Cinema

​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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“The Overnighters” opens 2015 Fargo Film Festival

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

Filmmaker Jesse Moss constructs one of the best documentaries of recent memory in “The Overnighters,” a complex and thoroughly gripping look at ourselves when faced with questions of charity, forgiveness, trust and love. Set during the recent explosive population boom in Williston, North Dakota that accompanied the introduction of fracking, the film takes a hard look at community from the inside, and what Moss sees – like the best filmmaking – makes us feel a little less…

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​Fargo Film Festival 2015: HPR’s festival preview

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 25th, 2015

John Waters

By Brittney Goodman

“Edgy,” “hip,” “surprising” and most of all “fun” – these are words that volunteers and programmers for the 2015 Fargo Film Festival have used to describe this year’s lineup.

Once again, the first week of March brings filmmakers, actors, writers, media and film lovers to the streets of downtown Fargo. The 15th year of the festival promises to be a full-throttle event featuring top-notch entertainment in a social atmosphere that encourages…

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​Baumbach introduces ‘Mistress America’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 20th, 2015

Wittily written, sparklingly performed and dazzlingly directed, “Mistress America” quickly makes for itself a strong case as Noah Baumbach’s finest film to date.If not, the movie is at least every bit as wonderful as “The Squid and the Whale,” though its tone more closely resembles an effortlessly madcap screwball comedy by Ernst Lubitsch or Gregory LaCava or Howard Hawks or George Cukor or Preston Sturges. “Mistress America” is the second writing collaboration between…

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