Family Faces Zombie Apocalypse In 'What We Become'"What We Become" is a Danish zombie flick in which no zombies are seen for most of the tense, 80-minute movie. Instead, filmmaker Bo Mikkelsen focuses on how a small family fares during the first few days of the viral outbreak and the collapse of civil society.
'The Invitation' Is An Engrossing Psychological ThrillerThe moodiness is real in Karyn Kusama’s unnerving psychological thriller, "The Invitation." Brilliantly, the filmmaker taps into the weirdness inherent in those coastal-growing, pseudo-scientific lifestyles and shows us an L.A. dinner party that’s a nightmare on multiple levels.
'High-Rise' Is Hit-Or-Miss But Undeniably Fun"High-Rise" is a mixed bag, to be sure, but there’s something thrilling, even intoxicating, about sharing in the fun you know the filmmaker is having.
'Louder Than Bombs' Reviewed"Louder than Bombs", the first English-language feature from Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier, is a moving and kaleidoscopic exploration of a family fractured by loss, probing how a father and his two sons are coping with life after the death of their famous yet mysterious mother.
Closing Night @ MSPIFF 2016: 'The Seventh Fire' ReviewedThe Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival ends with a documentary that should perhaps be required watching for any Minnesotan. Jack Pettibone Riccobono’s work, which is presented by "Tree of Life" visionary Terrence Malick and produced by actress Natalie Portman, fixes an unflinching lens onto the lives of two Ojibwe men on the Pine Point reservation in Becker County.
Day 16 @ MSPIFF 2016: 'The Ardennes' ReviewedA powerful feature debut from Belgian filmmaker Robin Pront, "The Ardennes" is a muddy, tense and stylish exploration into the relationship between two brothers living at the edge of society.
Day 14 @ MSPIFF 2016: '10 Billion -- What's On Your Plate?' ReviewedAt first, Valentin Thurn’s latest food-focused documentary looks to be a piece on the threat of genetically-modified food and the specter of big agri-business. But the German filmmaker and journalist goes deeper, much deeper -- traveling from Japan to Africa to Milwaukee, exploring new ideas and approaches to foodmaking, some of which are unforgettably cool.
Day 13 @ MSPIFF: 'A Decent Man' ReviewedWhile Lewinsky builds an engaging base around the seriousness of rape and the consequences of alleging it, what he makes his characters do – especially Thomas – just gets so nut that it’s difficult to watch with a straight face.
Day 6 @ MSPIFF: 'Francofonia' ReviewedRussian auteur Alexander Sokurov, the creator of the 2002 one-take behemoth Russian Ark, has now turned his restless attention to the Louvre. In this freewheeling poetic essay Francofonia, which has far more than one take, the filmmaker explores the relationship between great art and power, especially in the era of Nazi-occupied France.
'Everybody Wants Some!!' Stars Talk Baseball, Film & Working With LinklaterThe three actors were recently in town for an event at the Mall of America, and I had a chance to speak with them about the similarity between sports and acting, working with Linklater and the philosophical messages the filmmaker fits in amid the debauchery.
Day 3 @ MSPIFF 2016: 'The Idol' ReviewedUnlike Hany Abu-Assad’s last two intense, conflict-focused films -- "Omar" (2013) and "Paradise Now" (2005), both of which were nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar -- "The Idol" is a heartwarming, triumphant and often funny work on the life of the now famous Palestinian vocalist Mohammad Assaf.
'Everybody Wants Some!!' Not In The Same League As 'Dazed'The nostalgia is real in Richard Linklater’s "Everybody Wants Some!!," which is being dubbed the “spiritual sequel” to the director’s coming-of-age high school classic "Dazed and Confused."