tourists snap photos,… Read more »

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers with Gabriel Sullivan at Rialto Theater Saturday February 14, 2015

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers with Gabriel Sullivan at Rialto Theater this Saturday February 14th Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers with Gabriel Sullivan   More information and tickets can be found at http://www.rialtotheatre.com/event/755785-roger-clyne-peacemakers-tucson/ The weekend spotlight is sponsored by The Tucson Museum of Art, located downtown. Events and exhibitions can be found at TucsonMuseumOfArt.Org

Desert Harvesters with Brad Lancaster

This week, Gretchen was super-excited to talk to the amazing Brad Lancaster, author of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond. The whole interview is here, online @ 5:24. It was abbreviated on the radio broadcast, in the interest of time. Gretchen talks with Brad, here, about Desert Harvesters and what types of foods are edible in the… Read more »

Wild

Wild, a film by Jean-Marc Vallee, tells the story of a woman who backpacks the Pacific Crest Trail. One of the things I like about it is that it pays attention to little mundane details, like what exactly you should put in a pack, what kind of boots to wear, and how to keep yourself… Read more »

Yaaba

In a small African village, a boy is drawn to an old woman, despite her ostracism by the village as a witch. Defying his strict father, he makes friends with her, calling her “Yaaba” (grandmother). Yaaba is also the name of the film, made in 1989 and directed by Idrissa Ouedraogo. It’s from Burkina Faso… Read more »

“Cowboy Operetta” Concert at El Casino Ballroom Saturday January 31, 2015

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“Cowboy Operetta” benefit concert event this Saturday January 31st at 7pm at The El Casino Ballroom.  “A Cowboy Operetta” Benefit Concert Featuring Cory Padilla and LeeAnne Savage Benefiting Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund – Formed by Justin Boots with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), the 501-C3 non-profit charity… Read more »

The Babadook

It’s good to be able to recommend a new horror film, what with all the sadistic trash that is called by that name nowadays. From Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent comes The Babadook, intelligent horror with a point. Essie Davis plays Amelia, whom we first meet dreaming about a car crash. She’s a single mom with… Read more »

Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces, a 1970 film by Bob Rafelson, is an important milestone in the all-too brief American cinema renaissance of the late 60s to mid-70s. And it holds a special place in my regard. If you haven’t seen it, you may nevertheless have seen the famous clip of Jack Nicholson trying to order toast… Read more »

Love is Strange / Rosewater

Two modest films for your Thanksgiving season—both inspiring gratitude in different ways. The first is called Love is Strange, kind of an awkward title for a graceful movie. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play Ben and George, an older gay couple in New York City, who finally get married when that state comes around to… Read more »

Listen Up Philip

Senses of humor vary widely. Mine is decidedly offbeat, and I don’t often see comedies that match it perfectly. I remember with the satisfaction of hindsight being the only person in a theater laughing at The Big Lebowski, which of course later became a cult classic. I’m saying all this to prepare you for my… Read more »

Dear White People

Race is something we should be able to talk about honestly in this country, but of course it is so charged as a topic that many just avoid it. Up and coming young writer-director Justin Simien cleverly solves this problem by using satire instead of heavy-handed drama in his first feature, provocatively titled, Dear White… Read more »

Birdman

I love seeing a big American film that does something new and original. Birdman, the new film by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, not only does that, but sticks its tongue out at all the old, derivative unoriginal Hollywood junk littering our screens at the same time. It’s hard to predict how such an approach will do… Read more »

Rosemary’s Baby

I like to joke that horror movies don’t scare me any more; what scares me is the news. It’s true, though, that there are very few films that have succeeded in frightening me since I became an adult. One example that did and that I strongly recommend is from 1968: Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Roman… Read more »

Party of Special Things To Do Features Avant Garde Music

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Tonight at Midnite on The Party…Team Mosey have a great big ragbag of the weird and obscure, including newly-released archival material from The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and Yo La Tengo…an unraveling juxtaposition between eerie instrumentals and untrained vocalists, and an extra guitarful This Day in Frank Zappa. All this and more…91.3FM and streaming live at… Read more »

Kill the Messenger

Hollywood, by which I mean the mainstream American film industry, generally tries to avoid political controversy in its films these days. So I was surprised to learn that Jeremy Renner had decided to produce and star in a film about journalist Gary Webb, whose investigations in the late 90s into a secret Reagan-era government connection… Read more »

Loft Film Festival 2014

In the five years since it started, the Loft Film Festival has established a standard of excellence that cannot be denied. Every year they present exciting films and events to bring a smile to the face of even the most critical film snob. The 5th annual Loft Film Fest runs from Oct. 16th through the19th,… Read more »

Gone Girl

It’s not every day that slick popular entertainment, perceptive social drama and biting satire come together in the same movie. But that’s what we have in David Fincher’s new film Gone Girl. Adapted by Gillian Flynn from her own bestselling novel, which I have not read, the story concerns a married couple, Nick and Amy,… Read more »

Red Riding

A three-part miniseries that was later released theatricallyin 2009, Red Riding is the story of a series of horrific murders in England’s west Yorkshire area, and the deep-rooted corruption in the police department that these killings expose. It’s based on novels by David Peace, inspired in turn by a few notorious real life cases, including… Read more »

Thesis Thursday-Kids, Tigger, and Cognition

This Thursday Cathy interviews Wonn Pyon. Wonn is a Senior at University of Arizona Biological Research Program UBRP  and is working with kids to study how they see the world. He hopes understanding a child’s mind will lead to new breakthroughs with the adult brain. What a thinker! Later, Pyon requests Jason Mraz as well… Read more »

The One I Love

Last week I did a show about two films featuring doubles, look-alikes. This week I went to see a new film and—wouldn’t you know—it was about doubles. I have no explanation for that, but I will say that The One I Love, an independent film written by Justin Lader and directed by Charlie McDowell, gives… Read more »

The Double & Enemy

Two recent movies, both very interesting but in different ways, explore the theme of the doppelganger, a literary term for a stranger who looks exactly like you. The doppelganger is supposed to be bad luck, and often symbolizes the shadowy, unacknowledged parts of ourselves. The Double, directed by the young English filmmaker Richard Ayoade is… Read more »

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

It would seem that the American musical, especially its incarnation in the color spectacles of the 1950s, represents a moment in time that will never return. Entranced by this beautiful genre, the young French director Jacques Demy crafted an ornate tribute in 1964 called The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. In addition to directing the film, Demy… Read more »

Mood Indigo

Michel Gondry has an intensely visual imagination, and you get the feeling watching his films that he doesn’t see any real limits to what is possible on screen. He’s been able to play around in Hollywood a bit over the years, with some success, most memorably with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ten years… Read more »

Mother and Son

   The term “art film” gets thrown about so much that it’s ceased to have much meaning. Some people even consider it an insult. So when I say, that Mother and Son, a 1997 work by Russian director Alexander Sokurov, is an art film in the strictest sense, I know I might scare people away…. Read more »

Boyhood

Boyhood, the latest film from writer-director Richard Linklater, has been getting quite a lot of attention lately, which—despite the fact that Linklater has had quite a few successes over the years—is unusual for this quirky, independent filmmaker. The primary reason for all the buzz is the completely unique method used to make the film. In… Read more »

KXCI Broadcasters Career Fair information

KXCI’s broadcasters career fair is Thursday, September 18th from 10am to 1pm at Pima Community College’s Downtown Campus, 1255 North Stone. We’ll be in Building CC, Room 180, aka the “Amethyst Room.” This event is open to the public. Information will be provided to those interested in learning about careers and job openings in radio and… Read more »

All is Lost

All is Lost is a film that played here in town last year, for quite a while, but for various reasons I didn’t get around to seeing it. The premise, a man alone on a yacht, seemed forbidding, but luckily in this age of the DVD I can correct my mistakes fairly quickly, and I… Read more »

Lisa Krikawa for KXCI!

Lisa Krikawa, owner of Krikiwa Jewelry, shares her support and enthusiasm for KXCI. Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to help KXCI with your kind words about our great community and 91.3 FM KXCI Community Radio.

Richard Oseran for KXCI!

Richard Oseran, owner of Club Congress, shares his passion and support for 91.3 FM KXCI Community Radio! Thanks so much for your kinds words, Richard!

A Most Wanted Man

This week I watched Philip Seymour Hoffman in his final completed film. Now there’s a sentence I hated saying. You probably know that Hoffman died about six months ago from a heroin overdose. A recovering addict who was clean for 23 years before his fatal relapse, his death robbed us of one of our finest… Read more »

Like Father, Like Son

   When it comes to the authentic portrayal of the lives and concerns of children, no filmmaker today is more skillful than the Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda. His 2004 film Nobody Knows, and then I Wish, from a couple years ago, demonstrated marvelous insight, respect, and lack of condescension (always a danger in films about… Read more »

Violette

Violette, a new film by Martin Prevost, stars Emmanuel Devos as the French writer Violette Leduc, a very difficult role because Leduc was one of those authors whose genius seems to spring full grown from her misery. Devos captures Violette’s mixture of desperate neediness and fierce intelligence, turning the portrayal into a full realization of… Read more »

The Story of G.I. Joe

During most of the U.S. involvement in World War II, Hollywood’s war movies tended to be unrealistic action pictures: derring-do with a hefty mix of gung-ho rhetoric. Then, just as things were winding down, as the war was ending in 1945, a remarkable picture was released with a title that seems a bit anachronistic today,… Read more »

The Immigrant

The Immigrant, a new film directed by James Gray, opens with the Statue of Liberty glimpsed through the haze of a cloudy afternoon. It is 1921. On Ellis Island, Ewa Cybulska, a Polish woman escaping war and poverty in her homeland, tries to get her sister Magda to stop coughing. But it’s no use; an… Read more »

The Missing Picture

   In 1975, the Cambodian government fell to the army of the Khmer Rouge, the Communist movement led by Pol Pot. The Khmer Rouge believed that all remnants of urban life must be destroyed, and to that end they forced the people of Phnom Penh and other cities to evacuate, give up all their possessions,… Read more »

Night Moves

    Night Moves, the outstanding new film by independent filmmaker Kelly Reichardt, opens with shots of a young man named Josh, played by Jesse Eisenberg, looking at a dam as it releases water from a sluice, then follows him wandering in the Oregon woods nearby. He meets up with Dena, played by Dakota Fanning, at… Read more »

Ida

Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski has spent most of his life in England, and his films often explore the intersection of East and West in modern life. His new film Ida takes place in Poland in the early 1960s—and with the eye of both a native and an exile the director examines that country’s tragic legacy… Read more »

La Dolce Vita

   Federico Fellini saw the world through the eyes of mythology. That is perhaps the secret of his appeal: as specific as his scenes and characters are, they deepen into archetypes as we watch. After gaining critical acclaim with six groundbreaking films in the 1950s, Fellini was ready to paint on a larger canvas, and… Read more »

Mona Lisa

English actor Bob Hoskins died a few weeks ago at the age of 71. Short, balding, with a quirky tough-guy persona, he was one of the more unlikely candidates for stardom. To learn how he came to the fore as a film actor, just need look at a lot of his earlier work in British… Read more »

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

   Anita: Speaking Truth to Power is a documentary by Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock. The subject is Anita Hill, who became famous in 1991 during the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. For those who remember that time, the story may seem familiar, but here we have Ms. Hill herself describing… Read more »

Philomena

   Philomena is based on a true story, and as it happens a very sad, even tragic one, about a young Irish woman, Philomena Lee, who was sent to a nunnery by her father when she got pregnant out of wedlock, one of many girls whose babies were sold for adoption to wealthy American Catholics…. Read more »

Late Chrysanthemums

A portrait of three former geishas struggling with the challenges of middle age in postwar Tokyo, Late Chrysanthemums, a 1954 film directed by Mikio Naruse, weaves several short stories by Fumiko Hayashi into a flawless tapestry of social observation. We first meet Kin (played by Haruko Sugimura) as she discusses her rental properties with a… Read more »

Le Weekend

When director Roger Michell and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi team up for a film, which they’ve now done four times, they tend to explore the theme of relationships in late middle age, an area not covered very well in movies as a general rule. Their new film is called Le Week-End, and the subject is long-term… Read more »

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson is the only director I can think of that expresses himself primarily through the production design of his films. If you’ve seen a few of his movies, you can recognize the style right away—sets that look like marvelous intricate toys, everything in bold colors, block-like patterns, with the camera either facing the actors… Read more »

Vagabond

   What the mystery boils down to is: who, or what, are we? In Agnes Varda’s 1985 masterpiece Vagabond “we” are a homeless drifter, making half-hearted attempts to meet the world, but essentially lost, separate, and alone. The ending comes first—a young woman, her name was Mona, found frozen to death in a ditch. Then… Read more »

Electric Feel Celebrates KXCI’s 30th Anniversary

For this special edition of Electric Feel radio on Friday December 6th, 2013, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of KXCI.  On this date 30 years ago, KXCI first hit the airwaves with a mission to bring Tucson an alternative to the usual sounds heard on the radio.  We are proud to continue the tradition today,… Read more »

Features for the week of 9/9/13

Your Morning Brew: Wooden Boy – BACKGROUND CD USED THROUGHOUT THE SHOW 7:20am Gipsy Kings, Savor Flamenco – THE GLOBAL EXPRESS 8:20am Blitzen Trapper, VII – THE FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK The Home Stretch: 3:20pm Mendoza, Alarma – LOCAL PICK OF THE WEEK 4:00pm Tom Waits, Swordfishtrombones  – CLASSIC PICK OF THE WEEK 5:00pm King Khan & His Shrines, Idle No More  – NATIONAL PICK OF THE WEEK

Voices for Education

Tucson area students are back in school for the 2013-2014 school year. Robin Hiller, Executive Director of Voices for Education gives an overview on the effects of school classroom size, high stakes testing, and poverty on public education. Robin founded Voices of Education in 1998 in response to her son’s enrollment in an over-crowded kindergarten… Read more »