Cinema

​Fargo Film Festival 2019

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 20th, 2019

We Are Still Here

The 19th Fargo Festival begins on Tuesday, March 19th and runs until Saturday, March 23. Continuing a tradition of excellence in local arts programming, the event provides both casual moviegoers and cinephiles with multiple opportunities to see remarkable shorts and features on the two big screens of the Fargo Theatre. Guided by Fargo Theatre Executive Director Emily Beck, organizers work year-round to prepare for the largest annual moving image event in the state of North Dakota.

Fargo Film Festival 2019

Many…

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Fargo Proud: Northern Lights Films Debuts Another Feature at Sundance

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 20th, 2019

To the Stars feature photograph

Early 1960s Oklahoma is an ideal setting for classic coming of age themes in Martha Stephens’s “To the Stars.” Richer in characterization and emotion than it is in plotting, “To the Stars” capitalizes on Andrew Reed’s beautiful monochromatic cinematography, with inky blacks and shimmering silvers aspiring to the same kind of nostalgia conjured by the legendary director of photography Robert Surtees in “The Last Picture Show.” Shannon Bradley-Colleary’s screenplay…

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​‘Small Talk,’ Big Themes

by Gabrielle Hersch | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 20th, 2019

Film still from the movie Small Talk

With the 19th annual Fargo Film Festival underway this week, film lovers and filmmakers are flocking to the Fargo Theatre to catch screenings. One local filmmaker, Steven Warkel, got to see the short film that he wrote and directed, “Small Talk,” come to life on the big screen.

“Small Talk,” which was produced last spring as a student film for MSUM’s film production program, follows a young man through turbulent emotions as he processes the hospitalization and potential death…

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Voting for Pedro: ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Turns Fifteen

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 13th, 2019

Efren Ramirez

Bonafide modern classic “Napoleon Dynamite” celebrates fifteen years of sweet jumps with a victory tour featuring stars Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez. As part of the 2019 Fargo Film Festival, Jade Presents will bring the film to the Fargo Theatre on Thursday, March 21. Heder and Ramirez will participate in an on-stage discussion following the movie.

Ramirez spoke to High Plains Reader film editor Greg Carlson about becoming an accidental icon.

HPR: You were born in Los Angeles and got…

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​Bathtubs Over Broadway

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 6th, 2019

Almost relegated to the trashcan of history and the file drawer marked for popular cultural ephemera, the audio and/or video recordings of the industrial musical are properly dusted off and polished to a state of splendor in Dava Whisenant’s “Bathtubs Over Broadway.” The first-time feature director, who earned the Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Filmmaker at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, follows longtime David Letterman staff writer Steve Young on his dogged…

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​Horns Up for Lane’s ‘Hail Satan?’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 13th, 2019

Documentarian Penny Lane adds another entertaining movie to her filmography with an inside look at the recent rise of the Satanic Temple. As a movie experience, “Hail Satan?” often lives deliciously. The film might even turn out to be a prime recruitment video for the organization co-founded in 2013 by onscreen imp/spokesperson Lucien Greaves. TST is the perfect subject for the witty and insightful Lane, who detonates truth bomb after truth bomb in a campaign to highlight the…

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​They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 6th, 2019

While his Fred Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” arguably captured more attention than any nonfiction feature released in 2018, Morgan Neville’s other big project, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” deserves careful examination by anyone who loves movie history. A companion piece to the posthumous release of Orson Welles’ notorious “The Other Side of the Wind,” Neville’s film uses, among other sources, Josh Karp’s 2015 book “Orson Welles’s Last…

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​Sandi Tan’s ‘Shirkers’ Is an Indie Filmmaking Dream Deferred

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 30th, 2019

“Shirkers” is title to both an uncompleted Singapore-based road movie starring Sandi Tan that was shot in the summer of 1992 and the autobiographical nonfiction examination of that lost film. With the benefit of time, Tan looks back on her own experiences, constructing a reflective bildungsroman with the requisite excitement, heartache, friendship, loss, and pain one expects from any great coming-of-age tale. As a 19-year-old on the island nation known more to outsiders for being…

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​Two Hearts: The Love and Loss of Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 23rd, 2019

Another stunning work of perfectly placed ellipses and calculated restraint, Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” is a film filled with images as iconic and austere as its blunt title. A haunting experience of history by suggestion, the movie traces a tragic romance across years and landscapes, relying as heavily on Lukasz Zal’s arresting, monochromatic, Academy ratio cinematography as it does on the sharp editing by Jaroslaw Kominski. Pawlikowski collaborated with both of those…

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​Before the Court: Leder Looks at Early Work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 16th, 2019

Compared to the Betsy West and Julie Cohen documentary “RBG,” Mimi Leder’s period biographical slice “On the Basis of Sex” is nowhere near as notorious as one might hope, but the hagiographic reverence for Ruth Bader Ginsburg is tempered by enough heart and humor to overcome some of the film’s more predictable adherence to its genre. Like a good law student, Leder focuses on a presentation of the factual and procedural. That choice, similar to Reginald Hudlin’s time- and…

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