Cinema

​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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​Janicza Bravo Takes ‘Zola’ on the Road

July 7th, 2021

by Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

08 July 2021

Janicza Bravo’s “Zola” -- stylized onscreen as “@Zola” or “@zola” depending on your favorite style guide -- is the curious story by Aziah “Zola” Wells, candidly recounting a partly truthful and partly embellished autobiographical sex trafficking road trip odyssey she unloaded as a series of 148 tweets in the fall of 2015. The thread, which Wells took down twice before getting the desired traction, became a Twitterverse…

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​Questlove Comes to Harlem for ‘Summer of Soul’

June 27th, 2021

by Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

01 July 2021

If the accolades bestowed on Ahmir Khalib “Questlove” Thompson’s directorial debut as feature documentary filmmaker are any indication, we are on the cusp of a fresh “Summer of Soul” in the hot months of 2021.

Claiming both Grand Jury and Audience Award prizes following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Questlove’s beautifully constructed movie is a history lesson and a celebration. Something akin to the unearthing…

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‘The Sparks Brothers’: Edgar Wright Goes Inside the Maelstrom of Sparks

June 14th, 2021

by Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

17 June 2021

Edgar Wright -- the subject of his own cult of fandom -- knows a thing or two about obsessive devotion to odds and ends of pop culture. And with “The Sparks Brothers,” the filmmaker’s first feature-length foray into nonfiction, Wright applies the same attention to detail and supercharged storytelling that he brings to his fiction worlds. Built to impress longtime listeners and new ears alike, Wright’s love letter to Ron and…

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‘Glob Lessons’: Tribeca Film Festival

June 14th, 2021

by Dominic Erickson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

14 June 2021

Colin Froeber and Nicole Rodenburg (who grew up in Fargo) are premiering their film "Glob Lessons" at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend. The movie can be seen on-demand for the duration of the festival.

“Glob Lessons” is the funny and heartfelt feature directorial debut of Nicole Rodenburg. Written by Rodenburg and her creative partner Colin Froeber, the film premiered as part of the Tribeca Film Festival on June 12.

Rodenburg…

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​Prano Bailey-Bond Visits Britain’s Video Nasty Era in Debut ‘Censor’

June 7th, 2021

by Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

10 June 2021

Horror hounds and those who -- like me -- are attracted to movies about movies will appreciate “Censor,” an intriguing but uneven period piece. The feature debut of director and co-writer Prano Bailey-Bond, the film is set initially within the drab offices of the group of professionals responsible for assigning film ratings during the 1980s “video nasty” phenomenon in Great Britain. Despite the potential to showcase outrageous…

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Theo Anthony’s ‘All Light, Everywhere’ Contemplates the Role of the Camera in Policing

June 1st, 2021

by Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

03 June 2021

Theo Anthony’s thought-provoking Sundance Special Jury Award prizewinner “All Light, Everywhere” ponders a great many questions joining past and present, perception and reality, and beholder and beheld. Among its fascinating explorations is the link between the development of photographic processes and their application in the arenas of warfare and policing. Anthony contemplates the ways in which the design of the camera and the gun…

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​Collecting Movies with Melissa Maerz

May 24th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

27 May 2021

The supremely talented Melissa Maerz’s official author biography notes that she “has worked as an editor at ‘Spin’ and ‘Rolling Stone,’ a staff writer for ‘Entertainment Weekly’ and ‘The Los Angeles Times,’ and a supervising producer on HBO’s ‘Vice News Tonight.’ She was a founding editor at ‘New York’ magazine’s ‘Vulture’ website.”

Her fantastic book “Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of…

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Rose Glass Makes Memorable Feature Debut with ‘Saint Maud’

May 17th, 2021

by Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

16 May 2021

Another movie long-delayed by the pandemic, “Saint Maud” can finally be viewed on Amazon Prime and several other online outlets (the world premiere took place a lifetime ago at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival).

Writer-director Rose Glass makes a convincing feature debut with an unsettling study of a personal carer who obsessively ministers -- in every sense of the word -- to a professional dancer ravaged by cancer. The…

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​Rob Garver Examines the Life of Pauline Kael in “What She Said”

May 10th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

07 May 2021

Hard to say whether non-cinephiles will be interested enough to watch a feature-length documentary about a movie critic, but Rob Garver’s “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael” is a worthwhile biography of a fascinating life led with purpose and conviction. Of course, the film-obsessed won’t need to be told twice -- Kael’s passionate, singular voice inspired moviemakers and movie viewers for decades. If Roger Ebert is the…

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