August 2019

‘Birth of the Cy-Hawk’ Documentary to Premiere Across Iowa

The Iowa-Iowa State football rivalry is one of the most widely celebrated (and hotly contested) sports feuds in the Midwest — and, indeed, the entire country. The annual fall game pitting Cyclones versus Hawkeyes never fails to incite a wave of pride, passion and competition from fans across the state.   And it’s all in the name of one highly coveted prize: the Cy-Hawk trophy.   But this iconic trophy didn’t just come to exist out of thin air....

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‘The Farewell’ Reviewed: An Honorable and Honest Deception

It’s not easy saying goodbye.    Writer-director Lulu Wang confronts this uncomfortable truth, ironically enough, through a series of lies and deceptions in “The Farewell” (A24), her incredibly poignant ode to the shifting nature of family, culture and life itself.   Inspired by Wang’s own family experience (or, “based on an actual lie,” as the opening title card playfully puts it), “The Farewell” follows a Chinese-American family who decides not to tell their grandmother that she’s been diagnosed with...

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Blaxploitation Films: Sticking It to the Man!

Few film movements elicit a sly smile from one’s lips as quickly as that of the blaxploitation films of the 70s. In a reversal of the standard cliché, the whole often proved greater than the sum of its parts. These films were not the typical glossy, seamless, high production value fare of mainstream Hollywood, but usually the flip side: down-and-dirty, in-your-face, doing-the-best-we-can-on-a-limited-budget product designed for a demographic that had been all but ignored to that...

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