Cinema

​Talbot and Fails Team Up in Convincing Feature Debut

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 12th, 2019

Joining several recent titles that consider, among other things, gentrification and race in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe Talbot’s feature directorial debut is left of the dial compared to the frequencies of “Blindspotting” and “Sorry to Bother You.” All three of these movies express complex emotional connections and relationships (“You can’t hate something if you didn’t love it first”) with the beautiful and infuriating dimensions of home and place in times of rapid…

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Philippe Celebrates 40 Years of Facehugging and Chest-bursting with “Memory: The Origins of Alien”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 5th, 2019

Forty years ago this week, the release of “Alien” added a seminal text to the American movie library. Mixed reviews would, with time, give way to admiration from scholars and critics articulating what early adopters recognized from the first: Ridley Scott’s elegant, observant masterwork combines pinpoint design, allusive writing, and patient direction into a hall-of-fame nightmare. Exemplifying the ne plus ultra of the “old dark house” formula, “Alien” occupies a place at…

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​Olivia Wilde Makes Confident Directorial Debut with ‘Booksmart’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 29th, 2019

“Booksmart,” Olivia Wilde’s great feature directorial debut, is -- like several of the very best teen/teensploitation/coming-of-age comedies -- about many things. But the one that resonates most is contained in the ancient maxim regarding the deceit in appearances. Both the filmmaking, which repurposes a healthy checklist of genre chestnuts in a consistently fresh package, and the journey of best friends and graduating high school seniors Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn…

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​Russo-Young Adapts “The Sun Is Also a Star”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 22nd, 2019

Impossibly beautiful lead performers underline the YA fantasy aspects of Ry Russo-Young’s translation of “The Sun Is Also a Star,” based on Nicola Yoon’s bestseller. Russo-Young’s sharp handling of the 2017 adaptation of “Before I Fall” indicates her bona fides in the contemporary teen genre, but the filmmaker struggles to locate the intensity and urgency that fueled her previous feature, despite a plot with a built-in imperative. As star-crossed (potential) lovers…

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​Bristol Makes Bright Brooklyn Debut with “See You Yesterday”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 15th, 2019

Screen shot from See You Yesterday

Fargo-based filmmaker Matthew Myers recently remarked that director Stefon Bristol was, among other things, paying his bills by driving for Uber until production began on “See You Yesterday,” Bristol’s exciting debut feature. Myers produced the movie with Jason Sokoloff and Spike Lee, a professor to Bristol in the graduate film program at NYU. Bristol, who made a short version of “See You Yesterday” as his thesis film, collaborated with Fredrica Bailey on the original script.…

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​A Reel of Tomorrow’s Filmmakers: MSUM’s Annual Senior Seminar Film Showcase

by Gabrielle Hersch | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 8th, 2019

The spring semester is coming to a close for college students across the FM area. For MSUM film production students, the semester culminated in a public screening of the short films they’ve spent the last several months creating.

MSUM’s annual senior seminar film showcase is one of the area’s premiere film screening events – and it’s full of original, locally produced work from promising young creatives. This year’s showcase opened last Friday, May 3rd, to a full house of…

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Crowdsourcing to completion on Jacob Wetterling documentary

by Gabrielle Hersch | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 8th, 2019

Design by Raul Gomez

If you’re from the Midwest, then you’ve probably heard about the tragic disappearance of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in the fall of 1989. An unsolved case for 26 years, the story of Jacob’s kidnapping during a routine bike ride with friends in St. Joseph, Minnesota was the nightmare of countless parents and a horrifying reality for Jacob and his parents, Jerry and Patty Wetterling.

The case remained a mystery until 2016, when Danny James Heinrich was arrested for possession of…

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Jennifer Gage’s fan-fiction adaptation ‘After’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 8th, 2019

Jennifer Gage’s sudsy “After” offers run-of-the-mill college romance targeted to the PG-13 demographic. The result, a far cry from the lustier stories upon which it is based, misses the mark despite an appealing performance from Josephine Langford as the virginal heroine Tessa Young. Gage, who wrote the screenplay with Susan McMartin, Tamara Chestna, and Tom Betterton, sands the edges off the good-girl-meets-bad-boy narrative, and the tepid result never achieves the entertaining…

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​In her feature directorial debut, Clermont-Tonnerre tames ‘The Mustang’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 1st, 2019

A true-to-life setting sparks interest in “The Mustang,” a solid man-and-his-horse story from first-time feature director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre.

Anchored by a livewire performance from the compelling Matthias Schoenaerts, the movie uses the Wild Horse Inmate Program, already the nonfiction subject of John Zaritsky’s “The Wild Horse Redemption” and Andrew Michael Ellis’ “The Wild Inside,” as a heartfelt and human endorsement of second chances.

Schoenaerts’…

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​Korine and McConaughey Introduce ‘The Beach Bum’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 17th, 2019

Harmony Korine keeps a tight grip on his title as one of the most critic/critique-proof filmmakers of recent times with “The Beach Bum,” a sultry companion piece to 2012’s memorable “Spring Breakers.” Not without its own kind of middle-aged charm and a worldview to match, “The Beach Bum” is virtually unthinkable without Matthew McConaughey as priapic poet Moondog, a quintessential stoner icon whose consumption of marijuana is rivaled only by his quest for constant sexual…

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Women in Bad Lands

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Culture

Fire!

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Gadfly

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Joining several recent titles that consider, among other things, gentrification and race in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe Talbot’s feature directorial debut is left of the dial compared to the frequencies of “Blindspotting”…

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