With a career spanning more than five decades, perhaps few actors are more qualified to recount the glamorous Hollywood era of the late 1940s and early 1950s than Robert Wagner.

His new book, You Must Remember This, is Wagner’s ode to a bygone age, to its incomparable style and how it was displayed, and to its legendary stars.

        The Room is a 2003 independent romantic drama film starring Tommy Wiseau, who also wrote, directed, and produced the feature - using his own money.

The Room is also completely ridiculous - with characters who show up and disappear without any conventional attention to their development, ludicrously unnatural dialogue, and footage reused - obviously - in more than one scene.


  Nobody knows movies like Thelma Adams. So, we wanted to talk with her about Sunday night’s Academy Awards and find out her thoughts on possible winners and losers on film’s biggest night.

She is currently a Yahoo! Movies Contributing Editor, film critic and Oscarologist. She was the film critic at Us Weekly for eleven years from 2000 to 2011, following six years at the New York Post. She has twice chaired the New York Film Critics Circle.


  Last week in our Ideas Matter segment we learned about an exciting national program, Created Equal, which uses documentary films to encourage public conversations about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America. This week, we learn about how one local organization is using these films to discuss these ideas in the Capital Region.

            As 2013 draws to a close, we look back at the best films of the year as determined by Shawn Stone - The Arts Editor of Metroland, The Alternative News Weekly of New York’s Capital Region.

Shawn's List:
10. Rush
9. American Hustle
8. Passion
7. Blue is the Warmest Color
6. Spring Breakers
5. Frances Ha
4. Fruitvale Station
3. The World's End
2. Before Midnight
1. Gravity


  From his early 70s dispatches as a critic for the Village Voice on rock and roll, comedy, movies, and television to the literary criticism of the 80s and 90s that made him famous, to his must-read cultural reporting for Vanity Fair- James Walcott has had a career as a free lance critic and a literary intellectual like none other.

With his new career-spanning collection Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades and Hurrahs- he gives us his best critical essays and cultural journalism.

  This morning we spotlight the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and their upcoming "Based on the Book: Bestseller Cinema" presentation in Haverford, PA on Nov. 16.

Film Critic Bill Wine will discuss the psychological difference between reading a book and viewing a film.

Bill Wine has been writing about and teaching film throughout his career, serving as a movie critic for magazines, newspapers, radio and television and online. He served as the movie critic for Fox Television for twelve years, earning eight Emmy award nominations and winning three Emmy awards. Wine has been the movie critic for the CBS station KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia since 2001. He has also written for The Village Voice, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and many other publications. He is the Tenured professor of film, La Salle University and he joins us to tell us more.

Solomon Northup was a free man who was lured from his home in Saratoga and kidnapped into slavery in 1841. His life is the subject of the upcoming film, 12 Years A Slave which opens at The Spectrum Theatre in Albany this Friday.

The new biography, Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years A Slave provides a compelling chronological narrative of Northup's entire life, from his birth in an isolated settlement in upstate New York to the activities he pursued after his release from slavery.

The biography was written by Clifford Brown, a political science professor at Union College in Schenectady, Rachel Seligman, former head of Union’s gallery (she now works at the Tang at Skidmore College); and David Friske, former librarian for the state.

Bending Steel is a documentary from filmmakers Dave Carroll and Ryan Scafuro. It explores the life of 43 year-old Chris Schoeck, a Queens, NY native who is training to become a professional Oldetime Strongman. The story follows Chris’ journey from his early days training in a small basement storage unit, to his very first performance on the big stage at New York’s historic Coney Island.

The film will screen at FilmColumbia on Saturday, October 26th at 5pm with a presentation by Schoeck to follow.

Joe Donahue spoke with Chris at Argot Studios in NYC. During the interview Chris ripped a deck of cards in half and bent a steel spike. Videos below.

Based on a story by Pete Hamill, two friends from a Brooklyn grammar school reconnect and realize the impact they and their work had on each other. A Poet Long Ago, directed by Bob Giraldi, screens at FilmColumbia in Chatham, NY during their shorts program on Sunday.

In the film, Sonny, a sanitation worker, and Malloy, a newspaper writer, meet by chance and reminisce about their grammar school days together back in 1970s Brooklyn. Immediately an old wound is opened; flashbacks show how the least likely of the pair had his astonishing gift of writing poetry beaten out of him forever by the narrow-minded father hell-bent on protecting him.

Bob Giraldi is a longtime director who has done everything from directing the film, Dinner Rush, to directing the music video for Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Pete Hamill is widely known for his contributions to the New York Post and the New York Daily News as a columnist and editor.