Three talks kick off new Jewish Studies season

Israeli documentaries, Russian-Jewish photography from the early twentieth-century, and Yiddish radio – these are a just a few of the topics that will be covered in this year’s Community Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Minnesota. The series is celebrating its tenth year, and will kick off the season with three exciting programs in October.

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TC Weekend | Fall Harvest Fest, St Paul Art Crawl, Underground Film Fest, Hmong Resource Fair, March for Immigration Reform & more!

(Saint Paul Art Crawl poster features artwork entitled Crow, by Greta Sandquist)

Ready or not, October is here and fall is officially underway! There are lots of fun happenings in or around the Twin Cities to help you enjoy the changing seasons. The events this weekend run the gamut, from fall festivals and caramel apple bike tours, to art shows and film fests. See this weekend’s round-up below: 

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2013 Minneapolis Underground Film Festival lineup is a mixed bag, but with one must-see

When I asked Minneapolis Underground Film Festival (MUFF) program director Mark Hanson to mention one of the biggest challenges in gearing up for the sixth annual MUFF, he said, “Well, our mascot is this big gorilla costume and its head may not fit in any of the cars we’re using for the festival.”

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"The Jingle Dress" films in Northeast

Chaske Spencer (right) and Mauricimo Sanchez-Hohenstein have a conversation walking down the alley. Between scenes, Spencer said he does mostly bigger films but likes independent productions, too. “This is a cool place, I like this town, it’s definitely dope.”

Yes, that was Chaske Spencer walking down the alley near Edison High School, and hanging out talking on his cell phone last week. He stars in “an immigrant story,” The Jingle Dress, about an Ojibwe family that moves from the White Earth Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota to Minneapolis. It becomes a murder mystery.

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TC Weekend | Mill City Oktoberfest, Twin Cities Black Film Fest, La Familia Expo, Native American Day Celebration & more!

This week marked the official start of fall, and there are plenty of events, from cultural celebrations to seasonal gatherings, in or around the Twin Cities to celebrate the start of another beauti

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"The Spectacular Now" lives up to its title

The hallowed halls that make up the coming-of-age movie genre have received a memorable new enrollee with director James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now, a movie based on author Tim Tharp’s

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On zombies, ghosts, fear and rebuilding in Lao America

Growing up, I was always raised with the myth of Laos as a tranquil, serene land. A land of a thousand smiles, a realm of a million elephants, a lost Eden or Shangri-La.

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"Drinking Buddies": Joe Swanberg cleans up nicely

Drinking Buddies, the latest feature by prolific writer/director/editor and occasional actor Joe Swanberg—opening this Friday at the Lagoon Cinema and also available via video-on-demand—is probably the biggest feature Swanberg has made to date. It is also is the third film directed by Swanberg in 2013. (One of Swanberg’s 2013 films, 24 Exposures, premiered at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival last month, but there's no word on an official U.S. premiere date yet. I hope it will make its way to a U.S. film festival, ideally in the Twin Cities.)

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Dracula coming soon, October 2! Classic 1931 movie at Lake Street, outdoor walk-in movie theatre

In 1931, as Tod Browning was shooting Dracula with Bela Lugosi, George Melford was working from the same script on the same sets at night with a Spanish language cast and crew. Long thought lost, the film was re-found in the 1970s, showing how wildly different the films are. Many now argue Melford’s film is the better version.

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Fall 2013 movie preview: Oscar contenders line up

Blue is the Warmest Color

Hammering the inevitable final “nail in the coffin” on the 2013 summer is a welcome relief. Going through the entire list of films released over the summer, there will not too many standouts and very few that struck a chord. Monsters University, The Act of Killing, You’re Next, Stories We Tell, and The Spectacular Now were five films that stood out in a rather lackluster summer viewing session. While there are a few summer movies that I have yet to see, it is nice to spring forward to the fall film season. I mean, is there really a rush or a need to see We’re the Millers on opening day—or ever?

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