Cinema

​Brief reactions to this year’s Oscars

March 3rd, 2015

Julianne Moore, Best Actress winner

The 87th Academy Awards ceremonies have come and gone.

This year’s host for the Feb. 22 event, Neil Patrick Harris, was adequate. He seemed overly self-conscious, with many of his scripted bits and ad-libs falling flat, and he was nowhere near as entertaining as last year’s Ellen DeGeneres or even the previous year’s Seth MacFarlane. Of course, none of them were as good as Billy Crystal.

The selection of Best Picture nominees was very strong and it was hard to guess which would…

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“The Overnighters” opens 2015 Fargo Film Festival

February 25th, 2015

Filmmaker Jesse Moss constructs one of the best documentaries of recent memory in “The Overnighters,” a complex and thoroughly gripping look at ourselves when faced with questions of charity, forgiveness, trust and love. Set during the recent explosive population boom in Williston, North Dakota that accompanied the introduction of fracking, the film takes a hard look at community from the inside, and what Moss sees – like the best filmmaking – makes us feel a little less…

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​Fargo Film Festival 2015: HPR’s festival preview

February 25th, 2015

John Waters

By Brittney Goodman

“Edgy,” “hip,” “surprising” and most of all “fun” – these are words that volunteers and programmers for the 2015 Fargo Film Festival have used to describe this year’s lineup.

Once again, the first week of March brings filmmakers, actors, writers, media and film lovers to the streets of downtown Fargo. The 15th year of the festival promises to be a full-throttle event featuring top-notch entertainment in a social atmosphere that encourages…

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​Baumbach introduces ‘Mistress America’

February 20th, 2015

Wittily written, sparklingly performed and dazzlingly directed, “Mistress America” quickly makes for itself a strong case as Noah Baumbach’s finest film to date.If not, the movie is at least every bit as wonderful as “The Squid and the Whale,” though its tone more closely resembles an effortlessly madcap screwball comedy by Ernst Lubitsch or Gregory LaCava or Howard Hawks or George Cukor or Preston Sturges. “Mistress America” is the second writing collaboration between…

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Classic epic adventure eerily timely

February 19th, 2015

With all the conflict in Ukraine continuing to make headlines in today’s news, it seems like an appropriate time to revisit a nearly-forgotten classic movie epic from over a half-century ago that came out on Blu-ray last fall.

“Taras Bulba” (1962) is set in the Ukrainian steppes but was filmed in Argentina by British director J. Lee Thompson for an independent American production company and released through United Artists. Coincidentally, United Artists was founded 96 years ago…

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New doc looks at the king of the daredevils

February 14th, 2015

By Greg Carlson

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Daniel Junge tackles the larger-than-life personality of iconic American motorcycle stunt performer Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel in the entertaining biography “Being Evel.”

As fast-paced and foul-mouthed as its subject during his 1970s heyday, Junge’s movie prominently features plenty of footage interviewing producer Johnny Knoxville, a fellow fan who had simultaneously been developing a Knievel film prior to teaming up with…

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​Off-beat indie films new to Blu-ray

February 11th, 2015

The Fargo Film Festival is just a month away, providing area moviegoers with a week of interesting, off-beat and non-mainstream movies by independent filmmakers.

People with Blu-ray players and HD projectors can have their own private festival experience with some recent and upcoming Blu-ray releases from distributors like Kino and Milestone Video.

Brooklyn filmmaker Tim Sutton’s “Memphis” premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2013, played at Sundance last January, got a limited…

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​Hertzfeldt’s New Trip: ‘World of Tomorrow’

February 7th, 2015

Going into the latest edition of the Sundance Film Festival, Don Hertzfeldt captured the record for most movies screened in competition by a single filmmaker in the festival’s history.

And with his win for Short Film Grand Jury Prize, “World of Tomorrow” makes Hertzfeldt the only artist to have collected that honor twice. The new movie represents the next logical step in the animator’s increasingly momentous career.

Longtime true believers, stunned by the conclusion of Bill’s…

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​Come on down to ‘Harmontown’

January 28th, 2015

Fan studies scholars should salivate over Neil Berkeley’s portrait of writer/performer Dan Harmon, the self-proclaimed mayor of “Harmontown,” the popular podcast he hosts.

Berkeley’s documentary bears the same name as Harmon’s loquacious, therapeutic circus, and hardcore devotees will already be familiar with the details of that freewheeling, improvisational, mental odyssey and the ways in which it thrives on audience participation.

Following Harmon on the podcast’s national…

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​Overlooked classic thriller new to Blu-ray

January 28th, 2015

Just about everyone knows of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Rear Window,” with James Stewart as a man convinced that a neighbor has murdered his wife but nobody will believe him.

Few remember, however, that earlier that same year a film with a very similar plot came out starring Barbara Stanwyck in a comparable position.

Prolific actress Barbara Stanwyck died 25 years ago on Jan. 20, 1990 after a career that spanned stage chorus girl to acclaimed stage star by 1927, then a major movie…

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