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Sympathy for the devil? A new documentary highlights the humor and humanity of the Satanic Temple

Update: FilmScene’s showing of ‘Hail Satan?’ at 6 p.m. Friday, May 17 will include a post-screening dialogue with Hollow Axis, interviewed in the film. A minute into my phone interview with Penny Lane, on a train to her next premiere, the director sighed with relief. “OK, good, all the people standing near me who I […]

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How do you stay sexy and successful after 90? Ask Dr. Ruth.

A new documentary about Dr. Ruth — the 4-foot-7 German refugee turned radio sex show host turned TV star turned 40-time author — doesn’t exactly break down the famed sex talker’s walls. But Ask Dr. Ruth, produced by Hulu and screening now at FilmScene, does offer a slick, fascinating and moving biography of Westheimer. […]

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‘High Life’: A look at the darker side of humanity

High Life, directed by Claire Denis, stars two of my favorite actors working right now, Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche. Although I’m usually all for the extremely artful and indie films, there was something about the dark and bleak tone that played throughout this film that didn’t sit well with me. […]

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‘We should be building off of each other’s progress’: FilmScene and the Englert announce joint fundraising, programming campaign

This Saturday, April 20, FilmScene and the Englert Theatre unveiled the steps toward a new vision: “building the greatest small city for the arts in the America.” The outer lobby of the Englert Theatre was filled with notecards hanging from balloons, filled with statements from community members on why they find the arts important. Additional […]

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It sounds like ‘Teen Spirit’ at FilmScene

Why are millennial actors-cum-directors expressing their creative angst through the medium of teenage girls? I’ll save that analysis for another time, and instead focus in on a single film that, rather refreshingly, begs no long-winded essays: ‘Teen Spirit,’ the directorial debut of English actor Max Minghella (who you may know from Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’). […]

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FilmScene marks the 30th anniversary of the University of Iowa HIV/AIDS Clinic with mini film series

When the University of Iowa introduced its HIV/AIDS Clinic in 1988, the U.S. AIDS epidemic was in full swing, with more than a 100,000 reported cases. The UI offered the first clinic in Iowa to treat not just AIDS, but HIV infection, and saw hundreds of patients within its first two years. Today, the UI […]

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‘Everybody Knows’ masks disconnect between plot and theme with beautiful performances, cinematography

‘Everybody Knows’ is worth watching, especially in the theater, if only to delight in the masterful performances of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The film is shot well, and I remained engaged throughout the movie, although never was completely transported into or wholly absorbed by the story. […]

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America from the outside: ‘The Mustang’ redefines success as intimacy through trust

The Mustang, from French director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, is a film that deals so centrally with a symbol of American freedom, power and independence (Ford Motor Company’s marketing team knew what they were doing), it perhaps could only have been written and directed from an outside perspective. […]

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Sunshine and rainbow dogs: FilmScene hosts a new doc showcasing creative dog grooming

Canine cosmetology isn’t always shallow or abusive. A new documentary combats stereotypes associated with exhibitionist dog owners while focusing on, arguably, their epitome: competitive creative dog groomers. FilmScene will screen ‘Well Groomed’ on Sunday as part of their Vino Vérité series, co-presented by Bread Garden Market and Little Village. […]

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‘Destroyer’ a slow-burning yet entertaining time at the movies

‘Destroyer centers around detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman), who as a young cop went undercover to infiltrate a gang. This leads to something so tragic that it still haunts her many years later. When she finds out that the same gang leader has recently resurfaced, she goes on a personal mission to take him down and finally find peace. […]

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