Cinema

​Restored, forgotten serialized epic now on DVD

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 15th, 2015

Several major cities have regular theatrical revivals of classic films made before the switch to sound technology, but, except for MSUM’s summer cinema series, silent films are difficult to find in this region without looking online for Blu-ray, DVD or streaming editions. This past spring, Flicker Alley released a three-disc DVD set of the little-known, but amazing and newly-restored French film “La Maison du Mystère” (“The House of Mystery”), an ambitious…

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​“The Wolfpack” profiles movie-obsessed NYC siblings

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 9th, 2015

Fascinating and frustrating, Crystal Moselle’s documentary “The Wolfpack” is essential viewing for fans of DIY moviemaking and cinephilia. The premise of Moselle’s film and the promise of her incredible subjects – a sextet of isolated, homeschooled brothers who grew up carefully acting out movies like “Reservoir Dogs” and “The Dark Knight” – makes “The Wolfpack” sound a little more otherworldly and exotic than the evidence supplied. Even so, the endearing…

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​Groundbreaking race dramas on Blu-ray double-feature

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 9th, 2015

Racial inequality and intolerance continue to be in the news, as well as discussion of people passing themselves off as someone of a different race. Hollywood has tackled the subject numerous times, perhaps most memorably in two Oscar-nominated screen versions of Fannie Hurst’s novel “Imitation of Life,” both of which are on a Blu-ray from Universal released this past spring.

The two films were produced 25 years apart, each daringly groundbreaking in its handling of controversial…

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​Silents with live music return to MSUM

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 1st, 2015

The annual MSUM Summer Cinema series returns this month with weekly Monday night screenings throughout July of classic silent movies with live musical accompaniment on the historic Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in Weld Hall’s auditorium. Each film will also be introduced by an area film specialist. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $4 per night. Pre-show organ music performed by Red River Chapter members of the American Theatre Organ Society starts at 7:15 p.m. and doors open…

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​Famuyiwa deals uneven “Dope”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 1st, 2015

A sticky mashup of broad comedy, contemplated quirk and stylish pretentiousness, the latter of which doubles as writer-director Rick Famuyiwa’s heart-on-sleeve love letter to his formative years, “Dope” operates a little bit like “Risky Business” meets “Friday.” Fishtailing between tonal shifts as rapid-fire as some of the semiautomatic weapons brandished in the story, the film’s greatest success hangs out in the fresh design and the throwback songs on the soundtrack –…

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Just in time for the Fourth: ‘1776’ on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 1st, 2015

Independence Day weekend is almost upon us, with picnics, concerts, programs and, of course, nighttime fireworks typically scheduled to commemorate the founding of the United States nearly 240 years ago. It’s also a great time to find a good movie set during that time period, but for whatever reason, relatively few films deal with this country’s very beginnings, and those that do are not well-promoted and remain hard to find, especially on Blu-ray.

Last fall Warner Brothers released…

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Golden girl: Danner delights in “I’ll See You in My Dreams”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 24th, 2015

A luminous Blythe Danner portrays one of the warmest and most inviting characters of her long career in “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a quiet and seductive movie about the contours of friendship and the parameters of solitude. Danner’s Carol Petersen resists the entreaties of her trio of pals (Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place and June Squibb) to sell her house and join them at the snazzy retirement community/country club where they socialize over cards and the occasional medical…

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Classic British novel revisited on screen and on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 24th, 2015

The latest film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel “Far from the Madding Crowd” is currently winding down its limited theatrical run, which started May 1 in just ten theatres, expanded slightly over the next few weeks and is now back to a few hundred screens. It did manage to play in Fargo and East Grand Forks, but for those who missed it in theatres, this epic period romance will come out on Blu-ray August 4.

Thomas Vinterberg’s film has much to recommend it, especially its…

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​Sciamma’s “Girlhood” shines bright like a diamond

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 17th, 2015

"Girlhood,” Céline Sciamma’s third feature and the conclusion of what the filmmaker considers a coming-of-age trilogy, continues her engagement with the bildungsroman. Not as contained as debut “Water Lilies” or as directly preoccupied with gender as “Tomboy,” “Girlhood” follows the trajectory of teenager Marieme (Karidja Touré), a bright young woman whose grades are nevertheless inadequate to secure her a continuing spot in school. The alternative, placement in a…

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​John Wayne fans can add two more on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 17th, 2015

Two 1973 westerns from late in John Wayne’s career came out on Blu-ray this month from Warner Home Video, “Cahill United States Marshal” and “The Train Robbers.” While neither ranks among the iconic actor’s best work, both are underrated, solid examples of the genre. Just three years before his final film, both show Wayne doing what he’s best-remembered for. Both also stage and frame their action effectively for the wide Panavision screen. But public tastes and western…

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Cinema

Oh hi Mark…

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