Cinema

Tangled web

September 24th, 2015

Alex Winter’s documentary “Deep Web” joins an expanding list of features concerned with the present and future of Internet freedom, privacy and the tensions between government encroachment and the evolving and seemingly limitless possibility of code. The film, which focuses on the case against Ross Ulbricht and the takedown of the Silk Road marketplace, balances esoteric tech-speak with the instantly recognizable but no less complex liberty-versus-regulation conundrum that shapes…

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Little-known 1939 Hollywood epic biography gets Blu-ray release

September 24th, 2015



"Man of Conquest” (1939) is an effective if flawed historical epic about statesman and active politician Sam Houston, but the film is all but forgotten today despite getting three Oscar nominations in that prolific year. It just came out on Blu-ray this July from Olive Films.

Renowned for its low-budget program pictures, especially westerns and serials, Republic Pictures would occasionally lavish more attention on certain films. This one, for example, runs 99 minutes instead of…

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The diary of a teenage girl

September 16th, 2015

As soon as 15-year-old Minnie Goetze announces “I had sex today” in Marielle Heller’s blistering adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s hybrid prose/graphic novel “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” one can sense all sorts of red alerts and red flags being raised by the (understandably) cautious and concerned.

Heller, best known as an actor but now making a supremely confident debut as writer-director, knows this material: she previously collaborated on a successful stage version of…

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“Madd Frank Presents Madd Frank”

September 10th, 2015

photo  by Bobby Haugen

By Kari Lugo

“Madd Frank Presents Madd Frank,” directed by Mike Bredon, screened at the Fargo Theatre to a near double-sellout crowd, which seemed to genuinely love local legend Delray Dvoracek aka Madd Frank.

He is loved maybe even more now than when his show was in production back in the mid-1980s and ’90s. Myself, I can remember watching Madd Frank as a kid growing up in Fargo and being mesmerized by him and his zany cast of characters. I always thought it was a strange show…

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7th F-M LGBT Film Festival

September 10th, 2015

By Brittney Goodman

The Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival, now in its seventh year, will be showing a variety of LGBT-themed films this weekend, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 11 and 12 at the Fargo Theatre.

Raymond Rea, film studies professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead, has been leading the festival since its inception in 2009. The festival brings people together from all aspects of the Fargo-Moorhead community. According to Rea, the festival seeks "to celebrate lesbian, gay,…

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Jenkins gets “Fresh Dressed”

September 10th, 2015

Veteran journalist and hip-hop historian Sacha Jenkins delivers his first feature-length documentary with “Fresh Dressed,” a chronological overview of urban fashion that closely parallels the music scene that rocketed from the New York underground to a global phenomenon packaged by mainstream media conglomerates.

Blending a dizzying array of rappers, players and tastemakers with vibrant archival footage and photographs of evolving trends, “Fresh Dressed” struggles to cover too…

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“Golden Year” part five – legendary epic rounds out Blu-ray set

September 10th, 2015

The fifth and final movie in Warner’s Blu-ray box set “The Golden Year: 1939” is arguably the most famous, even among those who have never seen it.

For decades “Gone With the Wind” ranked as the all-time box office champion as well as the winner of the most Oscars, eight in competitive categories plus two honorary awards, including Picture, Director and Screenplay. It was surpassed in number of Academy Awards by “Ben-Hur” in 1959, but with ticket sales adjusted for…

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The End of the Tour

September 3rd, 2015

Filmmaker James Ponsoldt follows the success of “The Spectacular Now” with “The End of the Tour,” a fictionalized rendering of David Lipsky’s memoir “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself,” an account of Lipsky’s experiences traveling with writer David Foster Wallace over five days while the latter was promoting “Infinite Jest.”

The conversational transcripts of Lipsky’s interactions with Wallace offer a dangerously tempting format for translation…

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Classic ‘Hunchback’ retains sociopolitical relevance

September 3rd, 2015


Yet another of the memorable major releases of 1939 in this summer’s “The Golden Year” Blu-ray collection from Warner Home Video is the RKO remake of Universal’s classic 1923 production, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The two films were adapted and heavily altered in various ways from Victor Hugo’s famous novel. Now both are on Blu-ray in separate editions and it’s both fascinating and instructive to watch them back to back, making their differences much more obvious,…

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​Gods and Monsters

August 26th, 2015


Lovers of bad cinema will marvel at Blue Underground co-founder and veteran “making of” and bonus feature producer David Gregory’s anatomy of a train wreck “Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau.” Sharing war stories of the 1996 Marlon Brando/Val Kilmer debacle ultimately directed by John Frankenheimer, Gregory’s documentary is akin to more effective brethren like “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” “Lost in La Mancha” and “Hearts of…

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