After he graduated from the University of St. Thomas, Jonathon joined the web team again as a web producer in February of 2011.
When he is not editing and/or writing articles, Jonathon writes for the Movie Blog.
Aside from cinema, Jonathon climbs rocks.
He also loves Carl Sagan.
A harbinger of springtime in the Twin Cities is the annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, a massive Midwest cinematic event that spans nearly all of April and brings hundreds of new films and some their acclimated creators to Minnesota.
Although we live in an age where the internet is probably 15 percent cat videos — and there’s even an International Cat Video Festival — there hasn’t been a film about cats quite like Kedi, a unique documentary about the city of Istanbul, its inhabitants and the relation between them and the ancient metropolis’ thousands of street cats.
Praise be to Pablo Larrain for not making a pretentious, lovesick biopic on Pablo Neruda. The Chilean poet/diplomat deserves more from cinema, and Larrain delivers, crafting an intricate, stylish and, above all, poetic work that highlights the writer’s idealism and contradictions, as well as the resounding value of a great poet to a culture.
“Things to Come” is just half the reason 2016 is the year of Isabelle Huppert. The 63-year-old French actress, who can capture, in a look, both the archetype of intelligence and the specter of despair, is the driving force in two excellent but worlds-apart films coming out this winter.
Professional big-mountain skier Griffin Post hails from the Midwest. He spent his early boyhood years in Chicago and learned to ski at Wilmot Mountain, just across the state border in Wisconsin.
The latest film from director Ava DuVernay, whose Selma was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in last year’s Academy Awards, is being shown in Minneapolis this weekend for free.
It was in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 that documentary filmmaker Craig Atkinson knew something in American policing had changed.
The Handmaiden, the latest work from Oldboy visionary Chan-wook Park, is a devious and unquestionably fun puzzlebox, stuffed with lies and lacy erotica, all wrapped in an absurd literary sheen.
For the 30th year, The British Arrows Awards will play at the Walker Art Center this holiday season, showing the year’s funniest, cleverest and most innovative ads from across the pond.
When growing up in Indiana, filmmaker Musa Syeed couldn’t help but notice that when Muslims like himself appeared in movies or on TV, they were almost always the bad guys.
A documentary opening this weekend at the Edina Cinema might well be the scariest movie you see this year.
When Swedish filmmaker Hannes Holm was first given the chance to make a movie of one of the most popular novels in his country’s modern history, he turned it down.
One of the worst times to be possessed by a malicious spirit is at one’s wedding, and that’s exactly what seems to happen to the groom in Marcin Wrona’s smart and gorgeous “Demon,” a Polish film that examines how people respond to on-going disasters and the atrocities of the past.
It’s easy to tell a film is going to take you to interesting places when it starts with two women giving pigs rum to chug so that they’re horny enough to have sex.
The Walker Art Center is highlighting Minnesota filmmakers this week, showcasing works that delve into local activism, politics and issues such as police violence.
The legendary Bavarian filmmaker Werner Herzog grew up without electricity, running water or a telephone in the aftermath of WWII. He made his first movies with a camera he stole from a school. Now 73, the director of dozens of features and documentaries, such as “Grizzly Man” and “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”, has focused his lens on the most important development in recent human history: the internet.
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison will be part of a discussion Thursday on policing in America following the screening of a documentary focusing on the Ferguson shooting and police militarization.
Filmmaker Michel Gondry, known for his hyper-inventive visual style in movies like “The Science of Sleep” and “Mood Indigo”, is back with a new work on boyhood and friendship, but his latest looks quite a bit different than the produced-to-the-hilt movies for which he is known – and, at least for me, appreciated. The difference is so great it’s as if the director has challenged himself to take his imagination out of the poetry-and-props clouds and place it into an environment that’s earthier, a realm in which the hints of realism could grow.
One of the directors of last year’s excellent vampire mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows” is back with a more family-friendly film about a chubby New Zealand kid finding his place in the world by fleeing the cops in the bush for months on end. Taika Waititi’s “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” while not as funny or original as his monster mash, is consistently amusing and filled with enough laughs to make its formulaic plot points easy to overlook.
“Music of Strangers” is much more than a film on a superstar world music ensemble.
“The Wailing” is a hysterical and strange South Korean epic that tries to be both a horror movie and a thriller, and one could argue that, for the first hour or so, it wants to be a dark comedy as well.
“How Love Won: The Fight For Marriage Equality In Minnesota” powerfully highlights the historic defeat of the proposed marriage amendment in 2012 and the subsequent legalization of gay marriage soon after.
This year marks the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, and the Science Museum of Minnesota is celebrating the occasion all summer with an Omnitheater film that takes viewers mountain biking in Utah, hiking in Yellowstone and ice climbing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Those with a taste for history and a love of kung fu films are in for a treat as King Hu’s groundbreaking “Dragon Inn” has been newly restored and is coming to Minneapolis’ Lagoon Cinema this weekend.
“Sunset Song” is a deeply poetic period piece that struggles with consistency. At times, director Terence Davies, a filmmaker not unused to delving into history, captures an intimate or troubling moment in a way that can only be described as brilliant. Other times, however, his latest work devolves into something too melodic, too weepy, and almost melodramatic.
The iconic Uptown Theatre is kicking off its 100th anniversary celebration this weekend with screenings of classic films like “Seven Samurai,” “King Kong” and “Citizen Kane.”
“What We Become” is a Danish zombie flick in which no zombies are seen for most of the tense, 80-minute movie. Instead, filmmaker Bo Mikkelsen focuses on how a small family fares during the first few days of the viral outbreak and the collapse of civil society.
The moodiness is real in Karyn Kusama’s unnerving psychological thriller, “The Invitation.” Brilliantly, the filmmaker taps into the weirdness inherent in those coastal-growing, pseudo-scientific lifestyles and shows us an L.A. dinner party that’s a nightmare on multiple levels.
“High-Rise” is a mixed bag, to be sure, but there’s something thrilling, even intoxicating, about sharing in the fun you know the filmmaker is having.
“Louder than Bombs”, the first English-language feature from Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier, is a moving and kaleidoscopic exploration of a family fractured by loss, probing how a father and his two sons are coping with life after the death of their famous yet mysterious mother.
The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival ends with a documentary that should perhaps be required watching for any Minnesotan. Jack Pettibone Riccobono’s work, which is presented by “Tree of Life” visionary Terrence Malick and produced by actress Natalie Portman, fixes an unflinching lens onto the lives of two Ojibwe men on the Pine Point reservation in Becker County.
A powerful feature debut from Belgian filmmaker Robin Pront, “The Ardennes” is a muddy, tense and stylish exploration into the relationship between two brothers living at the edge of society.
At first, Valentin Thurn’s latest food-focused documentary looks to be a piece on the threat of genetically-modified food and the specter of big agri-business. But the German filmmaker and journalist goes deeper, much deeper — traveling from Japan to Africa to Milwaukee, exploring new ideas and approaches to foodmaking, some of which are unforgettably cool.
While Lewinsky builds an engaging base around the seriousness of rape and the consequences of alleging it, what he makes his characters do – especially Thomas – just gets so nut that it’s difficult to watch with a straight face.
Russian auteur Alexander Sokurov, the creator of the 2002 one-take behemoth Russian Ark, has now turned his restless attention to the Louvre. In this freewheeling poetic essay Francofonia, which has far more than one take, the filmmaker explores the relationship between great art and power, especially in the era of Nazi-occupied France.
The three actors were recently in town for an event at the Mall of America, and I had a chance to speak with them about the similarity between sports and acting, working with Linklater and the philosophical messages the filmmaker fits in amid the debauchery.
Unlike Hany Abu-Assad’s last two intense, conflict-focused films — “Omar” (2013) and “Paradise Now” (2005), both of which were nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar — “The Idol” is a heartwarming, triumphant and often funny work on the life of the now famous Palestinian vocalist Mohammad Assaf.
The nostalgia is real in Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!,” which is being dubbed the “spiritual sequel” to the director’s coming-of-age high school classic “Dazed and Confused.”
The 35th annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival launches in Minneapolis Thursday night with a screening of the heartwarming Swedish film A Man Called Ove.
Played by the impeccable and cherub-faced Catherine Frot (who won the French equivalent of an Oscar for her performance), the titular character is narcissist so full of herself she’s almost adorable.