As the best art almost always runs counter to commerce, the best art cinema books its schedule boldly without regard to the bottom line. Run since the '60s by the inexhaustible art-cinema guru Al Milgrom and his ever-revolving staff of young masochists, U Film promises to give the local film culture what it can't get elsewhere, and delivers on a weekly basis. Where else could we have seen such world-cinema gems as The Saltmen of Tibet and Little Dieter Needs to Fly? Would another theater have held on so long to the local rock-doc Driver 23, helping it to find the cult audience it deserved? Who but Milgrom would have even considered putting together such defiantly uncommercial and well-stuffed packages as the Mpls./St. Paul, Jewish, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender festivals? And who, pray tell, will pick up the torch when Milgrom eventually deigns to call it quits?


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