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James Franco and Seth Rogen in a scene from "The Interview."
At least 10 Minnesota movie houses, including St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis, joined others across the country Tuesday in announcing that they would show “The Interview’’ beginning Christmas Day.
Sony Pictures had withdrew the picture from release last week after threats of terrorism from computer hackers, but reversed its stance on Tuesday. The comedy stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as TV journalists recruited by the CIA to kill North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un.
“I guess we’re not concerned. We’re not close to North Korea,” said Debbie Zeise, co-owner of the GTI Cambridge and North Branch Theatres, which is showing the film in both venues. “We’re showing it because we believe in the freedom of press and that we shouldn’t bow down to terrorism.”
It’s a view shared by many patrons, she said.
“That I think really is the reason people will come out and watch it. Not because they think ‘Oh, I’ve got to watch this movie.’ ” The controversy may bring larger audiences than she first expected to her theaters’ top auditoriums, which seat 200 or fewer viewers.
“We were not anticipating this would be a huge movie. Now we are anticipating it being bigger than it would have been. More people are going to be saying, ‘I’m going to go see it to see what all the hubbub’s about.’
"Even my mother-in-law, who’s a woman in her 80s, said, ‘Well, I just want to see what it’s about.’ They aren’t going because they want to see the movie. They’re going because they want to make a statement about free speech and we’re not going to bow to terrorism.”
Susan Smoluchowski, executive director of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, which will be showing the film at St. Anthony Main, had a similar take: “Although this film may not be typical of the films we generally screen, we made a decision to do so from a philosophical standpoint, that of artistic freedom, creative license and defense against censorship.”
Besides St. Anthony Main, the Minnesota theaters showing “The Interview’’ will be Cambridge Cinema 5 in Cambridge, North Branch Cinema Theater in North Branch, the Quarry Cinema in Cold Spring, Premiere Theatres in Cloquet, Fairmont Theatre in Fairmont, Cine 5 Theatre in International Falls, Grand Makwa Cinema in Onamia, Rochester Galaxy 14 Cine in Rochester and Main Street Theatre in Sauk Centre. Each theater will open the film Thursday for a run of at least a week.
In a public announcement Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Entertainment said, "We have never given up on releasing ‘The Interview’ and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," while continuing its effort to secure more theaters and possibly a digital release.
Give your holiday date a weekend of la dolce vita at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The museum is extending the weekend hours of its popular show "Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945." The exhibit will remain open until 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 26 and Saturday, Dec. 27 and again the following weekend, Friday, Jan. 2 and Sat. Jan. 3. The show closes Sunday, Jan. 4.
For ticket information: artsmia.org
In the aftermath of W.W.II, with its cities in ruins and industries struggling, Italy turned to fashion and design to help revive its economy. Exhibitions of sleek, efficient and stylish modern Italian housewares toured the United States, offering Americans a glimpse of Eurostyle that helped bring good design to the masses. Fashion, too, was enlisted in the revitalization program with designers in Florence, Rome and Milan turning out glorious evening wear and chic sports ensembles that brought casual glamor to Middle America.
Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, "Italian Style" features about 100 ensembles from the V&A collection. Spanning more than 70 years, it includes gowns worn on screen by film stars (Audrey Hepburn, et al) plus pieces from such prominent fashion houses as Valentino, Armani, Gucci, Fendi, Pucci, Prada, Missoni, Dolce and Gabbana and trend setters young and old. The show will travel to the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, following its Minneapolis presentation.
Lakeland teen Zach Sobiech, who died of cancer in May the same week his farewell song “Clouds” stormed the Billboard charts, could have another hit single on the radio and iTunes -- and this time he’s bringing 5,000 Minnesotans along for the ride.
The giant choir singalong of Sobiech’s song, which was staged at the Mall of America last week, has quickly been turned into a downloadable single on iTunes this week. Titled “Clouds (Largest Clouds Choir Holiday Version),” the new recording is being sold for $.99, proceeds from which go to Zach's Osteocarcoma Research Fund.
St. Paul-based nonprofit organization Rock the Cause, which has acted as Sobiech’s record label, also sent the recording to radio programmers across the country hoping to get it on the air. KS95 and Cities 97 have already been playing it locally. Here's hoping that KOOL-108, which seems to keep the same 25 songs tirelessy in rotation for its current holiday format, also picks up on it, if only as an airwaves freshener.
“We’re telling them it’s not just a great holiday song, but a great cause,” said Scott Herold, founder of Rock the Cause, who added that Zach’s family “is ecstatic and touched by all the support” behind the new choir single.
Herold said the original version of “Clouds,” which Sobiech himself recorded, is also still going strong six months after its ascent. It attracted about 20,000 downloads in the past month.
Why deal with wind, rain and unraked leaves when the kids can show off their costumes and imbibe a bit of culture during a "fiendishly fun, family-friendly" Halloween event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts? The museum and adjacent Children's Theatre Company are throwing a Trick-Art-Treat party during which kids can look for black cats, pumpkins, bats and prizes on a Halloween gallery hunt. Or create their own bats during an art-making activity. Plus nibble cookies, candy and cider. At a CTC photobooth, they can show off their own costumes or try out fun stuff from CTC's hoard of disguises.
And for parents and other culture-vultures, admission to "The Audacious Eye: Japanese Art from the Clark Collections" is also free during the event. While the Clark show is chock-a-block with 1,000 years of sophisticated treasures, it does have delights for pint-sized visitors including lots of birds and animals, a couple of pink elephants rolling on their backs, some huge bulls, a big fat frog, and ghosts. Really.
Heads up: While costumes are encouraged, for safety and security reasons, full face masks or hoods cannot be worn inside the museum.
(5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Oct. 31, free. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. 612-870-3131or www.artsmia.org)
American Swedish Institute's Turnblad Mansion
The American Swedish Instituteis expanding its popular holiday programs to include a Mexican-themed table among the festively decorated rooms in its castle-like museum. Traditionally, the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Denmark) set out holiday decorations and trees during ASI's two-month "Jul to the World" festival. In honor of the Mexican-American community in the nearby Phillips West neighborhood, the institute has invited Mexico to contribute a table.
The Turblad Mansion's historic kitchen also will be open to the public for the first time this year.
Other festivities include musical performances, a "Great Tomte Hunt," in which kids search for Swediah elves hidden throughout the mansion, artisanal sausage-making workshops with the chefs at ASI's award-winning FIKA cafe, and Wednesday evening theatrical performances on the stage of the mansion's charming ballroom theater. Evening glogg (mulled wine) tours are offered Wednesday and Friday evenings and hot chocolate will be served around an outdoor bonfire in the "Enchanted Forest."
The "Jul to the World" festival opens Sat., Nov. 9 with a day-long schedule of musical performances and creative activities. The festival continues through Jan. 5. To book group tours call 612-871-4907 or for a complete schedule of events go to www.asimn.org.
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