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The Latino and Iberian Film Festival opened Wednesday at Yale University with scheduled screenings of about 50 movies.

Joan Marcus/Hartford Stage

In 1954, Alfred Hitchcock directed two movies. They both star Grace Kelly. They’re both murder mysteries involving a married couple and a boyfriend and a girlfriend. They both take place almost entirely in one room. They both look like plays.

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Next Wednesday marks the beginning of the Latino & Iberian Film Festival at Yale. This hour, we learn more about it with festival director Margherita Tortora. 

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This week, movie trailers lost their way when someone advocated boycotting Star Wars VII because they believe the trailer advocated white genocide. Why? Because a black man, a woman and a Latino were prominently featured in the trailer to the detriment of you guessed it, white men. What does this say about the level of diversity in science fiction fans?

We often think of marketing as being about either awareness or persuasion. It seems impossible that Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which opens December 18) needs either one, given its astronomically high profile and the fact that curiosity alone will drive plenty of ticket sales, even for those who will take pleasure in being recreationally disappointed.

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Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center over 40 years ago. He stayed up on that wire for 45 minutes, made 8 passes between the towers, got down on his knees, and he even laid down on it! But it's more than that one feat - it was a placeholder for a much broader philosophy of risk and creativity, and evidence of who the man really is.

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Katha Pollitt, is best known for her column in The Nation, where her work has appeared since 1980. She's a feminist, a keen observer of American culture, and the author of two books of poetry and four essay collections. One of those essays, “Learning to Drive,” appeared in The New Yorker 13 years ago, and has recently been adapted into a film starring Patricia Clarkson and Sir Ben Kingsley. 

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Ben Vereen was plucked from the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn to go to the prestigious Performing Arts High School because somebody thought he had talent. Influenced by song and dance men like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., Ben Vereen garnered accolades for groundbreaking roles in "Pippin," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Roots," in which he challenged us to think about race, religion and who can make art.

Chion Wolf

This hour, we get updates from a few of our favorite former guests. UConn physicist Ron Mallett is looking to fund a feasibility study to pay for the first steps of his time machine. We’ll catch up with him.

And New Haven-based filmmaker Gorman Bechard is working on two documentaries – one about animal cruelty, and the other on the New Haven pizza wars.

U.S. Department of State / Creative Commons

Ever since a photo of a Syrian boy dead on a beach made the rounds of the internet, there has been a new focus on the refugee crisis. The United Nations reports more than four million registered Syrian refugees and the country's neighbors are taking the brunt of the strain. Now Europe is struggling to handle a flood of migrants to that continent. Germany is among the countries imposing border controls in response to the flood of refugees who survived the long and dangerous journey away from war.

Two of Boston’s longest running stories and scandals have hit the Venice Film Festival as Hollywood movies. One of them, “Black Mass,” comes with a big star, big buzz and the name Whitey Bulger.

Exploring The Hoopla And Tension Surrounding ‘Black Mass’

On the island of Ledo, movie stars arrive from Venice in sleek water taxis trimmed and decked in mahogany and teak. They’re called motoscafi and their big engines await the throttle.

This is how Jake Gyllenhaal entered the cinema — through the hordes of paparazzi along the canal.

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In an age of film streaming and instant video when-you-want-it, where-you-want-it, most independent video-rental stores are going the way of the dinosaur.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We're taking The Nose, our weekly culture round table, to The Study at Yale in New Haven, joining the International Festival of Arts, Ideas, and Pancakes. We'll be adding one of the performers to our round table, too! We've all seen the Brian Wilson film, "Love and Mercy", and we're all aware of the changes to the ten dollar bill. We'll talk about that and more, live from The Study! Join us!

Yale University

More than 100 personal film reels of jazz legend Benny Goodman have been saved from permanent damage thanks to an extensive restoration project at Yale University. 

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The late John Meneely Jr., a Yale Medical School graduate, struggled to rebuild his life after returning home from World War II. His daughters have created an oratorio to commemorate their father, and the making of that oratorio is the subject of a new documentary called Letter from Italy 1944: A New American Oratorio, narrated by Meryl Streep. It airs this Thursday, June 18th, at 8pm on CPTV. We talk with the film’s director, Karyl Evans.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Christopher Lee, the actor best known for defining the role of Dracula on the big screen, died on Sunday at the age of 93.

An official for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London confirmed the death.

For a younger generation, Lee is best known for his role as Saruman, the white-maned villain in the Lord of the Rings franchise. Lee also played Count Dooku, another villain with superhuman powers, in the Star Wars series.

Public Domain

Veteran character actress Betsy Palmer has died.  

Palmer  achieved lasting, though not necessarily sought-after, fame as the murderous camp cook in the cheesy 1980 horror film "Friday the 13th."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we talk about movie trailers. Maybe you wonder what a movie critic thinks of them. Actually, critics don't see as many as you do because they often go to special screenings.

Chion Wolf. / WNPR

The Berkshires is known for many things: its quaint, rural towns, its serene trails, and its rustic restaurants. But in addition to all of that, it's also a hotbed for creativity. A place where emerging artists hone their craft, and museums, theaters, and festivals abound. 

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

Setting into your movie theater seat for "Mad Max Fury Road" you are treated a series of trailers that remind you how many movie screens this year will be taken up with new iterations of old franchises. There's a new Jurassic Park movie coming and a new Terminator.

But Mad Max is a little different. The franchise had lain dormant since and the movies are the work of a single auteur, George Miller, who begot Mad Max and, at age 70, has reimagined parts of it for this latest installment.

A soon-to-be released documentary film called "Uncommon Ground" will be screened this weekend in Connecticut. It explores the struggle over the future of the last remaining abandoned Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Native American actors have walked off the set of an Adam Sandler movie that they say insults their culture.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Everybody's a film critic, right? I mean, who walks out of a theater with no opinion about it? Also, nobody's a film critic. By that, I mean that most people resist deep analysis of a film. A frequent refrain is "Hey! It's just a movie."

For a film critic like David Edelstein, the key word is engagement.

Beasts of No Nation is the story of a West African child who is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters. Actor Idris Elba portrays a brutal warlord who recruits the child soldier.

Albert Maysles, the father of the contemporary American documentary film who was behind such classics as 1970's Gimme Shelter, has died. He was 88.

Maysles, an Oscar-nominated director, died Thursday in New York, Erica Dilday at the Maysles Documentary Center confirmed.

NPR's Neda Ulaby is reporting on his death for our Newscast unit. She says:

"Albert Maysles with his brother David turned an unflinching cinematic eye on everything from door to door Bible salesmen to the most eccentric members of the East Coast elite. ...

Sony Pictures

Several of my musical friends had said I should see the movie “Whiplash.” They told me I probably wouldn’t like it but that I should see it anyway. So I did.

They were right on both counts. I didn’t like it all that much but I’m glad I saw it. I think young people interested in the performing arts – not just music – should see it.

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Paris sculptor Tatiana Trouve agreed to do a major public art installation for Central Park, which is opening now and involves miles of colored rope. Now we have a mission for you… design a store for children with objects or a playscape that will entertain kids and adults, and make them all say "Wow!" walking in the door.

The rain that fell on Hollywood as the hours of red-carpet coverage wore on may have provided one of the evening's best visuals: actual people running around wearing plastic bags as they guided famous people out of limos, under umbrellas and to the waiting microphones of interviewers who wanted to know who made the dress, the shoes, the jewelry. It was literally the packing up and encasing of humanity to keep reality out: What could be more Oscars than that?

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The Academy Awards are almost upon us! It's hard to focus on the best movies of 2014 when you're already looking forward to the next SpongeBob movie, "Fifty Shades of Yellow."

We don't care! It's time for Vivian Nabeta's Rockin' Pre-Oscar Special Edition of The Nose, our culture roundtable.

Netflix announced this week that it has begun offering a special package of films and television series to Cuban viewers. With very few homes on the island connected to the Web, limited bandwidth, and costs for the streaming service beyond most families' budgets, big challenges remain.  

But the announcement is seen as another step in the continuing thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba.