Cinema

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Rise and Fall of National Lampoon

October 8th, 2015

As the most likely audience members of “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead,” hardcore National Lampoon fans of a certain age are the choirboys and choirgirls to filmmaker Douglas Tirola’s preacher.

Tracing the history of the magazine and its prolific mediated spinoffs, Tirola’s film at least scratches the surface of the rise and fall of the Lampoon empire, even if a comprehensive account couldn’t possibly fit in a single feature movie. Cramming together dozens of interviews, hundreds…

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Fargo Fantastic Film Festival

October 7th, 2015

Genre Bending:

By Brittney Goodman

Fargo is about to get weird … and fantastic! The Fargo Fantastic Film Festival, in its thirteenth year, will feature 87 films and over 24 hours of programming over three days, Oct. 8-10, 2015, at the iconic Fargo Theatre. The festival celebrates “films of the Fantastic,” which includes science fiction, fantasy, horror and thrillers. It is one of the longest-running genre film festivals in the U.S., according to Moviemaker Magazine.

The festival kicks…

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Tomlin’s Time: “Grandma”

October 2nd, 2015

In one sense, Paul Weitz’s “Grandma” is to Lily Tomlin what Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” was to Bill Murray: a confirmation of the value, power and wonders of an underutilized – and sometimes misused – screen treasure. While we can hope that Weitz’s film will open for Tomlin some of the same kinds of creative opportunities “Rushmore” presented to Murray, the current document will have to suffice as a late(r) career tour de force. As the acid-tongued lesbian poet Elle…

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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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