Kevin Willmott | KCUR

Kevin Willmott

As the filmmaker's latest collaboration with Spike Lee becomes the must-see movie of the moment, we talk to Kevin Willmott about BlacKkKlansman, race in America, the purpose of satire, and his own life story, which begins in Junction City, Kansas. This hour-long interview is part of our Portrait Session series.

  • Kevin Willmott, filmmaker and KU professor of film and media studies

Focus Features

Director Spike Lee’s "BlacKkKlansman," which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in May, is finally opening in theaters nationwide. 

Lee's co-writer is University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott, who spoke with KCUR's Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann about the movie, which is based on a true story.

Segment 1: A talk with Kevin Willmott about his new film.

"BlacKkKlansman" just won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. It's based on the true story of a black cop who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s. We catch up with the KU professor who collaborated on the film with Spike Lee.

Segment 2, beginning at 17:09: Looking back at the filming of "Kansas City."

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Criminal charges in Schlitterbahn death come amid push for tighter regulations on Kansas amusement parks.

Last week, three Schlitterbahn employees were indicted on criminal charges related to a boy's death in 2016 at the Kansas City, Kansas, water park. Today, we discussed the merits of cases, and found out how state law is evolving in response to the incident.

University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott's latest movie, CHI-RAQ has opened to lots of buzz. Steve Kraske and the film critics talk to the screenwriter about what he and co-writer Spike Lee were trying to say in this film. 

Courtesy: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

"We're still here," says Gaylene Crouser of the Kansas City Indian Center. That's one of the many things she'd like people to understand about American Indians, a detail they might not pick up from mainstream movies. How have recurring characters on-screen shaped our perceptions of what it means to be indigenous in America? 

Guests:

jakestakeonsports.com

At the outset and in the spirit of full disclosure, let me just say that I am a graduate of the University of Kansas and a huge fan of Wilt Chamberlain, aka “Wilt the Stilt," and “The Big Dipper.” He is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Wilt Chamberlain also happened to play at KU.  He was a Jayhawk.

A new movie about Chamberlain’s brief time at KU is the subject of a film by Kansas filmmaker Kevin Willmott, premiering this weekend. It’s called Jayhawkers.