Cinema

​Classic sci-fi gets restoration and Blu-ray release

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 8th, 2015

A recently-restored version of a beloved science-fiction classic came out on Blu-ray last month from Twilight Time in a limited release of 5,000 units.

“First Men in the Moon” (1964) was a groundbreaking film based on a groundbreaking book by H. G. Wells written more than six decades before men finally did walk on the moon.

Historian-philosopher-author Herbert George Wells is best remembered for writing five sci-fi novels, or “scientific romances,” as they were called when…

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All downhill: “Force Majeure”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 3rd, 2015

Gender, class, marriage and parenthood receive a good working over in Ruben Östlund’s hilarious “Force Majeure,” a gorgeously photographed dream/nightmare vacation travelogue that smartly deploys a human-versus-nature leitmotif to situate the First World problems of its protagonists within a conversation about control, self-control and our lack thereof. More preoccupied with the variety of ways in which males can come undone when their sense of masculinity is challenged than it…

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‘Welcome to Leith’ Q&A

by Chris Hennen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 1st, 2015

Film documents a white supremacist’s attempt to take over a small North Dakota town

“Welcome to Leith” is a new documentary, which premiered at the Sundance and SXSW film festivals, that shows the story of white supremacist Craig Cobb moving to Leith, N.D. and the town’s subsequent attempts to removed him, in real time. Directors Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker received incredible access to the situation as it unfolded. Cobb’s most explosive moments were caught…

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​Fictionalized Civil War drama is entertaining feminist western

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

Next week is the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. For over a century, numerous films have treated various dramatic aspects of the subject, some of the more famous ranging from “The Birth of a Nation,” “Gone With the Wind,” “The Red Badge of Courage,” “Glory,” “Gettysburg” and the recent “Lincoln.” Several have also fictionalized to various degrees the exploits of notorious Confederate guerilla William Quantrill and his raiders. One of the…

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​Watching You: ‘Citizenfour’ shares real-life terror

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 25th, 2015

Oscar-winning documentary feature “Citizenfour” is a you-are-there record of the National Security Agency’s global and domestic surveillance program revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, and what it lacks in cinematic panache it more than makes up for in jaw-dropping urgency and bomb-blast power.

Alan Scherstuhl astutely points out that the movie is “a must-see piece of work even if, in its totality, it's underwhelming as argument or cinema.” The movie earns its…

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​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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​Keeping FM C.L.E.A.N

by HPR Contributor

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