Cinema

​“Tower” brilliantly explores a dreadful day in the modern history of school shootings

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

Now on Netflix instant watch and not to be missed is director Keith Maitland’s “Tower,” one of the most memorable and gripping films of 2016.

Carefully, even meticulously, constructing a moment-by-moment chronological account of the 1966 University of Texas at Austin murders committed by Charles Whitman from the observation deck of the Main Building, Maitland’s film relies on the use of interpretive performance and rotoscope animation -- two fairly unorthodox stylistic choices…

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​Classic baseball movie now on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 26th, 2017

Besides income tax, April saw the beginning of baseball season, a game that has been considered America’s “national pastime” for over 160 years.

The ritual became immortalized in 1888 with the publication of Ernest Thayer’s famous comic poem “Casey at the Bat,” which immediately became a popular text for public recitations, the most famous of which was by stage star DeWolf Hopper, then 30 years old, who delighted audiences with his melodramatic interpretation for the next 47…

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​Mandatory evacuation, or what I did over the weekend

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

[Editor’s note: Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the evacuation of Grand Forks and the burning of the original High Plains Reader office. This piece was originally written Tuesday April 22, 1997.]

"Get up! There's water coming in the basement and we're being evacuated!"

It is about 6:30 Saturday morning. After four hours work at the Midco 10 Theatre Friday, getting the films and projectors ready for the weekend's shows, I had spent the rest of the afternoon helping my parents…

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​New documentary commemorates New Direction

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 19th, 2017

Even though I didn’t discover the place until a little over a month before it closed last September, The New Direction left an indelible impact on me. The sense of community, do-it-yourself attitude, and love of local and independent music struck a chord in me in that short span of time, so I can only imagine the impact it had on those who had been regularly attending performances there for years.

The sheer energy of the place left an impact on someone else whose experience was about…

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​Glad I spent it with you: “Trainspotting” sequel 20 years in the making

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 19th, 2017

The seemingly ill-advised sequel to Danny Boyle’s 1996 pop culture tidal wave “Trainspotting” arrives with a definitely ill-advised title in “T2 Trainspotting.” Shouldn’t it be “T2: Trainspotting” or just “Trainspotting 2” or even “Porno,” after Irvine Welsh’s literary follow-up?

If the T stands for “Trainspotting,” the movie is “Trainspotting 2 Trainspotting,” which I suppose could function as a kind of grammatical bridging of the old to the new, but…

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​Monogram Mystery: horror for B-movie fans

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 12th, 2017

Sometimes one is not in the mood for a heavy drama, elaborate action-adventure, or even a light comedy. Sometimes it feels good to watch a simple formula genre picture unashamed of its low budget, be it a western, film noir crime story, murder-mystery, or horror-thriller. The latter two genres often blend together, as in two B-grade thrillers released in 1940-41 by the low-budget Monogram studio, both of which came out on Blu-ray from Kino a few weeks ago.

“Chamber of Horrors” (1940)…

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​Classic romances explore still-timely social issues

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 5th, 2017

Todd Haynes’ Oscar-nominated period romantic melodrama “Far from Heaven” (2002) will have its 15th anniversary this fall. The film has a socially-conscious edge that earned it widespread acclaim, yet it is still not available on Blu-ray in the United States (there are Blu-rays from Canada, France, and Spain, however). Those who appreciated his story of a 1950s New England housewife’s awakening to the hypocrisy, racism, and homophobia of her apparently perfect little world may…

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How to dance in Ohio

by Suzanne Carroll | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 5th, 2017

April is Autism Awareness Month. To celebrate both the unique challenges and capabilities of people on the Autism Spectrum, the Region V Transition Community of Practice Committee is hosting a free movie night at the Fargo Theatre on Thursday, April 6at 7:00pm.

The featured film is called “How to Dance in Ohio.” The Region V Transition Committee is a multi-disciplinary group made up of area agencies, educators and families that come together for the common purpose of assisting…

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“78/52” looks at “Psycho” and its unforgettable shower scene

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 5th, 2017

An entertaining close reading and consideration of the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” Alexandre O. Philippe’s “78/52” can expect a lengthy post-theatrical existence in college film courses and in the movie collections of cinephiles.

Despite some publicity claims that the documentary focuses exclusively on the Bates Motel bathroom fate of Marion Crane, Philippe shares additional context, expanding the scope of the narrative to encompass details that inform our…

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​Blu-rays boost reputations of forgotten films

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 29th, 2017

A few big-name stars or even an all-star cast certainly do not guarantee that a movie will be top-notch entertainment, but are usually an effective way to attract viewers. Sometimes it might even be a warning that the story may have difficulties holding interest on its own or is otherwise just a routine example of its genre.

With most movies, it’s generally best if one watches without preconceived expectations, as overly-hyped films may easily be disappointing and overly-disparaged…

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​Twist

by Logan Macrae

On Saturday at 4:40pm I headed into Twist to grab a quick bite to eat before work. I was promptly greeted by one of their friendly serving staff. I was in a bit of a hurry as I worked at 5:30pm and I needed to get in and out, and…

By Sabrina Hornung and Tom Bixby sabrina@hpr1.comGoing back in time for one night only, the Sidestreet Grille presents a powerfully nostalgic show. You’ll remember where you were and what you shouldn’t have done!And how to…

Now on Netflix instant watch and not to be missed is director Keith Maitland’s “Tower,” one of the most memorable and gripping films of 2016. Carefully, even meticulously, constructing a moment-by-moment chronological account…

Arts

Gardens Galore!

by Sabrina Hornung

After months of planning, a theme was chosen. This year the Plains Art Spring Gala totes a decadent Art Nouveau-inspired theme with Gardens Galore. Art Nouveau imagery is known for its flowing, organic, nature-inspired forms as it…

Ovid’s mythological tales undergo dramatic transformation by award-winning director/playwright Mary Zimmerman as Concordia, MSUM, and NDSU deliver theatrical productions of three of her modern takes on his work.Concordia’s…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

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Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

The North Dakota State Water Commission has violated state law more than 600 times in recent years by issuing permits for industrial use of water (read: fracking oil wells) from the Little Missouri State Scenic River. Employees…