Thursday, February 9, 2017

ETV hosts a screening of 'Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise' Feb. 13 at the main library

The heart of a woman

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 1:31 PM

Maya Angelou called Sonoma, California, home in the late 70s/early 80s - MAGNUM
  • Magnum
  • Maya Angelou called Sonoma, California, home in the late 70s/early 80s
The ETV Endowment, a nonprofit that funds programming for SCETV and SC Public Radio, hosts a one-hour film preview of the documentary, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise at the main branch of the Charleston County Library (66 Calhoun St.) on Mon. Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. On Tues. Feb. 21 the full documentary will air on SCETV. This is the first full-length film about the prolific writer, poet, activist, and actress who passed away in 2014.

A part of the PBS American Masters series, the documentary premiered at the 2016 Sundance film festival and has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack were able to capture insightful interviews with Angelou before her death, along with interviews from Bill and Hillary Clinton, Common, and Oprah Winfrey.

Register for the free screening here.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Stephen King adaptation Mr. Mercedes filming downtown in Wagener Terrace


Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 4:29 PM

  • Staff
  • Staff
After seeing crew signs and production trucks scattered around the upper peninsula the past few weeks, we ran across the filming of the Mr. Mercedes TV series on Sans Souci Street today in North Central. The show is based on the Stephen King detective novel trilogy.

The crew has been filming a few days at a time over the past few weeks, setting up shop downtown at a couple of different locales. Trucks and crews have been seen staging at the Charleston Rifle Club off Heriot Street.

The show was announced originally featuring Star Trek's Anton Yelchin before he was killed in a bizarre car accident. Replacing him is Harry Treadaway from Penny Dreadful. The cast also features Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter), Scott Lawrence (Avatar), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight), Ann Cusack (Nightcrawler), and Mary Louise-Parker (The West Wing).

Mr. Mercedes is set to stream next year on Uverse and on DirecTV's Audience Network.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Watch: Charleston contestants compete on 'Hunted' this Sunday at 10 p.m.

Hunt or be hunted

Posted by Kathryn Noviello on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 11:20 AM

  • Provided
Modern television may have struck gold with Hunted, a new series that combines the thrill of popular cop-dramas with the raw, and always ridiculous, emotions of reality television hopefuls. The premise is basically an anxiety-riddled, adult version of hide-and-go-seek. And this Sun. Jan. 22 at 10 p.m. you can watch as Charleston residents Christina Zapolski and Matt Sundberg are hunted.

The show follows nine groups of two "fugitives" as they attempt to stay off the grid and escape skilled investigators who are pursuing them with top-notch tracking technology. Fugitives must remain in a 100,000-square-mile area of the southeastern United States and evade Command Center investigators and "Hunters" in the field for 28 days. If teams can remain calm in this (unnecessarily, we think) stressful and self-imposed manhunt, they will walk away with $250,000. It’s a mission fit for a mastermind, attempted by reality TV contestants. Cue the insanity.

Zapolski, the former Miss South Carolina USA, and her real estate agent fiancé believe they have what it takes to elude the country’s most extensive tracking technology and techniques. On paper, their chances don’t look good; CBS’s website lists “relies on her parents for help” and “mama’s boy” as the couple's respective character traits.

“Being on the run with Christina was unbelievable. We really had to rely on each other and work as a team — it was us against the world,” says Sundberg. The couple decided that there was no better way to test their relationship than by leaving everything behind and living as fugitives on the run. Totally normal.

The production crew was very hands-off, which led to authentic emotions. Christina and Matt admitted that they became incredibly paranoid, fearing that there was a hidden or disguised Hunter around every corner. “We really were in the mind of a fugitive,” says Zapolski.

But Hunted’s agenda is about more than simply scaring contestants. By abandoning their cellphones and personal belongings, the fugitives on the show will discover how reliant they are on technology. Even scarier, Zapolski and Sundberg realized that investigators knew their habits, possible hiding spots, and strategic moves just from dissecting their social media accounts. Zapolski says, “It makes you think about your own security and safety, and how easily anyone can access your personal information.”

Surely, Hunted flexes U.S. investigatory muscles in order to show viewers how easily professionals can find them. We can’t help but wonder whether this is meant to make us feel safe from criminals, or feel like criminals ourselves.

Questioning aside, it will be interesting to see what it takes to elude Hunters for 28 days. Zapolski added, “As a millennial, I knew I was dependent on social media, but I think seeing this on TV will open a lot of eyes. Viewers will ask themselves, ‘Would I be able to do this?’”

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Watch: Local Chris McNally competes in 'Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge' this weekend

"Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass"

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 1:30 PM

You can watch Chris McNally compete this Saturday night. - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • You can watch Chris McNally compete this Saturday night.
It feels like we can't escape the WWE these days — from a holiday tour in North Charleston to Trump's new Small Business Administration leader, Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. may be having a moment. And one of its most popular stars — Stone Cold Steve Austin — is getting in on the action with his CMT reality show, Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge. Stone cold indeed.

The show pits eight "athletic contenders" (think MMA fighters, CrossFit fanatics, and professional athletes) against one another in a series of intense challenges. The winner advances to the "skullbuster challenge," where he or she must beat the course's current time record. And then, only then, can they walk home with $10,000.

This Sat. Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. local IT analyst, co-owner of North Charleston's Stryke Fitness, and father of four, Chris McNally, will compete on the Broken Skull Challenge. A Boeing employee by day, and a gym owner 24/7 (McNally owns Stryke with his wife, where they offer dance fitness workouts), McNally has always been athletic, from his All-American wrestling days in college to his stint as an MMA fighter, which ended in 2012.

And by athletic we do mean athletic: McNally says that in his video submission (filmed by his 11-year-old daughter) he had to show himself, well, showing his stuff, which included flipping 500 pound tires, carrying a 70 pound log on his back, and walking on his hands. You know, athlete stuff.

After filling out an application in January, hearing back in July, and going through two interviews before waiting to hear back from CMT, McNally finally got the news that he would be flying to California for one final interview before he would be featured on the show. Needless to say, it ain't easy getting on this reality TV show.

"It was one of the greatest experiences of my life," says McNally. His episode was filmed over the course of three days, where McNally and the rest of the competitors were presented with physical challenges — stuff called "Drag Race," "Pile Up," "Trench Warfare," etc. — just minutes before they had to complete them. "You can mentally and physically prepare but at the end of the day, you don't know specifically what you'll be doing," says McNally.

In addition to competing in some pretty grueling physical activities, McNally also got a pep talk from Stone Cold himself. "He pulled all of us aside and said, 'I truly respect all of you for making it to this point — you are one of the best athletes in this country because you made it on this show.'"

While we don't yet know how McNally did, we can say for sure that he learned a thing or two from the frighteningly named Broken Skull Challenge. He says, "I felt like a very different person when I came back. It opened my eyes — I have a lot more in me than what I'm giving."

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Check out the documentary 'I Voted?' at the Simons Center tonight

Maybe you did

Posted by Heath Ellison on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Jason Grant Smith’s directorial debut I Voted?, which looks at American elections and their voting system, could not have found a better year to be released. The film sees its South Carolina debut tonight at the Simons Center for the Arts at 6:30 p.m. Reserve your ticket here.

The film begins with a pretty familiar story — a massive political upset. Senatorial candidate Alvin Greene defeated Charleston County Council member Vic Rawl in the 2010 Democratic senate primary, despite little to no campaigning and even less political experience. It left so many people scratching their heads and opened up so many debates about the final tally that the CCP’s former editor Chris Haire claimed aircraft sabotaging imps had to be the true culprit.

And, while Smith’s film does not try to expose the very real terror of gremlins, it does bring to light important issues in the American elector process. Members of Congress, election integrity professionals, and computer science experts all put their two cents into I Voted? and many show concern that the process of casting a ballot is marred by enough technical difficulties to warrant action. A Q&A with Smith, members of the cast, and local election integrity advocates will follow the screening of the film.
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