Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Remembering Chris Jacobs (1954-2017)

Theatre | October 18th, 2017

Ted Larson introduced me to Chris Jacobs one evening at Weld Hall in the late 1980s. I was in high school then, but Chris recognized fellow film fanatics, and we would chat a little bit each week. I learned quickly that he loved movies as much as anybody, and had a special fondness for the obscure and little-seen “gems” from the silent and early sound eras.

Over the next decade, I came to respect Chris’s dedication and devotion; he lived in Grand Forks and yet, every Monday during the Summer Cinema series he made the drive to the campus of Moorhead State University (now MSUM) to see whatever Ted had programmed.

I soon began attending the two annual film festivals recognized by Ted Larson as the Mount Everest and K2 of rare movie thrill-seeking: Cinefest in Syracuse, New York and Cinecon in Los Angeles, California.

Upon arrival, I would collect my program, look over the list of films so uncommon that many had not been publicly screened since their original release dates, and head for the auditorium.

No matter how early I arrived, Chris was already in his usual spot. After watching features back-to-back-to-back for hours, when my brain pounded against the inside of my skull and my bloodshot eyeballs begged for mercy, I would scan the room on my way out. Sure enough, Chris was still there, drinking in the images on the silver screen.

In 1997, I wrote my first article for the High Plains Reader, and not long after that, editor John Lamb invited me to join Chris as HPR’s other regular contributor on the topic of movies. Chris and I coexisted peacefully in print for -- can it be? -- the next twenty years.

Initially, I somewhat reluctantly deferred to his senior status, coordinating reviews so we could avoid doubling-up. Once in awhile, we did end up covering the same title, but it never bothered us. Eventually, Chris turned his attention to an ongoing series of diary-like chapters on do-it-yourself moviemaking, offering practical advice to aspiring directors.

At the time, I was just happy to have the pick of new releases all to myself, but in hindsight, I gained a new level of respect for Chris. His digital moviemaking columns paralleled the ambitious run of micro-budget features that he wrote, produced, and directed.

From noir crime thriller to backstage musical to body-switch comedy to supernatural horror (that allowed him to indulge his longtime affinity for ancient Egypt), Chris satisfied another facet of his all-encompassing passion: learning by doing and gaining a deeper understanding of all things film in the process.

Chris got things done, and the list of his accomplishments has been documented in several other recent tributes. When it came to the content Chris made, you had to expect the unexpected. A music video for local heavy metal heroes Sons of Poseidon? Check. A contemplative, meditative visual essay on loneliness and loss -- starring his father -- submitted as an entry for the Fargo Film Festival’s 2-Minute Movie Contest? Check.

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonssabrina@hpr1.com The recent overturn of Roe v. Wade allowed North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley to sign North Dakota’s trigger law, making abortion illegal starting July 28, 2022. Organizations providing…

By Melissa Van Der Stad  m.forfargo@gmail.comphoto credit: Keith Hapip, Jr.One North Dakota family is in the midst of an ongoing dispute with the…

July 29-30Newman Outdoor FieldSummer doesn’t get much better than when you’re Blues Festin’ out on the ballfield where the RedHawks play. Thirteen bands over two days. Lotsa food and awesome people. Friday’s lineup,…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur Opinion: Dissolve partisan lines and elevate the voice of the people.As cliche as it sounds, who would have thought that when we ”sprang ahead” into daylight savings time in March, we’d…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com Remembering Two Men Whimpering in the Broken Jaw of Our Lost KingdomIn 1284, Hamelin, Germany hired a rat killer to rid the residents of the flea carrier bringing them the Black Plague. For some…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comWhile the Fargo-Moorhead area offers many great things to dine on these days, there are some hopeful establishments that would make for big improvements to the local food scene here.The first…

By Michael Strikemichaelstrike.solo@gmail.comBindle Fest is coming back to Fargo, and the third time's the charm for this sprawling DIY fest hosted across the Fargo/Moorhead area. Since its first inception in 2016, it's been an…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comFilmmaker and educator Raymond Rea, who recently retired from Minnesota State University Moorhead, made an indelible impact on the Fargo-Moorhead film community. In 2008, Rea arrived in…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comArtwork: Woodcut by Danielle Gravon titled "Allegory of Fargo Winter I"On June 18, the Rourke will be holding their 62nd annual Midwestern Preview, the date celebrating the opening anniversary of…

By Jessica M. Hawkesjmhawkes84@gmail.comIt wasn’t long after the founding of the railroad and river town of New Rockford that entertainment venues started to put down their own roots. Its population bolstered by booms of nearby…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comLehr Mayor and Council Members Donate City Salaries To Save Legion HallEvery rural community has at least one social space that holds multiple generations of memories and has remained a social…

By Madeline Lukemadelineluke@ymail.comSonja Kaye, of CLEAN in Fargo gave the third of four talks on climate change issues specific to North Dakota for the “What in the World Series,” in Valley City on April 5. While the topic…