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Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

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Eric Henderson Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson joined the WCCO.COM web team in June 2006 and currently...
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The Super Bowl is on ice, and the Oscars are still awhile away. Short of watching the Grammys next Sunday evening (which, ahem, as an employee of CBS and a bona fide fan of Miguel’s “Adorn,” I’m compelled to urge you to do at any cost to your schedule), you should have plenty of time to examine the wealth of movie options out there this week.

And I do mean “wealth.” There are so many possibilities this week, they can scarcely be whittled down to just five options. One of the movies I couldn’t quite squeeze into the lineup this time around is the doc Brief Encounters, which is playing at St. Anthony Main and which my fellow movie blogger Jonathon Sharp reviewed here.

So here is the cream of a pretty heady crop:

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Monday, Feb. 4 & Tuesday, Feb. 5: The Magic Flute (Trylon Microcinema)

Maybe Ingmar Berman was getting burned out his reputation for soul-crushingly depressing Swedish dramas in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Maybe after destroying psyche (Persona), humanity (Shame), family (Cries and Whispers) and love (Scenes from a Marriage), he thought it would behoove him to craft a bonbon to, I don’t know, cleanse the palate a bit? Whatever the reason, he decided he simply had to adapt W.A. Mozart’s extra frippery operetta as his next project, albeit with Mozart’s original score translated into Swedish for maximum wonk factor.

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Thursday, Feb. 7: Raiders: The Adaptation (Riverview Theater)

Either one of the greatest examples of slavish fandom, or one of the most touchingly pathetic, Raiders: The Adaptation is the grand summation of a group of kids’ devotion to Steven Spielberg’s 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark. They set out to videotape a shot-for-shot remake of the movie and, by golly, that’s what they did. It only took them six years to recreate the charter Indiana Jones adventure, and if the results aren’t exactly on the scale of Industrial Light & Magic, at least you can’t fault them for lacking enthusiasm in the endeavor. Catch “the greatest fan film of all time” with one of the two creators in attendance this Thursday.

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Friday, Feb. 8 & Saturday, Feb. 9: Consuming Spirits (Walker Art Center)

Speaking of long-in-the-making labors of love, the animated Consuming Spirits is a can’t miss work of art, an epic that took creator (MCAD alum) Chris Sullivan 15 years to complete. The film (which earned a super-rare four-star rating from Slant Magazine) details the secrets and lies behind a group of characters living on the fringes of a town industry eventually left behind. Sullivan is scheduled to discuss his labor of love at the Walker Cinema on Friday evening. The movie will also screen again on Saturday afternoon.

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Friday, Feb. 8 through Thursday, Feb. 14: Nordic Lights Film Festival (St. Anthony Main)

Jonathon and I will be blogging a preview of this festival a little later this week. I will be representing on behalf of Norwegians, and the predominately non-Nordic Jonathon will be providing the outsider’s perspective. For the time being, and for your planning purposes, know that there are a couple weeks’ worth of feature films and shorts collections from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden all packed into one single week, with programs ranging from the gutterbrow comedy of Denmark’s Klown to the empathetic coming-of-age LGBT drama from Norway, Turn Me On, Dammit.

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Friday, Feb. 8 through Thursday, Feb. 14: Oscar-Nominated Short Films — Documentary (Riverview Theater)

If you haven’t yet, make sure you head over to the Uptown Theater to catch all the nominees in the best live action short and best animated short Oscar categories. And then head over to the Riverview starting this Friday to catch the five shorts nominated in the documentary category. I’m telling you, your Oscar pool ballot will thank you. (And, of course, it’s also interesting to see what’s nominated that hasn’t been the subject of a million preliminary critics’ and showbiz guild awards leading up to the Academy Awards.) I previewed all 15 of the shorts and made my predictions for what will win in all three categories last week. Here’s my blog.

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