Over the next few days, the Twin Cities film community has plenty to choose from—films in mainstream venues, at the Walker Art Center, and at the Twin Cities Film Festival.
Thursday at the Walker Art Center is the local premiere of Howl, which had its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was produced by local production shingle Werc Werk Works. Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman will both be present at the sold-out screening (call the Walker box office for any questions about possible ticket availability) and will discuss the film afterwards. Howl is based on beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 work Howl and Other Poems, the boundary-pushing language of which led the poet to court in 1957. James Franco’s portrayal of Ginsberg is spectacular. I can’t say much more to recommend the film, but if you can’t get into the screening tonight, Howl opens at the Lagoon on Friday, October 15.
While omnibus films such as Paris, je t’aime and New York, I Love You, have shown people in love and out of love with one another in different cities across the world, one could say that if you’re a true Minnesotan, you love this city as much as anyone you’ve ever meet fallen in love with. The much buzzed-about The Minneapolis Project, screening Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Riverview Theater, is a labor of love that is being presented by John Koch and the Cinema Revolution Society. They have found 18 Minnesota filmmakers who have made 25 new original short films, about our favorite, most beloved, special neighborhoods and local landmarks around Minneapolis. With titles covering topics from diners (Band Box Diner) to walking the streets of Uptown (Wedge Walk) to the vital machine many Minnesotans love (Air Conditioner), these films may not be what you’d expect, but you’re likely to find something to love.
Director David Fincher’s vision has never been in question throughout his directing career, whether as a commercial or film director, but nothing can prepare you for his latest film, the harrowing and magnificent The Social Network, opening Friday. The film is top-notch across the board in all categories, including its cast featuring supporting actors Andrew Garfield (Never Let Me Go) and Justin Timberlake (you can’t deny it any more, the man is multi-talented). Based on Ben Mezrich’s, book The Accidental Billionaires, and with a razor-sharp script by Aaron Sorkin (prediction: he’ll win an Oscar), Fincher has captured the zeitgeist of harbored friendships/partnerships and relationships fractured at pivotal moments in history. Sorkin’s dialogue is hilarious, terrifying, and always outstanding.
The film takes off right from its opening moments, as we see Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara, who also won the coveted role of Lisbeth Salander in Fincher’s upcoming American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) discuss their feelings, classes, and friends at a local watering hole. The scene lasts no more than five minutes and would have been the high point of a lesser film. Mark and Erica words might as well been handed swords (names such as Paddy Chayefsky and David Mamet will come to mind when you hear the sparring words) but Fincher’s direction is perfection in every minute and the opening scene sets the tone for the next two exciting and exhausting rollercoaster hours that await you.
Image: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, disapproving inspiration for The Social Network.