Cinema

​Final Cinefest features rare and classic films

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 25th, 2015

Painted Women

From March 19 through 22, I attended the 35th, and final, annual Cinefest convention of film lovers in Syracuse, NY, along with over 700 other people. Specializing in films hard to find outside of archives and private collections, it has become increasingly difficult to find theatres that can run archival 35mm film prints, and new digital restorations rarely have copies made on the 16mm film format that has been the festival’s mainstay since it started in 1981.

The festival still…

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​Toby Jones’ cartoon reality

by Diane Miller | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 18th, 2015

AJ's Infinite Summer

From Fargo South High to Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network’s Toby Jones sat down with the High Plains Reader over coffee amid his Fargo Film Festival visit.

Jones, a Fargo native and graduate of Fargo South High, is an Emmy-nominated writer and storyboard artist for “Regular Show.” The show reaches an estimated 2 to 2.5 million viewers per week and even features the voice of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) as Skips, one of its regular characters.

Madeline Queripel and Toby Jones at Fargo Film Festival / Photo by Kensie Wallner

Jones was a featured animator in this…

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​Adam and Eve and Adam

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 18th, 2015

Craig Zobel’s ‘Z for Zachariah’By Greg Carlson

Craig Zobel’s film adaptation of “Z for Zachariah” is so loosely based on the book of the same name that fans of the novel will puzzle over many of the radical changes from page to screen.

Written by Robert Leslie Conly under his pen name Robert C. O’Brien, “Z for Zachariah” was completed by the author’s wife and daughter following Conly’s death in 1973. Sometimes unfairly lumped in with other more recent young adult…

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​Director’s final film explores life and death with comic poignancy

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 18th, 2015

“Aimer, boire et chanter” (2014), a film version of the Alan Ayckbourn play “Life of Riley,” is the product of a filmmaker strongly in control of his material and not afraid to take chances or push the boundaries of cinema.

Amazingly, its creator, Alain Resnais, was 91 years old when he made it. His film adaptation of “Life of Riley” was just released on Blu-ray this month from Kino Lorber Video.

French director Alain Resnais began making films as a teenager in the 1930s. He…

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​‘The Hunting Ground’ calls for change

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 14th, 2015

Director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering follow their Oscar-nominated “The Invisible War” – a harrowing exposé of the United States military’s woeful record regarding the issue of sexual assault – with another film addressing the same massive injustice done to victims of rape on college campuses.

“The Hunting Ground” applies the filmmaking team’s familiar stylistic flourishes, from eye-catching graphic design disseminating grim statistics to a blend of archival and…

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​Pioneering jazz-drug indie docudrama resurfaces after over half a century

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 11th, 2015

Shirley Clarke’s groundbreaking and trouble-plagued “The Connection” was decades ahead of its time, but it is now available for reappraisal on a fine new Blu-ray from Milestone Films.

Independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke was a dancer-choreographer who decided to go into filmmaking in the early 1950s, beginning with short 16mm films dealing with dance, music and art, then with American life and social issues.

By the end of the decade, she had graduated to 35mm film and her work had…

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​Ancient Native American culture lives in century-old film now restored for Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 6th, 2015

Previous years of the Fargo Film Festival often featured a category called “Native American Voices,” spotlighting films about Native American/First Nations issues, culture and/or history. This year only the short documentary “The Wolverine” (showing Wednesday afternoon) would fall under that classification.

Movies dealing with such subjects, or made by Native Americans, have increased in number over the past couple of decades, thanks to the digital revolution. However, there have…

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​‘It Follows’ Friday night

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 4th, 2015

“It Follows,” writer-director David Robert Mitchell’s sophomore effort, is a chilling companion piece to his debut feature “The Myth of the American Sleepover.”

A retro-styled thriller that pays homage to a variety of classic horror movies like “Diabolique,” “Night of the Living Dead,” “Halloween” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” Mitchell’s spare, elegantly composed hallucination is at times reminiscent of Charles Burns’ “Black Hole,” and the moviemaker…

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John Waters at the Fargo Film Festival

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 4th, 2015

Photo by Greg Gorman

Legendary filmmaker John Waters will receive the Ted M. Larson Award from the Fargo Film Festival following his performance of “This Filthy World” on closing night, Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m. at the Fargo Theatre. Waters will hold an audience Q & A after the show and autograph copies of his books, which Zandbroz will have available for sale at the event.

Tickets are sold separately from all festival passes and pass packages and are available now at Jadepresents.com, the Tickets 300…

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​Brief reactions to this year’s Oscars

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 3rd, 2015

Julianne Moore, Best Actress winner

The 87th Academy Awards ceremonies have come and gone.

This year’s host for the Feb. 22 event, Neil Patrick Harris, was adequate. He seemed overly self-conscious, with many of his scripted bits and ad-libs falling flat, and he was nowhere near as entertaining as last year’s Ellen DeGeneres or even the previous year’s Seth MacFarlane. Of course, none of them were as good as Billy Crystal.

The selection of Best Picture nominees was very strong and it was hard to guess which would…

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