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‘Marjorie Prime’ an incredibly sensitive meditation on aging and grief

The rub of science fiction is that it requires quite a bit of world building to be comprehensible to the audience. Director Jen Brown guides her actors into a subtlety that nicely highlights the universals of personality, humanity and family life without dwelling too long on the technicalities of 2050. […]

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Eight things Michael Moore blames for the rise of Trump in ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’

Michael Moore is back to remind us just how fucked we all are. His new documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9, starts showing today at FilmScene, just over two weeks out from its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film’s villains are more numerous, and not all quite who you’d expect. Here are Michael Moore’s primary targets.

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TCR’s ‘My Fair Lady’ is a must-see

Some musicals you go to every time they come around. They are the classics that never disappoint. ‘My Fair Lady,’ directed at TCR by Angie Toomsen with music direction by Cameron Sullenberger, is no exception. The entire ensemble from cast to musicians to techies are to be commended on an outstanding performance. […]

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Richard Hell’s New York City

Richard Meyers landed on New York City’s Lower East Side in late 1966. Within a few years he had reinvented himself as Richard Hell and transitioned from poetry to punk rock. This blending of art forms was not unusual among the residents of the city’s dilapidated downtown neighborhoods, a topic that he and writer, photographer and actress Lisa Jane Persky will discuss during Making a Scene: A Conversation About Downtown New York City, a free event that I will moderate at the Englert Theatre during the Witching Hour Festival.
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William Shatner on showing horses, his upcoming Christmas album and chasing opportunity

It was 52 years ago this month that a scrappy, upstart little sci-fi program premiered on NBC. In the captain’s chair of the NCC-1701, also known as the USS Enterprise, sat a Canadian, classically trained Shakespearean actor with only a few films, a couple of Broadway credits and a handful of one-off television spots to his name stateside. He was well-reviewed but hardly a household name. […]

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‘Sorry to Bother You’ is weird, cool, but not quite wonderful

There’s something extraordinary about Sorry to Bother You. Maybe it’s rookie writer-director Boots Riley’s unique take on science fiction. Maybe it’s the timely discussion of the evils of capitalism and importance of labor unions. Maybe it’s the practical special effects, hearkening back to early sci-fi with a contemporary, satirical sheen. Maybe it’s Lakeith Stanfield’s stellar performance, or Tessa Thompson’s badass hair, make-up and wardrobe. […]

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Elizabeth Moen’s moment

While in France trying to make friends, a 15-year-old Elizabeth Moen buried a language barrier beneath guitar chords and a rising voice. She returned to the United States with budding spirit and, after five more years, played her first show — an open mic at The Mill. At 21, she wrote her first original song. Moen has since become a staple of Iowa City’s music scene, cementing a place in the hearts of local music lovers that, at 24, is still surreal for her to hold. […]

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Love Letters: Three women describe what it was like to lose a parent

These essays won first, second and third place in the Love Letters: What Matters Most contest, hosted by Honoring Your Wishes, a division of Iowa City Hospice. The contest asked writers to reflect on themes of love, forgiveness and gratitude. […]

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‘Three Identical Strangers’ takes the idea of ‘stranger than fiction’ to a new level

A cursory glance at the story prompts a thousand questions, one of the prevailing being, “Where are they now?” Enter Three Identical Strangers, a documentary that takes you through the triplets’ story detail by detail. The exceptionally fascinating film is now showing at FilmScene. […]

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