By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Amy Nicholson
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
BEEN RICH ALL MY LIFE
Riverview Theater, 3800 42nd Ave. S., Mpls.; 612.729.7369.
Filmmaker Heather MacDonald (Ballot Measure 9), a native of the Twin Cities, appears at the Riverview on September 14 at 7:00 p.m. to introduce the first screening of this, her latest documentary, which continues at the theater for a one-week run. Opens September 14
The U of M's Institute for Advanced Study sponsors a series of documentary films from Asia. A pair of panel discussions will be held on the mornings of November 3 and 4. All screenings are at Nicholson Hall and at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit www.ias.umn.edu.
September 14Senior Year
September 21Four Sisters from Baima/Mei Mei
September 28Tian Feng and His Institute
October 5Continuous Journey
October 29West of the Tracks (1:00 p.m.)
November 2Stone Dream (8:00 p.m. at the Walker)
November 3Tales of the Night Fairies (3:30 p.m.)
November 3The Men in the Tree (7:30 p.m.)
November 4Glacier (1:00 p.m.)
November 4Yunnan Films (2:30 p.m.)
November 4Into the Picture Scroll-The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa (7:30 p.m. at Oak Street)
November 9Akiko: Portrait of a Dancer/The Cherry Tree with Gray Blossoms
November 16Viva Tonal: The Dance Age
November 30The Play Goes On
December 7 Doctor Zhang
September 14 Trouble in Paradise: The Disappearing of Tuvalu
September 21 The End of Suburbia
September 28 Kilowatt Ours
October 5NOVA ScienceNow!
October 12The Birds
October 19 Winged Migration
October 26 The Wild Birds of Telegraph Hill
November 2NOVA ScienceNow!
November 9The Future of Food
November 16 The Red Gold
September 14 The Parallax View
September 28Groundhog Day
This benefit for IFP Minnesota, sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, White Castle, and the Heights, includes a screening of found footage from home movies shot on videotape. Burgers and beer ("burgers" and "beer"?) will be served at 6:30 p.m., with the program to follow at 8:00 p.m. For more information, visit ">www.foundfootagefestival.com. September 15
The Resource Center presents political films on Friday evenings at 6:00 p.m., followed by discussion.
September 15 Salt of the Earth
September 22 Without a Trace (Sin Dejar Huella)
October 27Mojados: Through the Night
The Walker screens Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien's latest masterpiece not three times, but four (September 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m., and September 16 and 17 at 2:00 p.m.).
This large-format film follows the sagas of Erik the Red and his son Leif Eriksson as they travel to Iceland, Greenland, and, eventually, North America. For more information, including showtimes, visit www.smm.org/vikings/. Opens September 15
Landmark Theatres and Sony Pictures Classics present a retrospective of eight films (all in newly struck 35mm prints) by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. For more information, visit www.sonyclassics.com/vivapedro/.
September 15Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
September 22 All About My Mother/Talk to Her/The Flower of My Secret
September 29 Bad Education/Law of Desire/Live Flesh
The Uptown continues its long-running cult-film series on Saturdays at midnight.
September 16 The Ice Pirates
September 23 Feast (also Friday, September 22 at midnight)
September 30 Serenity
October 7Teen Wolf
Let's do the time warp again (on the first, third, and sometimes fifth Saturdays of the month at midnight). Ongoing
The Minnesota Center for Photography continues its series of American feature films about photographers at the newly renovated Ritz Theater(!). Screenings begin at 9:30 p.m.
September 16 SalvadorOctober 15High Art
The Heights presents three programs of early film "talkies" whose sound was recorded with the Vitaphone process. Showtimes are 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.heightstheatre.com.
Once a month at 2:00 p.m., the Alliance Française screens a French film for children.
September 17 Princes et princesses
October 22Le mouette et le chat
On the third Wednesday of each month (at 7:00 p.m.), including September 20, IFP Minnesota presents a collection of shorts by Minnesota-based film- and video-makers, many of whom are in attendance to introduce the work and answer questions afterward. Ongoing
Scion sponsors a series of film screenings at the Varsity. Screenings begin at 8:00 p.m.; admission is free. For more information, visit www.scion.com/route/.
September 20 Infamy
October 25 Just for Kicks
November 29 Next
Actor-director Michael Maglaras appears in person to introduce a screening of this, his bio-pic of artist Marsden Hartley, and answer questions afterward. The screening begins at 7:00 p.m. September 21
The Walker's film/video curators offer a sneak peek at coming attractions. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. September 21
Co-directors Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine appear in person to introduce a screening of their documentary film about the titular ballet company and answer questions afterward. The screening begins at 7:00 p.m. September 22
The Alliance Française screens French films on Fridays at 7:00 p.m.
September 22 Cache (Hidden)
October 6 Late August, Early September
Made in the finest tradition of English vulgarity, this chaotic mockumentary amounts to a loud belch in the face of a billion-dollar industry. The movie's fertile subject is themed marriage ceremonies; its conceit is a contest among three engaged couples to come up with the best gimmick for their nuptial hours, with the winner scoring a million-dollar mansion. The couples' lack of talent or finesse pales before the aggravations of meddlesome friends and family, prominent among them a terrific Alison Steadman as an interfering mum with a basilisk stare guaranteed to freeze the balls off the hapless planners. -Ella Taylor Opens September 22
The Continuum Center sponsors an advance screening of this adaptation of the bestselling books by Neale Donald Walsch, who'll appear in person along with producer Stephen Simon to introduce the film at 7:00 p.m. and answer questions afterward. For more information, visit www.continuumcenter.net/. September 24
Project Spotlight resumes its monthly showcase of local and regional shorts with this program, which includes Coleman Miller's award-winning "Uso Justo" and eight other films. The screening begins at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a barbecue party at the Hexagon Bar (2596 27th Ave. S., Mpls.). September 27
September 27The Uprising of '34 (Council of Carpenters)
October 20De Nadie (No One) (Resource Center)
November 15 Boys Don't Cry (Blegen Hall)
December 13Dirty Pretty Things (Nurses Association)
Presented by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, this series of monthly film screenings (held at various St. Paul libraries through December) explores important issues related to women's rights and human rights. Rosalyn Park, a staff attorney at Minnesota Advocates, will lead a discussion after the screening of the first film in the series, Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan (September 28), at the St. Anthony Park library. All screenings begin at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.mnadvocates.org. Ongoing
Sweet, crazy, and limned with sadness, Michel Gondry's wondrous follow-up to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind harks back to his music videos; it's a movie of bizarre costumes, collage landscapes, herky-jerky object animation, fake perspectives, and wild creative geography. Gael García Bernal plays Stephane, a hapless, Chaplinesque madman who spends his nights dreaming himself the host of a one-man television show and his days suffering from unrequited love. The mood of Gondry's tricksy romantic narrative may be borderline fey, but his final fantasy is less apt to warm your heart than break it. -J. Hoberman Opens September 29
Perhaps the most chilling material in this raucous documentary exposé of the film ratings board (MPAA) is a simple statement of little-discussed fact: More than 95 percent of the movie industry is controlled by a half-dozen studios whose larger conglomerates own more than 90 percent of all media in the United States. Ethical regulation of the industry-in terms of how much of Maria Bello's pubic hair can be seen in the indie drama The Cooler, for example-naturally remains of vital importance to the MPAA and its studio signatories. With its sex- and joke-filled survey of what has and hasn't been deemed appropriate for wide distribution, This Film is for buffs, but, ironically, it works best in the rare moments when it seems to be about a lot more than just movies. -Rob Nelson Opens September 29
Given its subject, this snazzy, mawkish, and practically Pavlovian rock-doc is not only poignant but topical. In the summer of 1971, counterculture deity John Lennon relocates to New York and within a year of political activism with Yoko Ono elicits a memo from Senator Strom Thurmond to Attorney General John Mitchell suggesting that he be deported; a month later, the Immigration and Naturalization Service refuses to renew his visa. Lennon eventually prevailed, but he was neutralized for the duration of Nixon's presidential campaign. The film establishes its protagonist as the most quick-witted of public figures. You needn't be half as sharp to grasp the parallels made to Bush's America. -J. Hoberman Opens September 29
Cinema Revolution continues its monthly series of films by major directors from around the world. All screenings begin at 7:00 p.m.
October 3 Cafe Lumière
November 7 The Seventh Continent
Winner of a major prize at Sundance, this acclaimed Angolan drama by director Zeze Gamboa follows the struggles of a civil war veteran to assimilate. The screening begins at 8:00 p.m. October 7
A rebel with a cause (and an eye), Portuguese director Pedro Costa is redefining cinema, working with Lisbon slum dwellers to create a collaborative expression of social injustice. In this defiant, astonishing film, Costa's experimentation reaches an aesthetic peak. Colossal Youth follows a middle-aged man on encounters with his "children," a series of downtrodden yet vibrant individuals who recount their deeply personal, tragic stories. A luminous glow caused by natural light reflecting from mirrors held off-camera often coats the characters, revealing them as wandering souls unable to find rest. The film is a cryptic, heartbreaking masterpiece: Patience is demanded-and completely rewarded. The screening begins at 1:00 p.m. -Mark Peranson October 8
Film historian and preservationist Bob DeFlores presents a series of old and rare reels on Monday nights. All screenings begin at 7:30 p.m.
October 9Jazz Masters II
October 16Dancing the Night Away
October 30Fright Night!
"Weird and wonderful movies" are screened on the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 p.m.
October 10The Fearless Vampire Killers
November 14The Merchants of Cool
Written and narrated by Kevin Kling, and shot in high-definition video, this short takes a comedic approach to telling the story of our fair city-"how we harnessed a waterfall, survived grain explosions, built skyscrapers and skyways, danced to polkas, punk, and Prince, won the World Series, and, along the way, ate a lot of sauerkraut." The film screens at 7:00 p.m. as part of Mill City's "Minneapolis Homecoming Party," which also includes the music of Martin Zellar, a variety of food samples, and a cash bar. October 13
Quite possibly the most accomplished indie film our state has ever seen, this first feature by St. Paul-based Ali Selim follows a German mail-order bride (Elizabeth Reaser) and her intended, a Norwegian immigrant farmer (Tim Guinee); the two slowly fall for one another while working on the land and against their insular community's ample prejudices in the wake of World War I. But it's equally the story of a filmmaker in love with his actors and his material. Directing with a light comic touch and a palpable affection for the characters, Selim draws pitch-perfect acting from a large cast and achieves breathtaking levels of color and clarity from 35mm film shot on a spare budget. -Rob Nelson Opens October 13
Ultra-prolific schlockmeister Charles Band (Josh Kirby...Time Warrior: Chapter 4, Eggs From 70 Million B.C.) hosts another local installment of this traveling horror-film convention. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. October 15
The character of the Frankenstein monster is included in four films screened on consecutive Mondays at 7:00 p.m. The series-curated by Luke Erickson, who'll lead discussions after each of the films-is held in conjunction with the library's Frankenstein exhibition, on view in Cargill Hall through December 30. For more information, visit www.mpls.lib.mn.us. October 16-November 6
Showing how the hippie idealism of the first Woodstock concert became a marketing concept by the second and third Woodstocks in 1994 and '99, documentarian Barbara Kopple (American Dream) is on familiar ground here, depicting the struggles of "average" Americans with the corporate culture that clothes, feeds, entertains, and exploits them. Kopple gets great access to business meetings, featured artists, and twentysomethings clued in and clueless at Woodstock and elsewhere, but doesn't mention the rampant sexual violence that occurred at the 1999 event. The film, screening as part of "Get Real: City Pages Documentary Film Series," starts at 7:00 p.m. -Terri Sutton October 17
The story of American punk rock (1980-1986) isn't a lot easier to summarize than that of any other major war, but it's quite a bit funnier, as this belated documentary overview proves in each of 90 exuberantly irritable minutes. Like the three-chords-fast tunes themselves, director Paul Rachman's montage-including an astonishing array of milky VHS concert footage (Black Flag in 1981!)-takes a frenzied, propulsive pull from here and there. Images of Ronald Reagan's second inauguration seem to foretell the end, although no archival clip (or documentary, even) could fully explain the vast sociopolitical mystery by which hardcore takes its final stage dive. -Rob Nelson Opens October 20
Starring Kirsten Dunst as the valley girl of old-world aristocracy, Sofia Coppola's well-appointed epic of entitlement before the fall uses downbeat Cure songs and other cool anachronisms to argue that the titular queen's removal from the throne by an angry mob was, like, you know, a total bummer. Naturally, French revolutionary film reporters came to collect Coppola's head at Cannes, where class's near-instantaneous trumping of age and gender suggested for about half a second (things move quickly in this court) that the fashion-loving young auteur actually wanted her latest message to be temporarily lost in translation. Let them eat whatever, she said, but never underestimate the bourgeoisie's discreet charm-or its political savvy, either. Bad buzz greeted the queen upon her debut as well; from here, there's nowhere for Marie Antoinette to go but up. -Rob Nelson Opens October 20
The films in this Sunday afternoon series explore prairie landscapes from a variety of perspectives. All screenings begin at 2:00 p.m.
October 22America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie
October 29Minnesota: A History of the Land
November 5Marsh Waters: Waste or Wealth?/Cry of the Marsh
This playfully wicked French thriller from twentysomething provocateur Gela Babluani blasts its way into your brainpan with the help of black-and-white widescreen cinematography whose striking but smooth textures better suit the upwardly mobile auteur than his poor protagonist. Contrivance abounds well past the point when a Georgian immigrant roof-patcher assumes another man's identity and learns that fate has tapped him to play a most dangerous game, although Babluani's own sport-shooting advances one's heart rate enough to push logic aside. As a brutal metaphor for the global economy, the movie takes care of business.-Rob Nelson Opens October 27
Making exactly the movie he wanted, Terry Gilliam presents an American Gothic Alice in Wonderland in which little Alice is the logorrheic offspring of two flaming junkies (Jennifer Tilly's Courtney Love-like slattern and Jeff Bridges's flatulent Captain Pissgums) and Wonderland is a pair of derelict Midwestern farmhouses seemingly furnished by Wisconsin cannibal Ed Gein. The creatures include a collection of doll heads and Brendan Fletcher's drooling Forrest Gump parody. Increasingly grotesque in its intimations of pedophilia (but not altogether unadmirable), Gilliam's spectacular example of kamikaze auteurism ends with a comic train wreck-literally.-J. Hoberman Opens November 3
The actress, daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, appears in person at the Walker to discuss her distinguished career with a film critic. The dialogue, held in conjunction with a retrospective of her films (titles and screening dates TBA), begins at 8:00 p.m. November 4
Local filmmaker Melody Gilbert (Whole) hosts a fundraiser for the completion of her latest documentary, an unfinished version of which will be presented for discussion. The film, about an internet-based subculture of thrill-seeking youths who rappel, climb, and squeeze their way into defunct buildings and other landmarks of urban decay, begins at 8:00 p.m.; a cash bar will open at 6:30 p.m. November 10
Richard Linklater's fictional adaptation of Eric Schlosser's Big Mac-is-murder exposé starts with an alarmingly close shot of a fat-filled patty sizzling on a grill at Mickey's, home of the Big One. Soon it's revealed that "there's shit in the meat," literally: Seems the "gut table" conveyor at the Mickey's meatpacking plant in Colorado has been making for some especially unhappy meals. Crappy beef is only one of the subjects of Fast Food Nation, which, after A Scanner Darkly, is Linklater's second film this year about the culture of addiction and exploitation. As another measure of the director's rare hunger for realism in the commercial realm, the movie is a whopper.-Rob Nelson Opens November 17
Writer-director Lane Nishikawa appears in person to introduce the Minnesota premiere of this, his historical drama about an all-Japanese-American regiment of the army in World War II. The screening, cosponsored by the Twin Cities Japanese American Citizens' Leagues, begins at 3:00 p.m. November 19
Narrated by Cokie Roberts, this hour-long documentary tells the story of the many women who contributed to the American war effort in the early 1940s. The screening begins at 2:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.governmentgirls.com. December 4
Two screenings of the 1954 Bing Crosby vehicle will be introduced by the star's widow Kathryn Crosby, who'll also host a book signing in the Heights lobby. Showtimes are 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. December 10
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