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MSPIFF

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Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 11: ‘The Last Of The Unjust’

At age 88, filmmaker Claude Lanzmann is cinema’s greatest torchbearer for the preservation of first-person holocaust remembrances. He’s most famous for his epic documentary Shoah, which is nine-and-a-half incredible hours of interviews with holocaust survivors, […]

04/13/2014

(credit: BBC)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 10: ‘Google And The World Brain’

Since antiquity, humankind has dreamed of a library robust enough to store, and distribute, all of our accumulated knowledge. And with every technological step forward in publishing, thinkers have dreamed of how that vast well of information, if easily available to common people, could change the world.

04/12/2014

(credit: Mantarraya)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 9: ‘Heli’

Set in rural, modern-day Mexico, Heli is two parts beautiful, one part mundane and eight parts horrific. The film was in the running for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it shocked viewers and critics alike. New York Times critic Manohla Dargis even scoffed at the Steven Spielberg-led jury for giving director Amat Escalante the Best Director prize for what she referred to as his “staged atrocities.”

04/11/2014

(credit: Menemsha Films)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 8: ‘Aftermath’

Władysław Pasikowski’s Aftermath, a work of fiction, was met with outrage by some of the Polish media upon release. It was even labeled by some as anti-Polish for suggesting that some citizens may have been more than complicit with the Nazis during the occupation. Set in the past decade, the film tells the tale of two brothers, one who left 20 years earlier to work as an asbestos remover in Chicago, while the other stayed in Poland to run the family’s farm.

04/10/2014

(credit: Strand Releasing)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 7: ‘The Strange Color Of Your Body’s Tears’

I never understand why some people object to movies wherein the surface is the primary element and the rest is not necessarily subjugated but at least is entirely informed by that element. But there is admittedly something to be said for discipline.

04/09/2014

(credit: Plattform Produktion, Magic Hour Films)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 6: ‘Concrete Night’

Rippling, oozing, flowing: Concrete Night is moody Finish noir film awash in smoke and liquids. Submerged at the start, the camera shows us the main character, a teenage boy named Simo (Johannes Brotherus), struggling in a dream sequence to swim […]

04/08/2014

(credit: Jeonwonsa Films)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 5: ‘Nobody’s Daughter Haewon’

It’s a little difficult to recommend today’s selection if you aren’t already familiar with the films of South Korean master Hong Sang-soo. Like many auteurists’ pet faves, he tends to allow elements and themes to flow freely between his films, and the result is a body of work that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

04/07/2014

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 4: ‘Despite The Gods’

Making a movie is tough. Making a movie in India is tougher. Making a movie in India while living in the shadow of your legendary father David Lynch is – as Larry David may put it – pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty tough. But director Jennifer Lynch was up for the task, and allowed an Australian documentary crew intimate access to her life (at that of her pre-teen daughter Sydney) while undertaking the production of the Bollywood horror flick Hisss in 2008.

04/06/2014

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Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 3: ‘Stop The Pounding Heart’

Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini has created one of the most gorgeous and subtle films on Christianity in America that I’ve ever seen. Using real-life goat farmers from rural Texas, his film both documents a lifestyle and explores the complications […]

04/05/2014

(credit: Jafar Panahi Film Productions)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 2: ‘Closed Curtain’

I know it’s perpetually bad form to criticize the critics when it comes to covering festival movies, but sometimes it’s inevitable when it feels like critics are the only ones talking about a given film. But to hear people accuse “Closed Curtain” of being self-pitying, well, cry me a river.

04/04/2014

(credit: Fox Searchlight)

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 1: ‘Belle’

While at this time last year, very few people had likely heard the name Solomon Northup (the victimized protagonist of the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave), it’s a safe bet far fewer still had ever heard of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay.

04/03/2014

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Movie Blog: Full List Of MSPIFF Titles Released

The words that I wrote last year still ring true, and thankfully earlier than usual this year: “There are few things sweeter than the sight of grass peeking through the snow after a long, hard winter season. But the opportunity to see new movies from world-class auteurs and local up-and-comers alike is among those things.”

03/07/2014

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 18: ‘Papadopoulos & Sons’

‘Papadopoulos & Sons’ – a British comedy about Greek immigrants – was a surprise hit in its home country. But ‘Sons’ takes a more subtle route than that other surprise hit comedy about an overweight, Hellenic wedding.

04/28/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 17: ‘Tutti Giù’

Three stories, one city. That’s the narrative conceit director Niccolò Castelli deploys in Tutti Giù. And to help whip it all together there’s the kinetic energy of pretty X-Games-style photography. The movie’s three Italian-speaking Swiss […]

04/27/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 16: ‘Fall And Winter’

Doom-saying documentaries these days focus mainly on the threat of climate change. They’ve got glaciers melting, landscapes dying, sea levels rising, and coastal cities waiting to slide under the sea. Lots of docs in this […]

04/26/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 15: ‘Ape’

Young comedian Trevor Newandyke doesn’t find much success on stage, or in any area of his life. His only pleasures include listening to his Walkman, watching daytime TV and indulging in pyromania.

04/25/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 14: ‘The Color Of The Chameleon’

Harmony Korine, the man behind this year’s Spring Breakers, said in a recent Reddit AMA that “tone is key” to his movies. If you’re familiar with his work (Gummo, Julian Donkey Boy) you’d know that stories […]

04/24/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 13: ‘Minnesota Narrative Shorts’

It seems the Minnesota shorts programs get richer or at least fuller with each passing year. There were no less than three programs this year, and that’s just to cover the narrative features. Here are […]

04/23/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 12: ‘Polluting Paradise’

Polluting Paradise is a doc about what happens when a massive landfill is placed just a stone’s throw from a garden-like landscape home to generations of Turkish tea growers.

04/22/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 11: ‘Hannah Arendt’

The phrase “the banality of evil” has been tossed around a few times during the last week, once the social network took a glimpse at the purported Twitter account of the 19-year-old suspected in last week’s Boston Marathon bombings.

04/21/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 10: ‘Caesar Must Die’

A tragedy of Shakespeare, set in prison, played by real-life convicted criminals, in Italy, in black-and-white: that’s the foundation of Caesar Must Die. And if that — at all — piqued your interest, just buy […]

04/20/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 9: ‘Antiviral’

Canadian auteur David Cronenberg spent most of his career honing an idiosyncratic brand of cinema, label by critics as “body horror.” With films like “Videodrome” and “The Fly,” many of Cronenberg’s protagonists found themselves fighting an enemy within themselves, and usually with putrid and dire outcomes.

04/19/2013

(credit: MSPIFF)

Star Of Backup Singer Doc To Perform In Mpls.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A longtime backup singer to some famous rock acts is scheduled to perform Friday night in Minneapolis. Merry Clayton, star of the documentary “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” will perform at a screening […]

04/19/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 8: ‘Informant’

Remember the RNC Welcoming Committee? That group of self-described anarchists who were caught supposedly planning to shatter Molotov cocktails at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul?

04/18/2013

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

Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 7: ‘Piazza Fontana’

Marco Tullio Giordana’s The Best of Youth was one of the most impressive historical dramas of the last decade that just happened to be covering a period many people in Italy themselves lived through.

04/17/2013

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