Tim Jenison

The New Britain Museum of American Art will show a documentary film on Thursday about one man's quest to duplicate the painting technique of Dutch master Jan Vermeer. "If my idea was right, we're seeing color photographs, more or less, from 350 years ago," said inventor Tim Jenison.

In the documentary "Tim's Vermeer," Jenison is convinced Vermeer used optical gadgets to achieve his almost photographic paintings, and becomes obsessed with figuring out exactly how.

[At the top of this post, you'll find a discussion I had with Stephen Thompson, my Pop Culture Happy Hour co-panelist, about the Oscar nominations. Tomorrow's full PCHH episode more fully covers the film Selma.]

Ou Ning used to hate the countryside.

He had a comfortable life in Beijing where he worked as an artist. Yet in 2013, the 45-year-old packed his bags and traded his apartment for a centuries-old house in Bishan, a small village in China's Huizhou region. He brought with him his mother, younger brother, nephew, his then-fiancé and her son.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

One nice thing about the holidays is that David Edelstein, America's Greatest Living Film Critic, comes back to his hometown and joins us for a conversation about movies. Recently on Fresh Air, he told Terry Gross that 2014 was a "very, very depressing year for film because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios."

"This is a very, very depressing year for film," critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios."

Studios, he says, direct their financial resources into sequels and comic-book movies, which leaves little room for "creative expression, and for doing something weird and potentially boundary-moving."

Joshua Frankel

A new installation at Hartford's Real Art Ways imagines New York City lifting off to Mars, building by building. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

If you've ever seen a photograph from the Civil War era, there's a good chance it was created using a process known as tintype photography. These pictures are honest and organic in nature, and they're beginning to make a comeback within the modern photography world. 

Updated at 8:40 a.m.

Award-winning director Mike Nichols has died at the age of 83, ABC News announced in a statement.

"He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime," ABC News President James Goldston said in the statement.

Nomadic Lass/flickr creative commons

The day after Thanksgiving is not only the biggest leftover eating spree of the year; movie theaters are as packed as our stomachs are. To catch our list of what's playing now and what's coming for the holidays, listen to our conversation with Arnold Gorlick, founder of Madison Art Cinemas in Madison, Conn.

jnd_photography/flickr creative commons

In his new memoir, stage and screen actor Danny Aiello reveals that he was so poor growing up in New York that he worked as a numbers runner and burglar, specializing in robbing cigarette machines. He was also a street fighter, and bouncer, the type of late-night guard who didn't hesitate to slam a rowdy patron or rough up someone in the neighborhood who deserved it. 

Rocky and Nelson / Creative Commons

Scandal is a theme today. 

One of our guests today is Anne Helen Petersen, who left academia to write full-time about celebrities and television and celebrity gossip.  One of the themes her first book, "Scandals of Classic Hollywood," is the history of Hollywood scandal so lets get my own theory out of the way. 

A showcase of the latest work by Hispanic, Portuguese, and Latino filmmakers opens Tuesday in New Haven: the New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema. There will be screenings and events featuring many of the visiting filmmakers. Everything is free and open to the public.

Cuban-American actress Elizabeth Peña has died at age 55. She played dramatic roles in movies such as La Bamba and Lone Star and appeared in sitcoms including Modern Family.

Peña died Tuesday after a brief illness at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to her agent.

Cinémathèque Française/San Francisco Silent Film Festival

A long lost, feature-length silent film starring Connecticut actor William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes was discovered earlier this month in France.

Hollywood is getting the green light to fly its own drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration is giving approval to six movie and TV production companies to use drones for filming. And the move could pave the way for the unmanned aircraft systems to be used in other commercial ventures.

The FAA will permit the six companies to use remote-controlled drones to shoot movies and video for TV shows and commercials, but there will be certain limitations.

Dennis Skley/flickr creative commons

If you saw When Harry Met Sally…, there was a wry, riveting exchange between the two main characters, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, sitting at a restaurant table, causing an observing customer to say, "I'll have what she's having."

Documentarian Robert Drew Dies at 90

Jul 31, 2014

Documentary filmmaker Robert Drew has died at his home in Sharon, Connecticut. A pioneer of the modern documentary, Drew broke new ground with his 1960 political film "Primary" whose subject was John F. Kennedy.

Wikimedia Commons

Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center 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.

A quartet of New Haven filmmakers have organized a documentary film festival this Sunday at Yale University.

This post was updated at 5:35 p.m. ET.

Eli Wallach, whose acting work ranged from Westerns to the Godfather series and beyond, has died. For decades, Wallach won fans by bringing humanity and humor to roles that pitted him as a villain against titans such as Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen.

Hanay / Creative Commons

A group of students at East Haven High School created a short documentary, “Weaving the Way: Lessons From the Weaver Bird.” The film recently won outstanding documentary short at the Connecticut Student Film Festival.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Why go to a film festival? Because you might see the guy who plays Jaime Lannister on "Game of Thrones" in a Norwegian film also starting Juliette Binoche about a photojournalist on a dangerous assignment in Kenya. Or you might see a documentary about the American roots music dynasty, the Carters and the Cashes. Or maybe you'll bump into an acting legend like Karen Allen or Mary Kay Place on the street or in a seat next to yours.

This interview was originally broadcast on March 3, 2014.

When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.

We learned today that the upcoming sequel to Man Of Steel will be called Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

This is interesting for several reasons. First of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like a dirty movie about sheriffs. Second of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like it precedes the Morning Of Reckoning, the Afternoon Of Relief, the Dusk Of Regret, the Evening Of Resignation, and the Hot Muggy Midnight Of History Repeating Itself, all leading up to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Next Day.

It is illegal in the U.S. to operate a drone for cash. That's the position of the Federal Aviation Administration — which is in charge of protecting air space. But at least one industry has decided that it doesn't care and it's going to put drones to work anyway: the film industry.

Drone Startups Hit Hollywood

Martin Pettitt / Flickr Creative Commons

We crave color. Think of the Spring trip you make to the park, that has beautiful tulips or multicolored roses in the Summer. Think of the enormous travel industry that springs up around fall foliage every year.

Experts agree that climate change is a global problem. A documentary film company in our region planned to look at how Adirondack communities are adapting to climate change. But  the film’s producer changed his focus after encountering high school students at a Youth Climate Summit.

British Actor Bob Hoskins Dies At 71

Apr 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins, the British actor who starred in memorable films such as The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa and The Cotton Club, has died. He was 71.

The Guardian cited his agent as saying Hoskins died Tuesday from pneumonia. He had retired from films in 2012, a year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Here's more from The Guardian: