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"Interstellar" offers futuristic space travel, old school film presentation

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: October 29, 2014 - 5:18 PM
Matthew McConaughey in "Interstellar." Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Matthew McConaughey in "Interstellar." Photo: Paramount Pictures.

If you don’t want to wait for the much ballyhooed space drama “Interstellar” on its opening Nov. 7, you can see it in Plymouth on the 5th. Or Apple Valley on the 4th.

The highly anticipated film starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain will be debut in early screenings two or three days before it hits major theaters.

Director Christopher Nolan, a true believer in the heritage of 20th century film, rather than digital camera work, is the best way to capture and present images. He remains one of the last filmmakers to shoot exclusively on celluloid, along with Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and J.J. Abrams.

Nolan hopes to draw viewers into theaters with the top projection equipment to demonstrate how much better that film form is. He persuaded the “Interstellar” production partners, Paramount Pictures Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures, to back his old school release idea even though the vast preponderance of U.S. theaters have converted to digital projection systems and can no longer show film.

Apple Valley’s Great Clips IMAX at the Minnesota Zoo is the only statewide cinema presenting it in 70mm IMAX projection Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 8 and 11:15 p.m.. Only 37 nationwide are hosting such premieres three days in advance of the standard format opening.

If you’re not an IMAX enthusiast, there’s another local option just for you. Plymouth’s Willow Creek 12 will be the sole theater in the state, and one of just 10 theatres in the country, playing “Interstellar” in classic 70mm motion picture film format. It shows the film at 1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, two days before its wide release.

"Master Class" is extended to Nov. 9

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: October 16, 2014 - 10:02 AM

Sally Wingert as Maria Callas in "Master Class." Photo by Kyndell Harkness.

"Master Class" just opened Saturday and it's already being extended. The Theater Latte Da production, featuring Sally Wingert as opera legend Maria Callas, will add five performances and close on Nov. 9.

The play is being performed at Antonello Hall at MacPhail Center for Music. It is based on a series of master classes Callas gave at Juilliard in the early 1970s. Wingert's performance is strikingly complete in its technical and emotional development.

Too, the venue is perfectly matched to the work. You can see every wrinkle in Wingert's face (she probably won't want to hear that) and this sense of intimacy makes the portrayal that much more immediate.

Peter Rothstein's production includes a transcendent moment for Kira Lace Hawkins, as one of the sopranos that Callas badgers during her teaching session. The play itself, by Terrence McNally, is not much more than a performance vehicle and Rothstein keenly pushes his staging in that direction.

Additional shows are now at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5-8 and 2 p.m. Nov. 9. Ticket information is here.

Walker hosts Turkish cinema's profound perfectionist, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: October 14, 2014 - 6:32 PM
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, center, accepts the Palme d'Or from director Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman during the awards ceremony for the 67th international film festival in Cannes, France, last May 24. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, center, accepts the Palme d'Or from director Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman during the awards ceremony for the 67th international film festival in Cannes, France, last May 24. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Sweden had the filmmaking genius of Ingmar Bergman. Italy had Federico Fellini. Today Turkey has Nuri Belge Ceylan, a master recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential auteurs of his age. A favorite of arthouse audiences and a regular recipient of international acclaim, he is a repeat winner of the Cannes Film Festival's greatest awards.Since seeing my first of his seven features 12 years ago, I have considered Ceylan a master of stunning visuals, exposed nerves, stark beauty and philosophically awesome questions about human nature.

Ceylan will make his first visit to Minnesota next month. He will appear in person at Walker Art Center's presentation of his winner of newest the Cannes top prize, "Winter Sleep." The film is an examination of Turkish society as a wealthy but tight pocketed  owner of a mountaintop hotel creates seething resentments, not only among his rural community, but his wife and sister as well. The film will show on Nov.1, a month before its official U.S. theatrical release by Adopt Films, a locally linked distributer of world cinema. 

Three of Ceylan's earlier films are also scheduled. On Nov. 2, it's "Climates," the story of a failing romance between a Turkish professor (played by Ceylan himself) and his younger TV producer girlfriend following a sweltering summer vacation in Italy. "Once Upon A Time in Anatolia," a tale of a difficult murder investigation in a remote province, shows Nov. 5. Nov. 12 concludes the series with "Distant," a story of a troubled relationship between an Istanbul photographer and his jobless small-town cousin who arrives in town desperately looking for work. Its view of troubled human relations is as stark and beautiful as its view of the nation's domes and minarets.

For screening and ticket information, visit http://www.walkerart.org/calendar.

The Who farewell tour to land Oct. 10, 2015, at Target Center

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: October 10, 2014 - 11:40 AM
Roger Daltrey/ Star Tribune photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Roger Daltrey/ Star Tribune photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Like such young upstarts as One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer, the Who, those old geezers, are announcing their tour way in advance. Their 50th anniversary tour, which starts in April, will land at Target Center on Oct. 10, 2015.

The trek is dubbed The Who Hits 50 Tour. But, as singer Roger Daltrey put it in a statement, “This is the beginning of the long goodbye.”

Roger Daltrey/ Star Tribune photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Guitarist and chief songwriter Pete Townshend promises a set of “hits, picks, mixes and misses.”

The Rock Hall of Famers did not announce the other band members. Remember, the Who is down to the The Two of Daltrey and Townshend.  Drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle passed away in 1978 and 2002, respectively.

Minneapolis tickets will go on sale on at 10 a.m. Oct. 17;  there is a pre-sale on Oct. 13 for Citi card holders via citiprivatepass.com.

The Who performed its classic “Quadraphenia” album at Target Center in November 2012.

British 'Streetcar' at the movies this week

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: October 7, 2014 - 11:34 AM

Gillian Anderson in "A Streetcar Named Desire" at the Young Vic in London. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

A recent London production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" that stars Gillian Anderson ("The X Files," "The Fall") as Blanche Dubois elicited rave reviews from critics.

It can be seen Tuesday and Wednesday (7 p.m. Oct. 7 & 8) at St. Antony Main Theater in Minneapolis as part of the NT Live series. Tickets are $20. The play runs about three hours.

Directed by Benedict Andrews, this "Streetcar" also stars Ben Foster as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby as Stella. It takes place in a contemporary milieu on a slowly rotating set, with music that includes songs by Patsy Cline and PJ Harvey.

The reviewers heaped praise on the production and on Anderson's turn as Williams' most famous heroine, calling her and the show "hypnotic" (Hollywood Reporter), "electrifying" (Evening Standard), "an absolute knockout" (Telegraph) and "powerful" (The Guardian).

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