Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

(credit: T-Joy)

Day 9 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Hello! Junichi’ Reviewed

My introduction to Japanese artist and director Katsuhito Ishii was, oddly enough, at the 2005 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. I had no idea what I was getting into at a screening of The Taste Of Tea — a hilarious, quiet, outrageous, sensitive, violent, magical and sob-provoking tale of a multi-generational family.

04/17/2015

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Day 8 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Girlhood’ Reviewed

There are longueurs that occur throughout French director Céline Sciamma’s new drama Girlhood almost as if on a schedule. These moments feature the central character Marieme (Karidja Toure) seemingly soaking in a privileged moment in […]

04/16/2015

(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: Sundance Selects)

Day 4 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Clouds Of Sils Maria’ Reviewed

Of all the contemporary name-brand directors on the festival circuit today, Olivier Assayas may be one of the most enigmatic. His films usually play with a high degree of clarity, though just as often it […]

04/12/2015

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Day 3 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Virtuosity’ Reviewed

Allow me a personal indulgence. One year ago this month, I auditioned in MacPhail School of Music’s concerto competition. It was the first time I’d tried out for anything on piano since high school. I […]

04/11/2015

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival Kicks Off

Minneapolis is indeed a cultural hub this weekend, with literary writers from all over the country already in town for the AWP Conference, and now film-makers from all over the world kicking off the 33rd annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

04/10/2015

(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

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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

(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: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

Movie Blog: Bill Pohlad’s ‘Love & Mercy’ To Close Out MSPIFF 2015

Bill Pohlad, known for producing such powerful films as 12 Years a Slave, Tree of Life and Brokeback Mountain, will have a director credit on a film slated to cap off this year’s Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.

02/04/2015

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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