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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Island life: Two films, one fresh at FilmScene, seek emotional rescue and explore isolation

In 2010, Judith Scharansky, a graphic designer who grew up in East Germany and was thus restricted in her ability to travel abroad, published a book called Atlas of Remote Islands: 50 Islands I Have Never Set Foot on and Never Will. In this small but entertaining volume, she reminds us that “paradise is an […]

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Playing well with others: ‘Room’ holds an impressive allegory for life outside the self

Room FilmScene — (Last Screening) Thursday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. There is nothing beyond Room. That’s what Jack (Jacob Tremblay), one of the protagonists of Room, believes. It’s what his mother (Brie Larson) has taught him over the five years of his life held captive, along with his mother, by a man they call […]

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Talking Movies: Shot in a single 138-minute take, can Victoria live up to its bold premise?


Victoria opens Oct. 23 at FilmScene. I chafe at the word “gimmick.” It’s often used in lieu of something more meaningful to describe the experimental, the exciting, or the formally different. By calling something a “gimmick,” an audience doesn’t have to admit its discomfort with the unfamiliar. But that’s not the case when I call […]

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The Holy Grail of Film Series: Terry Gilliam classics at FilmScene

Terry Gilliam

One of FilmScene’s coolest series yet (and that’s saying something) kicked off this month with a back-to-back screening of master filmmaker Terry Gilliam’s classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The series will culminate on Oct. 23, when Gilliam gives a free lecture in the IMU Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. In the meantime, Iowa City’s […]

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Talking Movies: ‘abUSed’ in the Heartland

Screening: abUSed: The Postville Raid Iowa City Public Library — Wednesday, Sep. 23 at 6:30 p.m. In a presidential election shaping up to be a personality contest, immigration has become one of the few real issues on which there’s substantive disagreement both between and within the major parties. The Guatemalan documentarian Luis Argueta’s abUSed: The […]

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Talking Movies: ‘The End of the Tour’ aims high, stumbles

The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour Screening Sept. 4 through Sept. 10 at FilmScene It’s tricky making a movie based on a book of interviews with a guy concerned about being interviewed because no matter what, he’ll seem disingenuous. The guy in question is David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), and his interviewer is David Lipsky (Jesse […]

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Last chance: Final ‘Amy’ screening at FilmScene scheduled for Sunday

This Sunday marks the closing show for Amy at FilmScene. Amy presents a staggeringly somber and undistorted depiction of the late singer, Amy Winehouse, using primarily personal footage and archive interviews with family and friends. In many ways the film mimics the harassing fascination by the paparazzi that it simultaneously damns, often leaving viewers ashamed […]

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Talking Movies: The search for the next summer classic


By Scott Samuelson & Warren Sprouse It may not be much of an exaggeration to say that summer movies have shaped the American cinematic identity more than any other part of the movie calendar. Sure, no one thinks that any serious movies get released during the summer months, and that quality studios go into a […]

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