Cinema

​Oscar-nominated ‘On Body and Soul’ streaming on Netflix

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 21st, 2018

Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi, whose 1989 debut "My Twentieth Century" won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, achieved another career highlight recently with an Oscar nomination for her most recent feature. "On Body and Soul"has been selected to compete for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards. The movie is currently available to view on Netflix.

Despite the bloody immediacy of the film’s slaughterhouse setting, "On Body and Soul" is an often ethereal…

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​Fogel’s “Icarus” scores surprising Oscar nomination

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 14th, 2018

Given the film’s somewhat odd marriage of style -- the personality-driven presence of chatty neophyte documentarian Bryan Fogel -- and substance -- the ugly realities of the longtime Russian doping program for Olympic competitors -- the inclusion of “Icarus” as one of the five Oscar-nominated nonfiction features came as something of a surprise.

But as the winter games get underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9, coverage of the Russians continues to dominate headlines in…

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​‘The Shape of Water’: Del Toro’s monster madness and movie magic

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 7th, 2018

Of the great designs in the history of movie monsters, there are few as satisfying as Universal’s stunning Gill-man. First envisioned by William Alland by way of Gabriel Figueroa’s Amazonian campfire story, the look of the Creature from the Black Lagoon belongs principally to Milicent Patrick. Christened “The Beauty Who Created the Beast” for a promotional tour, Patrick’s contributions to cinema iconography were unfairly squashed by jealous makeup artist Bud Westmore, who…

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​Anderson and Day-Lewis stitch with ‘Phantom Thread’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 31st, 2018

A delectable and devilish exercise in exquisite restraint, “Phantom Thread” offers compelling evidence that Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis can do quiet and still as effectively as the thunder and lightning they made together in “There Will Be Blood.”

A supremely funny homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca,” the new movie Day-Lewis claims will be his last sets the table for yet another master class in screen performance. The leading man’s perfectly monikered…

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​The Polka King

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 26th, 2018

Making its way to Netflix a year after debuting at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, "The Polka King" is the fictionalized version of Ponzi schemer Jan Lewan’s jaw-dropping journey from bandstand to prison cell. Played with his usual antic panache by Jack Black as an optimistic entrepreneur with mostly benevolent intentions, Lewan is an American dreamer by way of Poland, in way over his head.

Filmmaker Maya Forbes, whose semi-autobiographical first feature Infinitely Polar Bear earned…

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​Documentary: the strange relationship of famous writer and motel voyeur

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 17th, 2018

Now playing on Netflix Instant Watch, Voyeur is the curious story of strange bedfellows Gay Talese -- the once influential and celebrated journalist -- and Gerald Foos, a creepy peeper who spied on the guests at his hotel, chronicling their behavior, erotic and otherwise, in a quasi-scientific record book.

Filmmakers Myles Kane and Josh Koury don’t entirely corral the lurid proceedings into a fully satisfying examination of any given one of their smorgasbord of themes, but the…

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​Poitras Brings ‘Risk’ to Showtime

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

The indomitable Laura Poitras adds to her fascinating filmography with “Risk,” a years-in-the-making (and unmaking) portrait of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, beginning prior to his retreat into the embassy of Ecuador in London under threat of eventual extradition to the United States.

Less immediate and urgent than her Oscar-winner “Citizenfour,” “Risk” continues the filmmaker’s investigation of the post-9/11 conditions of the widespread and largely unchecked illegal…

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​‘One of Us,’ a rare look at those who flee ultra-orthodox group

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

On the occasion of the Netflix release of “One of Us,” veteran filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady shared with writer Kate Erbland some of the self-imposed “rules” to their formidable approach.

The documentarians indicated that potential subjects must offer rare and special access. They also make sure that the content includes “observational, vérité material,” along the order of high-stakes events unfolding in the here and now. The directors expect that the…

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​Mudbound: Dee Rees adapts compelling period novel

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 13th, 2017

On her biggest canvas to date, filmmaker Dee Rees paints a vivid picture of two American families in “Mudbound,” a deeply satisfying drama based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel.

Adapting the screenplay with collaborator Virgil Williams, Rees skillfully weaves a tale that dissects and addresses race, war, poverty, alcoholism, adultery, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other substantive themes. She does this with tremendous confidence and focus, retaining the novel’s multiple…

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“Lady Bird” Sings

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 8th, 2017

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

With the critical phenom “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig makes good on her stated desire to “offer a female counterpart to tales like ‘The 400 Blows’ and ‘Boyhood.’” A shimmering coming of age chronicle featuring another tremendous performance by Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird” is steeped in a kind of nostalgia for the recent past without ever knuckling to the overly familiar. Ronan’s smart, original Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is an heir to…

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Culture

​The DCP wants YOU!

by John Showalter

By John Showalter and Sabrina HornungWe had a chance to chat with McKaila Ruud, the Events Coordinator for the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) and she let us in on a few new and exciting tricks that the DCP has up their…

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Earning a limited theatrical release following a successful run of festival appearances and a streaming deal with Shudder, writer-director Coralie Fargeat’s “Revenge” simultaneously embraces and subverts many tropes of the…

Arts

​Civility is for the Birds

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduTucked in the back of Roberts Street Studio, if you follow the “yellow brick road” (a funny story, if you get the chance to ask her), you are likely to find local artist Mackenzie Kouba working…

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