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Movie Time!

Movie Time!

Part of the fun of watching the Academy Awards ceremony ever year is in trying to decipher a theme that can be drawn among the Best Picture nominees. This year the unifying factor that applies to each movie is that they all seem issue-based. For instance, Munich examines modern day terrorism by retelling the chilling real-life story of the 1972 Olympics. Brokeback Mountain and to some extent, Capote are films that navigate the delicate cultural terrain of homosexuality. Finally, race and journalistic ethics are tackled in Crash and Goodnight and Good Luck respectively. In celebration of the year in movies for 2005, I'd like to take a moment to discuss audiobooks that pertain to some of the year's most celebrated films and also point you in the direction of some terrific movie-related audio resources.

With the aforementioned Munich, we should really refocus our attention to the book on which it was based. Namely, Striking Back, a nonfiction book about the aftermath of the bloody 1972 Olympic kidnappings. Where the movie gives us suspense and drama, the audio book proves equally riveting with historical fact. For more real life intrigue, consider Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron, a biting portrayal of greed and corporate corruption that is mirrored in this year's best documentary film nominee Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Speaking of cultural criticism, there's Edward R. Murrow, a biography to help you learn why broadcast journalism is forever in his debt. If the movie Good Night, and Good Luck piqued your interest in the man, this is the first place to start learning about Mr. Murrow. Truman Capote is responsible for his own journalist masterpiece: In Cold Blood. Here Capote dissects the anatomy of a murder in a small town.

Johnny Cash received well-deserved attention this year thanks to Walk The Line. For a more detailed account of how Cash fought his demons and became a country music legend, we recommend listening to The Man Called Cash. Another interesting biography that made its way to the silver screen was that of James J. Braddock, boxing's Cinderella Man. This unlikely depression-era story shows how a washed-up boxer rose from obscurity to become the heavy-weight champion of the world.

Popular fiction has always served as a basis for Oscar-worthy films and this year is no exception. The Best-Picture favorite Brokeback Mountain was originally a novella by Annie Proulx and the audio book version serves as a great companion. Memoirs of a Geisha has been on the best-seller list since its publication, and the visually stunning film version has only made its popularity grow in recent months. There's also John La Carre's The Constant Gardener, a tight, intelligent thriller that pits the needs of poor countries against the overwhelming will of big-time pharmaceuticals. Lastly there's Jane Austen's seminal Pride and Prejudice which has been adapted many times and proven still popular with the latest film version released in 2005.

There are also a few movie-related podcasts coming out currently that are worth your time amid the Oscar buzz. First of all is the always reliable Cinecast, a twice-weekly podcast that provides current reviews and insightful film discussion. For more reviews there's the Ebert & Roeper and KCRW's Film Reviews podcasts, which will help you round out your knowledge of the best material coming out currently. Interested in hearing interviews from the pros? Look no further than KCRW's the Treatment and the Variety Screenings Podcast, which both feature Q&A with actors and filmmakers.

The silver screen only shows us one aspect of the story; now with audio you can widen your grasp of what's happening in the film-world and learn more about the source material that's been fueling the current hits. The list covered here offers the perfect opportunity for you to examine the issues that underpin this year's Oscar favorites and discover voices that share your enthusiasm for the movies.

Titles on this Topic

Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
by Annie Proulx

Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl

When Charlie Bucket finds himself the proud winner of a Golden Ticket in a chocolate bar, he knows he has the greatest treat in the world in store for him.
The Chronicles of Narnia CD Box Set
 
The Chronicles of Narnia CD Box Set
by C.S. Lewis

Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil -- what more could any reader ask for? This timeless boxed set includes all seven unabridged recordings...
Cinderella Man
Cinderella Man
by Jeremy Schaap

Lost in the annals of boxing is the sport's true Cinderella story....
Conspiracy of Fools
Conspiracy of Fools
by Kurt Eichenwald

Say the name 'Enron' and most people believe they've heard all about the story that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever....
The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener
by John le Carre

Frightening, heartbreaking, and exquisitely calibrated, The Constant Gardener opens with the gruesome murder of the young and beautiful Tessa Quayle near northern Kenya's Lake Turkana - the birthplace of mankind.
Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
by Bob Edwards

Reporting live from the streets and rooftops of London as Nazi war planes rained terror from the skies during the Battle of Britain, Edward R. Murrow brought the stark horror of war and the shock of breaking news events directly into American living rooms for the first time.
Filmspotting Podcast
Filmspotting Podcast
by Adam Kempenaar

Weekly film podcast/WBEZ radio show from Chicago featuring in-depth reviews, top 5 lists and interviews.
In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
KCRW's Film Reviews Podcast
KCRW's Film Reviews Podcast
by Joe Morgenstern

Joe Morgenstern, the Wall Street Journal's Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, brings his wit and wisdom to bear on current releases.
KCRW's The Treatment Podcast
KCRW's The Treatment Podcast
by Elvis Mitchell

On THE TREATMENT, film critic Elvis Mitchell turns the tables and gives the "treatment" to some of the most influential and innovative forces creating movies and popular art and entertainment.
King Kong
King Kong
by Edgar Wallace

His very name inspires awe, horror, and, for some of the greatest masters of contemporary science fiction, a strong affection.
The Lion, the Witch, And the Wardrobe
 
The Lion, the Witch, And the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis

These classic stories have enchanted millions around the world.
The Man Called Cash
The Man Called Cash
by Steve Turner

Johnny Cash is one of the most influential figures in music and American popular culture today....
Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden

Nitta Sayuri tells us in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate of her life as a geisha...
Power Failure
Power Failure
by Mimi Swartz

Power Failure is the story of the collapse of Enron, the high-flying gas and energy company...
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. So opens this famous novel...
See No Evil
See No Evil
by Robert Baer

One of the CIA's top field officers of the past quarter century recounts his career running agents in the back alleys of the Middle East. Robert Baer paints a chilling picture of how terrorism works...
Sleeping with the Devil
Sleeping with the Devil
by Robert Baer

In his powerful new audio book, Robert Baer, author of See No Evil, turns his attention to Saudi Arabia, revealing how our government's...
Steven Spielberg
 
Steven Spielberg
by Joseph McBride

Until now, much about Steven Spielberg’s personality and the forces that shaped it has remained enig-matic, in large part because of his tendency to mythologize his own past.
Striking Back
Striking Back
by Aaron J. Klein

The first full account, based on access to key players who have never before spoken, of the Munich Massacre and the Israeli response - a lethal, top secret, thirty-year-long antiterrorism campaign to track down the killers. 1972.

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