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.
An astounding work of documentary film making, Let The Fire Burn uses only archival footage to tell the devastating story of Philadelphia’s 1985 police raid fiasco, which turned a working-class neighborhood into a fiery war zone, a living hell that claimed 11 lives, including those of five children.
The trailer above is for Wampler’s Ascent, a film following Steve Wampler, who has cerebral palsy, as he does some 20,000 pull-ups to conquer the 3,000 foot face of Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan. Part determination doc, part nature flick, the film is just the thing you’d want to kick off the Twin Cities’ inaugural Reel Abilities film festival: five days of inspiring stories and profound insights into realities not often explored in today’s cinema.
Eran Riklis’ Zaytoun tells the odd-couple story of an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian boy as they journey through peril and personal prejudice toward home and eventually friendship. It’s a promising concept — just watch the trailer above — but Riklis doesn’t get the better of it. Instead, the film flounders in a muddled tone and that muck of mucks: sentimentalism.
There are two ways of looking at the great boxer. One has only to do with us, the American public; and the other has to do with him: the man, the fighter, the political and spiritual figure. Siegel’s film takes the latter approach, showing that the heavyweight champion’s most grueling fights weren’t ever in the ring.
Remarkably, all the killing that takes place in Blue Caprice is anything but sensational. Moors describes the movie’s tone as that of a “sad poem” or requiem only occasionally broken up by the crack and vacuum of rifle fire. Style-wise, Blue Caprice is no triller, and there’s no cat-and-mouse game between cops and criminals. This is a twisted family drama with a father, a son and a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice.
So who’s Freda? She’s the band’s longtime secretary, who literally grew up with the Beatles, and saw their lives like no other fan girl did.
The luster of eroticism — a naked 19-year-old girl polished in olive oil — doesn’t do all that much in Il Futuro, a film that tries to be literary but comes off as something more pretty than poetic.
In Museum Hours , director Jem Cohen does this beautiful trick where he takes details of Vienna’s cityscape (a dreary playground, for instance, or a remnant of WWII weaponry), and splices them together with tiny details of old, old paintings. The wonderfully executed yet simple technique produces this lovely little feeling, a sort of emotional reminder that art reflects life, and vice versa.
“Are you in a relationship or a routine?” That’s the central question poised to Viola (María Villar) toward the end of Matías Piñeiro’s pithy and poetic drama by the same name.
The trailer for Drinking Buddies goes down like something you’ve tasted a hundred times before, a rom com in which two couples somehow swap lovers and end up all the happier for it. Coming off more Hollywood than “mumblecore,” the preview makes you feel as though you know what you’re getting into — the tried-and-true altered just so much by indie influence, the cinematic equivalent of Blue Moon.
Inch’Allah is the story of a French-Canadian obstetrician walking the cultural and concrete wall dividing Palestinians and Israelis. While she tries to tread lightly — befriending those on both sides of the conflict — our pretty doctor can’t help but tumble when the story pushes her into tragedy.
If honey bees were to disappear, the world — not to mention the State Fair — would grow to be a much bleaker place. “Apples, oranges – things like that – they’d all be gone,” said Emily Campbell, the 2013 American Honey Princess.
Werner Herzog — the Bavarian art-house master — isn’t one to back down from a challenge. The self-described “soldier of cinema” once hauled a steamboat over a mountain for Fitzcarraldo, trekked through the Sahara to capture […]
Listening to Joshua Oppenheimer is like listening to a waterfall. You sit down, ask the filmmaker a question and hundreds and hundreds of words pour forth.
Blackfish, an investigative documentary that’ll probably have you canceling any plans to SeaWorld, had me harking back one the most beloved movies of my childhood.
I went into Still Mine fearing that it’d be a based-on-true-events love story with way too many tiny violins for my taste. Fortunately, my fears were (mostly) unfounded.
SeaWorld is not at all happy with Gabriela Cowperthwaite. She made Blackfish, a documentary about killer whales and the consequences — in some cases deadly — of keeping them in captivity. And let’s just say SeaWorld doesn’t end up looking too pretty.
The great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini once said that there’s only a few stories. That aphorism bore true, I found, when watching two rock ‘n’ roll documentaries slated to come out this weekend — A Band Called Death and Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.
Tomi Ungerer is a globally-revered illustrator and children’s book author, and Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, a documentary out this Friday, chronicles his life, showcasing his wonderfully diverse work while highlighting the contradictions in his nature.
And right now I’m even tempted to describe the doc as refreshing and nutritious as honey. And so I will. More Than Honey is just that — it’s smart, multi-layered, glittering with interesting characters, varied scenes, and Planet Earth-pretty images of bees, flying, working, mating, dying, enduring. More Than Honey is easily one of my favorite science docs this year. And while it’s not all doom-saying, don’t thinks movie won’t give you pause. Ands loads to think about.
I’m a total sucker for almost any cooking competition show or documentary that features people who’ve mastered, through years and years of practice, the art of making beautiful, edible things. Think of Top Chef or Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking is a psychologically intense examination of two worlds slamming together. In this case, the clash involves the world of Western business and the world of Somali pirates. Lindholm, who wrote and directed the movie, crafts the drama around two characters and two locales; but one set offers more to mull over than the other.
Pride is over, but another week of celebration is about to begin. So if you need to flesh out your Fourth of July plans, or just cool off for a few hours, here’s some flicks worth considering…
Being the barbarian to the form I am, I watched wide-eyed as Dessay sang Violetta to life. In gym clothes, with hair like she just skydived onto stage, Dessay hit notes in the ionosphere and with apparent ease, while also acting, taking direction, and speaking Italian. Her performance, which is the heartbeat of the documentary, bordered on superhuman. But that only held my interest for so long.
Throughout European history, the diagnosis of hysteria has plagued women. The disease — now considered junk science — took so many different forms that a list of possible symptoms could fill some 75 pages. Anything from epileptic-like seizures to “sexual desire” counted. And if you showed such symptoms, Lord have mercy.