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St. Anthony Main Theater

(credit: Strand Releasing)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

I bet you thought I was going to issue a postmortem on the 2014 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, right? After all, Saturday night was the closing night. Oh, no. Closing night is only the beginning. Now’s the time to double back to catch all the audience favorites you missed the first time around!

04/21/2014

(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

(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

(credit: cinematografica.org/Facebook)

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 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

(credit: Cohen Media Group)

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: 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

(credit:  Pulpa Entertainment)

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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