Category: film festivals

A guide to the 2012 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

Sure, taking a trip around the world sounds awesome, but there are also many potential hassles: losing your passport, drinking strange water, and maybe even being kidnapped by pirates. Better to let the world come to you, as it does every spring with the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, an always-reliable showcase of not-often-seen indie films and foreign cinematic gems. Opening with the hit French buddy comedy The Intouchables on April 12, the festival will show more than 250 films from 60 countries through May 3. The festival will also offer plenty of chances to hobnob with visiting filmmakers at screenings, parties, and other events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the fest’s parent organization, the Film Society Of Minneapolis-St. Paul. All films screen at the St. Anthony Main Theatre; for a complete, up-to-date schedule, visit the festival’s website at mspfilmfest.org. Here’s a taste of what this year’s festival has to offer.

Originally published April 11, 2012 on avclub.com. Read the complete article.

Interview: Color Me Obsessed director Gorman Bechard

There’s something missing from Color Me Obsessed, director Gorman Bechard’s new documentary about Minneapolis music legends The Replacements: the band itself. Bechard purposefully avoided putting Paul Westerberg or his bandmates in the film directly—no interviews, no music, no concert footage, no album covers. But what seems at first to be a self-defeating approach is perhaps uniquely suited to The Replacements, a band so infamously disinterested in its own fame that its members once tried to steal their master tapes and throw them in a river, and flipped the bird to the whole idea of MTV by making a music video consisting entirely of a speaker playing “Bastards Of Young” for three and a half minutes. As its title implies, Color Me Obsessed is about the band’s fans as much as it is about the band itself. By not directly including The Replacements in the film, its subject broadens beyond simple biography into an exploration of what it means to be a fan, and to have your life changed by a song. Obsessed tells The Replacements’ story, from formation to early ’90s flameout, through the words of fans, critics, and contemporaries from the Minnesota music scene, including Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart and Greg Norton, The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, Kids In The Hall’s Dave Foley, and Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. The A.V. Club talked with Bechard in advance of Color Me Obsessed’s Minneapolis debut, 7 p.m. May 4 at the Woman’s Club, as part of Sound Unseen.

Originally published May 2, 2011 on avclub.com. Read the complete article.

The A.V. Club’s MSPIFF shortlist

Without access to a time machine, there’s no way to see every film shown at MSPIFF, although this year’s expanded schedule means that, unlike previous festivals, each film will screen at least twice. A complete list of titles and showtimes can be found here, but if you need a little help making your own choices, here are 12 movies that seemed especially intriguing to us.

Originally published April 14, 2011 on avclub.com. Read the complete article.

Around The World And Home: The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

In Jules Verne’s day, going around the world took 80 days. The space shuttle does it in 90 minutes now, but you don’t get to see much along the way. Luckily, there’s a third option, which does not even require leaving the St. Anthony Main multiplex: This week, the annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival returns with an expanded lineup, marking its largest year ever. This year’s slate includes 170 films, with more than 100 feature-length movies and 10 collections of short films, a heavy contingent of Minnesota-made movies, and a wide array of films made in countries from Peru to Tibet to Cuba to Kyrgyzstan. The festival includes themed programs of experimental and French cinema, movies about music, the kid-friendly Childish series, and a late-night horror/sci-fi series. To hold all that, MSPIFF is expanding to three full weeks, April 14-May 5, followed by the audience-chosen Best Of Fest series the week of May 6.

Thursday’s opening-night lineup includes a tent party and a trio of movies that all, in their way, should resonate with Minnesotans. The documentary Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times features former Twin Cities Reader editor David Carr, who’ll be attending; Trollhunter is a Blair Witch-esque mockumentary about a team of Norwegian monster-chasers; and then there’s the self-explanatory Score: A Hockey Musical. The closing-night film is equally Twin Citian: The romantic drama Stuck Between Stations stars locally born Josh Hartnett, was filmed in town, features a plethora of local bands, and even takes its title from a song by The Hold Steady.

The A.V. Club talked to festival programmers Ryan Oestreich and Jesse Bishop—who are part of a team led by venerable festival founder Al Milgrom and co-programmer Tim Grady—about this year’s films.

Originally published April 14, 2011 on avclub.com. Read the complete article.

Blessings in Disguise: The Central Standard and Sound Unseen Film Festivals

Independent cinema is a bigger growth industry than you might think. A decade ago, there were maybe a hundred film festivals worldwide showcasing foreign films, documentaries, and low-budget fare. Now that number’s about a thousand. Here in Minnesota, the reigning king is the U Film Society’s international festival, one of the largest yearly draws of any arts event in the state. But there’s apparently plenty of room for growth here, too. Two of the newest film fests, Sound Unseen and Central Standard, screen this month, and they ought to be on the radar of any self-respecting fan of indie cinema.

Originally published in Rake Magazine Aug. 22, 2003. Read the complete article.

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