After he graduated from the University of St. Thomas, Jonathon joined the web team again as a web producer in February of 2011.
When he is not editing and/or writing articles, Jonathon writes for the Movie Blog.
Aside from cinema, Jonathon enjoys rock climbing, Dota and reading.
He also has a huge crush on Carl Sagan.
Emotionally explosive and wonderfully amorphous, “About Elly” is a 2009 film out of Iran getting its well-deserved release in the U.S. just now. Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”, “The Past”), the film is a naturalistic drama that could easily be described as a thriller. Its characters are believable and mysterious, and the film highlights, to Western eyes, the weight honor holds in cultures built around it.
While the most recent adaptation of “Madame Bovary” is no doubt pretty, director Sophie Barthes’ take on the classic Flaubert novel doesn’t quite feel like anything more than a bookish period piece. The dialogue is too flowery, the performances are mixed at best, and the film appears to be addicted to swooning over its delicate piano soundtrack.
The “Wolfpack” raises far more questions than it answers, and that’s both why the documentary is so compelling and, at the same time, somewhat frustrating.
When director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon started work on “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” the film that went on to conquer this year’s Sundance Film Festival, bagging both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize, he didn’t think he’d put a dedication to his late father at the very beginning of the movie.
A history of “Saturday Night Live” that isn’t afraid to dive into the show’s issues of diversity and identity, “Live From New York” is a compelling and effectively moving portrait of a program than in 40 years has gone from being an avant-garde game-changer to an American institution.
Nearly a decade ago, first-time filmmaker Marah Strauch thought she was going to make a documentary about her uncle, a man who filmed himself and others jumping off cliffs and skyscrapers for fun.
One of the best films to screen at the latest Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, Slow West blends a Coen brothers-like sense of humor with Tarantino-smacking violence to create a frontier story that’s hard to pin down and also forget.
The penultimate film of Albert Maysles is a loving and inquisitive look into the life of a now 93-year-old fashion icon.
Growing up as a kid with special needs, Nick Bertsch didn’t get invited to birthday parties or sleepovers. Making friends was tough, yet that didn’t stop him from becoming a close friend to one of TV’s most iconic characters: Big Bird.
In 1964, Muppet master Jim Henson picked the young puppeteer Caroll Spinney to don an 8-foot-tall bird suit for an educational children’s show called “Sesame Street.” Forty-five years later and more than two decades since Henson’s death, Spinney is still the man inside that yellow-feathered puppet, recognized the world over as Big Bird.
A lot of power in a relatively small package, “Tangerines” is an anti-war chamber drama with the emotional thrust of a knife to the gut.
After showing more than 200 films over the course of the past few weeks, the 34th annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival has wrapped up, and the competition results are in.
Science documentaries focusing on climate change in Antarctica, with gorgeous images of cerulean icebergs and throngs of wobbling penguins, are not exactly rare these days. Dena Seidel’s Antarctic Edge is the latest among them, and while it’s not as mesmerizing as last year’s Antarctica: A Year on Ice, it does champion an important group of people: the scientists spending huge chunks of their lives studying the frozen continent.
The beauty of director Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb lies in its seeming simplicity. On the surface, it looks like a boy’s coming-of-age adventure story. Yet, on a deeper level, the film surges with western themes […]
Perhaps if one mixed the cinematic vision of the Coen brothers with the Rocky Mountain vistas and greasy leather hats of Red Dead Redemption, the result would be something like John Maclean’s incredibly stylish and […]
Why is it that nearly all of America’s mass murders are men, when women have just as easy access to firearms? Why are boys more likely to be bullied? To have learning issues? To drop out of school? To commit suicide? Those are just a few of the questions posed by The Mask You Live In, the latest documentary on gender in America by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, whose last film, Miss Representation, explored how women are under-represented in positions of power.
Saying that a documentary about a world-renowned chef could make your mouth water isn’t really impressive. But if a film could make you a fan of a country, a people, a cuisine, that’s something more powerful. Julia Patricia Perez’s Finding Gaston introduces the audience to one of Peru’s greatest cultural ambassadors, Gaston Acurio. The man, who appears at length in the film, is a bastion for every pepper, sauce and recipe native to his homeland, and he goes to incredible lengths to fortify the small Latin American nation as a haven for culinary treasures.
Writer/director Jessica Hausner’s latest work is weirdly captivating. The visual style, with people standing stiff as paintings and stoic Weimaraner dogs seemingly everywhere, sets it apart from so many movies these days while simultaneously cementing the movie in the historical frame of German Romanticism.
The best thing about The Longest Ride, the latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks tear-jerker novel, is the bullriding. The slow-motion shots, with the animal’s legs kicking and snot slinging into the air, capture the ride as an act of grace. An entire documentary focused on the sport could be carried by the power and beauty of such images. The same, however, can’t be said for “The Longest Ride,” which tries to mash two quite different loves stories together and ends up a messy, pointless excuse to see a glimpse of Scott Eastwood’s ass.
It’s probably near impossible to see Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria and not be impressed. The entire 140-minute film is captured in one continuous shot by the incredibly athletic camerawork of Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, and never does the movie drag its feet, lose its momentum or devolve into a swirling, jittery mess. Instead, “Victoria” has a gorgeous, liquid quality. At one moment, it’ a carefree romp through nocturnal Berlin, and then it changes, right before your eyes, into a heart-pounding thriller, all gunshots and getaways.
This week is all about the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. Things get rolling on Thursday, when the weeks-long festival begins with screenings of a wonderfully titled film, “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. After those screenings, there’ll be an opening night party at the nearby Aster Café.
April is fast approaching, and that means the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival needs to be on every Minnesota cinephile’s radar.
An urban legend from the snowy, desolate plains of Minnesota was the catalyst that led to “Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter,” a new, haunting film from brothers David and Nathan Zellner.
The filmmaker who re-imagined Batman in the beloved Dark Knight trilogy will be in Minnesota this spring to talk about his films as part of a Walker Art Center anniversary celebration.
Going to the movies sounds particularly good when 9 inches of wet, heavy spring snow falls in late March.