Jonathon Sharp

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Movie Blog: ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ Review

Nothing quite says Happy Halloween like a spaghetti western set in Iran featuring a hijab-wearing vampire and a kick-ass soundtrack. Director Ana Lily Amirpour debut is a work of striking confidence and imagination; it’s a draft of life, a vein of new blood. Her work rings of the stuff of David Lynch and Harmony Korine, yet all the weirdness works to open the way for sonorous (and somehow gentle) emotion. Even if you’re allergic to zombies and vampires, this black-and-white gem isn’t one to hold a cross to. Moreover, it’s pretty much perfect that it’s screening Halloween night at the Walker.

16 hours ago

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

Movie Blog: 38 ‘Cine Latino’ Films Coming To Mpls.

The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul is presenting what it calls the “region’s largest celebration of Spanish and Portuguese language film,” and tickets for the general public go on sale Monday.

10/20/2014

(credit: Sound Unseen)

Movie Blog: Sound Unseen Announces 2014 Lineup

Does your life change, ever so slightly, whenever you happen to hear a song from Elliott Smith’s “Figure 8″? If so, you might want to carve out some time next month to attend Sound Unseen, […]

10/15/2014

(credit: CBS)

Movie Blog: ‘20,000 Days On Earth’ Review

Nick Cave, the legendary musician and writer, who was frontman of post-punk band The Birthday Party and currently heads Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is the beating, bleeding, open heart of 20,000 Days on Earth, a film so full of strange set pieces that it feels wrong to call it a documentary.

10/10/2014

(credit: Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)

Movie Blog: ‘Last Days In Vietnam’ Review

Toward the end of The Last Days in Vietnam, a marine who was part of the evacuation of Saigon describes the terrible episode as the Vietnam War “in microcosm.” That is to say: It had the tragic mix of good intentions and poor leadership that led to broken promises and a country’s demise. Yet, filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s vital and moving documentary on the Fall of Saigon isn’t so much about her pointing a finger, as it is about highlighting the pain, panic, heartbreak, and heroism wound up in those dark days in the spring of 1975.

10/02/2014

(credit: Reynald Capurro)

Movie Blog: Manhattan Short (Global) Film Festival

No plans Tuesday night? Then perhaps you’ll be down to judge some short films in the world’s only global film festival. It’s called Manhattan Short, and it’s happening (locally) at Minneapolis’ St. Anthony Main Theatre.

09/30/2014

Take Me To The River

Movie Blog: ‘Take Me To The River’ Review

“Take Me to the River” has a quality many documentaries lack: it gets better as it goes on. At first, director Martin Shore’s love letter to the Memphis music scene feels like it might be one of those making-of documentaries with too much studio footage to be seen outside of fandom. But as its legends of soul and blues sing on screen, a story unfolds that reverberates with incredible vitality. The takeaway? American music wouldn’t be what it is today same without what flowed from the Mississippi Delta.

09/26/2014

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Movie Blog: Time To Start Thinking About The Arrows Awards

Fall officially started on Monday, but the announcement that the British Arrows Awards are returning to the Walker Art Center is truly a sign that summer is in the rear-view mirror.

09/24/2014

The Last Of Robin Hood

Movie Blog: ‘The Last Of Robin Hood’ Review

The love life of ‘50s Hollywood star Errol Flynn is too easily imagined in the lingering phrase “in like Flynn.” The notorious playboy is the “Robin Hood” this film’s title refers to, and his end-of-life relationship with a teenage girl is the focus of writer-director duo Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. The two dive into the relationship’s gray areas, yet the work doesn’t emerge all that dark or dirty. That’s strange, because it probably should.

09/05/2014

(credit: CBS)

New Fair Exhibit’s Focus Is On Local Food, Sustainability

Food reigns supreme at the Minnesota State Fair, but a lot of it isn’t from Minnesota. The popular Pronto Pup, for instance, isn’t even from the Midwest.

08/26/2014

(credit: The Orchard, Independent Lens)

Movie Blog: ‘Rich Hill’ Review

“God has to be busy with everyone else” — Those are the heartbreaking words said by one of the three boys whose lives filmmakers Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo follow in Rich Hill, a sobering yet vividly human documentary about poverty in small-town, Middle America. From the get-go, it’s apparent that at least one of these boys has been called “white trash,” but the film never treats them with scorn. Instead, cinematographer Droz Palermo captures their lives with incredible grace, so much so that it brings to mind the effervescent films of Terrence Malick. But as impressive as the camera work can be, the details in Rich Hill sting.

08/15/2014

(credit:  Lucky Coffee Productions/ Magnolia Pictures)

Movie Blog: ‘Happy Christmas’ Review

Anna Kendrick was good in Drinking Buddies, but she’s better in Happy Christmas. This time, in another work of director Joe Swanberg, she plays an infectiously bubbly, if irresponsible, 27-year-old named Jenny, who’s moved to Chicago after breaking up with her boyfriend. She stays in the Windy City with her brother (played by Swanberg), and the film focuses on her struggle to balance her youthful energy with the realpolitik of growing up. And despite what the title suggests, the film’s not really about Christmas.

08/08/2014

MOOD_INDIGO_Cloud

Movie Blog: ‘Mood Indigo’ Review

Mood Indigo, the latest from French director Michel Gondry — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep — kicks off as a whimsical, surreal Parisian love story before falling, like an autumn leaf, into a melancholy look at aging, death and possibility of fate. The Paris of Gondry’s imagination is remarkable. It’s a quasi-steampunk, sci-fi wonderland with bizarre inventions: keyboard instruments that mix cocktails, flying cloud cars and alarm clocks that scurry up walls, like spiders. Those familiar with Gondry’s work will recognize his flair for fantastical production, of which he is an undeniable master. For those unfamiliar, think of him as a Gallic Wes Anderson, but less of a perfectionist.

08/01/2014

(credit:  IFC Films)

Movie Blog: ‘Hellion’ Review 

It’s unfortunate that this film had to go up against Boyhood. That 12-years-in-the-making, coming-of-age colossus is my most anticipated movie of the summer, and it comes out the same weekend as Hellion, which is also a film about growing up. It’s also unfortunate that Hellion is a bit hit-or-miss.

07/18/2014

(credit: CBS)

Movie Blog: ‘Ivory Tower’ Review

To say something is seriously wrong with the cost of college – and mountain of debt piling atop the backs of America’s young people – is to state the obvious. Andrew Ross, the director of Ivory Tower, understands this. Instead of just saying “Guys, we’re in a hell of a pickle here,” his documentary gives us a road map as to how we got to this place and tries to decipher, through the fog of unrest and a forest of blinking technological light bulbs, what our possible options are to move forward. Don’t get me wrong, though: Ross doesn’t hint at a savior. The reason, after all, this is such a big mess is that no one has the knowledge, or will, to fix it. Still, it’s a given things are bound to change pretty soon. Everyone, it seems, agrees on that.

07/11/2014

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