Jonathon Sharp

(credit:  Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Reviews In Brief: ‘Tangerines’, ‘Dior And I’ & ‘Girlhood’

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.

05/01/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

A Look At The Winning Films From MSPIFF 2015

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.

04/29/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

Day 14 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Antarctic Edge’ Reviewed

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.

04/22/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

Day 12 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Theeb’ Reviewed

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 […]

04/20/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

Day 10 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Slow West’ Reviewed

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 […]

04/18/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

Day 7 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘The Mask You Live In’ Reviewed

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.

04/15/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

Day 6 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Finding Gastón’ Reviewed

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.

04/14/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

Day 5 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Amour Fou’ Reviewed

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.

04/13/2015

(credit: 20th Century Fox)

Review: ‘The Longest Ride’ Isn’t What It Claims To Be

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.

04/11/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

Day 2 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Victoria’ Reviewed

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.

04/10/2015

(credit: Film Society Of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

This Week In Movies: MSPIFF 2015 Kicks Off

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.

04/06/2015

(credit: RALPH GATTI/AFP/Getty Images)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

April is fast approaching, and that means the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival needs to be on every Minnesota cinephile’s radar.

03/30/2015

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A Minnesota Myth Sparked ‘Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter’

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.

03/27/2015

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Dark Knight Director Christopher Nolan To Speak At The Walker

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.

03/24/2015

(credit: IFC Films)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Going to the movies sounds particularly good when 9 inches of wet, heavy spring snow falls in late March.

03/23/2015

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Movie Blog: ‘Maidan’ & ‘Spring’ Reviewed

The best thing about “Spring” is that it wears its weirdness on its sleeve

03/20/2015

(credit: Drafthouse Films)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

A few days ago, the list of features for this year’s Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival dropped. There are more than 170 movies in the lineup, and, as you can imagine, there’s a lot to look through.

03/16/2015

(credit: Walker Art Center

Movie Blog: This Weekend’s Best Bets

Since there was no “This Week’s Best Bets,” there’ll be a “Weekend’s Best Bets.” So while you’re out enjoying the spring-like temps, consider popping by one of the events listed below. They include a DVD and estate sale, as well as back-by-popular demand screenings of Godard’s latest, “Goodbye to Language.”

03/12/2015

(credit: Film Movement)

Movie Blog: ‘Human Capital’ & ‘Road Hard’ Reviewed

Director Paolo Virzì’s multi-sided moral fable Human Capital took home the Best Picture award last year from the equivalent of the Italian Oscars, managing somehow to best Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, which happened to bag an actual Oscar. While Virzi’s film isn’t half as good as Sorrentino’s, it must be said that “Human Capital” is pretty, gripping and has the aura of greatness, even if it does come off a little too much like another Oscar winner, 2006’s Crash.

03/06/2015

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Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

The days are growing longer, the breezes don’t quite feel as arctic, and a crop of new movies is in season. Just last week, I reviewed the clever vampire comedy “What We Do In The Shadows,” and this Friday the new movie from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is at the Minnesota Zoo’s IMAX theatre.

03/02/2015

(credit: Unison Films)

Movie Blog: ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Reviewed

Only have patience for one vampire movie in 2015? Make it this weird, silly, pitch-perfect mockumentary from New Zealand. “What We Do In The Shadows,” created by one of the minds behind “Flight of the Conchords,” has big laughs before the opening credits roll, and it goes on to take vampiric tropes, place them in a modern Wellington cityscape, and twist them into wonderful B-movie jokes.

02/27/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Movie Blog: The Italian Film Festival, Featuring Frank Vascellaro

A taste of la dolce vita is at the St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis this weekend as the seventh annual Italian Film Festival takes to screens with works from new talents and cinematic titans.

02/25/2015

(credit: Drafthouse Films)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

The Oscars are over. And while we’re still applauding Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech and wondering what John Travolta was doing with Idina Menzel’s chin, it’s refreshing to look ahead and consider what movies to watch without all the awards hype in the background.

02/23/2015

(credit: IFC Films)

Movie Blog: ‘Timbuktu’, ‘Burgundy’ & ‘She’s Beautiful’ Reviewed

If “50 Shades Of Grey”looks impossibly boring to you, this might be the antidote. Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy” is an avant-garde experience of the sensual and the psychological. While it’s gorgeous and kinky, it’s also a smart study of a complicated relationship, one that both flourishes and withers inside the walls of an elegant, sun-ripened European home.

02/20/2015

(credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

More Oscar stuff this week, as you might have expected. And among the offerings are some fresh nominee screenings. One of the most exciting is that of Timbuktu, which is nominated for a best foreign film Oscar.

02/16/2015

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