Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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The first was probably an Old Milwaukee he took from his parents. "It tasted nasty," Jake Rodel said. He felt the same way the first time he tasted craft beer, but his tastes have changed. The Duluth man likes his IPA hoppy, but not too bitter. He has been homebrewing for 20 years, and he's vice president of the oldest homebrew club in Minnesota, the Northern Ale Stars Homebrewers Guild. Homebrewing can be as simple or as complicated as you want, he said.
Making fun of unusual names is easy pickings, and Richard Tilkin's documentary "The Strange Name Movie" capitalizes on it. Tilkin prompts knee-jerk laughs with footage of production assistants calling Bonnie Beaver, David Boring, Jack Hoff. He molds his script around some bullying war stories, the psychological effects of unusual names, potential benefits. He throws in an interview with one mother explaining her son's name.
Many features beg for attention in the living room of Bob and Mary Ellen Owens. A view to the backyard pond, a flagstone fireplace, a white wolf statue. But the belle of the ball is a colorful rug with a circular design that resembles an abstract painting. Even though an Italian-designed Missoni piece worth $9,000 lies nearby, everyone notices this bold $300 rug, Mary Ellen said. The rug, along with the rest of the Owens' Lester Park home, will be among the many spaces on display Wednesday during the 51st Annual Duluth Woman's Club Tour of Homes and Gardens.
After this year's releases of "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Black Panther" comes the latest from the Marvel-sphere in "Ant-Man and the Wasp." While not all in the franchise are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which includes Iron-Man and Thor, Ant-Man is in that world. In fact, it was an escapade with Captain America that landed Ant-Man, aka Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) on house arrest, and this sequel to the 2015 film picks up at the tail-end of his sentence.
Remember 1995? The floppy disks, pay phones and windbreaker suits. That's the backdrop for "Landline," a comedy about sisters who bond after they discover their dad's affair. Setting this in '90s Manhattan can feel like an unnecessary novelty at times. But the plot hinges on certain freedoms of the time, and "Landline" is a throwback to the specific place society was with technology, drugs and third-wave feminism.
Four guys chasing a dream, what could be more patriotic? "American Animals" hits the Zinema screen this weekend, and it's packed with punch, humor and heist. Bonus, it's based on a true story. It's the first feature film from Bart Layton, who's got a thing for offbeat crimes. In his small repertoire is "The Imposter," a documentary about a young man claiming to be a lost family's relative. It's bizarre, it's BAFTA-winning, it's the foundation for this crime/documentary hybrid, the likes of which this reviewer has never seen.
A curved staircase was on Jody Berquist's wish list for her new home. Also, many windows, a pet-friendly floor, a beautiful view — and she got it. Standing in the living room looking at her backyard of sandy beach and Lake Superior, "It doesn't feel like you're in the city of Duluth because you can't really see any houses," she said. Jody and her late husband, Robert — an architect whose vision helped transform Canal Park — snagged six lots on Park Point. They started building in 2004; it took two years, and it was a group effort.
As a month-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights comes to a close, documentary "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson" looks at the movement's genesis. From the '60s on, Marsha Johnson was a drag-queen, mother to the LGBT community and Andy Warhol model — until her body was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. Director David France has a short list of films, and this is his follow-up to Oscar-nominated "How to Survive a Plague" about efforts to find a cure during the AIDS epidemic.
On a cloudy Saturday, children and their parents sat on a tarp in Lester Park, picking apart paper, lilac bushels and corn stalks. Deconstruction is an important part of understanding how the world works, said Sarah Quetico. "What do these look like, what do these smell like?" she asked. One child described the corn as "hairy," one opted to wave around a stick, another, Santiago Alvarez, 19 months, waddled away to research nearby dandelions, his mother, Kayla, of Saginaw trailing behind.
Steve Morgan and his son, Henry, followed a paved walkway past fig trees, olive trees and Norfolk island pines. Also on the trail: peace lilies, ferns and ficus. Morgan was dropping off Henry, 4, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth nursery school, and getting there meant walking through its foyer garden.