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‘Lucy in the Sky’ offers careful metaphor, slightly disjointed

‘Lucy in the Sky’ (dir. Noah Hawley) opens with astronaut Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman) looking from the outside to the world she left behind. It appears as a sphere strung with lights of connection. She’s told to come in, but she asks for another moment. The vast vista is exchanged for a view from earth, a fast-moving amalgam of cars and faces and

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‘Monos’ is unstuck in time — and sticks with you

In ‘Monos,’ the lack of a centralized, framing point of view, the young children who lack a fixed identity and the absence of much context make the film difficult to predict. Choices that lead to unexpected consequences are less revelations of character than witnesses to forces that alter our sense of what life and survival mean. […]

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Joe Tiefenthaler steps down as executive director of FilmScene

FilmScene announced on Friday its executive director Joe Tiefenthaler resigned last week, after five years at the nonprofit cinema. “On Friday, October 4th, I stepped down from my duties at FilmScene—an emotional but necessary move as I turn my focus to new endeavors in our community and beyond,” Tiefenthaler said in a written […]

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‘Joker’ is dreary fan-fiction, but you could see worse horror movies this October

I fell down a Wikipedia rabbit hole a few months back and stumbled upon the page for the “‘My Way’ killings.” Apparently, in the ’00s, at least a half-dozen karaoke singers were killed while singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” at bars in the Philippines. Fighting is not uncommon at these bars, but for whatever reason, “My Way” seemed to be an especially […]

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‘Punk was about action!’: A new documentary, 16 years in the making, charts punk history

“I remember first hearing about punk in Newsweek or Time magazine in the summer of 1976, when we were living in Afghanistan,” mused Minor Threat drummer Jeff Nelson, whose father worked for the U.S. State Department. Nelson was born in 1962 in South Africa and lived in other far-flung places before the family settled in Washington D.C., […]

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Lush and moving, ‘Aquarela’ is the quintessential film for the new FilmScene Chauncey space

Aquarela is shot at 96 frames per second, four times faster than most film. And, at last Friday’s opening, Iowa City’s FilmScene — Chauncey is the only theater in America where you can see it in its intended format. Combined with the new 7.1 surround sound system and the new chairs, the space itself is […]

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FilmScene organizers are ‘kids in the candy store’ ahead of The Chauncey’s debut

On Sept. 20-22, Iowa City residents will have the opportunity to attend the grand opening weekend of FilmScene’s new location in the recently raised Chauncey building. The Chauncey is FilmScene’s second space, located off of Gilbert Street in downtown Iowa City; FilmScene will keep their original Ped Mall cinema open as well. The Chauncey
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As Oscar season approaches, FilmScene’s fall lineup is ripe for the picking

A Jeff Goldblum-led drama about a lobotomy-happy physician; a documentary on beekeeping traditions in Macedonia, and another chronicling the fraught one-child policy in China; a remake of a 2006 Oscar-nominated foreign film, starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams; a quiet thriller about a Pentecostal snake-handling cult […]

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The evils of white supremacy are on stark display in ‘The Nightingale,’ a grim rape-revenge drama set in colonial Tasmania

On Friday, Aug. 23, FilmScene opened Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale for a limited run. Art house audiences know Kent from her critically lauded horror film The Babadook (2014), which chronicles the mental deterioration of single mother, Amelia, reeling from her husband’s death and desperately struggling to parent her young son. The Nightingale also features a […]

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The South won the war, and this sword proves it! ‘Sword of Truth’ milks conspiracy theory for comedy

You don’t have to believe a conspiracy theory to buy into it. Sword of Trust, the latest film from indie queen Lynn Shelton, follows four adults who dabble in the world of Deep State conspiracy in hopes of a pay-out — and, adversely, a little enlightenment. The tight 90-minute comedy is now playing at FilmScene. […]

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Within these walls: Belonging, change and ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’

Joe Talbot’s film — his first — is a collaboration between the director and his friend/scriptwriter/main character Jimmie Fails, who tells a story at least partly autobiographical about changes to the city of San Francisco and the struggles that members of its lower classes face as they adapt. […]

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