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Born and raised in the Midwest, writer/director Karen Maine attended parochial school from kindergarten to the 12th grade. She was baptized and confirmed, and tried (sort of) to be the best Catholic she could be – mostly out of fear.

“I remember being scared that anything bad I did, I’d go to Hell, or that God was watching me if I was doing anything I shouldn’t be doing,” Maine said in an interview by phone earlier this week. “It wouldn’t prevent me from doing (those things), it would just make me feel really bad.”

IFC Films

Prolific German actor Udo Kier’s icy, blue eyes have been a fixture of his distinct look over his nearly 55-year career, but if you can avoid becoming transfixed, you’ll likely find an equally cold onscreen character behind them.

From his portrayal of cinematic horror icon Count Dracula in 1974’s Blood for Dracula to his role as a deformed newborn in Lars von Trier’s ’90s miniseries The Kingdom, Kier, when called upon, always delivers the kind of performances that can make your skin crawl – even if it’s with one ominous glare.

Wikimedia Commons

“You can’t appease paranoia.”

So said Orson Welles in a broadcast on San Antonio radio station KTSA on October 28, 1940. The occasion was the only recorded meeting of Welles, the famed director, writer and performer (then 25 years old) with H.G. Wells (then 74), author of “The War of the Worlds,” the Martian invasion story that the former used to reportedly scare the bejeezus out of the public on a Mercury Theater radio broadcast in October, 1938.

Logic Allah

The weekend is here, and if you’re looking for some arts and culture ideas, you’ve come to the right place. You can catch a documentary on the Black experience and influences in San Antonio, hear a great classical music collaboration, and watch a Broadway musical about the Sept. 11 attacks.


Director Todd Phillips is fascinated by what he calls "left-footed characters" — people who are "out of step with the world." His most recent film, Joker, is an origin story — of sorts — for the villain in the Batman series.

Three years ago, a small film crew drove into the Austrian Alps in search of a remote valley. It would serve as one of the settings for Terrence Malick's vision of paradise.

"We'd taken a big, big risk when we decided to go," says the film's producer Grant Hill. "We had next to no funds. [We] felt, for some reason, we'd work that out as we went along — which, I wouldn't advise doing it again that way, but it worked. And this combination of the mountain background, the faces on the people, the weather really did — I mean, it was otherworldly."

Ten years ago, inspired by a blog post by writer Jim Emerson, I put together my own list of films that I felt had been somewhat lost in the cultural conversation at the end of the decade.

NPR's movie critic and Pop Culture Happy Hour hosts picked 20 of their favorite films of the year.


Installation view of Joey Fauerso's video Teardowns for her current exhibition Teardowns at Blue Star Contemporary.
Jacqueline Saragoza McGilvray. Image courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary.

Enjoy some unique flamenco dance. Create your own Christmas ornament. And journey back in time with The Matrix. Your weekend is here, and there is plenty to do.  

Courtesy photo

Composer John Lunn didn’t start writing music for films and television programs until he was 32. Two decades after he began that journey, American audiences fell in love with the Crawleys – and Lunn’s memorable themes – from “Downton Abbey,” the ITV/PBS program that follows an aristocratic family through the first decades of the 20th century.