Cinema

Friday, July 26, 2019

Wookiee Here

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 4:33 PM

STAR WARS
  • Star Wars

Magic Mirror, on the wall, what’s the best Star Wars of all? Answer: Episode IV or V. (That’s Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back to us first-run ticket holders) That’s it. The only two contenders in this debate. Sabers down. Discuss amongst yourselves. And if you need a refresher, both sequel-spawning space fantasies are playing this weekend at the Eureka Theater. So, slip into your hooded Jedi-robe, clear your throat (or don’t) for your best Wookiee howl and get ready to mouth trumpet John Williams’ iconic score along with the rest of the crowd during the opening crawl.

“The film that started it all in a galaxy far, far away.” Follow the Force to Fourth Friday Flix: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope screening Friday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Eureka Theater ($8). The good folks at the theater tell us the Cantina will be open at 6:30 p.m. for galactic cocktails. And, I wasn’t kidding about that Jedi-robe, cosplayers and costumes welcome.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Be a Warrior: A Seventh Grade Girl of Color Reviews A Wrinkle in Time

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 7:00 AM

A WRINKLE IN TIME
  • A Wrinkle in Time

Last Wednesday night I had an opportunity to "Tesser" into Meg Murry's magical world when I saw Ava DuVernay's new film A Wrinkle in Time at the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission's local premiere. The film follows 13-year-old Meg Murry, her little brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin, accompanied by the three Misses: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, across the universe on a hunt to find Meg's father, a physicist whose passion was to travel through time and space, and who is trapped on the dark evil planet called Camazotz. I have been excited to see this film since the day my mother and I drove past Sequoia Park during the film's shooting. The costumes and makeup of the three Misses, as well as the colorful journey these kids take is amazing; it was great to see it all come to life on the big screen.


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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Oscar-worthy

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 7:41 PM

Danielle Tellez and her father Tom Tellez, president of the Eureka Theater board went full Hollywood glamour. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • Danielle Tellez and her father Tom Tellez, president of the Eureka Theater board went full Hollywood glamour.

Way north of the Academy Awards ceremonies in Hollywood, Humboldt hosted its own glittery evening as the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission and the Eureka Theater rolled out the red carpet for an Oscar viewing party and celebration of local filming.

The swells showed up in tuxes and tulle, furs and fedoras, to sip cocktails in the lobby, serenaded by musician Michael Dayvid. Then everyone filed inside to watch the awards on the big screen, applauding, commenting and cringing together in the darkened 1939 theater. Pour yourself a little bubbly and bask in the the glamour of the slideshow below.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Out in the Woods with Primal Rage's Bigfoot

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 8:05 PM

Co-producer Edward Olson hanging out in the Humboldt woods with Bigfoot. - COURTESY OF EDWARD OLSON
  • Courtesy of Edward Olson
  • Co-producer Edward Olson hanging out in the Humboldt woods with Bigfoot.
If you brave tomorrow night's North Coast premier of Primal Rage at the Eureka Theater, you might see a familiar face. No, not the shadowy figure from the Patterson-Gimlin film — Edward Olson, a Eureka High School alum and co-producer of the new Bigfoot feature, which is set for release nationwide on some 500 screens via Fathom Events, including the Minor Theater in Arcata.

Olson, a theater kid back in his Logger days, has been making a living in and around seemingly every part of the film industry in Los Angeles: writing and producing his own short films, working as an assistant cameraman and an extra, and making featurettes for movies. Everything except sound, he says. "Actually," he adds with a laugh, "thats not true, I was a boom operator once!" It's a broad resume that came in handy on the Primal Rage shoot, with a crew of fewer than a dozen doubling and tripling up on duties. Olson wound up taking on far more production responsibilities on site, "which is why, eventually, I was promoted up to co-producer," he says.


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Friday, February 2, 2018

Bigfoot on the Big Screen

Posted By on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 3:31 PM

FROM THE PRIMAL RAGE TRAILER
  • From the Primal Rage trailer

If you saw a film crew, a hairy suit and a lot of bare abs in the woods between 2015 and 2016, it may have been the cast and crew of Primal Rage, a Hollywood feature film about our local cryptozoological hero, Bigfoot. The movie, directed by Patrick Magee and starring Casey Gagliardi and Andrew Joseph Montgomery, opens at the end of this month. But locals will get a peek at the R-rated horror at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 at a North Coast premier at the Eureka Theater ($10). The screening will benefit the restoration of the theater and be introduced by one of the Sasquatch flick's producers, local boy Edward Olson, Eureka High School's class of 1987. (Go, Loggers!) Expect to see plenty of familiar forest since, according to the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission press release, filming primarily took place at the Palmer Westbrook Ranch on the Smith River, which is also featured in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Check out the trailer below and tell us if you're feeling the Primal Rage.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Humboldt in the New Wrinkle Trailer

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 1:05 PM

screen_shot_2017-11-20_at_10.21.00_am.png

The trailer for director Ava DuVernay's adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, part of which filmed here in Humboldt County, dropped during the American Music Awards last night. At last, the Venn diagram circles of movie buffs, sci-fi/fantasy nerds, YA fiction nuts, Humboldt boosters and Oprah Winfrey fans have all overlapped. The trailer looks pretty damn fierce. It's got a shot or two of the Sequoia Park redwoods, some very cool set design, broad representation among the cast and rolling destruction on multiple worlds. It also features some aspirational looks that have us reconsidering what to wear for walks in the forest and fumbling with metallic makeup and adhesive rhinestones. See the trailer at the bottom and see what we mean.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

No Spoilers: Woodshock's Red Carpet Evening

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 1:39 PM

The crowd bellies up to the bar before the special screening of Woodshock. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • The crowd bellies up to the bar before the special screening of Woodshock.

On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 9, the line for the red-carpet special screening of Woodshock at the Minor Theatre wrapped around the block. The Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission and Minor Theatre co-hosted the catered event for the locals — scouts, transportation crew, extras and more — who participated in the film's five weeks of shooting around Humboldt County. The trippy film, starring Kirsten Dunst as a grieving woman having drug-induced hallucinations against our strange and beautiful landscape, was produced by A24 and directed by Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. The unsurprisingly strange, stylish result had the crowd joyfully spotting familiar locations, but you'll have to wait for the official release on Sept. 22 for a formal review.

Mark McKenna was there to photograph the crowd in its finery. See the slideshow below for highlights of the evening.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Woodshock Sneak Peek

Posted By on Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 10:51 AM

WOODSHOCK
  • Woodshock

You can finally stop wondering what the hell is going on in that trippy Woodshock movie Kirsten Dunst filmed here in Humboldt two summers ago. On Saturday, Sept. 9, you can see it at a pair of special screenings at the Minor Theater, well ahead of the Sept. 29 regular local release. The Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission, which hosts the showings with the theater, celebrates locals who worked on the movie at first showing at 6:30 p.m. with a catered, red carpet event for $30. Another screening (without all the frills) follows at 10 p.m. for $9.50. You can get tickets from the Minor and online here. Kirsten Dunst won't be there but there'll be plenty of popcorn and candy to feed your feelings.

The film commission's press release touts the production, which was filmed entirely in our county, bringing in "$800,000 in direct spending on equipment rentals, accommodations, catering and other production needs." Film Commissioner Cassandra Hesseltine also provides crib notes for spotting familiar locales, noting that "locations included private homes in Bayside, the Arcata plaza, the Logger Bar in Blue Lake, a storefront in Old Town Eureka (now Sew & Vac Plus!), and multiple redwood groves along the Avenue of the Giants."


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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spot the Humboldt Locations in the Woodshock Trailer

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 11:25 AM

WOODSHOCK TRAILER
  • Woodshock trailer
Hey, remember when Kirstin Dunst came to town and we totally became best friends and tried on shoes and ate macaroons just like in Marie Antoinette? What? That could have happened — you don't know my life. Regardless, the trailer for Woodshock, the film she was shooting with directors Kate and Laura Mulleavy amid our majestic (and apparently creepy) landscape, has dropped.

WOODSHOCK TRAILER
  • Woodshock trailer
In the moody, dreamlike preview, Dunst's character appears to assist in someone's suicide with a tincture-boosted joint, which Entertainment Weekly describes as "a powerful cannabinoid drug." She herself samples the stuff between roaming around the beach and the forest in a haze of grief, and spirals into paranoia, haunting Instagram filtering and what looks like some solid psychological thriller moments. (Cue outraged cannabinoid industry backlash in 3, 2, ... )

Watch the full trailer here and see if she's on the verge of a psychological break someplace you once had a fun picnic.


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Friday, April 28, 2017

First Contact: Steven Paul Judd's Moving Pictures

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:47 PM

FROM STEVEN PAUL JUDD'S "FIRST CONTACT."
  • From Steven Paul Judd's "First Contact."
When Kiowa-Choctaw artist Steven Paul Judd was a child, growing up on Indian reservations in Oklahoma and Mississippi, he contracted polio and had to go to the hospital. There, by his own account, he “saw TV for the first time.” It made a big impression.

As luck would have it, the TV movie that was playing happened to be The Wizard of Oz. Specifically, it was the scene where Dorothy steps out of monochrome Kansas and into the technicolor splendor of Oz. To hear Judd tell it, having this be your first-ever experience of television was a hyper-accelerated transition from black-and-white moving images into color that basically recapitulated the whole 20th century development of the moving-picture medium in a matter of dizzying minutes. This was an epiphanic exposure — a baptism into TV by fire that left the artist’s world view illuminated and rearranged.

Judd told this story to a packed house at Humboldt State University on Wednesday during a talk he gave as part of HSU’s Native Pathways speaker series. Judd, who lives in Oklahoma and Los Angeles, is a screenwriter, artist and independent filmmaker; he has also recently co-written a novel. His videos tell short, funny stories set in native families and communities, both on and off the reservation. The stories he wants to tell have the simplicity and clarity of folktales, with the reference points updated for contemporary audiences.
FROM STEVEN PAUL JUDD'S "SHHH."
  • From Steven Paul Judd's "Shhh."

The rapid initiation into TV described above seems to have prompted a series of questions: What did it mean to be Indian and be immersed in pop culture? What did it mean to be Kiowa and Choctaw and also be a diehard fan of all things having to do with superheroes and science fiction? These queries continue to propel the artist’s investigations.

In his talk, Judd explained that he hadn’t seen a lot of Indians on TV while he was growing up. In fact, he recalled exactly three. There was Iron Eyes Cody, famous from a 1971 anti-littering PSA, who let a single tear fall from his eye when he gazed upon the white man’s litterbug ways (and who was actually Sicilian). There was Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto in The Lone Ranger. And then there was Erik Estrada, from the 1977-83 series CHiPs. While Estrada is not actually Native either, Judd said he was willing to accord the actor who played Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncharello honorary status: “He’s not a Native person, but I thought he looked like one of my uncles, who watched CHiPs too.”

All of these Indian role models, Judd explained, had their merits, but when it came to authenticity they lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. He decided to start shooting videos, making photo collages and writing screenplays in order to make the Native characters he wanted to see appear onscreen.
His photo collages feature mash-up images created by juxtaposing historical photographs of Indians from the late 19th and early 20th century with anachronistic characters from late 20th century movies and TV. In one still, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man looms alarmingly behind a row of teepees decorated with traditional paintings. A replica “ledger drawing” made in homage to the narrative line drawings created by Plains Indians from the 1860s through the 1920s features warrior figures whose regalia owes more to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than it does to traditional indigenous forms.


Many of the videos involve stop-action animation. In “Round Dance” an artist’s articulated wooden model and a robot call forth assorted action figures that drum and form a moving circle, each toy prompting separate pangs of pop culture deja vu. Ewoks and Storm Troopers stomp through the frame. The command to “be a good Indian” echoes through space, followed by a polite request to turn your phone off.

You can see more of Judd’s videos, including “First Contact,” “Neil Discovers the Moon” and “Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco,” here.





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