Cinema

​Bon Appetit: ‘The Dinner’ challenges the taste buds

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 17th, 2017

Immediately following the dizzy, frightening, ambiguous, disorienting final scene of Oren Moverman’s “The Dinner,” which ends with a character saying “I love you” and a cut to black, the credits roll while Savages’ “F*ckers” nails the prevailing mood on the soundtrack.

Jehnny Beth sings, “Don’t let the f*ckers get you down, don’t let them wonder why you frown,” as the audience stumbles into the light, hopefully to do a good deed or maybe take a shower. The song…

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​Vintage westerns remastered for Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 10th, 2017

Republic Pictures was a small movie studio that was active from 1935 to 1959. Although it produced and distributed a wide variety of genres, it is best remembered for its low and modest-budget B-westerns starring the likes of John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and its action-adventure serials.

Representative examples of each cowboy star’s Republic work made their high-definition debuts this spring on Blu-rays from Kino Video.

John Wayne’s first starring role was in the 70mm western epic…

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​Gunning for the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 10th, 2017

WARNING: The following review reveals plot information. Read only if you have seen “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

In the sequel, the franchise, and the series, the dialectical tension pitting familiarity against novelty challenges the storyteller to thread the eye of the needle. “Is it is good as the first one?” is, unsurprisingly, the question that drives conversation.

In “The Myth of Superman,” Umberto Eco recognizes a parallel conundrum for the mythological figure: the…

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​Westerns defying stereotypes, new to Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 3rd, 2017

Westerns are no longer as prominent among movie release schedules as they used to be, but for over half a century they ranked among the most popular genres in America’s theatres, with various western subgenres. The form gradually faded away during the 1960s and 1970s as “revisionist” westerns replaced the classic formulas that were soon appropriated by modern police stories and then science-fiction sagas.

For the past generation, movie westerns (with a few exceptions) have tended…

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​“Casting JonBenet”: Kitty Green’s engrossing study of the unsolved crime

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 3rd, 2017

Available to view on Netflix beginning April 28, Kitty Green’s challenging, fascinating, and unnerving documentary feature “Casting JonBenet” is one of the best films of the year.

Ostensibly about the ongoing fascination and morbid curiosity surrounding the 1996 murder case referenced in the film’s title, Green’s conceit is to populate her study with actors -- almost entirely locals and wannabes from the areas surrounding the Ramsey family’s Boulder, Colorado home --…

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​“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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cshagen@hpr1.comBISMARCK - One day after law enforcement cleared the “Treaty Camp” on October 27, 2016, hundreds of activists defending Native American treaty rights, water rights, and land rights, lined up north of three…

Culture

Millennial

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A couple of classic courtroom dramas and a romantic melodrama about theatrical ambition, all adapted from popular novels of their day, are among the recently released Blu-rays by Kino-Lorber. All were made by major filmmakers with…

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Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

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Here in the upper midwest we love the summer season for so many different reasons but two of the big reasons I love summer are fresh produce and being outside with a beer in my hand. Sometimes, when I’m spending the day in the…

Wellness

​Natural sleep aids

by Erin Oberlander

As I interact with clients and friends and family alike, one of the issues that comes up commonly is that of sleep. It seems that in our modern world, getting deep, nourishing sleep has become a challenge for some and a complete…

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…

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