Fall Film Events


Heights Theater, 3951 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights; 763.788.9079 September 25

The Heights (est. 1926) celebrates its 75th anniversary of sound-film projection with a pair of rare screening programs: a restored print of the 1930 Technicolor musical Follow Thru (8:00 p.m.), starring Charles "Buddy" Rogers; and Best of the Best (1:00 and 4:30 p.m.), a collection of a dozen short "talkies" from the late '20s and early '30s. Proceeds will benefit the restoration of Vitaphone shorts by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.


Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., Mpls.; 612.825.3737

The Twin Cities Black Film Festival continues its monthly screening series at the BLB. Films begin at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

September 27 Imitation of Life (1959)

October 25 Carmen Jones

November 22 The Mack

December 27 The Wiz


Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave., Mpls.; 612.825.6006 Opens September 30

With its ashen faces and ravaged Ukrainian vistas, this unabashedly off-kilter adaptation of the Jonathan Safron Foer novel doesn't often aspire to prettiness. Yet writer-director Liev Schreiber seems to regard every inch of this mean terrain with reverence--just as the film's obsessive protagonist, named after the author, finds illumination in the most mundane of artifacts. Armed only with a single enigmatic photograph and a piece of amber found at his grandfather's deathbed, Foer (Elijah Wood) journeys through the Ukrainian countryside in search of the woman who saved his ancestor's life during World War II. While this meticulous family historian seems like a sheltered suit compared with his ebullient translator/tour guide (Eugene Hutz), a "premium dancer" who dresses like an Eastern-bloc Ali G., Wood's subtly shaded performance ensures that the character's phobias and eccentricities are believable. And, albeit small and slow at times, the story, too, feels real: beginning in noisy Odessa, where Ukrainian youth fetishize Western culture, and ending in a place as silent as the past and as weirdly beautiful as an old trinket sealed in plastic. --Diablo Cody


Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave., Mpls.; 612.825.6006 Opens September 30

In his short film "The Architecture of Reassurance," graphic designer-turned-SoCal ethnographer Mike Mills pictured a teen girl's stroll through suburbia as if she were an astronaut touring Mars. In this feature-length follow-up, the director equates growing up with an unpleasant trip to the dentist. An average teenager in Oregon (the source material is set in Stillwater), Justin Cobb (Lou Taylor Pucci) is still suffering from the oral fixation of the title. After the family's new-age dentist (Keanu Reeves) attempts hypnosis with terrifying results, Justin walks innocently into a number of other obvious pitfalls; his parents, carrying their own baggage, offer little help. Mills's hypersensitivity to tone and loving eye for the ordinary create an endearing statement on the normality of fucking up. They can also be a little creepy: The doomed characters reach eagerly for the quick fix while the soundtrack's Polyphonic Spree blares, "You can do it!" like a bullhorn loaded with Prozac. --John Behling


Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; 612.375.7622 October 2

This latest film from Palestinian firestarter Hany Abu-Assad (Ford Transit, Rana's Wedding) is a claustrophobic procedural that follows two friends (Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman) who are selected for the dubious honor of becoming suicide bombers. One of them harbors doubts--but cold logic (why give the Israelis an alibi for the occupation?) isn't enough by itself to outweigh longtime fanaticism and a sense of familial obligation. Besides, his chest-strapped bomb is rigged to explode if it's tampered with. What kind of existential dilemma is that? Teetering between suspense and dark comedy (as when one of the men is forced to rerecord his will on video), Paradise Now turns into a bit of a lecture, albeit one uncertain of its own conclusions. Still, few films have explored the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with this degree of specificity. Abu-Assad will be present to introduce the Walker's 3:00 p.m. screening, held in advance of the film's Twin Cities opening on October 28. --Ben Kenigsberg


Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2501 Stevens Ave. S., Mpls.; 612.874.3700

MCAD's film series explores the connections between commerce and the environment. All screenings begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by panel discussions with eco-design professionals and faculty members.

October 6 The Cost of Cool: Youth, Consumption and the Environment/Escape from Affluenza

November 3 Exporting the Harm/Garbage Barge

December 1 The Environment: A Historical Perspective/Creating a Sustainable Future: Perspectives from Five Minnesota Communities


The Bell, U of M, University Avenue and 17th Street SE, Mpls.; 612.331.3134

Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., Mpls.; 612.825.3737

Oak Street Cinema, 309 Oak St., Mpls.; 612.331.3134

Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; 612.375.7622

Now in its sixth year, this ten-day festival of movies featuring and concerning independent and underground music continues to include a wide variety of films as well as live performances at area clubs. Selected film screenings are listed below; visit www.soundunseen.com for additional show times and more information.

October 7 Born to Boogie (Oak, 8:00 p.m.)

October 8 Fantasia (Walker, noon)

October 8 Put the Needle on the Record (Bell, 7:00 p.m.)

October 8 Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (Oak, 7:30 p.m.)

October 8 Rock and Roll Superhero (Bell, 9:00 p.m.)

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