Paul Willistein

Program Host

Paul Willistein is Editor of the Lehigh Valley Press Focus section, a position he has held for 10 years. He has received more than one dozen Keystone state journalism awards and an Allentown Arts Commission Arts Ovation Award. He reviews movies and theater and writes features stories about arts and entertainment, news stories about municipal and school topics and takes photographs for Lehigh Valley Press newspapers and web sites.

He has taught screenwriting and media studies at Northampton Community College. He was marketing and public relations director at The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. For 22 years, he worked at The Morning Call, where he was Features Editor, Arts Editor and Entertainment Editor. He worked for the former Bethlehem Globe-Times as Arts Editor, Night Editor and News Reporter. He studied American Studies and film-making at Syracuse University and attended Southern Lehigh High School.

He has written, directed and produced documentary films, some of which have been telecast on public television stations, and narrative fiction films, some of which have been shown in film festivals. He was host and producer of “Hot Splices,” a movie review-interview show; producer and co-host with Michael Gontkosky of ”The Movie Show,” a movie review show, and “Valley Arts,” a Lehigh Valley arts interview show, all telecast on RCN. He is a songwriter, having co-written “Do The Dutch (Hey Now)” with Steve Brosky and Mike Krisukas.

Bob Odenkirk might be the next big movie hero in “Nobody.” 

TV's “Better Call Saul” star is coming to the big screen with this revenge hero action film co-starring Connie Nielsen, Wu-Tang's RZA and Christopher Lloyd. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the film for WDIY.

“Minari” is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung based the film on his upbringing on a farm in Arkansas by his parents who were Korean immigrants. The film boasts an Oscar-nominated actor performance by Steven Yeun and an Oscar-nominated supporting actress performance by Youn Yuh-jung. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the drama.

“The Courier” is a spy thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The film, which is based on true events, offers a behind-the-scenes view of the USSR-US showdown during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the thriller.

“The Father” is a nominee for six Oscars, including best actor for Anthony Hopkins for his gripping portrayal of an elderly man’s descent into dementia. Olivia Colman is also an Oscar nominee for her role as Hopkins’ daughter in the film. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the drama.

Disney presents "Raya and the Last Dragon," a lush visual spectacle that focuses on Southeast Asian culture and features the voice-acting talents of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Alan Tudyk, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong and 1990 Freedom High School graduate Daniel Dae Kim. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the family animated adventure film for WDIY.

“Tom and Jerry” returns the classic cartoon characters to the big screen. The live-action and animation feature film stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Pena, and Ken Jeong. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the animated adventure-comedy film for WDIY.

"Nomadland" is a critically-acclaimed hybrid documentary and narrative-fiction film about Americans who’ve chosen to live and travel in RVs in the American West. Frances McDormand stars as a widow and displaced worker who takes to the highway in her van. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the drama.

"Judas and the Black Messiah" is based on the story of an FBI informant (played by LaKeith Stanfield), who, in the late 1960s, infiltrated the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, targeting the chapter’s leader, Fred Hampton (played by “Get Out” Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya). It’s an important movie, especially for African American History Month and recent social justice protests. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the biography-drama.

Mila Jovovich is back in a video game-based film, “Monster Hunter,” directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, with whom she teamed for the “Resident Evil” movie series. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the action-adventure fantasy film.

“The Little Things” stars three Oscar winners, Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto, in a police procedural about a serial killer in Los Angeles. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the crime drama thriller.

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