Top 10 movies of 2013

Photo credit Warner Brothers.

I was speaking with a friend—one who also writes on film—a few weeks ago about the 2013 film calendar and said, “I’m not sure it has been that impressive this year. There are some great films, but I think it was somewhat of a let down.” My friend looked at me like I had just stomped on his feet and said, “Really…I think you’re the only person who has said that to me.” Looking back on that conversation and having since had the opportunity to catch some twenty more films, I completely misspoke at the time and regret saying it. 2013 has been quite a banner year for our viewing pleasure at the movies.

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"American Hustle" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" bring 2013 to a strong close

"Inside Llewyn Davis." Photo credit CBS Films

The 2013 film calendar is close to wrapping up and after all that wading through the clearance section of the year, we have finally been rewarded with two early Christmas presents in the form of two films opening this Friday, December 20 from some of the best American directors working today. David O. Russell’s 1970s semi-nonfictional NYC con story American Hustle is opening at various theaters around the Twin Cities and Minneapolis-born directors Ethan and Joel Coen’s 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene Inside Llewyn Davis is opening exclusively at Landmark’s Uptown theater.
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Artists in Storefronts 5: Cineteca lights the winter nights

Félix (a new short film by Jaime Carrera & Tyler Jensen)

As anyone who lives up in the God forsaken North will tell you—it’s not the cold that gets in the end. It’s not the snow, or the ice. It’s the darkness. That permeating darkness when you don’t know if it’s day or night, this time of Vitamin D deficiency and Seasonal Affective Disorder. To ease our suffering, Artists in Storefronts, the public arts project led by Joan Vorderbruggen, may offer some relief by providing a little bit of light, color and movement to brighten your night. 

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In "Student Voices – The New Wilderness," 100 diverse local youth discuss racism, bullying, their educational experiences

Students express their experiences in the Anoka-Hennepin Public School district in Student Voices — The New Wilderness, a five DVD set. (Photo by Sassafrass Design)

Working for the Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, Carolyn Lakanen saw firsthand that a safe and respectful learning environment was necessary, especially with the student population becoming more diverse. To that end, a couple of years ago she brought in New Wilderness Project, a national organization that “explores diversity and community through creative expression and adventure,” to help her produce a five-part documentary series.

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Kristine Sorensen: Helping young artists tell their stories

It’s clear that Kristine Sorensen loves the art of storytelling. The executive director of In Progress, Sorensen has spent her career capturing stories on film and teaching others to do the same.

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Felix Van Groeningen enjoys the ride to possible Oscar nomination with "The Broken Circle Breakdown"

We are still close to four months away from the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd but for 76 different countries, January 16, 2014 is a bigger day. Those 76 countries will find out which final five countries will be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 86th annual Oscar ceremony.  

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A guide to the 2013 holiday film season

The Great Beauty

Wednesday November 27 marks another day on the movie calendar where (big and small) distributors start making plans on unleashing a few counterprogramming films, along with some big serious films that studios have been carefully hanging onto for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season in hopes of vying for Oscar gold.

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COMMUNITY VOICES | "Mother of George" director speaks about his film at Images of Africa film series

Andrew Dosunmu, director of "Mother of George," the final film of the Images of Africa Film Series at the Film Society of Minneapolis and St. Paul, spoke at his film's screening last Thursday. The Nigerian-born Brooklyn-based director talked about the interplay of religions in his native Nigeria, and the visual representation he used to vividly manifest the isolation of the characters in his film.

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The Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul 's "Images of Africa: An African Film Series" features 27 films and exceptional filmmaking

Mother of George from Oscilloscope Laboratories

After a few successful years of exploring different countries (2010’s “In Search of Asia” and 2011 with “Latin Festival”) the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul has turned their attention to Africa bringing us, “Images of Africa," which features 27 films. The screenings started on Friday, November 15 and run through Thursday, November 21 at St. Anthony Main Theatre and also Mixed Blood Theater.

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