Laughter in the dark: ‘The Death of Stalin’ turns grim history into comedy

Stalin was one of the bloodiest tyrants of the 20th century, an era that had no shortage of bloody tyrants, so it’s only natural to wonder whether his final days, filled with murderous paranoia, and the bureaucratic struggle to seize power following his death are really fitting material for a comedy. The Death of Stalin follows the path cut by Mel Brooks, whose classic comedy The Producers, which revolves around a musical about Hitler, hit movie theaters just 22 years after the end of World War II. […]

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Crowdfunding campaign underway for ‘Gridshock: A Film about Sex Trafficking in Iowa’

Three Iowa natives are raising funds to begin production on the documentary Gridshock: A Film about Sex Trafficking in Iowa, a “wake-up call” regarding the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise. Gridshock will be an exploration of the sex trafficking trade in Iowa, uncovering “the underground and horrendous crimes that are running rampant in our communities,” according […]

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Celebrate Pete Seeger and his musical legacy this weekend

Peet Seeger Screening at FilmScene

Legendary folk musician Pete Seeger died just two months ago at the age of 94. He not only gave the world songs like “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” and adapted “We Shall Overcome” into its now-familiar form, but also showed how music can be a tool for progressive politics. Both of these songs, for example, were anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, in which Seeger was an early, avid and vocal participant — despite having been blacklisted from television appearances during the communist witch hunts of the 1950s. […]

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The death of Tom Laughlin (1931-2013)

Tom Laughlin has passed away

In the same week as Peter O’Toole and Joan Fontaine, writer/actor/director Tom Laughlin has died. The difference between Laughlin and the others — aside from the fact that they were better actors — is that he was more a man on a mission than someone chasing fame and celebrity. He was committed to the ideals […]

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