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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

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Movie Blog: ‘Blue Ruin’ Review

Blue Ruin is a great American revenge movie, because it doesn’t play out like most great revenge movies. In it, the target — the villain who must die, the object of the hero’s obsession — is confronted and dealt with before we even have a good grasp on who the hero is, or what’s going on. As such, the focus is on the aftermath: the consequences of killing, of eye-for-an-eye justice. And amid all the bloodshed and dark humor is a message about violence in America, I’m just not sure what it is yet.

05/16/2014

(credit: Lionsgate)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 17: ‘Dom Hemingway’ Director Q&A

Sometimes it takes months and months for movies that play the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival to show up in general release in the Twin Cities. Even more often, films from the festival roster don’t show up again at all. And then every once in awhile an MSPIFF selection pops into theaters in a matter of days.

04/19/2014

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Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 16: ‘An Arctic Space Odyssey’

Clocking in at under an hour, An Arctic Space Odyssey traces the story of a group of men who worked for a year on a satellite station on an island that could be considered the […]

04/18/2014

(credit: Memento Films International)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 15: ‘ILO ILO’

What makes Ilo Ilo more than just another family drama is the nuance with which writer/director Anthony Chen builds his characters. While each one appears based on a stereotype (the commanding mother, the shy maid, the troublesome son), they also have certain flaws or attributes that make them, as individuals, appear much more human than the usual fare that alights in family dramas, which are so fatally prone to melodrama.

04/17/2014

(credit: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

Working For The Weekend: Entertainment Best Bets

It’s nearly the weekend, and now’s the time to figure out your entertainment plans. Many kids will be on the hunt for eggs, while other folks can run the sweetest race in town. And it’s also your last chance to hit up a film festival.

04/17/2014

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Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 14: ‘How To Disappear Completely’

That’s not Thom Yorke on the, ahem, “Motion Picture Soundtrack” for How to Disappear Completely. It’s the spare, oddly dispassionate beats of Eyedress, which lace Raya Martin’s dark and foreboding mystery with an aura of […]

04/16/2014

(credit: The Film)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 13: ‘The Dog’

At age 11, I first saw Dog Day Afternoon as an edited-for-TV Sunday afternoon movie on a dreary fall day. The lonely kid version of me was absolutely riveted by the guns, the screams, the […]

04/15/2014

(credit: The Cinema Guild)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 12: ‘Manakamana’

Directed by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez but supervised by Lucien Castaing-Taylor (whose Leviathan was among last year’s most memorable films, documentary or otherwise), you might say that nothing happens in Manakamana. Or you could […]

04/14/2014

(credit: Cohen Media Group)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 11: ‘The Last Of The Unjust’

At age 88, filmmaker Claude Lanzmann is cinema’s greatest torchbearer for the preservation of first-person holocaust remembrances. He’s most famous for his epic documentary Shoah, which is nine-and-a-half incredible hours of interviews with holocaust survivors, […]

04/13/2014

(credit: BBC)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 10: ‘Google And The World Brain’

Since antiquity, humankind has dreamed of a library robust enough to store, and distribute, all of our accumulated knowledge. And with every technological step forward in publishing, thinkers have dreamed of how that vast well of information, if easily available to common people, could change the world.

04/12/2014

(credit: Menemsha Films)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 8: ‘Aftermath’

Władysław Pasikowski’s Aftermath, a work of fiction, was met with outrage by some of the Polish media upon release. It was even labeled by some as anti-Polish for suggesting that some citizens may have been more than complicit with the Nazis during the occupation. Set in the past decade, the film tells the tale of two brothers, one who left 20 years earlier to work as an asbestos remover in Chicago, while the other stayed in Poland to run the family’s farm.

04/10/2014

(credit: Strand Releasing)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 7: ‘The Strange Color Of Your Body’s Tears’

I never understand why some people object to movies wherein the surface is the primary element and the rest is not necessarily subjugated but at least is entirely informed by that element. But there is admittedly something to be said for discipline.

04/09/2014

(credit: Plattform Produktion, Magic Hour Films)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 6: ‘Concrete Night’

Rippling, oozing, flowing: Concrete Night is moody Finish noir film awash in smoke and liquids. Submerged at the start, the camera shows us the main character, a teenage boy named Simo (Johannes Brotherus), struggling in a dream sequence to swim […]

04/08/2014

(credit: Jeonwonsa Films)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 5: ‘Nobody’s Daughter Haewon’

It’s a little difficult to recommend today’s selection if you aren’t already familiar with the films of South Korean master Hong Sang-soo. Like many auteurists’ pet faves, he tends to allow elements and themes to flow freely between his films, and the result is a body of work that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

04/07/2014

(credit:  Pulpa Entertainment)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 3: ‘Stop The Pounding Heart’

Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini has created one of the most gorgeous and subtle films on Christianity in America that I’ve ever seen. Using real-life goat farmers from rural Texas, his film both documents a lifestyle and explores the complications […]

04/05/2014

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