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Equinox Flower

Yasujiro Ozu was one of the three or four most important Japanese directors of the 20th century. He’s more austere, more spiritually oriented, than Kurosawa, and consequently isn’t as well known in the West. Critics rightly point to Tokyo Story, from 1953, as his masterpiece, but today I’m going off the beaten track to recommend… Read more »

The Gift

It’s good when a genre film does its job well without insulting your intelligence—no matter if the genre is crime, suspense, science fiction, romantic comedy, or whatever. But it’s even better when a genre film not only does that, but transcends itself, becomes more than entertainment, and actually says something meaningful about the human condition…. Read more »


Phoenix, a new film by German director Christian Petzold, takes its name not from the Arizona city, but a nightclub catering to American GIs in postwar Berlin, with the added significance of the word’s original meaning, a mythical bird that rises from the ashes after being consumed in fire. Nina Hoss plays Nelly Lenz, a… Read more »

Listen to Me Marlon

What do we know about Marlon Brando? We know that he’s one of the most influential film actors that ever lived. He electrified audiences in his early work from the 1950s—we immediately think of A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront, but there were other early iconic roles as well. Brando also suggests an… Read more »

Fathoming Water Podcast


Because of climate change, increasing populations and pollution, fresh water is an increasingly contested resource. KXCI’s Melissa Mauzy hosts a podcast series on the subject, titled “Fathoming Water“. Episode 1 features an interview with Dr. Sharon Megdal, Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC). Episode 2 features an interview with Dr. Robert Glennon, Regents’… Read more »


Freddie or Hannibal ain’t got nothing on this one, this is true Horror: In Zimbawe’s Hwange national Park, already infamous for the killing of the lion Cecil by (this may hurt a little) a dentist, poachers have killed off some 60 elephants to date by poisoning their drinking water with cyanide. A quick death, but… Read more »

The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour, a film by James Ponsoldt, succeeds at doing some things that aren’t supposed to work in movies. It explores the inner life of writers and why they write. It reproduces the rhythm of ordinary day-to-day life. Most remarkable of all, the film consists almost entirely of two people talking. The… Read more »

I’ll See You In My Dreams

Blythe Danner has been one of our best actresses for four decades, primarily in the theater, where she’s won two Tonys and performec Shakespeare, Shaw, and everything in between. So although she’s had a few juicy roles on film and TV, a lot of people might know her only as Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother, if they… Read more »

Lonely Hearts Club Episode 4

In Episode 4 Bridgitte Thum talks with friends about zombies, guns, and seeing the future. This is a comedy advice podcast, not to be taken seriously. It’s just for fun. Join us and you will see what it’s all about. Made with LOVE in Tucson at KXCI.  

Community Gardens of Tucson Celebration

Community Gardens of Tucson (CGT), a nonprofit organization germinated in 1990 by author George Brookbank, will host a fundraising celebration in his honor at the site of its 25th garden on Sunday, October 25th. The Big 25th Celebration will kick-off at 12:30pm in the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Sculpture Garden with a lunch buffet, education… Read more »


Independent filmmakers, working outside of the big budget movie system, have often favored gritty, down-to-earth, observational cinema. Characters behaving on screen like ordinary people, without glamour and sometimes without plot. But when Sean Baker, an offbeat writer/director whose credits include the absurd TV puppet series Greg the Bunny, does down-to-earth, the results are unpredictably silly… Read more »

The Tucson Festival of Films

The Tucson Festival of Films is a different kind of festival than any other I’ve heard of. It’s presented by the curators of eight different annual film festivals here in town, with one film contributed by each festival, making this cinematic celebration a true “festival of festivals.” It’s a three-night event, from Thursday through Saturday,… Read more »

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, released in 1972, was one of the last films made by the great Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel. He directed it when he was in his 70s, but you would hardly guess that from the movie itself—it’s his liveliest and most inventive comedy, a metafictional satire with heart. This is… Read more »

Keith Allen Dennis Live in Studio 2A

Keith Allen Dennis performs live in Studio 2A for the second hour of Locals Only. Keith talks about how he got in to the music scene after relocating to Bisbee, forming the current line-up and the new record, Mystic Blues. A great hour of live music and discussion. Keith Allen Dennis is hard to pin… Read more »

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth, a film from England directed by James Kent, is based on a 1933 book by Vera Brittain, recalling her experiences as a young woman in the early 20th century, and how her life was affected by the worst war ever fought up to that point, The Great War, as it was called—we… Read more »

Speedway and Swan / Episodes 4, 5, & 6 / Co-hosts Molly McKasson, Ian Ellasante, and Tyler Meier


Speedway and Swan Poem Playlist for Episode 6, August 9, 2015, with guest co-host Tyler Meier University of Arizona Poetry Center director Tyler Meier joins host Brian Blanchfield for an hour of poetry on the radio that, among other things, posits what might constitute a monsoon poetics (buildup, wait, release if it so pleases); listens in on elegies… Read more »

The Cameraman

The Cameraman, a comedy made in 1928, stars Buster Keaton as a sad sack who shoots tintype portraits on a street corner for a living. By chance he falls for a young woman (played by Marceline Day) who works for a company that makes newsreels, so he buys a movie camera and tries to make… Read more »

Splendor in the Grass

The 1961 film Splendor in the Grass is a picture that inspires complicated feelings. Directed by Elia Kazan, it doesn’t have the clarity or control of his well-known masterpieces from the 50s such as On the Waterfront, but despite its occasional messy qualities, I find it impossible to forget. On the surface, it’s a story… Read more »

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent is a film about the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. That much is true, but the style and the method employed by the director, Bertrand Bonello, defies the simple categorization that usually applies to a biographical drama, or biopic, as the genre is now referred to in movie slang. The film doesn’t provide… Read more »

Love & Mercy

Love & Mercy is a film about Brian Wilson, the famous, rock musician and the chief songwriter for the Beach Boys. Actually it would be more accurate to say that it’s two films. The director, Bill Pohlad, and the screenwriters, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner, weave two separate time periods from Wilson’s life into… Read more »

Felix & Meira

Felix & Meira, a film by Canadian director Maxime Giroux, puts a wry twist on the classic theme of forbidden love. The film opens with a Sabbath meal in the household of a small group of Hasidic Jews. The men, with their long beards and black coats, sing and chant in a staccato rhythm, while… Read more »

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Sometimes I feel compelled to describe a movie as “difficult,” and it seems almost like I’m about to apologize for it. As if a film has to justify itself for not being as clear and simple as, say, an Errol Flynn adventure. Well, I happen to believe that artistic expression needs to make room for… Read more »

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 »


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


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

radio 66 Pontiac GTO

  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 »

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 »


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 »


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 »


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, 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 »


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


“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 »


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


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, 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!