First-time promoter brings indie film “Amira and Sam” to Minnesota

In November of 2014 Kim Flynn made a trip to Austin, Texas to watch the Forever Film Fest. Forever Fest grew out of “Girlie Night” at the Drafthouse Cinema. This was an entire film series dedicated to “chick flicks.” Amira and Sam stuck with Kim after the screening and she was disappointed to see it wasn’t screening in Minneapolis. With a few exceptions the film is playing exclusively at Drafthouse Cinemas. She believe in the film so much that she decided to bring the film here herself.Amira and Sam is screening to a sold-out crowd on January 29th at Marcus Rosemount Cinema. Continue Reading

Satanic Rituals and Tiki Bars at The Trylon

On Thursday, March 12, The Trylon will present two feature films from opposite ends of my twenty-year filmmaking career here in Hollywood, Minnesota. The first, “Made in Berlin”, is a tribute to German expressionist movies of the 1920’s such as “Metropolis” and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”. It was shot on 16 mm black-and-white filmstock in the steamy confines of a since-closed Minneapolis hotel in the spring of 1997. The second, “The Tiki War”, is a “Mad Men”-era piece set in a tiki bar in 1961 Chicago that pays tribute to the days when the Rat Pack ruled the world. This feature was shot on high-definition Red Scarlet in the belly of Minneapolis’ Red Dragon in February of 2014.Both movies are helping to get the cauldron boiling for my upcoming feature film production “Group Session With Satan”, slated to be made in Minnesota either this spring or summer. Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

Local filmmaker’s video tackles police brutality

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

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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MOVIE REVIEW | “Listen Up Philip” best when silent

As I was preparing my thoughts for this consideration of Listen Up Phillip I scribbled down something about how DP Sean Price Williams emulated the look of 16mm very well with his DSLR photography. Turns out that this was filmed in Super 16mm and just happens to look like low-budget DSLR cinema. Budding cinematographers can fuss and debate over whether or not this technical choice paid off, but the end result is the same for me. This film uses many elements to achieve a look comparable to early ’70s faux verite filmmaking. Director Alex Ross Perry quotes Cassavetes as an inspiration in the press kit. Continue Reading