Houston Matters

Westerns as Morality Plays: High Noon and the Hollywood Blacklist

Posted on · (Above: Gary Cooper in a scene from the 1952 Western “High Noon.”) Tonight (March 1, 2017) at 7 at Brazos Bookstore, journalist Glenn Frankel will discuss his new book, called High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic.  The book is about the classic Hollywood western High Noon, which, of course, stars Gary […]

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Political Roundup, and the Best Places to Watch Sports in Houston: Wednesday’s Show (March 1, 2017)

Posted on · For the first time, President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night (Feb. 28, 2017). Plus the Texas Legislature continued into its eighth week. On this edition of Houston Matters, we convene our weekly political roundup to discuss the those and other political stories happening at the national, state and local level. […]

Houston Matters

How ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ Became a Cult Classic

Posted on · When Gene Wilder died late last month (Aug. 29, 2016), area film critic Joe Leydon reached out to Houston Matters, noting what he called “unfortunately great timing” for a special screening in town (Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 at Alamo Drafthouse) of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Wilder as the titular Wonka. The film, […]

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Segregation, Construction Numbers and Ben Kingsley: Thursday’s Show (September 15, 2016)

Posted on · Almost like a drumbeat, Houstonians know – and love to repeat – the notion that we are the “most diverse city in America.” And Dr. Stephen Klineberg, co-founder of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, says that’s correct. Houston exhibits something called “the entropy index,” meaning our city comes closer than any other […]

Houston Matters

Listener Comments: The Unintended Consequences of ‘Life of Brian’

Posted on · And now, one of your recent comments: Carolyn Sylvan wrote us after our conversation with film critic Joe Leydon about Monty Python and the Holy Grail. She says when she was in 7th grade, her mom encouraged her and a friend to rent the film. She says when the Black Knight scene came on, she laughed […]

Houston Matters

Film Critic Joe Leydon Professes His Love of All Things Monty Python

Posted on · Tonight (Aug. 10, 2016) and again next week (Aug. 18, 2016) area Alamo Drafthouse cinemas will present a Monty Python and the Holy Grail quote-along, complete with your own coconut clomping! Seems a fitting moment to discuss all things Python with Joe Leydon, who teaches cinema at the University of Houston and Houston Community College, and is a […]

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Galveston Bay, Electing Judges and Monty Python: Wednesday’s Show (August 10, 2016)

Posted on · The Galveston Bay Foundation and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) release the latest Galveston Bay Report Card today (Aug. 10, 2016). It’s an annual report that grades the health of the bay based on a number of factors, including water quality and coastal changes. On this edition of Houston Matters, Heather Schiappa with the Galveston Bay Foundation and […]

Houston Matters

Film Critic Joe Leydon Remembers Friend Roger Ebert, As “Life Itself” Opens in Houston

Posted on · A critically acclaimed documentary opened in limited release earlier this month, and hits Houston theaters today. It’s called Life Itself. Director Steve James captured the late film critic Roger Ebert in his final months, as Ebert fought recurring health problems and surgeries, which had left the famous critic unable to speak. Instead, Ebert took to writing […]

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Marketing to Hispanics and Joe Leydon on Roger Ebert: Houston Matters for Friday, July 25, 2014

Posted on · According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, about 20 percent of Hispanics in Harris County are 16 to 31 years old. It’s a group of key importance to marketing agencies. On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Alex Lopez Negrete, CEO of Lopez Negrete Communications, a Houston-based Hispanic marketing agency about […]

Houston Matters

Why Are Movies Like ‘The Princess Bride’ So Darn Quotable?

Posted on · Host Craig Cohen talks with Houston area film critic Joe Leydon about the 1987 film The Princess Bride, and why it and films like it (if there are any) are so darned quotable. There’s a free outdoor screening of the film at Market Square Park this Friday night at 8:30, and it will also be shown, in “quote-along” form, at the Alamo Drafthouse […]

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Port of Houston Pilots, Chikungunya, Gangs, and The Princess Bride: Houston Matters for Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Posted on · Back in March, a barge in Galveston Bay struck a ship and sprung a leak. Nearly 170,000 gallons of oil spilled into the bay. The carrier was being guided by an experienced pilot, Mike Pizzitola. But according to federal court documents and other records obtained by the Houston Chronicle, Pizzitola has been involved in two other Ship Channel accidents. On this edition […]

Houston Matters

Why the Rash of Biblical Epics in Theaters?

Posted on · A new film hit the Houston multiplexes a couple weeks ago. “Son of God” is based on the History Channel series “The Bible,” and was produced by “Touched by an Angel” actress Roma Downey and her husband, reality TV producer Mark Burnett. While the film opened to mostly poor reviews – moving just 25 percent […]

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Parenting in Houston, Little League, and Religious Films: Houston Matters for Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Posted on · Here’s the understatement of the year – parenting has its challenges. And parenting in Houston can bring its own wrinkles – figurative and literal ones. Moms and dads in Houston probably spend more time in the car, driving kids to and from activities. In the worst of our summer heat, there are probably some limits on […]

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Houston Matters for Friday, August 30, 2013

Posted on · Harris County Judge Ed Emmett this week announced he would not put a measure on the ballot this November that would have asked voters to approve or reject a proposed tax to benefit an early childhood education program known as the Early to Rise campaign. It’s run by the nonprofit Harris County School Readiness Corporation, […]