Movie Blog

(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. […]

15 hours ago

(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

(credit: MSPIFF)

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

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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

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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

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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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Movie Blog: ‘Human Capital’ & ‘Road Hard’ Reviewed

Director Paolo Virzì’s multi-sided moral fable Human Capital took home the Best Picture award last year from the equivalent of the Italian Oscars, managing somehow to best Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, which happened to bag an actual Oscar. While Virzi’s film isn’t half as good as Sorrentino’s, it must be said that “Human Capital” is pretty, gripping and has the aura of greatness, even if it does come off a little too much like another Oscar winner, 2006’s Crash.

03/06/2015

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Movie Blog: Top 10 Greatest Hockey Movies Ever

Previously, I’ve counted down the best baseball movies, the best football movies, and the best basketball movies of all time. Heck, I’ve even covered the best movies featuring archery. Why did it take me this long to get to the best movies about hockey?

03/06/2015

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Movie Blog: ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Reviewed

Only have patience for one vampire movie in 2015? Make it this weird, silly, pitch-perfect mockumentary from New Zealand. “What We Do In The Shadows,” created by one of the minds behind “Flight of the Conchords,” has big laughs before the opening credits roll, and it goes on to take vampiric tropes, place them in a modern Wellington cityscape, and twist them into wonderful B-movie jokes.

02/27/2015

(credit: Fox Searchlight)

Movie Blog: Your 2015 Oscar Pool Cheat Sheet

An Oscar pool is an Oscar pool, and it’s not usually the big, headlining categories that count so much as the little, technical, specialty, “Birdman isn’t nominated here” categories. Those are the categories where making uneducated guesses will throw a big, gold-plated wrench into your plans to win that $7 prize at your Academy Awards party of choice.

02/20/2015

(credit: IFC Films)

Movie Blog: ‘Timbuktu’, ‘Burgundy’ & ‘She’s Beautiful’ Reviewed

If “50 Shades Of Grey”looks impossibly boring to you, this might be the antidote. Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy” is an avant-garde experience of the sensual and the psychological. While it’s gorgeous and kinky, it’s also a smart study of a complicated relationship, one that both flourishes and withers inside the walls of an elegant, sun-ripened European home.

02/20/2015

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Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

More Oscar stuff this week, as you might have expected. And among the offerings are some fresh nominee screenings. One of the most exciting is that of Timbuktu, which is nominated for a best foreign film Oscar.

02/16/2015

(credit: Music Box Films)

Movie Blog: ‘Beloved Sisters’ Review

To call Beloved Sisters a romantic, historical epic about a threesome with a German poet is wrong. While the scenes are set gorgeously, with meticulously detailed costumes and props, and the story centers on the possible love life of the monumental Friedrich Schiller, there lacks a certain something when the characters’ passions flare and fists meet the table. The silverware rattles, but not much else.

02/13/2015

(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

(credit: IFC Films)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Now that the Super Bowl is behind us, let’s talk about a different type of spectacle, The Oscars.

02/02/2015

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