Movie Blog

(credit:  Magnolia Pictures)

Mesmerizing & Frustrating: ‘The Wolfpack’ Reviewed

The “Wolfpack” raises far more questions than it answers, and that’s both why the documentary is so compelling and, at the same time, somewhat frustrating.

06/25/2015

(credit: RKO Pictures)

Movie Blog: 10 Best Movie Fathers Ever

It’s been a few years since I ran down my top 10 lists for the best and worst movie mothers. And until now, it never occurred to me to put together a list of their […]

06/16/2015

(credit: Warner Bros.)

Movie Blog: 10 Worst Movie Fathers Ever

Though I found myself struggling to come up with a shortlist of candidates as compelling as the collection that formed the distaff side, the horror genre alone ensured that there would be no shortage of contenders.

06/16/2015

(credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films)

‘Live From New York’, ‘The Farewell Party’ Reviewed

A history of “Saturday Night Live” that isn’t afraid to dive into the show’s issues of diversity and identity, “Live From New York” is a compelling and effectively moving portrait of a program than in 40 years has gone from being an avant-garde game-changer to an American institution.

06/12/2015

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

‘Slow West’ & ‘100-Year-Old Man Who Jumped Out The Window’ Reviewed

One of the best films to screen at the latest Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, Slow West blends a Coen brothers-like sense of humor with Tarantino-smacking violence to create a frontier story that’s hard to pin down and also forget.

05/22/2015

(credit: Magnolia Pictures)

‘Iris’ Producer Talks About The Life Of 93-Year-Old Fashion Icon

The penultimate film of Albert Maysles is a loving and inquisitive look into the life of a now 93-year-old fashion icon.

05/18/2015

(credit: Debra Spinney)

Big Bird’s Biggest Fan Is A Kid From Minnesota

Growing up as a kid with special needs, Nick Bertsch didn’t get invited to birthday parties or sleepovers. Making friends was tough, yet that didn’t stop him from becoming a close friend to one of TV’s most iconic characters: Big Bird.

05/15/2015

(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

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Day 17 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘White Shadow’ Reviewed

Dozens have been killed and mutilated in Tanzania in the past 15 years, and all because they were born with albinism, a congenital pigmentation disorder. But these people were not targeted simply because of their unusual appearance. Some in the East African country believe harvesting the organs and body parts of albinos provides good luck.

04/25/2015

(credit: MSPIFF)

Day 16 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘The End Of The Tour’ (Not) Reviewed

I sort of thought it would be fun to write a review of the new film The End of the Tour as short as David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece Infinite Jest is long. So … yeah. […]

04/24/2015

(credit: MSPIFF)

Day 15 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Heart Of Wilderness’ Reviewed

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a spiritual place for anyone who has ever ventured there, for an ordeal packed with unforgettable serenity. But even in the of the golden age of the Minnesota Film Board in the 1990s, a location scout could never convince anyone that the BWCA was a practical place to shoot for even an afternoon.

04/23/2015

(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

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Day 13 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘I Touched All Your Stuff’ Reviewed

When press notes compare a documentary to Errol Morris, what does that typically tell you as a viewer? Does it suggest that you’re going to see a film that digs like a termite at its subject? Does it suggest to you a seamless blend of interview footage and dramatic recreation?

04/21/2015

(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: Long Shot Factory)

Day 11 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution’ Reviewed

Stanley Nelson’s gripping and thorough documentary on the Black Panther Party is the first in his series of three films about the black experience in America. The documentarian — best known for the immersive and […]

04/19/2015

(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

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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)

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

(credit:  Amplify)

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: 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: Paramount Pictures)

Movie Blog: ‘Friday The 13th’ Ranked, From Worst To Best

It isn’t so very often that we get two Friday the 13th months in a row. You don’t have to be superstitious to perk up whenever the fateful date approaches. You might just be a fan of some of the cheesiest, least frightening horror movies ever made, the Friday the 13th franchise.

03/12/2015

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