The Frame

By KPCC 89.3 | Southern California Public Radio

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Hosted by longtime LA film writer John Horn, The Frame talks to the people at the center of the creative universe in the world of film, TV, art and music. You'll hear long-form interviews with Oscar winners, cutting-edge showrunners, bands on tour and artists who break the mold. Get more at

Episode Date
Striking a 'Pose' for 1980s ball culture
Steven Canals, co-creator of the FX series about the underground club culture, talks about re-creating those elaborate scenes; why is the Pasadena Museum of California Art shutting its doors?; Ben Lewin's film, "The Catcher Was a Spy," is about a major league baseball player who lived a double life during World War II.
Jun 22, 2018
Shana Feste mines real family relationships in 'Boundaries'
Writer/director Shana Feste's father was a troubled but charismatic man who inspired her new film; in the Vice series, "Minority Reports," Lee Adams explores racial angles of fish-out-of-water stories; Rosie & the Riveters play folk music with a feminist bent.
Jun 21, 2018
The L.A. Latino International Film Festival gets a new life
On today's show: After going dark for five years, LALIFF has been revived by its co-founder, Edward James Olmos; Disney makes a counteroffer for properties being sold by Fox; The documentary, "Half the Picture," looks at the long history of systemic discrimination against women filmmakers.
Jun 20, 2018
Hannah Gadsby's story will give you all the feels
On today's show: comedian Hannah Gadsby grew up in Tasmania, where being gay wasn't just dangerous, it was criminalized. Now, she’s sharing her story in a Netflix special; WeTransfer creates a platform for artists and other creatives to showcase their work; Anna Abondolo is a teen musician who's going places.
Jun 19, 2018
Bey 'n' Jay know how to keep a secret
On today's show: Beyoncé and Jay thrilled their fans by dropping a surprise album over the weekend; playwright Stephen Karam turned a bad family Thanksgiving dinner into "The Humans"; real life paleontologist Jack Horner inspired the Sam Neill character in the "Jurassic" franchise.
Jun 18, 2018
Lea Thompson takes matters into her own hands
On today's show: Lea Thompson didn’t always like the way women were depicted in movies. So she directed a female-positive feature — written by and starring her daughter; mixed news for people who work in Hollywood; Jeff Tomsic, director of the buddy comedy, "Tag."
Jun 15, 2018
Tom Hanks dons a beard for The Bard
On today's show: Hanks is spending a good chuck of his summer playing Falstaff in "Henry IV" under the stars on the grounds of the V.A. campus in Brentwood; Spotify's curated playlists are hugely influential, but are they also sexist?
Jun 14, 2018
Making a whole meal out of a short film
On today's show: Director Domee Shi mined her childhood for the story about a Chinese dumpling that comes to life in the animated short, "Bao"; Fox can only hope for the best as the World Cup kicks of without the U.S. team; between streaming services and countless cable channels, why are there still movies that can't be seen?
Jun 13, 2018
Lesley Manville's year of acting fabulously
On today's show: the British actress has gone from an Oscar-nominated role in "Phantom Thread" to sharing the stage with Jeremy Irons; the E3 gaming convention is not just about guns and bombast; a new episode of Song Exploder features Liz Phair revisiting her 1993 debut album, "Exile in Guyville."
Jun 12, 2018
Trying to get over with the new 'Superfly'
On today's show: Director X (that's what he goes by) says his film is a "re-imagining" of the '70s blaxploitation classic; what does it mean that the major film critics are overwhelmingly white and male?; we take you out to the ol' ballgame with the L.A. Dodgers' organist.
Jun 11, 2018
Toni Collette makes the best of a scary situation
On today's show: actress Toni Collette talks about her intense performance in the new horror film, "Hereditary"; remembering Anthony Bourdain, the author and TV host who had a profound influence on food culture; a preview of the Tony Awards with New York Times co-theater critic Jesse Green.
Jun 08, 2018
Cultures clash on the border ... paging Culture Clash
On today's show: the theater satire trio known as Culture Clash revisits the volatile region in its latest show, “Bordertown Now”; the ReFrame coalition is partnering with IMDbPro to recognize standout, gender-balanced film and TV projects; the L.A.-based American Contemporary Ballet performs at its studio on the 32nd floor of a downtown high-rise.
Jun 07, 2018
Incredibly enough, a sequel arrives after 14 years
On today's show: director Brad Bird explains the long gestation between the original and "Incredibles 2"; is the traditionally conservative country music industry changing its stripes?; the PLAY organization helps people tap into their creative, playful selves.
Jun 06, 2018
Revisiting the promise and the tragedy of Robert F. Kennedy
On today's show: 50 years after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, filmmaker Dawn Porter talks about her Netflix docu-series, "Bobby Kennedy For President"; until recently, singer-guitarist Naia Izumi could barely survive by performing on the streets of L.A. Now, he’s on his very first national tour after winning NPR’s Tiny Desk Song Contest.
Jun 05, 2018
How 'Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood' became a lasting success
On today's show: Filmmaker Morgan Neville adds Fred Rogers to his eclectic list of documentary subjects; Jihan Zencirli is unlike any balloon artist you've ever encountered.
Jun 04, 2018
Samantha Bee sparks a new cultural firestorm
On today's show: Samantha Bee said she crossed a line with her vulgar comment about Ivanka Trump, but where is that line these days on TV?; actor Simon Baker makes his film directing debut with "Breath"; music under the stars at the Mt. Wilson Observatory.
Jun 01, 2018
'American Animals': A true crime story with a twist
On today's show: Writer/director Bart Layton talks about the true story behind his new heist film, "American Animals"; Spotify's founder admits the company erred in its attempt to punish some recording artists accused of misconduct; The Miracle Project brings together teenagers and young adults with autism to create and perform a musical.
May 31, 2018
The uneasy intersection of politics and television
On today's show: TV critics Lorraine Ali (Los Angeles Times) and Daniel Fienberg (Hollywood Reporter) talk with John Horn about the broader issues raised by the "Roseanne" debacle; With "The Americans" coming to an end, we learn trade secrets from the show's costumer and makeup artist.
May 30, 2018
ABC cancels 'Roseanne' after star's Twitter storm
On today's show: Ted Johnson of Variety talks about ABC's dramatic move after Barr's racist tweet about former Obama official Valerie Jarrett; actress Shailene Woodley talks about her role in the new film, "Adrift"; L.A. Times art critic on how MOCA should solve its leadership issues.
May 29, 2018
The Frame's Summer Movie Special
The Frame's John Horn and L.A. Times reporter Jen Yamato guide you through the summer movie lineup. We've got interviews with Ethan Hawke, Shailene Woodley and Tessa Thompson, "Incredibles 2" director Brad Bird, and the paleontologist who consulted on all the "Jurassic" movies. Plus, John visits with concession stand vendors who are marketing the next generation of movie snacks.
May 25, 2018
'America Divided' documentary series explores issues of injustice and inequality
On today's show: actor Jussie Smollett is an executive producer of "America Divided." His episode looks at the inheritance of slavery; songwriter Mary Gauthier wrote an entire album with veterans; an attorney who represents sexual harassment victims talks about the significance of Harvey Weinstein's arrest.
May 25, 2018
Wim Wenders and Pope Francis: Not such cinematic oddfellows
On today's show: The acclaimed filmmaker responded to the pope's invitation to make a documentary about the Catholic Church under his leadership; with "Solo: A Star Wars Story" opening, are fans suffering from galactic fatigue?; screenwriter Zak Penn on what makes for a successful Summer blockbuster.
May 24, 2018
Paul Simon says farewell to touring as his biography arrives
On today's show: L.A. Times pop music critic emeritus Robert Hilburn talks about his new Paul Simon biography and about the singer/songwriter's final tour; the Portland-based musicians who record as Wonderly on how they created the theme song for The Daily — the radio version of the New York Times’ hugely popular daily news podcast.
May 23, 2018
Director and screenwriter Olivia Milch puts her stamp on summer
On today's show: Olivia Milch wrote and directed the Netflix film, "Dude," and she co-wrote the much anticipated "Ocean's 8"; GLAAD's annual report says movie studios have regressed when it comes to LGBTQ representation; music producer Sebastian Krys' path from lowly intern to studio wizard.
May 22, 2018
Filmmaker Jennifer Fox explores the sexual abuse she endured as a teen
On today's episode, filmmaker Jennifer Fox adds a personal chapter to the #MeToo movement with her film, "The Tale" (starring Laura Dern); Kyle Buchanan of talks about the highlights of the Cannes Film Festival; and writer Robert Gordon explores Memphis blues and R&B.
May 21, 2018
Hedy Lamarr, inventor; YouTube's streaming service; 'Killer Klowns' cult
The documentary, “Bombshell,” tells the amazing life story of movie star and wartime inventor Hedy Lamarr; YouTube will compete with Spotify and Apple Music through its new streaming platform; the schlocky horror comedy, "Killer Klowns from Outer Space," turns 30.
May 18, 2018
Plans for TV's Fall season; the state of rock 'n' roll; singer Lindi Ortega
Broadcast networks finished pitching to advertisers today, with the news that "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" will end after next season; a look at the Billboard Top 40 charts reveals that rock just isn’t very popular these days; Canadian singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega's latest album was inspired by spaghetti Westerns, Ennio Morricone film scores and Quentin Tarantino movies.
May 17, 2018
'Soft Power' playwright and composer; Emmy (aka FYC) season
Playwright David Henry Hwang and composer Jeanine Tesori — both Tony Award winners — created a play with music that imagines China becoming the pre-eminent world power after the 2016 presidential election; it’s that time of year in Hollywood: the season known mostly by the acronym FYC — For Your Consideration.
May 16, 2018
Ethan Hawke; do movies need a PG-15 rating?
Ethan Hawke has three movies coming out this year: "First Reformed," "Juliet, Naked" and “Blaze." Hawke opens up about his choices to make indie films and how he's wrestled with the notion of being a celebrity; a new study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center looks at whether some movie violence should merit a new PG-15 rating.
May 15, 2018
Dispatch from Cannes; Andrea Savage's 'I'm Sorry'; Iranian singer Googoosh
The issue of representation for women in film has come up at the Cannes Film Festival, where the festival’s leaders have pledged to reach 50/50 parity for women filmmakers by 2020. We get a report from Rico Gagliano; In "I'm Sorry," actress Andrea Savage plays a "heightened" version of herself: a comedian with wildly inappropriate jokes who's also the mother of a young girl; We meet the Iranian singer Googoosh, who performed Saturday night at a packed Hollywood Bowl.
May 14, 2018
'Tully' director; Spotify and R. Kelly; 'Unrest' doc
Director Jason Reitman has collaborated with screenwriter Diablo Cody on three films — "Juno," "Young Adult," and now, "Tully," which stars Charlize Theron; why Spotify's decision to take R. Kelly’s music off its curated playlists is so controversial; the documentary "Unrest" raises awareness about chronic fatigue syndrome, a common but poorly understood disease;
May 11, 2018
'Dear White People,' season 2; YouTube's TV play
The second season of Justin Simien's "Dear White People" has a lot to say about race, truth and what it means to be an American; YouTube's foray into the original content game includes "Cobra Kai," a sequel to "Karate Kid" with original star Ralph Macchio.
May 10, 2018
'A Suitable Girl' documentary; TV's stressful season; composer Ellen Reid
Arranged marriage in modern day India is explored in "A Suitable Girl," which tries to dispel Western misconceptions about the tradition; it's that time of the year when TV networks must decide which shows are renewed and which ones are toast; Ellen Reid's new work hopes to capture the nation’s sense of urgency.
May 09, 2018
Is rock still a thing?; Cannes Film Festival; actor Drew Droege
With rock 'n' roll bands no longer headlining top music festivals, is the genre finally dead?; what to expect from this year's Cannes festival; comedic actor Drew Droege came to L.A. with glamorous dreams of making it in Hollywood, only to find success with a viral video.
May 08, 2018
'Vida' creator Tanya Saracho; FYF Fest cancelled
Writer Tanya Saracho talks about her arc in the TV business — from being a "diversity hire" on "Devious Maids" to creating her own show "Vida" about two Latinx sisters who move back home after their mother's death; and Goldenvoice, the concert promoter of FYF Fest has canceled this year's festival because of low ticket sales. Is it a case of festival fatigue or something else?
May 07, 2018
New R. Kelly allegations; 'The Crown' costume designer
Jim DeRogatis has been reporting on allegations of sexual abuse against R. Kelly for nearly two decades including a new report in Buzzfeed today – why this singer may be finally facing his #metoo moment; and as costume designer for "The Crown," Jane Petrie discusses the pressure to get the look of the royal family just right.
May 04, 2018
Leonard Bernstein exhibit; Academy ousts Cosby, Polanski; Memphis music history
A new exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Arts Center celebrates the life and work of composer Leonard Bernstein; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votes to expel Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski; and Memphis-based author and filmmaker Robert Gordon captures the grit of his hometown's music in his new book “Memphis Rent Party.”
May 03, 2018
Martin Freeman loves horror; Hollywood & China; 'theater is a blank space'
Actor Martin Freeman goes from 'The Office,' to 'Black Panther,' into two small-scale horror films; Billionaire businessman Wang Jailin of the Dalian Wanda Group hoped that Hollywood studios would see China as a location for making movies, but the Wall Street Journal reveals that’s not happening; We go inside the new production called, “theater is a blank space,” which takes you from Powell Library to the rafters of UCLA’s Royce Hall, literally.
May 02, 2018
Tony noms; 'RBG' doc; SpongeBob The Musical
"Mean Girls” and “SpongeBob” led this year’s Tony nominations with 12 picks each. New York Times theater reporter Michael Paulson helped break down the nominations for us; We talk with 'RBG' co-director Betsy West about convincing Justice Ginsburg to give them access to her life; “Spongebob Squarepants the Musical” snagged 12 Tony nominations today, including the top prize, best musical. We talk with playwright Kyle Jarrow.
May 01, 2018
'Avengers' screenwriters; 'Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie' filmmakers
The screenwriters of "Avengers: Infinity War" explain how the sitcom "Frasier" influenced the film; the Hulu documentary “Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie” shows how executives at Mattel went about changing the body shape of their iconic and controversial doll.
Apr 30, 2018