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.
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.
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.
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.
Now that the Super Bowl is behind us, let’s talk about a different type of spectacle, The Oscars.
I said it last year, and it applies in full right now: “For the last few years, I’ve pointed out that winning your Oscar pool in some ways depends on being smart about your selections […]
The Walker Art Center’s beloved Internet Cat Video Festival is becoming something of a Minnesota summer tradition, and this year it’s coming to St. Paul.
One of the hard lessons of Force Majeure, the latest film from the “not yet household-name level but maybe getting there” Swedish director Ruben Östlund, is that life deals most humans a crap hand. And most humans respond to them with childish petulance, at best.
In the rear-view mirror, the movies of 2014 look exhausting. So many of them kept us in our seats for well over two hours, and just as many failed to reach their creators’ lofty ambitions. Yet while the giants struggled this year, others flourished.
I’m not going to lie. Most holiday movies are at best mediocre. The noisy, overdecorated holiday movies are all too profuse. Instead, we should reserve our contempt for the movies that are not only stupid, but crassly manipulative.
What makes the Australian horror movie The Babadook so spookily satisfying is that it isn’t so much about a shadowy monster terrorizing a single mom and her little boy as it is about the psychological health of a family devastated by loss.
To call Princess Kaguya pretty wouldn’t do it justice. The watercolor animation from Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) is at once airy and abundant, simple and sublime. For those depressed by winter’s early arrival, this film is a spring breeze, a breath of life.
Acclaimed and prolific documentarian Frederick Wiseman has turned his lens to a museum – and not just any museum. Works of Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Titian, and Rubens are among the thousands of classic paintings that fill the halls of London’s National Gallery, and Wiseman, in his observant and meticulous way, captures the struggles and joys of keeping the celebrated and venerable institution at such an exulted state.
In the increasingly distant future — 26 years ago this Thanksgiving, A.D. — the greatest Thanksgiving gift of all time was unleashed on the world. On Thanksgiving Day 1988, Twin Cities station KTMA aired the first episodes of what would eventually turn into arguably the biggest, most culturally significant cult TV show of all time.
The majority of movies centered around a true-life crime story typically work, in effect, from the event backwards. The story may be told in a linear fashion, but the crucial question usually remains: Why did this horrible act happen?
Sweet Lord in heaven, what a movie. This tough, tragic documentary by filmmaker Jesse Moss is one of the year’s best, and it should probably be required watching for anyone in the Midwest.
Much as I would love to review the newest installment of the Hunger Games trilogy (make that quadrilogy), Mockingjay: Part 1 suffers from the same phenomenon that Jason Matheson and I were discussing torpedoed much of the penultimate Harry Potter movie installment.
Fugazi, fugayzee. Bob Wier, Bob Wire. Trylon, McNally Smith. Point being, there’s a little something for everyone at this year’s Sound Unseen festival, so long as you have a song in your heart and don’t care whether you’re pronouncing they lyrics correctly.
“Goodbye to Language” is pretty much impossible to follow and almost jokingly esoteric. To “get it” doesn’t even seem to be the point. Yet, it cannot be denied that “Goodbye” is jarring, visually electrifying and probably has more fun with 3D than any movie ever made.
Mizna’s 9th Arab Film Festival hits the Twin Cities this weekend, with dozens of films from several countries. This year’s festival features several exciting selections, like Kaouther Ben Hania’s thrilling “Challat of Tunis.” Filmed in a gripping, faux-documentary style, “Challat” is inspired by a rumor ignored by local authorities over a decade ago about a biker who would slash women while they walk on the streets of Tunis.
According to the URL for this blog post, this is the 100th edition of “This Week’s Best Bets.” How time flies when you’re sitting in the dark for an untold number of two-hour chunks. And what better way is there to spend the aftermath of a long election campaign drawing to a close and some of the first snowflakes promising a long, cold, harsh winter ahead?
This weekend kicks off Cine Latino, a film festival put on by the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul that seeks to celebrate movies in Spanish and Portuguese. Here are capsule reviews of a few of the films that caught my eye.
Whether it’s because a new generation of directors weaned on the classics are coming of age or whether it’s because the terrors of real life are informing a newer, nastier breed of them, horror movies have been on a tear in recent years.
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.
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.