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Fyre Festival Posters

Looking at 1999 with the benefit of hindsight, it seems symbolic that Woodstock should die the year that Coachella was born, setting new foundations on which the modern festival circuit would be built. With Woodstock’s roots as a gathering of people brought together for music above all else destroyed in a blast of anger over poor festival management, Coachella was, however unintentionally, given a chance to fill in the crater with something else. A festival where the draw wasn’t simply music, but the experience of participation itself. It took a few years, but today, Coachella is a multi-million dollar success.…

Detroit (2017) - Still 2

This review was originally published in Vol. 14, Issue 35 of The Sandpoint Reader.

“Detroit” is not a beautiful film. It’s rough, it’s violent, and it’s uncomfortable. It’s also absolutely necessary.

In July of 1967, the city of Detroit spent five days enduring the 12th Street Riot, sparked by the raid of an unlicensed bar in a black neighborhood by a mostly white police force with a lengthy history of brutality and discrimination. Barely three days after that raid, countless buildings had been burned to the ground, Detroi (2017) - Still 3dozens had died, and a state of emergency had been declared, in …

The Revenant - Balboni Films

This review was originally published in Vol. 13, Issue 14 of The Sandpoint Reader.

Before The Revenant was launched to the forefront of Hollywood this winter as a critical and box office success, the story of Hugh Glass already had a reputation in Hollywood: It was impossible to shoot.

The exact details of Glass’s experience as a fur-trapper in 1823 are subject to much debate, but the legend goes that while on an expedition with General William Ashley in South Dakota, Glass was brutally mauled by a grizzly bear. Fearing the worst and unable to haul a corpse from …

Welcome To Leith - First Run Features - Balboni Films

This review was originally published in Vol. 12, Issue 39 of The Sandpoint Reader.
 
 
“Well this is embarrassing,” someone half-groans behind me in the theater a few weeks ago as a trailer for the documentary “Welcome to Leith” plays.

I’m in Bismarck, North Dakota, and the screen shows a wiry older man with frizzy white hair toting a rifle and spouting racial slurs as he strolls through a rural town elsewhere in the state. After finally seeing the full film, I can certainly feel for that other theatergoer.

The story of Leith is one that strikes a …

This review was originally published in Vol. 12, Issue 19 of The Sandpoint Reader.

Over thirty years ago, George Miller used money he saved while working as an emergency doctor to fund his directorial debut, a violent Australian action film titled “Mad Max.” Shot for next to nothing, the film went on to set box office records, launching two legendary sequels that catapulted Mel Gibson to international stardom and influenced decades of post-apocalyptic media. How did Miller follow up such a gritty, highly-regarded trilogy? By producing and co-writing the acclaimed family films Babe and Happy Feet, as well as …