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Sweet and Lowdown: Or, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Mike Schulz’s Favorite Movies of 2011* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 01 January 2012 06:01

If you will, please permit me a quick public apology before I expound on my 10 favorite movies of this past year:

Sorry, Muppets. If I hadn’t caught that out-of-town flick a week ago, you totally would’ve made the list. (Instead, you top the list of the 150 other 2011 movies I saw.)

 
... And "Jack & Jill" Came Tumbling After: 150 Movies Not on 2011's 10-Favorites List PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 01 January 2012 06:00

The MuppetsEvery January, I share my numerical rankings of the 10 most enjoyable movies I saw during the previous year. I do not, however, share my numerical rankings of all the other titles I caught during those 12 months, as such a list would, I think, be hopelessly arbitrary, terribly self-indulgent, and something that only a person with too much time on his hands would attempt.

Let’s get cracking, shall we?

 
Oscars / The Grouch: Notes on the 2011 Academy Awards Telecast PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 28 February 2011 13:41

Best Actor Colin FirthBefore getting into what went wrong at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony – and sadly, quite a bit went wrong – let’s begin by addressing the one portion of the telecast that, for maybe the first time in Oscar history, went magically right.

 
One-Room Wonders: Area Filmmakers Explore America’s Educational History in "Country School: One Room – One Nation," March 6 at the Nighswander Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 09:38

Tammy and Kelly Rundle in North English, Iowa's Gritter Creek School“The biggest problem we have, I think, is always getting people in the door,” says local filmmaker Kelly Rundle. “Because we find that most people – not everyone, of course – ... do enjoy our films. With this one, though ... . There’s just something about one-room schools that doesn’t sound very sexy, you know what I mean?”

He may have a point. The latest collaboration between director Kelly Rundle and his wife, co-writer and co-producer Tammy Rundle, is Country School: One Room – One Nation, the third documentary released by the couple’s Moline-based production company Fourth Wall Films. And as the movie is an examination of, and tribute to, the one-room schools that flourished throughout the rural United States in the first half of the 20th Century, “sexy” isn’t exactly the adjective that springs to mind.

Other descriptions, however – including “fascinating,” “insightful,” and “really, really entertaining” – are more than appropriate. Like the pair’s 2004 true-crime doc Villisca: Living with a Mystery and 2007’s Lost Nation: The Ioway, Country School takes an in-depth look at a mostly unknown, or largely forgotten, chapter of American – specifically Midwestern – history. Also like those films, the Rundles’ most recent endeavor delivers a history lesson that is anything but a dry lecture.

 
Oscar Snapshots: Unforgettable Moments Among the 2011 Best Picture Contenders PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 06:00
Natalie Portman in Black SwanMovies are made of moments, and after some consideration, I can’t think of a single Best Picture lineup that has provided more memorable moments than the one competing at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, airing on ABC affiliate WQAD on February 27.

 
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