Cinema

She Dies Tomorrow: Amy Seimetz Contemplates the End

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 15th, 2020

Well-deserved praise for writer-director Amy Seimetz’s efficient and provocative “She Dies Tomorrow” almost inevitably points to the film’s eerie timeliness as a metaphor for pandemic-inspired malaise and disequilibrium. More interesting, however, is the split among observers who interpret Seimetz’s intended tone in different ways. Some claim the movie is hilarious, others see it as terrifying, and another faction argues that it is tragic. Of course, it’s entirely possible…

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“I’m Thinking of Ending Things”: Charlie Kaufman Knows You Can’t Always Get What You Want

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 7th, 2020

Charlie Kaufman, the unfairly talented and imaginative cinematic magician whose screenplays and films have explored the realms of art, artifice, and identity over the course of a dizzying career, lifts the curtain on another masterful storytelling exercise. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is based on Iain Reid’s 2016 novel, but like the hall-of-mirrors treatment Kaufman gave to “The Orchid Thief” in “Adaptation,” the source material is twisted in several significant…

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Feels Good Man: Arthur Jones Looks at the the Life and Death of Pepe the Frog

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 31st, 2020

Director Arthur Jones makes his auspicious feature debut with “Feels Good Man,” an engrossing and timely documentary that examines the phenomenon of artist Matt Furie’s Pepe the Frog. Created by Furie in 2005 for the comic “Boy’s Club,” Pepe’s now iconic visage morphed into a surprisingly durable meme -- made all the more confusing and controversial when internet trolls and supporters of the alt-right nationalist movement adopted and appropriated Pepe as a symbol of white…

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Collecting Movies with Matt Dreiling

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 24th, 2020

CM MD Mighty Wind - photo provided by Matt Dreiling

Matt Dreiling worked for twelve years as a cameraman, gaffer, and cinematographer on feature films, documentaries and commercials. A few years ago, he fled Hollywood with his girlfriend for the wilds of Montana to begin the second act of his career.

Dreiling is the author of “Black Sunday,” a graphic novel about the horrors of the American Dust Bowl. “Black Sunday,” published by American Gothic Press, is available at Comixology.com.

Greg Carlson: What is the current state of your…

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Lost at Sea: Peter Medak Is Haunted by “The Ghost of Peter Sellers”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 19th, 2020

Peter Medak, the veteran filmmaker who met with early career success directing Peter O’Toole in “The Ruling Class,” puts together a fascinating cautionary tale in “The Ghost of Peter Sellers.” Haunted for more than four decades by the catastrophic disaster of his ill-fated relationship with the legendary comic genius, Medak revisits the painful memories of his “collaboration” with Sellers on the DOA feature “Ghost in the Noonday Sun.” Approaching 80 when he decided to…

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Can You Hear Them? Alison Ellwood Chronicles “The Go-Go’s”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 13th, 2020

The line is repeated so often that it does an instant, sexist disservice to the band’s greatness: The Go-Go’s were the first group composed entirely of women who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to climb to the top of the charts. And the next cold fact, cited more than once in Alison Ellwood’s new documentary on the group, rings with the subtext that no matter how good they were, in an industry dominated by men, misogyny, and the gatekeeping of the…

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Different Places: Jeffrey McHale’s “You Don’t Nomi” Dances with the Legacy of “Showgirls”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 2nd, 2020

Jeffrey McHale’s “You Don’t Nomi” lines up a colorful gallery of defenders and detractors ready to reflect on the serpentine journey of Paul Verhoeven’s 1995 spectacle “Showgirls.” Contemplating the movie’s gradual redemption as a kind of cult trash masterpiece balanced on the wire between self-aware satire and so-bad-it's-good embarrassment, McHale has made a potent film essay investigating the boundaries of camp, reception, and artistic intention. No matter how one…

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Natalie Erika James’ Horror Debut “Relic”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 2nd, 2020

Natalie Erika James delivers a strong directorial debut with “Relic,” another Sundance 2020 world premiere now available on demand. Working from a screenplay she co-wrote with Christian White, James thoughtfully explores mother-daughter relationships, the icy grip of dementia, and the inevitability of human mortality. Situating her core themes within the corner of art-house horror often identified as the slow-burn variety, James mostly skips the jump scares in favor of creeping…

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Collecting Movies with Mallory O’Meara

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 19th, 2020

photo courtesy of Mallory OMeara

Filmmaker and screenwriter Mallory O’Meara is the author of “The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick.” Patrick was an artist and designer responsible for, among other things, creating the look of the Creature from the Black Lagoon -- despite never receiving due credit for her work.

With her friend Brea Grant, O’Meara hosts the literary podcast “Reading Glasses,” which can be found at maximumfun.org.

“The Lady from the…

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Kelly Reichardt’s “First Cow” a Stirring Tale of Friendship

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 12th, 2020

Both Jim Jarmusch’s contemporary classic “Dead Man” and Kelly Reichardt’s newly released “First Cow” open with cosmic epigraphs. The former uses Henri Michaux’s idiosyncratic line, “It is preferable not to travel with a dead man.” The latter begins with “The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship,” from William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell.” Reichardt’s choice of Blake, along with the presence of Gary Farmer in a small but key role, pays homage to…

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Best Bets

Ladies Ag Night

by HPR Staff

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Well-deserved praise for writer-director Amy Seimetz’s efficient and provocative “She Dies Tomorrow” almost inevitably points to the film’s eerie timeliness as a metaphor for pandemic-inspired malaise and disequilibrium.…

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Theatre

Fargo Film Festival 2020

by HPR Contributor

by Dominic EricksonThis March, the Fargo Film Festival will celebrate its 20th year of entertaining die-hard cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. The festival begins on March 17 and concludes March 21. The event is once again…

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Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

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