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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Meow Wolf’: between chaos and order


Every generation seeks to define its own reality. And while older generations might find this fact uncomfortable, it's a necessary part of growth.

Change is part of that growth, and this is especially true in the arts where a blending of tradition and new ideas is what provides the energy for … what? Imagination? Inspiration?

Whatever. From the Sturm und Drang writers to the Impressionist painters, the French New Wave critics to those first rock 'n' rollers, youth has forged its own, often unique path. And that's the idea behind the documentary "Meow Wolf: Origin Story."

Set to screen at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Regal Cinemas theaters at Northtown Mall and Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium, "Meow Wolf - Origin Story" tells the story of a band of artists living and working in Santa Fe, N.M. Tired of bucking the established art world, they go rogue and create their own space — a space that attracts the support, and sponsorship, of the writer George R.R. Martin.

As IndieWire film critic Kate Erbland explains, though, the group's trek — which was born out of a balancing act between "chaos and order" —isn't a smooth one.

"The group’s brand of wild creativity helped propel seemingly instant growth and popularity in their hometown, and what will eventually scan as relatively small-scale success casts a long shadow over everything that’s to come," Erbland wrote. "Factions — and fractures — emerge early on, but (co-directors Morgan) Capps and (Jilann) Spitzmiller keep the interest and energy up, even as the group’s cycles become repetitive."

Those kinds of cycles, Erbland contends, are never easily resolved.

"As Meow Wolf grows, first from intimate shows literally built from garbage to massive, traveling immersive experiences," she wrote, "they continue to contend with the same problems. Success cures nothing."

But, to paraphrase an older Frank Sinatra, at least they did it their way. And still do.

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