Cinema

Smoczyńska Introduces ‘The Silent Twins’

September 19th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Making her English-language feature debut, Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczyńska fails to replicate the quality and originality of either of her previous two movies. Both “The Lure,” which received a warm home media welcome from the Criterion Collection, and “Fugue” attracted well-deserved attention for Smoczyńska’s storytelling instincts and bold visual choices. “The Silent Twins,” adapted from Marjorie Wallace’s 1986 book of the…

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​Field of Streams

September 14th, 2022

By Scott Ecker 

scottallenecker@gmail.com

I cover two new movies a week for my podcast “All Screens Great & Small” with my co host J.D. Provorse. The podcast exists primarily to make sure the two of us stay engaged with current releases.

For me personally, the abundance of streaming options had become overwhelming. I found myself just rewatching the same couple of comfort food shows, and I didn’t want…

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​Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

September 14th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Kunstler Sisters Direct Documentary Version of Jeffery Robinson’s Presentation “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America”

Directors Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, daughters of storied attorneys William Kunstler and Margaret Ratner, blend creative visual storytelling with keen legal and historical acumen to transform Jeffery Robinson’s potent stage lecture into one of the most vital documentaries of the year. “Who We Are: A Chronicle…

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​‘Neptune Frost’: Uzeyman and Williams Project the Future

September 14th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Co-directed by Saul Williams (who also wrote the screenplay and music) and Anisia Uzeyman (who also photographed and co-art directed), “Neptune Frost” recently made its way to a 2022 limited theatrical release via Kino Lorber, following a 2021 Cannes premiere in the Directors Fortnight section of the festival.

A vivid musical mashup blending science fiction with an emphatic political statement on the exploitation of African nations by American…

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​Freakscene: Reichenheim Tells the Dinosaur Jr. Story

August 21st, 2022

By Greg Carlson 

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

With the documentary feature “Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.,”director Philipp Reichenheim (who also uses the handle Philipp Virus) compiles a serviceable primer on the wall of sound produced by one of the seminal power trios of 1980s independent/DIY music. In the 90s, the band would go on to near-mainstream success during the ascendancy…

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​Diwan Adapts a Timely ‘Happening’

August 17th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Audrey Diwan’s “Happening,” which premiered at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival and screened in the Spotlight section of Sundance earlier this year, feels contemporary and immediate despite being set in 1963.

The story of Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) – a promising student of literature seeking an illegal abortion – unfolds with meticulous craft and exacting rhythm. Using the weeks of Anne’s pregnancy like chapter markers, an…

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​‘Nope’: Peele Goes West in Imaginative Genre Mash-Up

August 17th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

In addition to boasting one of the year’s best titles, Jordan Peele’s mind- and genre-bending mash-up “Nope” is big and bold and willing to take risks, even if those wild gambits don’t always pay dividends. The filmmaker’s third feature as writer/producer/director pokes and prods at all kinds of fascinating text and subtext, once again suggesting that there is much more to his stories than what may only be observable on a superficial…

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​Collecting Movies With Raymond Rea

August 17th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Filmmaker and educator Raymond Rea, who recently retired from Minnesota State University Moorhead, made an indelible impact on the Fargo-Moorhead film community.

In 2008, Rea arrived in Minnesota following years in San Francisco, where he taught at City College and San Francisco State University. Rea made his way to the West Coast from New York – where he studied with cinematographer Beda Bakta at NYU – by way of Ann Arbor. He also took classes…

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​‘Nope’: Peele Goes West in Imaginative Genre Mash-Up

August 1st, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

In addition to boasting one of the year’s best titles, Jordan Peele’s mind- and genre-bending mash-up “Nope” is big and bold and willing to take risks, even if those wild gambits don’t always pay dividends. The filmmaker’s third feature as writer/producer/director pokes and prods at all kinds of fascinating text and subtext, once again suggesting that there is much more to his stories than what may only be observable on a superficial…

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​Brand and Hyde Make Sex Work in ‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’

July 24th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Available on Hulu and in a limited theatrical engagement following its premiere as part of the Sundance Film Festival in January, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” spins what might easily have been a much darker examination of sexuality, aging, generational and gender-based expectations, and the ethics of prostitution into a primarily fluffy corona of pink cotton candy.

Many, myself included, will concede that is precisely the intention of…

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