Author Archive

Phil Busse

Phil Busse

HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff (Available April 24-25) It is not a Hollywood movie pitch: “A chamber-rock opera about the intersection of finance and spirituality.” And, oh yeah, at the center of the story is disgraced financier Bernie Madoff and his decade-old con job. Perhaps not a

HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Teddy, Out of Tune (Available April 26-27) Noted for its gentle assessment of individuals on the fringe of the American west, the feature film Nomadland has received far-reaching applause and accolades—and a few Oscar nods. Teddy, Out of Tune deserves just as much. A film that is

Anchor Point (Available April 19-20) The tone for Anchor Point is not incendiary, although the subject-matter is: Fighting forest fires and, more specifically, the challenge of two women to fit in—or not—to the male-dominated culture and policies of the U.S. Forest Service. To examine those (burning) questions, the documentary shadows

Impact (Available April 26-27) One of the strongest features for this year festival is exploring local issues and individuals—and this film is no exception: At the core of Impact is Medford-based Troy Wohosky, who was once a top junior boxer in the country (as in, number three, and an Olympic

HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: American Gadfly (Available April 27-28) When first reading the briefing for this film, I assumed it was the premise for a Seth Rogen comedy: A group of daring teenagers recruit an 89-year old sharp-tongued former U.S. Senator out of his mothball retirement for an underdog bid for

Trammel (shown as part of the “Short Stories & Documentaries: Outsiders,” available April 15 – 29) “Trammel” both means to restrict one’s freedom, and also can refer to a tool that consists of two fixed points. It is also the title to a short film about one man, Dale, and

Voted “Bestie” band in the Messenger’s last survey of our readers favorites—the very last print issue we were able to produce in March 2020 before shutting down presses for a year—The Brothers Reed are an active and beloved group of, yes, family members.  Half of the duo, Aaron Reed talked

Julie Akins is a known commodity in southern Oregon. A former reporter for the Mail Tribune and Daily Tidings, and a former manager for KOBI, she had a front row seat to learn about local issues, taking a particular concern for homelessness. For Akins, her observations about homelessness translated to

Walkabout Brewing Company is a legacy. A second-generation brewery (which, let’s recognize, is rare), Cameron Litton adopted the space and place from his father, an Australian transplant (and, hence, the name, walkabout). Like many sons taking over their father’s business, the younger Litton has preserved some of the traditions, but

Less than two years ago, two married couples in Grants Pass teamed up to start Weekend Beer Company. It was a modest proposition, but grew quickly—and after only four months of operation and pouring beers, Weekend Beer Co. already had picked up enough fans and community support to grab several