TINY Q&A and BEST OF THE FEST! MSPIFF lives on! Kuma, The Hypnotist, and Kauwboy


On Friday and Saturday a documentary about tiny houses – 80-200 square feet small called TINY – a story about living small.  showed to full houses (along with a lot of films this festival) Here is part of the Q&A with Merete Mueller and Christopher Smith. They built a tiny house – or rather he built, she filmed and helped some of the time –from scratch. They interviewed a bunch of full-time tiny house owners, but in the end, never lived more than a short time in the house they had placed on the high prairie in Colorado. Now, they will be living in hotel rooms as they travel to festivals with their sweet little film and moving the tiny house to join them on the east coast. (Correction from the filmmakers: “We won’t actually be moving the tiny house to the east coast –its home is in Colorado!”)

The Best of the Fest is a combination of popular movies and movies they can hold over easily. Bigger Hollywood films or other movies which are continuing on the festival circuit or will have a commercial release, aren’t usually in the Best of Fest. (See Mud, Kings of Summer, What Maisie Knew, Ceasar Must Die, Kon-Tiki)  

My recommendations are informed by the hardcore pass holders, who exchange their lists and can sum up their evaluation of a film concisely and in passing. 

KUMA – A young Kurdish woman is exported Vienna to become the second wife of an older Kurdish man. The westernized first children seem a little miffed. Surprise ending. Good story.  Beautifully filmed.

CROCODILES: ALL FOR ONE is third installment of suburban German kids having an adventure – this time in go-karts. The Wild Soccer Bunch was a series that preceded this (and made 5 films in the series)  and was a way for the kids of famous German actors to have something to do during summer vacation.  As long as they make money, they will probably keep making this style of kid gang movies. Do not try to watch the dubbed versions on Netflix.  Good to get your kids used to reading subtitles when they are young.

THE HYPNOTIST a surprise thriller from Lasse Hallström, whose films are either superficial and sweet (Dear John, Abba, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)  or intelligent and intense (What’s eating Gilbert Grape, Shipping News, Cider House Rules). Either way, this traditional thriller is a departure from everything else.  You will be on the edge of your seat, and the final scene with snowmobiles and a bus on lake ice should make Minnesotans feel at home. NOTE: In Swedish with subtitles. His last film in Swedish was 26 years ago – My Life as a Dog. Also,  wife Lena Olin is in front of an easel so we can all be reminded of The Unbearable Lightness of Being from 1988 which she starred in as a photographer/painter.

The other film I would highly recommend is the Dutch KAUWBOY.   Keep an eye on this first time director Boudewjin Koole. This film was the Dutch entry to the Oscars in 2012. A sad boy saves a jackdaw (like a raven, a big black bird) and the friendship in some ways saves his life. The most appealing part about this movie was how it constantly undermined my expectations. A child playing with matches, but no disaster follows. At every turn, something different happened, not what the viewer assumed.  Questions are left unanswered and confusing, but resolve and explain the story at just the right moment. Where is his mom? Why is his dad so touchy?  He’s only 10, will he really kiss the girl?  This film is also reminiscent of another small film of a sad lonely youth, friendship, and resolution: The Kid with a Bike by the Dardenne Brothers.

TWO Minnesota Made Docs, an unusual treat, were added to the BEST of. 

TWILIGHT OF THE MISSISSIPPI – a ragtag collection of free spirits who do outdoor theater make a boat and travel down the Mississippi, stopping at local farms and food sources to record them with an unjudgemental eye. Travel ecoadventure meets the Mississippi as the stage of an everyman theater experience.

THE FABULOUS ICE AGE -Filmmaker Kerri Pickett was inspired by her uncle’s extreme collection of ice show memoriabilia including 80 plus Sonja Henie dolls. With this documentary about the history of ice skating shows, she hopes pique interest and to find a home for the collection. Certainly considered a great discovery of the fest. 


Monday, April 29

The Zig Zag Kid – 3:00pm

Brasslands – 4:45pm
 – 4:50pm
Crocodiles: All for One – 5:00pm
Papadopoulos & Sons – 7:00pm
Tutti Giù – Everybody Sometimes Falls – 7:05pm
The Color of the Chameleon – 7:10pm
Yuma – 7:15pm
The Hypnotist – 9:10pm
80 Billion – 9:15pm
7 Boxes – 9:30pm

Tuesday, April 30

American Heart – 4:45pm
Kauwboy – 5:00pm
Multiple Visions (The Crazy Machine) – 5:05pm
Allez Eddy! – 7:00pm
The Deep – 7:10pm
Southwest – 7:15pm
These Birds Walk – 7:20pm
Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart – 9:10pm
Jackpot – 9:15pm

Wednesday, May 1
Charles Lloyd: Arrow Into Infinity – 2:30pm
Beatocello’s Umbrella – 5:00pm
Too Cold Out There Without You – 7:00pm
Twilight of the Mississippi – 9:15pm

Thursday, May 2
In the Shadow – 3:00pm
When Day Breaks – 5:15pm
The Fabulous Ice Age – 7:00pm
Merry Christmas – 9:15pm

PS. Al has been at the festival the last two days!  
There was a short write up in the Star Tribune

KEEP going to the CINEMA!  Let me know what you like/dislike about this blog!