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 climbs rocks.
He also loves Carl Sagan.
It’s a busy week for movies here in the Twin Cities. We’ve got a massive festival for the internet’s beloved cats, two compelling documentaries hitting theaters, and a screening of a French New Wave classic.
It’s August already. How is that even possible? Any day now, you’ll be seeing back-to-school shopping displays at Target and planning out a visit to the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Already that nostalgia for summer is welling up as the nights get increasingly cooler. Already I’m drinking beers on rooftops and patios wondering how many of these I’ll have before the leaves start falling and the sun goes down with the workday.
hat Sugar Film, a Supersize Me-style documentary out of Australia, uses a sort of cinematic super-sweetness to combat the pervasiveness of sugar in our modern food supply. Filmmaker Damon Gameau’s film is visually over-the-top, with talking head experts appearing on cereal boxes and all sorts of different food labels.
It’s the dog days of summer, and there’s a bunch of great cinema to experience in the Twin Cities.
Much of the buzz around Tangerine stems from the fact it was shot entirely on iPhone 5s, equipped with special lenses. While it is indeed remarkable that a pocket-sized device could have produced such a lush, sharp-looking movie, the visual style isn’t likely to be the main takeaway. Instead, you’ll probably be much more interested […]
Somehow, summer is halfway over. That being said, you should probably spend as much time as possible out enjoying the warm season on a lake or a patio.
Questions about vigilantism are at the heart of Cartel Land, a gripping documentary on the people risking their lives taking a stand against Mexican drug cartels on both sides of the border. Directed by Matthew Heineman, whose camerawork is athletic and fearless, the movie unfolds like a blockbuster action flick, not unlike executive producer Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty. The film starts in Mexico, in the dead of night, with masked men cooking meth, explaining that while the drugs might wreak havoc in America, it’s the only way for them to escape poverty. What choice do they have?
If you’re looking to escape the heat and humidity this week, there’s probably no better way to do it than to watch Satyajit Ray’s gorgeously restored and undeniably epic Apu trilogy, which is playing over at the Lagoon Cinema. While it’s no doubt a commitment to see each film, the payoff is hug: It’s one of those works that’ll rekindle your belief in the power of cinema, or art in general. Seriously, it’s that good.
The love story that unfolds in “Love At First Fight” defies easy categorization. It’s not a French romcom, it’s not a passionate kissing fest, and it isn’t a tearjerker either. It’s just a slow-burning romance of sorts, with well-placed laughs. Featuring a remarkable performance by up-coming actress Adèle Haenel, the film is irresistible as it is unpredictable, and it makes for almost perfect summer movie watching.
If you looked at this headline and had no idea what esports are, here’s an explainer: Esports are video games played competitively, often at incredibly high stakes, before a massive, global audience.
With the holiday weekend come and gone, perhaps there’s a bit more free time in your schedule for movies. If that’s the case, you may want to check out the Walker Art Center’s Summer Nights/Cool Cinema series, which starts this week.
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 explores the death throes of a culture in the wake of globalization. Like the classic Lawrence of Arabia, the film takes place on the […]