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Film

Hugo van Gelderen / Dutch National Archives

It’s been 50 years since John Coltrane died. How is it possible the just released documentary “Chasing Trane” from director John Scheinfeld is the first big screen telling of the jazz legend?

Brent Simonds

Illinois State University School of Communication Professor Brent Simonds knows his just completed documentary of Nashville singer/songwriter Verlon Thompson tells a compelling story.

“It’s a sweet story about a really sweet man who has monstrous talent, especially when it comes to playing acoustic guitar,” Simonds said of his film "Sweet Dreams Do Come True."

A 4-night film series at Illinois State University asks the question, “Who is a terrorist, and why?”  The series, "Terrorism on Screen," begins September 1 and will include the showing of five films over four nights.  Dr. Erin Ponnou-Delaffon is an Assistant Professor of French at ISU and the organizer of the series.  She said her interest in creating the series came from her personal and professional interest in contemporary France.

"I watch the news very closely and have friends over there" said Ponnou-Delaffon.  "And certainly France is a country that has been rocked by terrorist events as of late, and is still struggling to come to terms with what that means for them.  Particularly in the light of next year's Presidential election."

courtesy of Stephanie Castillo

When saxophonist Thomas Chapin died of leukemia at age 40, his obit in the New York Times hailed him as "one of the few musicians to exist in both the worlds of the 'downtown' experimentalist scene, and mainstream jazz."  Chapin died in 1998 just as his musical talent was emerging in mainstream jazz circles. Independent filmmaker and producer Stephanie Castillo was Chapin's sister-in-law. Her new film "Night Bird Song" documents Chapin's prodigious talent, creativity, and vision. After a screening at Canne, the film shows at the Normal Theater August 27. Castillo said while Chapin was alive, even SHE wasn't aware of his musical abilities, or the revered status he held in the "downtown" New York jazz scene.

Pilot Error

How can a plane just disappear? Investigators are still asking that question in the case of Malaysia Air 370.

But an earlier crash of Air France 447 has inspired an independent movie that is showing at the Normal Public Library this Saturday.

Normal Theater Manager Rates His Own Performance

May 31, 2016

The town of Normal’s Civic Arts and Normal Theater Manager marks his one-year anniversary this month and he gives his own performance an above-satisfactory score.

Illinois Wesleyan University

He's worked with Woody Allen, Oliver Stone on 'Nixon,' and Michael Bay on the 'Transformer' movies. Kevin Dunn is a veteran character actor, and an Illinois Wesleyan University graduate who will visit the Bloomington tomorrow. Dunn talks with Charlie Schlenker about the large differences in directors. Dunn says they are all demanding and expect you to know your job, but also all distinct in their approaches and temperaments.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The latest chapter in the Star Wars saga is set to open Friday with anticipated huge ticket sales and monster merchandising.  But all the fuss surrounding "The Force Awakens" actually started in 1977 with the release of the first Star Wars film.  Shari Zeck, from ISU's College of Fine Arts, talks with GLT's Laura Kennedy about how the movie came to be such a cultural phenomenon. 

Occasionally GLT's Jon Norton stops by area record stores to hear what's playing on the turntable while customers browse the bins.  On the turntable at Reverberation Vinyl was the soundtrack to a classic German horror film.  Store owner John Anderson took Norton through some of the intricacies of the album, and the man behind the music of Popol Vuh.