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Minneapolis Institute of Arts hires new curator of Native American art

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: June 30, 2014 - 5:04 PM

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has hired Jill Ahlberg Yohe to be Assistant Curator of Native American Art in the department of Africa and the Americas. Ahlberg Yohe, who will start work in Minneapolis on August 4, comes from the Saint Louis Art Museum where she has been an assistant curator of Native American Art since 2013 and a Mellon Fellow since 2011. She replaces Joe Horse-Capture, former associate curator of Native American Art, who moved to Washington, D. C. in May 2013 for a post at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Ahlberg Yohe earned a doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of New Mexico with a dissertation on "The Social Life of Weaving in Contemporary Navaho Life." Previously she was a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA. She co-curated the exhibition "Mother Earth, Father Sky: Textiles from the Navajo World," which is currently on view at the St. Louis Art Museum.

Ambitious makeovers for local moviehouses

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: June 24, 2014 - 2:20 PM
Photo: Science Museum of Minnesota.

Photo: Science Museum of Minnesota.

Local theaters are keeping up with the Joneses, and with the latest technology, in a round of significant renovations and upgrades.
 
The Science Museum of Minnesota is preparing to convert the William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater from film to IMAX’s next-generation digital laser projection. The 370–seat St. Paul venue will be the first IMAX laser dome theater in the world, promising images with greater brightness and clarity, a wider color spectrum and inkier blacks.
The Omnitheater will close Sept. 2 – Oct. 3, reopening with “Flight of the Butterflies.” New carpeting and seats will be added next year, and the auditorium will begin testing the new laser projection system.
 
The St. Anthony Main Theater is in the midst of ongoing renovations. On Wednesday installation of its new rocker seats will be complete. With added aisle space, the five-plex’s capacity dropsfrom 1,000 to 790. As improvements continue through the fall, owner John Rimarcik promises refurbished “carpet, decor, and a new concession stand. It’s going to look like it did when it opened 35 years ago,” he said, including repairs to the existing marquee. After consulting with theater sign specialists in Los Angeles, he said, he opted to keep a consistent retro look from the lobby to the original marquee, “with the individual letters put up with sticks.” The theater’s digital projection and sound were upgraded in March and June of 2013.
 
The humongous Great Clips IMAX Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo Is upping its game as well. It recently added IMAX’s incandescent-bulb digital projection technology to complement the existing IMAX 70mm film projection system. The film setup will remain at least through November for the release of celluloid purist Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.” The 550-seat Zoo boasts the largest screen in the state, 63 by 86 feet, with a projection surface equivalent to the side of a seven story building. 

Adopt Films scores U.S. distribution rights to Cannes Palme d'Or winner "Winter Sleep"

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: June 23, 2014 - 5:58 PM

Adopt Films, the art house distributor founded in Minneapolis, has acquired all U.S. rights to the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Winter Sleep.” 

Ceylan's strange and powerful films examine the dark side of human nature in a broad range of tones, from the bone dry comedy of early Jim Jarmusch to the spiritual angst of Ingmar Bergman. The Turkish writer/director is an unparalleled Cannes darling. His last five features have screened in competition at the festival, and each has scored big. In 2003 “Distant” won the Grand Jury Prize (Cannes’s second-place award) as well as Best Actor for its two stars. 2006’s “Climates” won the FIPRESCI Prize. In 2008 “Three Monkeys” won Best Director. 2011’s “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” also won the Grand Jury Prize. 

Set in starkly beautiful rural Anatolia, “Winter Sleep” (whose title might be more strictly translated as “Hibernation”), is a Chekhov-inspired portrait of an ill-natured hotel owner (Haluk Bilginer) gradually dealing with the harm his hard-heartedness has caused to his family and world.

Adopt Films president Tim Grady said, “A film like this, so rich with ideas, dazzling dialogue, and intelligent characters, is one that is instantly unforgettable.” It’s slated for release during the year-end awards season.

Local talent produces a double feature

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: June 20, 2014 - 5:59 PM

Notable deals from a couple of local filmmaker types.

Screenwriter Nick Schenk (of Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino”) has another Warner Bros. star project due in theaters Oct. 10. Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton and Vera Farmiga star in “The Judge,” Schenk’s story of a hotshot criminal defense lawyer who must defend his estranged father on a murder charge. David (“The Wedding Crashers” ) Dobkin directs.

Eric D. Howell, whose Minneapolis- shot short  “Anna’s Playground” was shortlisted for a 2009 Oscar is slated to make his feature debut with the psychological thriller “The Voice of the Stone.” Emilia Clarke from HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will star as a nurse in 1950s Italy helping a boy traumatized by the sudden death of his mother, a famed opera singer. She discovers that the family’s Tuscan castle harbors a malevolent force. "It's a ‘Sixth Sense’-like tale of how she’s ensnared, a slow-burn haunting,” Howell said. “Is it real or is it not?”

Clarke is a fast-rising star, slated to play Sarah Connor in the upcoming “Terminator: Genesis” alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. The independently financed ghost story is scheduled to begin production near Siena in October, Howell said, with an eye to a debut on the following year’s fall film festival circuit.

Sarah Hicks extends contract with Minnesota Orchestra

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: June 18, 2014 - 1:56 PM

Conductor Sarah Hicks has agreed to extend her contract with the Minnesota Orchestra through 2016-17. Hired as principal conductor for pops and presentations in 2009, Hicks will lead the orchestra’s “Live at Orchestra Hall” series.

 

The program includes popular music, jazz, Broadway tunes, movie socres and world music. This weekend, for example, Hicks conducts the orchestra in two programs – Midtown Men and Pixar in Concert.

Hicks joined the orchestra as assistant conductor in 2006 as the first woman to hold a titled conducting post with the Minnesota Orchestra. She succeeded Doc Severinsen in the pops role.

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