MSPIFF

(credit: Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul)

A Look At The Winning Films From MSPIFF 2015

After showing more than 200 films over the course of the past few weeks, the 34th annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival has wrapped up, and the competition results are in.

04/29/2015

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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

(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: Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

Day 5 @ MSPIFF 2015: ‘Amour Fou’ Reviewed

Writer/director Jessica Hausner’s latest work is weirdly captivating. The visual style, with people standing stiff as paintings and stoic Weimaraner dogs seemingly everywhere, sets it apart from so many movies these days while simultaneously cementing the movie in the historical frame of German Romanticism.

04/13/2015

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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

(credit: Michael Hope/Vimeo)

‘Pot (The Movie)’ Features Plight Of Minnesota Family

A movie premiering Saturday at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival is taking on marijuana. Michael Hope’s film, “Pot (the movie),” tells the plight of a Minnesota woman who gave her son medical marijuana.

04/11/2015

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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

(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)

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: Lionsgate)

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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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

(credit: The Cinema Guild)

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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