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St. Anthony Main Theater

(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: 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

(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

(credit: Warner Brothers)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

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?

11/05/2014

(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: 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: 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: Radius-TWC)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Picnics with hot dogs, fireworks with sparklers, miniature American flags with parades. They’re all fine and dandy, but don’t you want to catch some of the explosively entertaining options available at area movie theaters this long holiday weekend?

07/01/2014

(credit: Kino)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Too often I tie your decision on whether or not you should catch a limited-release or repertory screening in the Twin Cities based solely on the weather. For much of the last year or two, that’s been a winning bet on my part, with two endless winters and stifling summers.

05/19/2014

(credit: Memento Films International)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

I’ll give you five good reasons to check out a movie this week. I’m not talking about the titles I mention below. I’m talking about the cold and/or cloudy weather predicted for Monday through Friday this week.

05/12/2014

(credit: GB Productions)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

There’s only one major movie release set to storm multiplexes this coming weekend — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — and there’s a lot of rain and sleet in the 7-day forecast, so don’t even pretend you don’t want to hole up and catch some offbeat movie selections this week.

04/28/2014

(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

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