St. Anthony Main Theater

(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

(credit: Take-Up Productions)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

With both a rude jolt and a surge of excitement, film fans in the Twin Cities find themselves on the cusp of this year’s Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, which opens on Thursday with a screening of Belle and continues for 17 days with more than 200 features.

03/31/2014

(credit: MGM/UA)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

It’s your last chance to sneak in screenings of the Oscar-nominated movies. The Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday evening and then we can all put this months-long nightmare behind us. Here are some treats you might want to catch to give yourself a break from the Oscar madness.

02/24/2014

(credit: Theatres at Mall of America)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

It’s never fun for critics to receive fresh and incontrovertible evidence of just how little their tastes matter, but this weekend was particularly rough. To see “Her” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” get unceremoniously pushed aside in favor of the noxious, bloodthirsty “Lone Survivor” is to know what it felt like for Carrie the moment she was doused in pig’s blood.

01/13/2014

(credit: Universal)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Because studios apparently think that Oscar voters have the shortest of short-term memories, this week and next will see the release of literally dozens of movies that qualify as “must-sees” … or at the very least a dozen. This Friday, the Twin Cities gets three movies that are all in the conversation for best picture nominations.

12/16/2013

You are most definitely on Santa Claus’s naughty list. (credit: Mika Orasmaa/Cinet)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

If you were hoping to get into this week’s Sound Unseen showings of The Punk Singer at the Trylon, you’re out of luck. All of the shows are now sold out, proving once again you have to be quick to get into some of those ever-popular S.U. screenings. Otherwise, here are the five best bets for local-and-limited screenings this week.

12/09/2013

(credit: Take-Up Productions)

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

We are in the 100 percent thick of the year-end prestige madness. Already, I’ve been carted off to the snake pit twice this month over the sheer number of long-deferred must-see titles that are suddenly and simultaneously available. The mind boggles, but the cinephile rejoices.

11/19/2013

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

Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

Thirty-one days of horror continue this week, with a couple irresistible Halloween-friendly titles screening in local repertory houses. But it’s not all ghost, goblins and electrically-charged prototypes for Marge Simpson’s hairstyle.

10/14/2013

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