Cinema

Remembering Matt Myers

September 15th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Matt Myers died unexpectedly on August 20 while exploring Iceland with Dr. Jacqueline Bussie, his partner of 38 years.

We are still trying, without success, to make sense of it.

His large circle, which touched both coasts and for the last decade met in the middle in Fargo, North Dakota, mourns his loss. Like many, I received the terrible news in a state of stunned disbelief. Matt had an appetite for life, for love, for creativity, for adventure, for…

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Heather Ross Examines the Life and Career of Legendary Improviser Del Close in ‘For Madmen Only’

September 6th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Filmmaker Heather Ross combines a variety of striking visuals -- including creative nonfiction reenactments, animated comic book panels and collages, archival stills and film clips, vintage stock footage, and conventional talking heads -- to assemble “For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close.”

Described by Bill Murray and others as “the most famous person you’ve never heard of,” Close was the monumentally influential mentor who counted…

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​Natalie Morales Makes Solo Directorial Debut With ‘Plan B’

August 30th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcalrson1@gmail.com

Busy performer Natalie Morales makes her solo feature directorial debut with the winning road-trip teen comedy “Plan B.” Equally raucous and heartfelt, the movie follows in the footsteps of Olivia Wilde’s influential “Booksmart” by focusing on the relationship of two close high school friends.

And not unlike the frequently-discussed phenomenon sometimes called “twin films,” (like “Dante’s Peak” and “Volcano” in 1997,…

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​Cousins Jessie and Jessica Barr Introduce ‘Sophie Jones’

August 22nd, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Cousins and co-writers Jessica Barr (who also plays the lead) and Jessie Barr (who also directs) build a thoughtful and sensitive coming of age drama in “Sophie Jones,” which made its world premiere this past autumn as part of the 2020 Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville.

The movie is now available to rent from the major streaming services and should not be missed by fans of personal, low-budget, indie storytelling.

Braiding together…

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​Sian Heder Sundance Winner “CODA” Released in Cinemas and On-Demand

August 17th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Writer-director Siân Heder steers “CODA” through the treacherous shoals of cinematic cliche, drawing on a deeply talented cast and a strong command of world-building verisimilitude.

Since the film’s debut at the virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it received a quartet of awards, critics and early viewers have sustained a steady level of buzz ahead of wider release. Scooped up by Apple for a Sundance record 25 million dollars,…

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​HPR Exclusive: Janet Brandau on ‘Sadie Breaks the Silents’

August 9th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

12 August 2021

The premiere screening of Tom Brandau’s final film, "Sadie Breaks the Silents," will be held at 1 p.m. at the Fargo Theatre on Saturday, September 11, 2021. The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments and conversation will follow at Drekker Brewing Company.

Janet Brandau talked to HPR’s Greg Carlson about the project and Tom’s legacy.

Greg Carlson: I know you appreciate silent films, as did Tom. Had he made anything…

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No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics

August 2nd, 2021

No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

05 August 2021

Fans and readers as well as the uninitiated will appreciate veteran filmmaker Vivian Kleiman’s “No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics.” Drawing from richly detailed and insightful interviews with a quintet of masters, Kleiman elects to cover as much territory and history as possible without taking on the burden of comprehensiveness. Even so, the director’s scope is broad and…

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​Collecting Movies with Conor Holt

July 26th, 2021

Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

29 July 2021

Conor Holt works in television post-production in Los Angeles and has scoured almost every video store and thrift shop in Los Angeles County on an endless quest for VHS cassettes. This spring he finally made the trek to Bend, Oregon to visit the last Blockbuster in the world.

Greg Carlson: When did you fall in love with the movies?

Conor Holt: Since I’m a 90s kid, I grew up with VHS tapes in the house and home video was always part of my…

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​Emma Seligman’s ‘Shiva Baby’ and the Art of Comic Discomfort

July 18th, 2021

Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

22 July 2021

Of the many offspring of “The Graduate,” few films approach the original’s perfect blend of eager but anxious anticipation regarding the future and post-adolescent tendencies toward solipsistic self-pity. Or, for that matter, the quality of the comedy and the level of craftsmanship. Mike Nichols directed the 1967 masterpiece with such skill, filmmakers still drink from the well more than half a century on, seeking to replicate some of…

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​Cate Shortland’s ‘Black Widow’

July 12th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

15 July 2021

The prerequisites for continued Marvel Cinematic Universe domination are met: a script balancing eye-popping action and emotionally-charged character development; a narrative that functions as a standalone entertainment but also plugs directly into the massive, always-expanding mainframe; an expert ensemble capable of playing both tongue-in-cheek metanarrative and earnest pathos as required from scene to scene. And as an added bonus for…

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