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.
Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 14: 'How To Disappear Completely'
Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 12: 'Manakamana'
Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 11: 'The Last Of The Unjust'
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.
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."
Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 8: 'Aftermath'Władysław Pasikowski's <em>Aftermath</em>, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 3: 'Stop The Pounding Heart'
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.
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.
Movie Blog: This Week's Best BetsWith 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.
Movie Blog: This Week's Best BetsIt'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.