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Posts about Movies

Ssssh! Quiet, we're filming

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: February 5, 2015 - 12:31 PM

The documentary "The Measure of All Things" features people, places and things that are world-record holders, including Christine "The Dutchess" Walton above for -- obviously -- longest nails.

Sam Green’s film “The Measure of All Things,” showing at Walker Art Center on Friday night, is a documentary about some of the quirkier world-record holders around.There's also a local connection: the anechoic chamber at Orfield Labs, used to test product noise levels. At less than minus-9 decibels, it holds the title for quietest place on Earth.

“People think it’s deep in a forest in Chile or something, but no, it’s in Minneapolis,” Green said. So don’t the sounds made by shooting a movie defeat the purpose of portraying the most silent place ever? “Yeah, that was the challenge,” he said. When he was in the chamber with lab owner Steve Orfield, he heard a clicking noise. “It was the artificial valve in his heart. I could hear my neck turning. That was kind of gross.”

The documentary, screening Friday at 7 and 9 p.m., has a "live" format featuring narration by Green and an original score performed live by former Minneapolis musicmaker T. Griffin, ex-Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and violinist/vocalist Catherine McRae.

Locally shot 'Public Domain' film picked up by Landmark

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: February 4, 2015 - 2:22 PM

Why is this man smiling? Patrick Coyle's movie "Public Domain" has been picked up by Landmark and will premiere here March 27.

Filmmaker Patrick Coyle’s locally shot “The Public Domain” has been picked up by Landmark, and will get its premiere at the Lagoon on March 27, with more cities to follow based on how well it sells here.

The film is about four strangers whose lives are connected by the 35W bridge collapse in 2007. It has also been tapped to screen at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival in April and the Duluth Superior Film festival in June.

Actor Beau Bridges plans to attend the premiere to see his daughter, Emily Bridges, who plays one of the lead roles.

“The Public Domain” is the second movie to wrap production that has received legacy-amendment public money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through a reimbursement program administered by the Minnesota Film & TV board Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota. In order to qualify for up to $175,000, films have to be set in the state and/or have a strong Minnesota focus.

The first project to receive legacy dollars, “The Jingle Dress,” written and directed by William Eigen, is about an Ojibwe family who moves from a northern reservation to Minneapolis. It opens this Friday at St. Anthony Main.

'American Sniper' widow to share her perspective at Beth El Synagogue

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: January 20, 2015 - 2:55 PM
Bradley Cooper received an Academy Award nomination for his role as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in "American Sniper." Keith Bernstein/AP

Bradley Cooper received an Academy Award nomination for his role as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in "American Sniper." Keith Bernstein/AP

Both "American Sniper," coming off a near-record breaking $90.2 million opening for the three-day weekend, and "Selma," which earned $26.4 million since opening wide three weeks earlier, are history-based films that deal in myths.

"Selma" triggered criticism for portraying President Lyndon Johnson as a slow supporter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s campaign for black voter rights. Similarly, "American Sniper" has made substantial alterations from its source material, the best-selling memoir by the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The film shows Kyle fighting a former Olympic marksman in a sharpshooters' battle to the death, though the two never encountered each other in real life. It also created a fictional Iraqi terrorist who murders children with electric drills. Film star, screenwriter and director Seth Rogen on Twitter said it reminded him of a fictional Nazi propaganda film.

Kyle's wife, Taya Kyle, who was interviewed extensively by screenwriter Jason Hall, will share her insights about her husband’s experiences in battle and on the home front, and about the film version of his life story, in an event Feb. 8 at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park.

Jim DeFelice, co-author of "American Sniper," will appear as well at the 7 p.m. event, a part of the synagogue's Heroes Among Us series. Admission is $18 for members of the military, $36 for the general public, $100 for reserved seating and $360 for a VIP meeting with the special guests.

A portion of the proceeds will help underwrite the synagogue’s Minnesota National Guard unit support initiative, benefiting the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, the 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter, and the 204th Area Support Medical Company.

Beth El Synagogue is located at 5225 Barry St. W., St. Louis Park.

At least 10 Minnesota theaters will show 'The Interview'

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: December 24, 2014 - 9:04 AM

 James Franco and Seth Rogen in a scene from “The Interview.”

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.

Sony Pictures cancels theatrical opening for 'The Interview'

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: December 17, 2014 - 5:42 PM
James Franco and Seth Rogen in 'The Interview.' Sony Pictures Wednesday announced the film wil not be released. Ed Araquel/AP

James Franco and Seth Rogen in 'The Interview.' Sony Pictures Wednesday announced the film wil not be released. Ed Araquel/AP

Following ongoing online hacks and threats to attack screenings of "The Interview," the Sony Pictures conflict reached a new level of havoc Wednesday afternoon.

After afternoon cancellations of earlier agreements to screen it by four of the nation’s largest movie theater chains, Sony  cancelled the film’s scheduled Christmas Day opening. Earlier in the day the studio withdrew scheduled press screenings. It appears that there are no plans for any type of theatrical exhibition.

The $42 million film, a satiric political comedy, stars James Franco and Seth Rogan as TV journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. It was called “an evil act of provocation against our highly dignified republic” in late November on Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean government-controlled website. While Kim announced "merciless counter-measures" if the film was released, North Korea has denied involvement in the anonymous corporate hacks.

The U.S. movie theater chain leaders AMC, Carmike, Cinemark and Regal announced earlier Wednesday that they had abandoned their bookings. 

"In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film ‘The Interview,’ we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release," Sony announced in a written statement Wednesday.

“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."

The film debuted at the Ace Hotel theater in Los Angeles for press and film executives last week to uneven reaction. Online critic Jeff Wells wrote after the screening, “I never once laughed. Yes, the opening 20 or 25 minutes is mildly entertaining and yes, at heart 'The Interview’ is anti-Kim, pro-anti-Kim revolution and pre-people power and all that, but it never rises above the level of a good-enough programmer.”

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