Talking Movies: Late shift at the Grindhouse, curated by FilmScene projectionist Ross Meyer, celebrates three years

In the last few years B movies have stepped out of the cinematic shadows and into the limelight as legitimate, critically valid films. From John Wick to Green Room and, recently, Get Out, cinematic fare once considered schlock is now being taken seriously. Hollywood has been turning out low-budget commercial fare since its Golden Age — though there are many terrible B movies, there are also plenty of cinematic gems in the genre. Ross Meyer is the local cinephile who uncovers and curates these lost treasures for a weekly movie celebration known as Late Shift at the Grindhouse, coming up on its third anniversary this month. The Wednesday night series is the culmination of Meyer’s lifelong passion for film. […]

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Tight, entertaining ‘Colossal’ makes its own rules

Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s latest film, Colossal, is at once an intimate substance abuse drama and a kaiju-style creature feature. Much like his previous feature films, including Timecrimes (2007) and Extraterrestrial (2011), Vigalondo is able to strike this seemingly-odd balance with surprising grace simply by setting a very real, very interior story against a distant backdrop of intense science fiction. […]

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The poetry of the everyday echoes in Jim Jarmusch’s genuinely great ‘Paterson’

Paterson FilmScene — Opens Friday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. In a recent interview with WHYY’s Terri Gross, director Jim Jarmusch discussed his new film, Paterson, about a poet-cum-bus driver named Paterson (Adam Driver), living in Paterson, New Jersey. Because his stoic poet protagonist prefers observation to engagement, Jarmusch felt driving a bus was an […]

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Interview: Cedar Rapids author JT Roberts on work-art balance

Cedar Rapids author JT Roberts’ journey from athlete to author is a quintessentially Midwestern tale — much like his latest novel, The Brown Bottle Squeeze. The novel tells a coming of age story set in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area during the mid-aughties. On the surface, Roberts’ protagonist, Cameron Carlyle, is a hard-working, hard-partying, corporate […]

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‘Don’t Think Twice’ funny and enjoyable, comes frustratingly close to greatness

Don’t Think Twice FilmScene — opens Friday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. Comedian-turned-director Mike Birbiglia’s second film, Don’t Think Twice, opens this Friday, Aug. 26, at FilmScene. Birbiglia’s first film, Sleepwalk With Me, was a deeply personal adaptation of his own memoir of the same title. Birbiglia’s new film, Don’t Think Twice, is no less […]

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An iconic life revealed: A review of ‘Juxtapositions’

Juxtapositions photo slide show and talk Prairie Lights Bookstore — Tuesday, June 21 at 7 p.m. There is a pair of eye-catching photos near the center of a new book celebrating the work of renowned photographer Ted Polumbaum. On the left is a stark black & white photo of a visibly distressed African-American child standing […]

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Lessons learned in UI Theatre program inform Samuel Summer’s ‘Green Room’ performance

Green Room

Green Room FilmScene — through Thursday, May 12 Wehrenberg Galaxy 16 Cine — through Thursday, May 12 Marcus Sycamore Cinema — through Wednesday, May 11 During his senior year at the University of Iowa, theatre major Sam Summer faced a tough choice: continue with his education, which had become catastrophically unaffordable, or move to Portland, […]

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None of the violence is casual: in ‘Green Room,’ it’s terribly human

Anton Yelchin in Green Room

Green Room Marcus Sycamore Cinema — opens Friday, Apr. 29 Wehrenberg Galaxy 16 Cine — opens Friday, Apr. 29 Film Scene — opens Friday, May 6 On its face, Jeremy Saulnier’s latest film, Green Room, sounds quite familiar. Heroes trapped in a locked room, surrounded by an invading horde, must fight for their lives to […]

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