Culture

Recent Posts

Painter blends animals, surrealism, medieval imagery

Red Birds

When Jennifer French was in first grade, she drew a horse. And after looking at the similar drawings of the other kids, she realized her horse looked a lot more like a horse. From that moment forward, Jennifer knew exactly what she wanted to do. When people asked her as a child, she told them straight up, “I want to be an artist and a part-time waitress.”

So even then, French had a notion that being an artist might represent a conflict between the creative and the practical. French’s father worked for Conoco, and because of his job, they moved every three years or so. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

The Top 10 (plus 6) Montana photo feeds on Instagram

You know when you start a project and you think it will be simple and straight-forward but then you dig into it a little and it turns out it is going to be way more complicated than you thought and if you had known that in the beginning you probably wouldn’t have taken it on in the first place? That’s what happened to me last year when I proposed a “Top 10 Montana photographers to follow on Instagram” story to Last Best News. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

New movie ‘made for and influenced by Montana’

Desk

Jonah is a bilingual desk clerk working an emotionally wearisome hotel job in Montana. Buster is a puzzling mountain man who breaks into people’s vacation homes for food and shelter and occasionally defecates in their kitchen pots. How the two men are connected and the relationship between them is the crux of “Buster’s Mal Heart,” a well-crafted mystery-thriller in which the title character is haunted by visions of a past life while being pursued by the authorities. The movie was shot in and around Kalispell in October and November 2015. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Newspaper shutdown sets stage for new Lancaster novel

Julep

Billings novelist Craig Lancaster is just out with his latest book, “Julep Street,” about Carson McCullough, a lifelong journalist whose world is shattered when the small daily newspaper he works for is suddenly and unceremoniously closed down. In a hilariously unsuccessful attempt to deal with his new reality, Carson embarks on a road trip in a Mustang convertible, freshly purchased with his severance check. Accompanied by his best friend, Hector, an old yellow Lab with a diminished appetite for adventure, Carson goes off to chase job prospects, visiting old friends and one old flame. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

New book corrals Waddell’s art, and a time and place, too

Achieve

A few years ago, the painter and sculptor Theodore Waddell was thinking it might be time, five decades into a productive career as an artist, for a book-length retrospective of his work. The more he thought about it, though, the less he wanted a coffee-table book solely about his art. He wanted a book that would tell the larger story of the artists and writers and friends he had learned from and worked with, of the ferment and excitement of a particular time in history. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Montanans’ film explores side road to understanding

Desert

Marshall Granger was working at the Roxy Theater in Missoula when a friend and co-worker, Andrew Rizzo, asked an odd, simple question. “You wanna go shoot a documentary on a hallucinogenic toad down in Arizona and Mexico?”

The question was addressed to Marshall and another co-worker, Eddie Roqueta, and both of them, as it turned out, were interested in the idea. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Refugees, settled in Montana, to tell their stories in film

Joel

Much has been written about the African and Middle Eastern refugees who have resettled in Missoula in the past year, welcomed by many and looked at with fear and disdain by many others. Now, some of those refugees will be using video cameras to tell their own stories of what it means to resettle so far from home, and to share with the rest of us their perceptions of their new surroundings. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Web-based radio a new outlet for musician’s passion

Jimmy

RED LODGE — There was never much question that Jimmy Kujala’s life would revolve around music. The native of Red Lodge played his first professional gig, at the Snag Bar, when he was 9. He and one of his sisters, Carolyn, started a band, The Lost Generation, a few years later. Kujala was only 15 or 16 when the band opened for Merle Haggard at the Shrine Auditorium in Billings in the late 1960s.  (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

At Crow hand-game tourney, the spectacle is the thing

Other Meds

I was told by several people that the Crow hand game was difficult to explain, but that once I’d watched a few rounds it would start to make sense. I suppose it did, sort of in the way that the one cricket game I ever watched had begun to make some sense by the time it ended. The big difference is that at a cricket game, cricket is the main attraction. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Wibaux band rocks the Gem at album-release party

Gem

“Shut up, dude, I’m trying to listen to your song,” a friend said as we were taking a seat at the Gem Theatre in Wibaux. An extension of the Beaver Creek Brewery, the Gem is host to fine dining and an impressive stage setup. On this particular night, the band belonged to brewery co-owner Jim Devine. At 6-foot-6, his friends have been known to call him “Mighty Big,” a nickname he also uses for his band, Mighty Big Jim and the Tall Boys. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,