Sound Unseen 2013 has the Twin Cities covered

Jim Brunzell, Vilay Dethluxay, Ryder Seeler and Daniel Carlson at Sound Unseen 2012.

The first question that people have asked me about this year’s 14th annual Sound Unseen music/film/art festival, starting Wednesday, November 13 through Sunday, November 17, is: Why the move to St. Paul? My answer is easy: I grew up in St. Paul and I have been wanting to see a film festival there. 2013 seemed like the right time for Sound Unseen to make the move. The festival had been predominantly in Minneapolis for close to the past decade, where the festival has taken place at various venues like The Ritz, Oak St. Cinema (R.I.P.), Riverview, St. Anthony Main, Cedar Cultural Center and the Trylon microcinema.

Who is left behind

After seeing 12 Years A Slave a few nights ago, I was struck again, by the untold stories of those who are left behind.


Steve McQueen comes to Minneapolis to discuss "12 Years a Slave"

Photo courtesy "12 Years a Slave"

Remember last week’s post about continuing the dialogue that the Open Letter to the Walker Art Center sparked regarding race and the arts? The hope was that the film 12 Years a Slave and its director, Steven McQueen, would continue to circulate throughout the Twin Cities and perhaps all of Minnesota. Well, yesterday the Walker’s Assitent Director Meredith Kessler sent me the following press release from Allied Integrated Marketing about a screening of the film and a Q&A period with its director at Regal Brooklyn Center 20. Allied is officially representing the event for Fox Searchlight.


FILM REVIEW: Burt Lancaster’s Oscar-Winning "Elmer Gantry" at the Trylon Theater

Burt Lancaster as Elmer Gantry, lit in stark noirish style by cinematographer John Alton.

I once dated (briefly) a guy who sold steel. I kept asking him about steel––what it’s made of, what it’s used for––until one day he said in exasperation, “I don’t care about steel.


Upcoming local film festivals offer over 50 films to see

Official trailer of "We Are What We Are"

I return to the Optimistic Pessimist column after taking a month off to prepare for the 14th annual Sound Unseen music/film/art festival and work on the 6th annual Flyway Film Festival, which took place a couple weeks ago in beautiful Pepin and Stockholm, Wisconsin.


REVIEW | Thomas Dolby's "The Invisible Lighthouse" at the Cedar Cultural Center

Photos By: 
Ben Zvan

Performances at The Cedar Cultural Center always have a rather informal quality, but Thomas Dolby's show on Tuesday, November 5 was downright intimate. That was appropriate for the material. Dolby has recently finished his first film, The Invisible Lighthouse, about the Suffolk rivers and marshes that have inspired him throughout his career and about the closing of the Orford Ness Lighthouse, which stood above them all.


"12 Years a Slave": Keep talking

I had a variety of things I could’ve written about this week and I had so many great ideas, and then I saw The Open Letter to The Walker Art Center published on Opine Season regarding the October 30 screening of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave; and while my being an artist who happens to be black may have a lot to do with this, I just had to address it. I could tell by reading the comment sections of the publications where this beautifully written piece was posted that everyone had a lot of feelings that deserve consideration. I want to air some of that out as respectfully as possible as issues involving race need lots of diverse perspectives to assist with clarity.


MN VIDEOS | Nowhere to go

This is a short documentary that I shot for my electronic field production class in the winter of 2012. It tells the story of an emergency homeless winter shelter operating in North Minneapolis, and how it benefits the local community.


COMMUNITY VOICES | 12 Years a Slave: Open letter to the Walker Art Center

To Whom It May Concern at The Walker Art Center,


Video tells the untold stories of workers who built the state Capitol

Who Built Our Capitol?, a documentary about the workers and contractors who built the Minnesota statehouse, premiered at the state Capitol in St. Paul on Oct. 19.

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