Movie Blog

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Movie Blog: ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ Review

Nothing quite says Happy Halloween like a spaghetti western set in Iran featuring a hijab-wearing vampire and a kick-ass soundtrack. Director Ana Lily Amirpour debut is a work of striking confidence and imagination; it’s a draft of life, a vein of new blood. Her work rings of the stuff of David Lynch and Harmony Korine, yet all the weirdness works to open the way for sonorous (and somehow gentle) emotion. Even if you’re allergic to zombies and vampires, this black-and-white gem isn’t one to hold a cross to. Moreover, it’s pretty much perfect that it’s screening Halloween night at the Walker.

10/24/2014

(credit: Take-Up Productions)

Movie Blog: The 10 Scariest Movies Ever

Much like comedy, horror is one of the most subjectively-received movie genres out there. Just as you can’t really argue what people think is or isn’t funny, it’s difficult to convince anyone that they’re not scared if they’re squeezing the blood right out of your closest thigh.

10/23/2014

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

Movie Blog: 38 ‘Cine Latino’ Films Coming To Mpls.

The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul is presenting what it calls the “region’s largest celebration of Spanish and Portuguese language film,” and tickets for the general public go on sale Monday.

10/20/2014

(credit: The Weinstein Company)

Movie Blog: Q&A With Twin Cities Film Fest Exec. Director

When the Twin Cities Film Fest, now in its fifth year, organizers pinpointed October as their chosen berth for the buffet of new films, it wasn’t arbitrary. TCFF executive director Jatin Setia said it was a very conscious decision to have the fest appear exactly six months after the more well-established MSPIFF. And, of course, there was one other major reason.

10/15/2014

(credit: Sound Unseen)

Movie Blog: Sound Unseen Announces 2014 Lineup

Does your life change, ever so slightly, whenever you happen to hear a song from Elliott Smith’s “Figure 8″? If so, you might want to carve out some time next month to attend Sound Unseen, […]

10/15/2014

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

I feel a little like Dom DeLuise’s Nero in Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I. Only when he yelled, “More wine! More women!” I’m instead yelling, “More horror!” Yes, another October week with a number of scary screening options around town.

10/14/2014

(credit: CBS)

Movie Blog: ‘20,000 Days On Earth’ Review

Nick Cave, the legendary musician and writer, who was frontman of post-punk band The Birthday Party and currently heads Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is the beating, bleeding, open heart of 20,000 Days on Earth, a film so full of strange set pieces that it feels wrong to call it a documentary.

10/10/2014

(credit: Fine Line Features)

Movie Blog: The 5 Best Basketball Movies Ever

Basketball. The sport has been around for longer than football, but for whatever reason, there just aren’t anywhere near as many films centered around the sport as there are for football or, especially, baseball. So bear in mind of course that by “ever,” I basically just mean from the last three or four decades.

10/09/2014

(credit: Warner Bros.)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Check out this week’s best bets from repertory and limited-run screenings!

10/07/2014

(credit: 20th Century Fox)

Movie Blog: ‘Gone Girl,’ The Date Movie From Hell

A colleague of mine noted that David Fincher’s new film Gone Girl completes a trilogy of sorts detailing male-female relationships gone awry (or, perhaps in the case of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, relationships that start at “awry”).

10/03/2014

(credit: Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)

Movie Blog: ‘Last Days In Vietnam’ Review

Toward the end of The Last Days in Vietnam, a marine who was part of the evacuation of Saigon describes the terrible episode as the Vietnam War “in microcosm.” That is to say: It had the tragic mix of good intentions and poor leadership that led to broken promises and a country’s demise. Yet, filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s vital and moving documentary on the Fall of Saigon isn’t so much about her pointing a finger, as it is about highlighting the pain, panic, heartbreak, and heroism wound up in those dark days in the spring of 1975.

10/02/2014

(credit: Dimension)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

With this week comes the arrival of October, and you know what that means — it’s my favorite time of year. It’s prime horror movie-watching season! I restrained myself somewhat, and limited this week’s best bets selections to include only two horror-related entries.

09/30/2014

(credit: Reynald Capurro)

Movie Blog: Manhattan Short (Global) Film Festival

No plans Tuesday night? Then perhaps you’ll be down to judge some short films in the world’s only global film festival. It’s called Manhattan Short, and it’s happening (locally) at Minneapolis’ St. Anthony Main Theatre.

09/30/2014

Take Me To The River

Movie Blog: ‘Take Me To The River’ Review

“Take Me to the River” has a quality many documentaries lack: it gets better as it goes on. At first, director Martin Shore’s love letter to the Memphis music scene feels like it might be one of those making-of documentaries with too much studio footage to be seen outside of fandom. But as its legends of soul and blues sing on screen, a story unfolds that reverberates with incredible vitality. The takeaway? American music wouldn’t be what it is today same without what flowed from the Mississippi Delta.

09/26/2014

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Movie Blog: Twin Cities Film Fest Lineup Announced

With autumn comes the start of the season for serious-minded movies, and the Twin Cities Film Fest just announced a slate that includes more than just a few movies that have awards bloggers all hot and bothered.

09/24/2014

(credit: Take-Up Productions)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Today marks the turn of the seasons, and what better way to cap off what almost everyone agrees was one of the lamest summer movie slates since the concept of “summer movie” was first coined than to head to a smaller-scale movie with bigger ideas?

09/22/2014

(credit: Take-Up Productions)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Mea culpa. I know that I’ve been largely absent over the last few weeks. It was never my intention to shirk my duties to highlight some of the best local repertory and limited-release movie options. […]

09/15/2014

(credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Movie Blog: Q&A With ‘Love Is Strange’ Director Ira Sachs

Love is Strange begins with an easy, unforced reflection of the parallel truism that love is natural. Alfred Molina and John Lithgow play George and Ben, Greenwich Village lovers who, at an advanced age and […]

09/06/2014

(credit: Bryanston Pictures)

Movie Blog: The Scariest Movie Ever

Tobe Hooper’s ruthless 1974 shocker isn’t just one of the greatest horror movies ever made, it’s also one of the most powerfully terrifying. Not in the way that jumps out at you and gives you those mechanized, cattle-prod starts once every 10 or 15 minutes, but rather in the way that crawls under your skin and turns it jaundiced and greasy with fear.

08/29/2014

(credit: The Orchard, Independent Lens)

Movie Blog: ‘Rich Hill’ Review

“God has to be busy with everyone else” — Those are the heartbreaking words said by one of the three boys whose lives filmmakers Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo follow in Rich Hill, a sobering yet vividly human documentary about poverty in small-town, Middle America. From the get-go, it’s apparent that at least one of these boys has been called “white trash,” but the film never treats them with scorn. Instead, cinematographer Droz Palermo captures their lives with incredible grace, so much so that it brings to mind the effervescent films of Terrence Malick. But as impressive as the camera work can be, the details in Rich Hill sting.

08/15/2014

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Movie Blog: Right Here, Right Meow

How did the old song go? “The cat came back the very next day.” After spending a year at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, the venerable Internet Cat Video Festival is returning to its initial digs on the hill just outside of the Walker Art Center.

08/14/2014

(credit: TriStar Pictures)

Movie Blog: Top 10 Football Movies Ever

With preseason games in full effect, we thought it would be worth taking a look at some of the best the genre has to offer and were shocked (shocked!) to find so many candidates out there. We whittled from a list of roughly two dozen legitimate contenders the following 10.

08/13/2014

(credit: Walker Art Center)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Heroes in a half shell are indeed a bodaciously tempting offer, but if the rest of the month is looking pretty anemic for new movie offerings on a mass scale, maybe you’d like to scale down and sample one of these options?

08/12/2014

(credit:  Lucky Coffee Productions/ Magnolia Pictures)

Movie Blog: ‘Happy Christmas’ Review

Anna Kendrick was good in Drinking Buddies, but she’s better in Happy Christmas. This time, in another work of director Joe Swanberg, she plays an infectiously bubbly, if irresponsible, 27-year-old named Jenny, who’s moved to Chicago after breaking up with her boyfriend. She stays in the Windy City with her brother (played by Swanberg), and the film focuses on her struggle to balance her youthful energy with the realpolitik of growing up. And despite what the title suggests, the film’s not really about Christmas.

08/08/2014

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Movie Blog: ‘Mood Indigo’ Review

Mood Indigo, the latest from French director Michel Gondry — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep — kicks off as a whimsical, surreal Parisian love story before falling, like an autumn leaf, into a melancholy look at aging, death and possibility of fate. The Paris of Gondry’s imagination is remarkable. It’s a quasi-steampunk, sci-fi wonderland with bizarre inventions: keyboard instruments that mix cocktails, flying cloud cars and alarm clocks that scurry up walls, like spiders. Those familiar with Gondry’s work will recognize his flair for fantastical production, of which he is an undeniable master. For those unfamiliar, think of him as a Gallic Wes Anderson, but less of a perfectionist.

08/01/2014

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