Cinema

​Tarantino and His Wrecking Crew Catch the End of a Golden Age in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 31st, 2019

For superstar auteur Quentin Tarantino, there’s no business like show business -- never has been for the whole arc of his career -- and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” doubles down on everything that fanboy and fangirl (mostly fanboy) disciples have studied with religious devotion since the days of “Reservoir Dogs.” A nonstop pastiche of pop culture references both iconic and obscure, the new feature embraces revisionism and fantasy in its interpretation of events surrounding…

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​Punching with Your Feet: Stearns Gets Dark in “The Art of Self-Defense”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 24th, 2019

The Art of Self-Defense screenshot

Writer-director Riley Stearns confronts the foul odor of hypermasculinity and misogyny in “The Art of Self-Defense,” a pitch-black comedy featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, and Imogen Poots. Eisenberg’s Casey Davies is another of the actor’s signature submissives, a “35-year-old dog owner” (according to a local news report) victimized by a group of motorcycle thugs while on his way to purchase chow for his dachshund. The brutal physical assault merely adds to…

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​“Maiden” Doc Sails Around the World with Tracy Edwards and Her Crew

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 17th, 2019

Maiden screenshot

Legendary British skipper Tracy Edwards, who in 1989 led the first all-female crew of sailors to compete in the tough-as-nails, 33,000-mile Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, makes for a convincing heroine in filmmaker Alex Holmes’ thrilling sports documentary “Maiden.” Named for the refurbished, King Hussein of Jordan-sponsored vessel Edwards piloted in the competition, the film unfolds with a strong sense of adventure and excitement -- due in part to the likely ignorance of a…

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‘Midsommar’ Crowns a May Queen in Aster’s Frightening Folktale

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 10th, 2019

“Hereditary” director Ari Aster’s sophomore feature “Midsommar” firmly cements the filmmaker’s auteur bona fides. A visually stunning slice of art-house “folk horror” that draws from several touchstone movies -- most notably Robin Hardy’s 1973 masterpiece “The Wicker Man” -- Aster once again explores the insidious devastation of grief, this time within the framework of a romantic relationship break-up. Bereft of jump scares and absent the visceral action of many of…

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​Filmmaker Rachel Lears Showcases New Progressive Voices in “Knock Down the House”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 10th, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Writer-producer-director-photographer Rachel Lears teams with writer-producer-editor (and spouse) Robin Blotnick and producer Sarah Olson on advocacy doc “Knock Down the House,” now streaming on Netflix following a world premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival. A direct response to the election of Donald Trump, Lears follows the grassroots campaigns of a quartet of political newcomers: Cori Bush in Missouri, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, Paula Jean Swearengin in…

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​Here’s Mindy!

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 26th, 2019

Nisha Ganatra’s “Late Night,” featuring Mindy Kaling as both star and screenwriter, tackles a wide range of challenging topics. Toxic masculinity, white privilege, gender inequity, tokenism, quota-based hiring, and intra gender conflict and competition are a few of the areas under examination in the writer’s room and surrounding milieu of the multiple Emmy-decorated talk show hosted by Emma Thompson’s Katherine Newbury. Newbury’s vehicle faces waning ratings and the…

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​Martin Scorsese and Bob Dylan Make Believe in ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 19th, 2019

Screenshot of Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story

Martin Scorsese embraces the prankster spirit of a longtime inspiration/subject in “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story.” The confounding testimony is as much mockumentary as documentary, combining new interviews and gorgeous archival footage into an entertaining put-on. Not everyone, and not even every Dylan fan, will go along with the tall tales, but amidst the japes are several of the most riveting live performances of Dylan’s career. “Rolling Thunder Revue” is not,…

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​Talbot and Fails Team Up in Convincing Feature Debut

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 12th, 2019

Joining several recent titles that consider, among other things, gentrification and race in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe Talbot’s feature directorial debut is left of the dial compared to the frequencies of “Blindspotting” and “Sorry to Bother You.” All three of these movies express complex emotional connections and relationships (“You can’t hate something if you didn’t love it first”) with the beautiful and infuriating dimensions of home and place in times of rapid…

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Philippe Celebrates 40 Years of Facehugging and Chest-bursting with “Memory: The Origins of Alien”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 5th, 2019

Forty years ago this week, the release of “Alien” added a seminal text to the American movie library. Mixed reviews would, with time, give way to admiration from scholars and critics articulating what early adopters recognized from the first: Ridley Scott’s elegant, observant masterwork combines pinpoint design, allusive writing, and patient direction into a hall-of-fame nightmare. Exemplifying the ne plus ultra of the “old dark house” formula, “Alien” occupies a place at…

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​Olivia Wilde Makes Confident Directorial Debut with ‘Booksmart’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 29th, 2019

“Booksmart,” Olivia Wilde’s great feature directorial debut, is -- like several of the very best teen/teensploitation/coming-of-age comedies -- about many things. But the one that resonates most is contained in the ancient maxim regarding the deceit in appearances. Both the filmmaking, which repurposes a healthy checklist of genre chestnuts in a consistently fresh package, and the journey of best friends and graduating high school seniors Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn…

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News

​‘I have hope’

by C.S. Hagen

FARGO – Millions of people, young and old, joined a worldwide climate strike Friday to demand their governments end the age of fossil fuels, and Fargo was no exception.By noon, nearly 200 people waving signs and chanting slogans…

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When asked to describe their sound, Max Dameron guitarist and vocalist of the Portland, Oregon based two piece Wizard Rifle replied: “People call us a doom band sometimes which I think is funny because we are pretty spazzy.” On…

Cinema

Hear our voice!

by Sabrina Hornung

When asked about the origins of the LGBT Film Festival, Raymond Rea, MSUM film instructor and LGBT Film Festival founder said, “When I lived and taught in San Francisco I taught many classes on many variations of Queer Film. So,…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThe High Plains Reader spoke to Plains Art Museum Executive Director Andy Maus about “Symphony of the Cosmos,” the upcoming improvisational, live performance with artists Aida Shahghasemi and…

Theatre

No Big Disgrace

by HPR Contributor

By Scott Eckernotharrisonford@gmail.comOn Wednesday, September 11th the tour of We Will Rock You is coming to BlueStem in Moorhead. We Will Rock You is a jukebox musical based on the music of Queen that originated in West End in…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

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Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.eduWhile actual leftists were elated by Bolton’s ouster, corporate Democrats were publicly circumspect and even critical, using terms like, abrupt, chaos in the White House, disarray in foreign…