Sunday, July 19, 2015

Film Reviews: July 19, 2015

Here is a summary of films reviewed on today's show:

Self/less squanders an interesting idea in a movie that is never more than a bland action film. There is nothing at all memorable about this movie and viewers would do better seeking out John Frankenheimer’s Seconds or Paul Verhoven’s Total Recall.

The moviemakers of Magic Mike XXL have created exactly what they set out to do and they’ve done it very effectively. But the Magic Mike sequel constitutes a sort of mainstream pornography in the same way as Nicki Minaj music videos, Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, and the Miss USA pageant. It’s about looking and lusting but nothing beyond that. 

Like a lot of children’s pictures, Minions is intended to keep the attention of viewers under the age of twelve and it will do that. But the film is little more than a feature length toy commercial that probably should have premiered on home video.

Dope is a flawed movie. It introduces some provocative ideas about race and racial representation but neither the ideas nor its story are fully formed. However, Dope has a lot in it that is unique, especially in the mainstream cinema marketplace, and there is as much to admire about the film as there is to admonish it.

Girlhood is a thoughtful and well-made picture. It isn’t necessarily a feel good movie but it is shot through with honesty and the filmmakers have a good handle on their subject matter without resorting to sentimentality or becoming condescending. 

You can find full text of every review in the Sounds of Cinema Review Archive.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Film Reviews: July 12, 2015

Here is a summary of films reviewed on today's show:

Inside Out is one of the better films to come out of Pixar and it is certainly the studio’s best feature in several years. This is the rare animated film that transcends the family audience. Even if the conceit is simplified, Inside Out is beautifully made and tells an engaging story.

Ted 2 is a disaster. It's intermittently funny but it's also extraordinarily lazy. The only reason this movie exists is because the first Ted made a lot of money and it’s clear that the filmmakers put no more thought into it than that. 

Love & Mercy is an unusual biopic in its structure and approach. The movie comes across a little incomplete but what’s here is impressive and Love & Mercy succeeds in large part due to its terrific central performances. 

Terminator Genisys aspires to the greatness of the early films in this series. It falls well short of James Cameron’s films but it is certainly better than Terminator Salvation and is about on par with Terminator 3. Genisys is ultimately an average action picture with a lot of story problems.

His Way is a fun tribute to Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub. It is mostly a puff piece and audiences aren’t going to learn much about how movies get made from watching it but His Way is a very entertaining story of a man who was at the epicenter of the entertainment industry for four decades.

You can find full text of every review on the Sounds of Cinema Review Archive.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Controversial Films 2015

Today's episode of Sounds of Cinema was the annual Independence Day program in which I celebrate freedom of speech by taking a look at banned, censored, and controversial films. Note that this is not intended to be a complete list of controversial titles, just a selection of noteworthy pictures that have rattled the cage. For more information on controversial films, see the links at the bottom. You can also check out the blog post for last year's episode.

Cruising (1980)
Dir. William Friedkin

Based on the novel by Gerald Walker and some actual events, Cruising told the story of a New York City police detective who went undercover in the gay S&M club scene to investigate a series of murders. At that time Hollywood movies barely acknowledged homosexuality at all and when they did the films typically depicted gay men as violent and dysfunctional predators. After a draft of the script was leaked, the gay community mobilized against the picture. Cruising was shot on location at some of New York’s leather bars and members of the gay community would show up on the street where the production was filming, spoiling the sound recording with whistles and chants and using reflectors to shine lights into the shots and distract the crew. Director William Friedkin acknowledged that Cruising wasn’t flattering to the gay community but he defended his film by pointing out that it was based in part on true events. In the thirty-five years since Cruising’s release there has been ongoing debate about the length of the picture. For years Friedkin insisted that forty minutes of footage was cut from the movie in order to achieve an R-rating. More recently, the director clarified this and said that the excised footage was pornographic and that it was included in the original version of Cruising only to give the filmmakers something to cut out and appease the MPAA’s ratings board. In 2013 Travis Mathews and James Franco helmed the movie Interior. Leather Bar., a pseudo-documentary about filmmakers recreating that forty minutes of footage.

Blackfish (2013)
Dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Blackfish is a documentary film about orcas kept in captivity at oceanic zoos. The film focuses on SeaWorld and a killer whale named Tilikum. According to the documentary, orcas are ill-suited for captivity because of their size and social needs and SeaWorld has made that worse for its animals by keeping them in tanks that are too small, separating mothers from their offspring, and generally mistreating the dolphins. The movie further claims that the treatment of Tilikum has made the animal pathologically violent which in turn has led to Tilikum deliberately injuring and killing SeaWorld staff, including trainer and performer Dawn Brancheau.

The veracity of Blackfish’s claims has been disputed. SeaWorld launched a media campaign to counter the documentary, claiming that the filmmakers used emotionally manipulative sequences that distorted the truth about orcas in captivity and the deaths of SeaWorld personnel. Former SeaWorld trainers Bridgette Pirtle and Mark Simmons, who were interviewed in Blackfish, later distanced themselves from the movie and said that the filmmakers cherry picked their comments and exploited the death of Dawn Brancheau. However, an OSHA investigation concluded that SeaWorld had failed to protect its employees. 

Blackfish had a devastating impact on SeaWorld. Following its release, attendance at SeaWorld parks plummeted and the company’s stock price tanked, resulting in rounds of layoffs among SeaWorld’s employees and the resignation of its chief executive. The public outrage prompted by Blackfish led Southwest Airlines to end its partnership with SeaWorld and New York and California state lawmakers proposed legislation that would ban orca captivity altogether. More recently SeaWorld was hit with a class action lawsuit by park visitors who felt they had been duped.

I Spit On Your Grave (1978/2010)
Dir. Meir Zarchi / Steven R. Monroe

Originally released in 1978 under the title Day of the Woman, this film tells the story of a young female writer who retreats to an isolated cabin to work on a book and is gang raped by a group of locals; this sequence takes up about twenty-five percent of the movie’s running time. After recovering, she lures her attackers one by one into gory traps. As Day of the Woman, the picture didn’t get much notice but in 1980 it was re-released with the title I Spit on Your Grave and the movie gained national attention when film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel blasted the movie on their syndicated television show.  I Spit on Your Grave was cut by seventeen minutes in order to achieve an R rating from the MPAA and it was banned in several European countries as well as Canada. While some of these bans have been rescinded, I Spit on Your Grave was banned in Ireland as recently as 2010.

I Spit on Your Grave is one of the most consistently condemned films of all time but it isn’t without its defenders. In the book Men, Women, and Chainsaws, Carol Clover makes what is probably the most cogent defense of I Spit on Your Grave by comparing it to the highly esteemed Hollywood drama The Accused. Clover argues that the two movies have a similar premise but in The Accused the victim resorts to the legal system to achieve justice. As Clover points out, this promotes a false sense of security; the truth is that the legal system frequently fails sexual assault victims. By comparison, I Spit on Your Grave implicitly suggests that it is up to women to save themselves. It’s also worth pointing out that despite the way this film is treated as an aberration from civilized cinema, the ethos of I Spit on Your Grave is ultimately no different from movies like Dirty Harry and Death Wish, the only major difference being that a woman avenges herself instead letting a man do it for her.

A remake of I Spit on Your Grave was released in 2010. That movie was just as brutal as the 1978 version but it had a slightly different approach. Where the original film was unequivocally the story of the victim, the remake was much more about the perpetrators; after the assault sequence the men stew in their paranoia and guilt until their victim returns to claim vengeance in death sequences that were inspired by torture films like Saw and Hostel. The remake of I Spit on Your Grave didn’t cause nearly the uproar that the original did but the poster art was controversial. The one sheet replicated the iconic design of the poster to the 1978 film and detractors argued that the imagery sexualized a rape victim.

The Interview (2014)
Dir. Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan

The Interview starred James Franco and Seth Rogan as a tabloid television personality and his producer who are invited to North Korea to interview Kim Jong Un. The CIA taps the TV stars to assassinate the North Korean dictator and bumbling hilarity ensues. The Interview was never intended to be anything other than a silly comedy but it ended up inciting an international incident. Six months before the release of the movie, North Korea criticized Sony Pictures (whose parent company is based in Japan) and sent a letter to the United Nations that called The Interview an act of war and threatened retaliation against the United States if it was released. In November 2014, about a month before the release of the film, Sony Pictures’ computer system was hacked by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace. The hack was investigated by the FBI, which concluded that the Guardians of Peace were associated with the North Korean government although some other cybersecurity experts have argued that the hack was an inside job by a disgruntled Sony employee. In the aftermath, several high profile Sony Pictures’ theatrical releases began appearing on illegal file sharing websites. But most damaging to the company were emails and other memoranda that were posted online. The documents included the private data of Sony staff and Hollywood stars, which led Sony employees to file a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming that Sony had not done enough to protect their personal information. The leaked documents also exposed company secrets and revealed embarrassing internal correspondence including impolitic remarks about high profile actors and filmmakers, particularly by Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal, who issued a public apology and was later fired. The leaked emails also revealed that Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai had put pressure on the filmmakers of The Interview to soften certain scenes in order to appease North Korea. Things came to a head ten days before the release of the film as the Guardians of Peace issued a terror threat to theaters planning on showing The Interview. The US Department of Homeland Security announced that there was no evidence of a credible threat but major theater chains, including AMC, Regal, and Cinemark, dropped the movie. Sony then announced it was canceling the release of The Interview, which made the company a target of derision by columnists, politicians, and social media, furthering Sony’s public relations disaster. Ultimately, Sony reversed its decision and opened The Interview as originally planned but with a much smaller theatrical footprint and a simultaneous video-on-demand release. The film did quite well on video on demand and it was the first time that a major studio movie had a higher gross on a digital platform than it did at theaters.

The Devils (1971)
Dir. Ken Russell

The Devils was adapted from the play of the same name by John Whiting and from the nonfiction book The Devils of Loudon by Aldous Huxley. Set in 17th century France, the film tells the true story of demonic possession among a convent of nuns and the prosecution of a Catholic priest for witchcraft. As depicted in the film, Urbain Grandier (played by Oliver Reed) is as much a politician as a priest, and he defends the city of Loudun against the political machinations of Cardinal Richelieu. When a case of mass sexual hysteria breaks out among the nuns of a local convent, the cardinal’s operatives label it demonic possession and pin the cause on Grandier, using a religious mechanism to destroy a political enemy.

Directed by Ken Russell, The Devils is an angry political film that rails against the unholy alliance of church and state, showing how that cooperative distorts and corrupts both institutions. It is an extreme movie both in content and in style and The Devils’ combination of religious and sexual imagery made its provocative subject matter that much more troubling.

Warner Bros. financed The Devils but studio executives either never read the script or didn’t understand it and when they finally screened the movie Warner executives were shocked by what Ken Russell had made. Before The Devils was submitted to a ratings board, Warner executives preemptively censored the movie, reducing or eliminating some key sequences. When the film was finally submitted to the BBFC and the MPAA The Devils suffered additional cuts. A few years later, Warner Bros. rereleased the film to capitalize on the success of The Exorcist and put The Devils through an additional bout of editing. This was the version subsequently released on home video.

When it premiered in 1971, The Devils received polarized reactions. Professional critics frequently slammed the movie, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore condemned The Devils, and conservative religious organizations mobilized against it. However, Reverend Gene D. Phillips, a Jesuit priest who teaches film courses at Loyola University, defended The Devils and used it as part of his curriculum. Ken Russell was named Best Director at the Venice Film Festival despite the fact that The Devils was banned in Italy and actors Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave were threatened with jail time if they entered the country.

Decades later, The Devils came to be regarded as one of the most important British films of the post-war era and it has been praised by filmmakers such as Bryan Singer, Terry Gilliam, and Guillermo del Toro.  British film critic Mark Kermode oversaw a restoration of The Devils that reincorporated the deleted sequences. The original cut of The Devils was finally shown publicly at a special screening held in 2004. However, Warner Bros. has refused to issue the movie in its complete form. According to author Richard Crouse, senior Warner Bros. executives are either personally offended by the movie or fear reopening the controversy. The embargo on The Devils continues despite the fact that Warner distributes such controversial titles as The Exorcist, A Clockwork Orange, and Natural Born Killers. In 2012 the British Film Institute was allowed to release a Region-2 DVD of the UK edition of the movie, which is still missing key sequences. The Devils has never had a Region-1 DVD release and it remains unavailable to American audiences in any form.

Straw Dogs (1971)
Dir. Sam Peckinpah

1971 was an incredible year for transgressive cinema with the release of A Clockwork Orange, Carnal Knowledge, The Devils, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and Straw Dogs. Director Sam Peckinpah had already achieved infamy with 1969’s The Wild Bunch, which initially earned an X-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America due to its violence. Years later, the notion that The Wild Bunch was censored because of stylized gunplay is almost quaint, but Straw Dogs remains as provocative as ever.

The movie tells the story of a mild-mannered mathematician (Dustin Hoffman) who spends the summer with his wife (Susan George) in her rural hometown. A crew of locals makes repairs to the couple’s house, among them the wife’s high school boyfriend. Straw Dogs’ enduring controversy is mostly due to a rape scene involving the wife and two of the construction workers. Aside from the horror of depicting sexual violence, the scene continues to inspire debate because the consent between the wife and her ex-boyfriend plays out ambiguously. Also controversial was the violent climax in which the couple fends off a home invasion. Straw Dogs’ final sequence was far more brutal than audiences of 1971 were prepared for and the transformation of a self-professed pacifist into a killer remains disturbing.

Straw Dogs had a troubled reception, especially in England. The movie got polarized reviews and viewers frequently walked out of screenings due to its violence. Straw Dogs was censored for theatrical exhibition and many of the edits focused on the rape scene. But as Stevie Simkin has noted, the attempts to shorten or alter the sequence frequently distorted its meaning and actually made the scene more problematic. After the passage of the 1984 Video Recordings Act the movie was withdrawn from British circulation until 2002. 

Straw Dogs was very much a film of its time. In many respects it is a reworking of the western, Peckinpah’s genre of choice, and it has one foot planted in the masculinity and sexual politics of an earlier era. The film’s other foot is set in 1971 amid a vibrant feminist movement, social unrest, and controversy over the war in Vietnam. Those competing sets of values were (and still are) a combustible mixture. But what is most upsetting about Straw Dogs is its implicit suggestion that our civilized veneer disguises the ugly truth of human nature: that we are violent, bestial creatures. Flawed as it may be, Straw Dogs presents that thesis with complexity and nuance. But, like its director, Straw Dogs is also confrontational and its fight with censors (both liberal and conservative) is at least partly a result of its hostile tone and the refusal of authorities to engage with the movie’s ideas and contradictions.

The Moon is Blue (1953)
Dir. Otto Preminger

In the early years of Hollywood, the movie industry established the Production Code Administration, which was a censorship organization run by the Motion Picture Association of America (and a precursor to the contemporary ratings board). The PCA was created in light of state sponsored censorship that was widespread at that time. In 1934, when the PCA was founded, it was not uncommon for states or major cities to operate their own censorship outfits, cutting or banning movies that were deemed to be unacceptable. The legal groundwork for this was laid by the 1915 Supreme Court case Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, in which the court determined that motion pictures were industrial products, not art, and therefore were not protected by the First Amendment. The PCA was intended to establish industry-wide standards of morality that would stave off calls for censorship and create the impression that Hollywood was a responsible industry that didn’t require outside regulation.

The Supreme Court changed its mind in 1952. The verdict of Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson confirmed that motion pictures do indeed deserve First Amendment protection. That ruling set the stage for the demise of most censorship boards and signaled the beginning of the end of the Production Code.

Filmmakers immediately began testing the new limits. Released the year after the Burstyn v. Wilson decision, Otto Preminger’s The Moon is Blue concerns a woman who is aggressively courted by two men. The movie is fairly innocuous but it includes discussions about sexuality and the dialogue featured words like “virgin” and “seduce” and “mistress” which were not allowed under the Production Code. The PCA refused to issue the film a seal of approval but instead of cutting the objectionable material United Artists withdrew from the MPAA and Preminger took the unprecedented step of releasing The Moon is Blue without a PCA seal. The film was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency and challenged by several state and local censorship boards but the controversy turned the film into a hit at the box office. When The Moon is Blue was banned by the Kansas Censorship Board, the filmmakers filed suit in a case that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where the ban was struck down and the Kansas Censorship Board was dissolved.

Wired (1989)
Dir. Larry Peerce

In the early 1980s, John Belushi was one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Having been among the original cast members of Saturday Night Live and coming off of comedy classics such as Animal House and The Blues Brothers, Belushi had become a comic folk hero when he died of a drug overdose in 1982 at the age of thirty-three. Belushi’s widow Judith contacted Washington Post reporter (and co-author of All the President’s Men) Bob Woodward to investigate the circumstances of her husband’s death. Two years later Woodward turned out the book Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi. The book was a bombshell that portrayed the late actor as a human train wreck whose death was hastened by a crowd of sycophants and enablers. Everyone close to Belushi, including his widow, balked at Woodward’s book and regarded it as a defamatory misrepresentation. However, the facts of Wired have not been discredited and many of the people who attacked the book were those most likely to be embarrassed by its content. (Nearly twenty years later Tanner Colby, the author of Belushi: A Biography, wrote a detailed takedown of Wired, arguing that Woodward got all of the relevant facts right but misunderstood the context of those facts.)

A movie adaptation of Wired was attempted throughout the 1980s and its production was an extraordinary case of Hollywood blackballing. According to a report in Time magazine, Creative Artists Agency, generally considered to be Hollywood’s most powerful talent agency at that time and which represented many of Belushi’s friends and co-stars, warned Hollywood studios to stay away from the project. (Michael Ovitz, president of CAA and Belushi’s former agent, denied this.) When Wired finally lensed as an independent production, lawyers from CAA advised the producers that if their clients were depicted in the movie the filmmakers would be liable for invasion of privacy. As a result most of the characters of Wired are fictional or composite roles. Also, because the filmmakers could not secure the rights to Belushi’s Saturday Night Live skits they had to create facsimiles that invoked his characters without actually duplicating them.

Once production of Wired was finished the film’s producers attempted to secure a distribution deal with Hollywood studios but no one would touch it. Whether that was due to lobbying by CAA or the quality of the picture is unclear. Wired was released in 1989 by independent company Taurus Entertainment and the film was one of the most bizarre biopics ever made. The story begins with Belushi’s death and when his body is transported to a morgue, Belushi wakes up, crawls out of a body bag and revisits his life in the company of a guardian angel. This is crosscut with scenes of Bob Woodward (played by J.T. Walsh) investigating Belushi’s death. The resulting movie plays as a cross between Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Had the movie worked it might have revolutionized the biographical film genre or at least become a cult movie but Wired was a disaster both creatively and financially, playing in theaters for just eleven days. Actor Michael Chiklis, in his first starring role, played John Beluish and expected that Wired would launch him to stardom but instead it nearly destroyed his career. Dan Aykroyd, who was Belushi’s costar in The Blues Brothers, very publically blasted the film and had actor J.T. Wash fired from the 1990 movie Loose Cannons because of Walsh’s involvement with Wired.

Wired had VHS and laserdisc releases but it has never been issued on any other format and the movie has all but disappeared.

Missing (1982)
Dir. Costa-Gavras

The 1970s and 80s saw the release of several movies about political upheaval in Latin America. Among the most provocative of these was 1982’s Missing. Taking place in Chile just after the coup that installed Augusto Pinochet as head of state, Missing is the true story of the search for Charles Horman, a journalist who disappeared while investigating links between the Chilean military and the United States government. The movie is primarily the story of Horman’s father and wife as they follow the journalist’s trail which ends in the discovery of the Pinochet government’s monstrous crimes and evidence that the United States’ intelligence services were involved in destabilizing the South American country. The film portrays American diplomats as uninterested in Horman’s disappearance and insinuates that they conspired with the Chilean government to have him killed.

Missing caused major waves at the time of its release. The movie was banned in Chile under Pinochet’s regime. Alexander Haig, then Secretary of State under the Reagan administration, issued official denials about the events dramatized in the film. Nathaniel Davis, the former US ambassador to Chile, filed a libel lawsuit against director Costa-Gavras and Universal Pictures, even though Davis is not portrayed by name in the film. In response to the lawsuit, Universal pulled Missing from the home video market. The lawsuit was dismissed in 1985 but Missing remained unavailable on home video until 2004.

In 2014 a Chilean court ruled that the United States’ intelligence services played a role in Charles Horman’s death.

American Sniper (2014)
Dir. Clint Eastwood

American Sniper was an adaptation of the memoir by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who served four tours in the second Iraq War and achieved the highest number of confirmed kills of any sniper in the history of the United States military. The movie adaptation of American Sniper was the source of a very intense debate among political pundits and film critics as well as on social media.

A lot of the controversy over American Sniper centered upon the credibility of Chris Kyle. Some of the scenes appearing within the book and stories Kyle told in interviews were later shown to be embellishments or outright lies, most notably Kyle’s claim that he had punched actor and former Minnesota governor (and military veteran) Jesse Ventura in the face during a bar brawl. Ventura sued for defamation and won. The movie version of American Sniper did not acknowledge Kyle’s lies and it omitted the disputed sequences of the book but that did not absolve the issue. As film critic Amy Nicholson wrote, “When a film erases the fact that its subject was a fabricator, then that itself is a lie.”

The release of American Sniper also created an opportunity to relitigate the case for going to war in Iraq and Chris Kyle became the proxy for that renewed debate. As an author and as a character in a movie, Chris Kyle echoed many of the pro-war talking points from a decade earlier. The anti-war crowd painted Kyle as a psychopath, a racist, and a tool of imperialism, sometimes comparing American Sniper to Nation’s Pride, the faux Nazi propaganda film featured in the climax of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. The debate continued well after the film’s theatrical run with showings at college campuses protested and sometimes cancelled.

Like Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper landed directly on a cultural fault line and it benefitted financially from the controversy. The movie’s characterization of Chris Kyle as a rugged American cowboy-type who was deeply patriotic was very appealing to a conservative audience and the attacks on the movie by perceived liberal critics turned buying an American Sniper movie ticket into a political gesture. As a result, American Sniper became the highest grossing release of 2014 and the second highest grossing R-rated film of all time (just $21 million behind The Passion).

Looking at the controversy over American Sniper with some distance, it’s clear that a lot of the arguments for and against this movie missed their mark. The picture did reiterate the case for the Iraq War but it also contained a dramatization of post-traumatic stress disorder that is irreconcilable with war propaganda. On the other hand, the Chris Kyle portrayed in the movie is a humble and agreeable person who struggled with killing people, quite the opposite of the way Kyle described himself in the pages of his memoir. Ultimately, American Sniper is a movie that didn’t tell us very much about Chris Kyle or the war in Iraq but the controversy over the film did say a lot about American culture and the fraught relationship between motion pictures and reality.

Harold and Maude (1971)
Dir. Hal Ashby

Harold and Maude was a quirky comedy about a despondent young man who falls in love with a free spirited old lady. Released in late 1971, the movie did not get much traction at the box office. However, when Harold and Maude played at the Westgate Theater in Edina, Minnesota in early 1972, the film found a dedicated and enthusiastic audience. As word spread about the reaction to this film, Harold and Maude got a second wave of theatrical showings that turned the movie into a hit and resulted in a loyal cult following. As described in Dave Kenney's book Twin Cities Picture Show, the film was so successful that Edina’s Westgate Theater ran Harold and Maude for two years. By 1974 the movie actually drew protesters who picketed outside the theater demanding that the management play something—anything—other than Harold and Maude.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Controversial Films on Sounds of Cinema

Sounds of Cinema's annual look at controversial films will air on Sunday, July 5th. It has become a tradition on this show to spend Independence Day weekend celebrating freedom of speech by looking at movies that were censored, banned, or were otherwise controversial. The 2015 edition of this program will feature all new material so even if you've tuned in for past broadcasts don't miss this episode. The last eighteen months has offered a host of new controversial titles such as Blackfish, American Sniper, and The Interview and those will be featured alongside many other films, some of which you may not have realized were controversial in the first place.

Sounds of Cinema can be heard at 9am on 89. 5 KQAL FM in Winona, MN and at 11:00am on 89.7 KMSU FM in Mankato, MN. If you are outside the broadcast area you can still hear the show via live streaming from each station's website.