Fletcher Powell

Production Manager and All Things Considered Host

If Fletcher Powell could be someone else, he’d be Errol Morris or Ira Glass. Except younger and better looking.

Since he can’t, he’ll be Fletcher Powell, KMUW Production Manager and host of All Things Considered. Fletcher came to KMUW in 2009 after five years of working in the stock market (don’t ask). He feels like this line of work fits him a little better than that one did.

Fletcher has a BA in Psychology from the University of Kansas and an MA in Communication from Wichita State University. He’s lived in Wichita most of his life, aside from some brief stops in Iowa and Ohio. He likes baseball, guinea pigs, and the Oxford comma.

Ways to Connect

It’s not fair to compare a movie adaptation to the book it’s based on -- a movie should stand on its own merits. But if you’ve read the book first, it can also be a challenge not to compare the two.

When I first watched Thoroughbreds, I came away irritated. Some people seem to regard it as a black comedy, though it’s only sporadically funny. And I was surprised to learn it’s apparently not based on a stage play, because it’s only got a handful of characters, 80 percent of it takes place in a single location, and it’s very talky.

Red Sparrow is the latest in a line of stories about young women being coerced into joining a secret government organization, wherein they become super spies, or super assassins, or something along those lines. Think of Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita.

I was headed into the theater, all ready to see the new science fiction adventure movie Annihilation. “I’ll bet this is going to be heavy,” I thought to myself. But I’d been sick all weekend, and I was still in a sort of weird head fog, and part of me really worried that I just wouldn’t be able to handle a movie called Annihilation.

So, at the last second, I bought a ticket to see Game Night instead.

Just four days into its release, Black Panther had grossed more than $426 million worldwide, and that’s before it’s even opened in China. Which means that other than maybe a Star Wars movie or two, this is basically the biggest opening for any movie ever. 

In August of 2015, a gunman attacked a train from Amsterdam to Paris. After short skirmishes with some passengers, his rifle jammed, and three Americans on the train overwhelmed the man and subdued him with the help of a couple of other passengers.

Roger Ebert often pointed out that the movies that made him cry weren’t the ones that were supposed to be sad, but rather those that showed the goodness that lies within people. I thought of this as my eyes got a bit teary while watching Call Me By Your Name, a Best Picture nominee, and the most humane and kind movie in a year that featured so many others filled with anxiety and darkness.

The director Ernst Lubitsch said, “Any good movie is filled with secrets. If a director doesn’t leave anything unsaid, it’s a lousy movie.” It’s a good bet, then, that Lubitsch would have loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, Phantom Thread, where what’s left unsaid is weaponized and turned into the artillery of a smoldering power struggle.

We are—most of us—enchanted by fairy tales when we’re young. Stories of princesses and monsters, heroes and villains and magic. And then we grow up, and become cynical. These stories turn into just stories, they lose their ability to move us and amaze us and scare us.

Steven Spielberg’s The Post seems specifically engineered to be the most Oscar bait-y of Oscar bait movies. Spielberg is arguably the most prominent director in the film industry, it features two of our biggest movie stars, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and it deals in the grand themes that Spielberg so loves. Really, what could go wrong?