Cinema

​Triet Dissects the Life and Death of a Marriage in “Anatomy of a Fall”

January 18th, 2024

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Palme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and foreign language film as well as the National Board of Review’s prize for Best International Film. Oscar nominations should be forthcoming. Filmmaker Justine Triet, who wrote the script with partner and collaborator Arthur Harari, expertly uses the framework of…

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​‘Handling the Undead’: Hvistendahl Debuts With Elevated Horror

May 20th, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Horror fans who loved director Tomas Alfredson’s terrific 2008 adaptation of John Ajvide Lindkvist’s vampire novel “Let the Right One In” will find much to appreciate about “Handling the Undead.” Based on Lindkvist’s second book, Norwegian filmmaker Thea Hvistendahl’s movie reimagines the slow zombie premise with a seemingly contradictory blend of the elegant and the macabre. An instant classic right at home within the popular…

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Rohrwacher Excavates ‘La Chimera’

May 15th, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Now available to stream following a quiet and disappointing North American theatrical release, filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher’s “La Chimera” should not be missed. Josh O’Connor, whose recent work for another Italian director in “Challengers” has been more widely seen, gives an equally compelling performance alongside a supporting cast worthy of Fellini. Expanding the remarkably personal storytelling developed since feature narrative debut…

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It’s a Death Defyin’ Life: ‘The Fall Guy’

May 6th, 2024

The undeniable chemistry between stars Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling in David Leitch’s “The Fall Guy” is a significant selling point in what is surely one of the most heavily marketed movies of the year. A mashup of the rom-com and the action/crime thriller, Leitch’s latest is an inside-baseball wink and a frisky and frolicsome spree that gets a lot of mileage from its additional genre status as a movie-quoting Hollywood metanarrative. Loosely based on the 1981 to 1986 ABC series…

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​I told ya: Guadagnino Serves Up ‘Challengers’

April 30th, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

“I’m not a homewrecker,” insists Zendaya’s Tashi Duncan as she prematurely ends a three-way encounter involving doubles partners and best pals Art Donaldson (Mike Faist) and Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor). Tashi’s instincts will hold serve throughout Luca Guadagnino’s sweaty, sexy, and ridiculously entertaining “Challengers.” Guadagnino’s fascinating, enviable filmography is stocked with triumphs large and small. From 2009…

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​‘Sasquatch Sunset’ glows with the witty touch of the Zellner brothers

April 22nd, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Surely one of the year’s unlikeliest and most wondrous theatrical experiences, “Sasquatch Sunset,” from beloved indie storytellers David and Nathan Zellner, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a range of critical responses that match the breadth of the film’s own expansive agenda. Following a quartet of hairy hominids — of the familiar bipedal cryptid sort that has fueled legends of Bigfoot and Yeti in cultures around the world — …

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​Meet the dads and moms of Oppenheim’s ‘Spermworld’

April 15th, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Documentarian Lance Oppenheim’s “Spermworld” boasts a killer hook to attract the curious: unregulated sperm donors who use social media to offer services to women unhappy with the options provided by traditional “banks.” The filmmaker’s latest feature was inspired by the 2021 New York Times article by Nellie Bowles titled “The Sperm Kings Have a Problem: Too Much Demand.” Using a range of techniques that often mirror the way dramatic…

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​Buckley and Colman Write ‘Wicked Little Letters’

April 8th, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Nobody will mistake director Thea Sharrock’s undercooked “Wicked Little Letters” for Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1943 “Le Corbeau.” Or, for that matter, Otto Preminger’s “Le Corbeau” remake “The 13th Letter” (1951). The poison pen concept has fueled many film plots, and this latest iteration at least has the good sense (or fortune) to feature first-rate performances by Jessie Buckley and Olivia Colman, along with a sturdy…

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Breaking Glass: ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ shows big promise

April 3rd, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

In Sundance standout “Love Lies Bleeding,” filmmaker Rose Glass improves on all the promises announced in her 2021 debut “Saint Maud.” While “Maud” explored the familiar territory of the psychological horror thriller, “Love Lies Bleeding” mines the fertile grit of the neo-noir. Working with a cast of well-known performers, Glass fashions the story of a menacing criminal’s daughter and her desperate romance with a musclebound…

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​Collecting Movies With J.D. Shields

March 22nd, 2024

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Writer-director J.D. Shields, whose television credits include work on “Emperor of Ocean Park” and “The Company You Keep,” has also written for DreamWorks TV Animation, Wondery, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. J.D. has also participated in the Disney Writing Program, the HBO Access Writing Program, Film Independent’s Project Involve and the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.

Her BAFTA-qualified short film “Blue…

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