Cinema

​Restored German masterwork showcases acting, camera

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 6th, 2017

The first Academy Award ceremonies were held in 1929 but covered the 1927-28 movie season that began 90 years ago this month. That first year, the Oscars for Best Actor and Actress and a few others covered two or more films the nominee had made, rather than one specific title.

The very first winner for Best Actor was internationally acclaimed character actor Emil Jannings, a major star in Germany since the 1910s, who happened to be making films for Paramount in Hollywood during the late…

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​9th F-M LGBT Film Festival

by HPR Staff | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 6th, 2017

By Brittney Goodman and Tom Bixby

The Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival, now in its ninth year, will be showing a variety of LGBT-themed films starting this weekend but with an expanded program this year, September 11-16 with five screenings, each with distinct content.

The Festival “seeks to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lived experience through the visions of innovative film and video makers. We seek films and videos that enrich, entertain, and encourage a sense of…

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​Brent Brandt bringing a little bit of Hollywood to town

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 6th, 2017

On Wednesday, September 13, actor and filmmaker Sean Astin will visit the Fargo Theatre to share conversation about his life in the movie industry. Cinephile, film festival producer, and enthusiastic LaserDisc collector Brent Brandt will co-host the event. Brandt talked movies with HPR film editor Greg Carlson.

High Plains Reader: After co-founding the South Dakota Film Festival and living and working in Aberdeen for years, you recently returned to Fargo-Moorhead. What brought you…

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​The Safdie Brothers serve up a ‘Good Time’ in gritty thriller

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 1st, 2017

Joshua and Ben Safdie, the NYC brothers whose independent spirit draws from a wide range of cinematic sources, reach their widest audience yet with “Good Time,” a frantic thriller that aspires to 1970s-era Big Apple grit.

Martin Scorsese is the first name on the end credit thank-you list, and “Good Time” will remind some viewers of “Mean Streets” and “Taxi Driver.” Multiple comparisons have also been made to “Dog Day Afternoon,” and the Safdie’s love-it-or-leave-it…

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​Rare Louise Brooks classic now on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 30th, 2017

Just released to Blu-ray August 22 is one of the favorite films by noted director William Wellman, who had made the very first Best Picture Oscar-winner “Wings” (1927), the year before this more personal, intimate, and eerily prophetic character drama.

Wellman’s “Beggars of Life” was released to theatres in September 1928, more than a full year before the stock market crash and the beginnings of the Great Depression, yet it deals vividly with the homeless hobo culture trying to…

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​Remembering a movie icon on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 23rd, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, marks the untimely death at age 31 of movie superstar and international sex symbol Rudolph Valentino. Sicilian-born Valentino had become the celebrity symbol representing the 1920s, the archetypal “latin lover” soon imitated by numerous other actors, within eight years after he emigrated to the United States at age 18.

After work as a dancer and some theatre roles, he played movie bit parts and villains until his casting in “The Four Horsemen of the…

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​Start your engines: Soderbergh is back with “Logan Lucky”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 23rd, 2017

Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” ends the filmmaker’s short-lived “retirement” from directing theatrically-released features, and his return to cinemas is a welcome one.

Extending his well-documented penchant for pseudonymous tomfoolery, “Logan Lucky” spreads the wealth to cinematographer Peter Andrews and editor Mary Ann Bernard, two of the director’s common disguises. The screenplay is attributed to newcomer Rebecca Blunt, and a recent “Hollywood Reporter”…

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​Lowery’s ‘A Ghost Story’ will haunt you

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 16th, 2017

Reteaming with his “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” leads Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, filmmaker David Lowery has a very compelling tale to tell in “A Ghost Story.”

Somber yet funny, and comfortable with exclamations of profundity and absurdity, the movie is an invitation to reflect on a few great philosophical questions.

Beautifully conveyed in a squarish aspect ratio close to the approximate 1.37:1 dimensions of the classic “Academy” standard, Lowery’s instincts are…

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Emoji movie as ‘meh’ as its protagonist

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 9th, 2017

When I first caught wind that there was going to be a movie centered around emojis several months ago, I spent plenty of time ragging on it with friends (as did a lot of people I imagine, look at the like/dislike ratio on YouTube).

The trailers were almost physically painful to sit through and I joked that we had finally reached the nadir of American cinema by making a movie about something you put in text messages. That said, I’m going to say that I thought the critics overreacted…

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​A riot going on: Bigelow revisits “Detroit”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 9th, 2017

Kathryn Bigelow, to this day the only woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, makes an admirable if flawed attempt to fictionalize key components of Detroit’s 1967 12th Street Riot.

Timed in part to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the incendiary actions that resulted in 43 deaths and more than 7000 arrests, Bigelow -- working for the third time with “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” scripter Mark Boal -- concentrates on the so-called Algiers Motel Incident…

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