Cinema

Theatre B brings Orwell’s fictional future to life

by Paige Johnson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 17th, 2017

In 1948, George Orwell predicted a dystopian future in his pinnacle work ‘1984.’

Orwell died before he could see if the future was plagued by unending war, a totalitarian government and rigorous loyalty rituals as he’d predicted.

While 1984 may not have seen Orwell’s imagination reach fruition, for many, 2017 is the new 1984.

In the first show of their 15th season and in their new space, Moorhead-based theatre company Theatre B is bringing Orwell’s fictional future to the stage…

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​It’s live! IT’S LIVE!

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 11th, 2017

Over the last several weeks, the Concordia Orchestra has been preparing for the challenge

Since Mary Shelley first published her Gothic horror novel in 1818, “Frankenstein” has been read by millions. The classic tale of an overly ambitious scientist who ‘plays God’ by creating new life, and the tragedy that results when he doesn’t take responsibility for his creation, have inspired generations of readers and writers.

Arguably just as influential in the cinematic world is the…

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​Human being: ‘Blade Runner 2049’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 11th, 2017

As thrilling and thought-provoking a sequel as one might hope, “Blade Runner 2049” leverages potent nostalgia for one of the most influential science-fiction films in the canon.

It’s a tall order to measure up to Ridley Scott’s stunning 1982 accomplishment, and filmmaker Denis Villeneuve -- working for the third time with cinematographer Roger Deakins -- pays homage without succumbing to pure slavishness.

While the new model contains enough echoes, parallels, and callbacks to…

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​Classic French romantic trilogy and American remake

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 4th, 2017

This June the Criterion Collection released a restored edition of noted French playwright and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol’s famous Marseilles trilogy to Blu-ray, “Marius” (1931), “Fanny” (1932), and “César” (1936).

A year ago the Shout Factory label released the 1961 American remake “Fanny,” which condenses all three into one film and was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Actor, and Color Cinematography.

When movie sound technology finally arrived,…

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​“American Made”: Cruise and Liman are in the money

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 4th, 2017

The indefatigable Tom Cruise, still able to carry off youthful mock-insouciance at the age of 55, has plenty of fun as Barry Seal in “American Made.”

Seal, an American pilot who smuggled drugs for the Medellin Cartel and informed and testified for the D.E.A., probably wouldn’t have recognized much of his lived experience in Doug Liman’s entertaining fantasy, but the “true story” epigraphs affixed to feature films allow us to assign plausibility to the implausible.

Cruise’s…

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​Robots and rocky romance on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 27th, 2017

Artificial Intelligence, robotic workers, unmanned space travel, fatherless children, and Korean conflicts are all recent hot news topics. In September of 1954 all of these were major themes of a low-budget sci-fi thriller targeted at children but with enough plotting and subtext to keep adults interested (perhaps more so today as a cultural artifact than during its original release as popular entertainment).

Earlier this month Kino-Lorber released “Tobor the Great” to Blu-ray. Also…

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​“Strong Island”: Powerful Sundance Special Prize winner available on Netflix

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 27th, 2017

“Strong Island,” Yance Ford’s vital cinematic elegy to his slain brother, is a gripping documentary presented with control and precision. That careful formality serves both the story and the filmmaker’s underlying thematic questions addressing the absurd but commonplace outcomes of the notion of justifiable homicide and the use of reasonable fear as a means for perpetrators to claim self-defense.

In 1992, Ford’s then 24-year-old sibling, William Ford, Jr., was shot to death by…

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​Classic romantic comedies: melodrama and wild farce

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 20th, 2017

Rom-coms are a staple of modern movies and have been for well over a century. This summer two very different variations on the genre spotlighting iconic 20th-century superstars made their Blu-ray debuts from Kino-Lorber.

One is a classic updating of a popular 19th-century stage play, the other a wacky cartoon-like sequel to a western comedy musical.

“Zaza” (1923) was a vehicle for popular and rising silent legend Gloria Swanson, directed by prolific and versatile Hollywood veteran…

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Aronofsky wants you to love “Mother!”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 20th, 2017

WARNING: The following review reveals plot information. Read only if you have seen “Mother!”

With a tongue-in-cheek exclamation point distinguishing it from the likes of Joon-ho Bong’s superior 2009 film and the more than 180 other movies sharing the title, Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” offers fair warning to the curious.

Eschewing proper names for characters and saddling them instead with the likes of Penitent, Defiler, Herald, Pilferer, Supplicant, Hewer, Lingerer, and…

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​Controversial epic now on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 13th, 2017

With 2017 so far one of the lowest summers for movie attendance this century, the year 1946 was perhaps the all-time peak year of movie attendance, with close to 60% of Americans providing 90 million individual ticket sales, according to statistics from “Variety” and other sources. The number two-grossing movie released that year (which actually premiered in late December but played throughout 1947) was producer David O. Selznick’s trouble-plagued “Duel in the Sun.” Its…

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Arts

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​The other shoe

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