Those We Leave Behind

Sitting in the theater at the beginning “Selma”, I watched the little girls in their Sunday School dresses walking down the spiral stairs of the churc

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Top Ten Films of 2014

At the beginning of 2014, my life began looming in different directions right around the time I took my annual trip to the Sundance Film Festival in mid-January. I vowed to begin looking for work outside of the arts, or particularly film, where I had spent a decade working in, once I returned to Minnesota. And then a funny thing happened—I found myself back in our rented condo at Sundance alone as I had retreated back dealing with some nasty altitude sickness. Rather than going to bed, I started looking at different job postings and to my amazement, I saw a listing for a film Program Director position in Austin, Texas. While I did not realize it at time this posting was something of a revelation. A few days earlier, I had seen a magical life-affirming film by longtime Austin resident and founder of the Austin Film Society, writer/director Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.

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'The Whole Gritty City' promotes dialogue on youth engagement

(Photo courtesy of http://thewholegrittycity.com) Scene from Whole Gritty City

Young people still need encouragement, especially during turbulent times. This was the impetus behind last week’s free screening of a documentary about New Orleans at Oak Park Youth and Family Center.

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Local filmmaker's video tackles police brutality

(Photo courtesy Cathy Kostova) L to R, Mark Wojahn, producer; Cathy Kostova, editor; Jeff Schell, art department; Jon Jon Scott, producer; Deanna Johnson, make up; Muja Messiah, artist; and David Schnack, director of photography.

In the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., filmmaker Mark Wojahn wanted to bring more attention to racial profiling and police brutality on a local level so he teamed up with rapper Muja Messiah to direct a video for Messiah’s song “It Goes Down,” off his new album, “God Kissed It, the Devil Missed It.”

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Minnesota's Hot Tub Time Machine in Breezy Point

(Image by Magic Marc)

In the blockbuster movie Hot Tub Time Machine, four friends are transported back in time to a ski resort in 1986. Teen time traveler Clark Duke wonders: “Do I really gotta be the asshole who says we got in this thing and went back in time?” And Craig Robinson confirms: “It must be some kinda….hot tub time machine.” The concept has been so popular with moviegoers, that the sequel hits theatres in February 2015. And it’s so fun for us, that we thought we would use the hot tub time machine to transport us to some of the most fascinating place and times in Minnesota history.

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The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra Minnesota melds classical training with a love of silent film

The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra Minnesota is one of the newest bands to join the community of musicians performing silent film scores in the Twin Cities. Lately, the group has also been among the busiest. 

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Racial satire 'Dear White People' filmed at University of Minnesota, stars homegrown talent

(Photo courtesy of Lionsgate Films) Brandon P. Bell as Troy, the son of a college dean, in Dear White People

The title of the new film Dear White People leads the average mind to think, feel and question: What if there was a new film entitled “Dear Black People” in this era of President Barack Obama?

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Courage under fire: Girls on film

The Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival is spotlighting two female driven, award-winning films this week.

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REVIEW | "Panacea" with The Poor Nobodys at the Twin Cities Horror Festival

The music of The Poor Nobodys gives context to the modern silent film Panacea in the Twin Cities Horror Festival; photography by Dan Norman

When they described the film Panacea in the publicity materials for the Twin Cities Horror Festival as being in the style of David Lynch, it was a very apt way to sum it up. I recall being in the middle of watching Lynch’s Inland Empire and feeling like I was dreaming, even though I knew I was still awake and aware of being seated in someone’s living room watching something on a television screen. The combination of visuals and the soundtrack were so hypnotic that I began to lose track of the boundary between the thing on screen and in my ears, and the context of me and my place in reality. The work the musical group The Poor Nobodys do with Panacea elicits the same response.

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