Closing Night @ MSPIFF 2016: 'The Seventh Fire' ReviewedThe 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.
Day 16 @ MSPIFF 2016: 'The Ardennes' ReviewedA 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.
Day 14 @ MSPIFF 2016: '10 Billion -- What's On Your Plate?' ReviewedAt 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.
Day 13 @ MSPIFF: 'A Decent Man' ReviewedWhile 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.
Day 10 @ MSPIFF 2016: 'Virgin Mountain' ReviewedA Mel Brooks line about Larry David, from an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," popped into my head on a couple occasions while watching actor Gunnar Jónsson in the Icelandic film "Virgin Mountain": "There's something about this middle-aged bald guy that's thrilling!" Jónsson, who is losing his hair and morbidly obese, looks nothing like your average leading man -- but he is utterly captivating.
Day 8 @ MSPIFF 2016: 'Mad Tiger' ReviewedThe band Peelander-Z has been bringing their bizarre, punky and audience-participation-heavy stage show to American audiences for almost 15 years. They’re like a marriage of Kiss, The Flaming Lips and Gwar, albeit a PG-13-rated version of the latter. And like Gwar had been for many years, the band is anchored by one man: Kengo Hioki, aka Peelander Yellow.
Day 6 @ MSPIFF: 'Francofonia' ReviewedRussian 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.
Day 4 @ MSPIFF 2016: 'Schneider Vs. Bax' ReviewedJim Jarmusch’s "The Limits Of Control" has been dethroned as the most pleasantly low-key hitman movie of all time, thanks to the Netherlands’ Schneider Vs. Bax.
Minnesota-Made Gems Featured At Mpls. St. Paul Int'l Film FestThe 35th annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival kicks off this weekend, featuring 250 films from 71 countries. And while the majority of the films are international, a handful of them are made by Minnesota-based and Minnesota-native filmmakers.
Day 2 @ MSPIFF 2016: 'They Will Have To Kill Us First' ReviewedThe band Songhoy Blues is a veritable supergroup of four young musicians from different parts of northern Mali, brought together in exile in the country's southern capital. Islamic extremists began forcing Sharia law on their communities beginning in 2012. Music was banished, and musicians feared bodily harm, or worse.
Lineup Revealed For MSPIFF 2016Rejoice, Minnesota cinephiles! This lineup for the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is out.