MSPIFF 2014: The final countdown

Spring in the Twin Cities comes with Minneapolis International Film Festival (MSPIFF) where over a hundred movies from all over the globe will be screened April 3-27. 

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Sharon Isbin to appear at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

The regional premiere of Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, produced by Susan Dangel, will be screened as part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, and 1:45 p.m. Sunday, April 6 at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 S.E. Main St., Minneapolis. Isbin will appear at both screenings.

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6th Annual Italian Film Festival: Politics, history, and intimacy

The Twin Cities is blessed with a cornucopia of cultural and ethnic film festivals: Nordic, Black, International, Cuban, Polish, African, Latin, Asian. This past weekend, March 6 - March 9, the 6th Annual Italian Film Festival, organized by the Italian Cultural Center with the support of the MN Film Society, took place at the St. Anthony Main Cinema. Curated by Anna Bonavita, a local chocolatier and co-founder of the Cultural Center, this year’s selections went beyond the stylized Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty (incidentally not a particularly popular film among the Italians I spoke to opening night). Watching these films you go on a real journey—documentaries and independent films that go deeper into Italy.  Unlike travel films or American films, by attending international film festivals, moviegoers settle into a culture and see it as it is represented for that culture. You may not understand the nuances of some references in the films, but you will feel more inside the place than if you are standing somewhere on a piazza.  

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Jared Leto to media press room: Viva la revolution, baby

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA. One of the best reporting gigs of the Academy Awards is the backstage Interview Room, where the Oscar winner goes after receiving their award.

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SXSW Music/Film/Interactive festival 2014: More than music

Veronica Mars. Photo Ccourtesy Warner Brothers.

AUSTIN, TEXAS—Being in Austin, Tex. the days leading up to the 2014 South By Southwest (SXSW) Music/Film/Interactive festival (Friday, March 7 –Sunday, March 16) has been an eye-opening experience. The downtown Austin district is overflowing with people putting together stages for outdoor venues, hanging corporate banners flagging inside the Austin Convention Center, and placing parking barriers on nearly every street. Driving or walking down Congress and 6th Street is  confusing and exhilarating as you question your own sanity and the insanity of traffic in downtown when you realize you have only driven a block, or you have not moved at all, in 10 minutes. Yes, the hoopla of attending my first SXSW has been enjoyable thus far without even walking into a movie theater, nightclub, or a conference room yet. There are even more unannounced surprise events in the hopper that the general public is not even privy to at the moment. I will be reporting on all the festivities that I can handle.

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Singing in the Rain at the Oscars — At least it isn't snow

Photos by Kelley Teed

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA---Legend has it that it has never rained on Oscar Sunday.

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Oscar nominees receive Minnesota products

Lash Fary. Photos by Kelley Teed

VENICE, CALIFORNIA---Bette Midler’s Emmy loss to Kirstie Alley (1994) inspired Lash Fary to create a company to help ease the sting of not winning an entertainment award.

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"Treasure of the Scopitones" film screening at the Walker Art Center: A hurried history of the scopitones

Michèle Collery and Anaïs Prosaïc, Treasures of the Scopitones, 1999. Photo: courtesy the artists.

I wish I could say it was a dark and stormy night when a mysterious package containing unknown DVDs was sent to me from the Walker Arts Center. Because, let's be honest, it sounds more romantic. In truth, it was a cold and snowy Tuesday afternoon and I asked for those DVDs to be sent to me (even though I didn't remember that until I received them). The two DVDs in the package were titled Toukki Boukki and Treasure of the Scopitones; I watched them both, but Treasure of the Scopitones seemed more esoteric and gleeful to me so that's the one I'm gonna talk about.

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86th Academy Awards: Tweet yourself to the Red Carpet

Photos By: 
Jeff Rutherford

You have to give the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences credit for keeping up with the latest social media.

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Hany Abu-Assad's "Omar" premieres in the Twin Cities before the Academy Awards

Photo courtesy Adopt Films.

Less than three weeks away is the 86th Academy Awards. Most of the Oscar-nominated films are now playing in local Twin Cities theaters or are available on DVD, Blu-Ray, Redbox, or cable download, but there are a few that have not opened locally yet. This was an issue for many who want to see the entire pool of Oscar nominated films before the awards. Now that the Oscars are pushed back to Sunday, March 2, it gives studios another four weeks to promote and market their potential derby winners and audiences the opportunity to fill out their ballots in confidence, or at least tell their family and friends who they would vote for.

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