Ready for more MST 3K?
One of Minnesota's TV institutions may be ready for a reboot. "Mystery Science Theater 3000," which debuted on Minneapolis' KTMA on Thanksgiving Day 1988, is primed for a comeback, but only if creator Joel Hodgson gets enough support from fans. Hodgson launched a Kickstarter campaign Tuesday to raise $5.5 million for 12 fresh episodes of the cult series that offered running commentary of B movies. The show was canceled in 1999, but rumors of a comeback have been floating around for years. On his Kickstarter website, Hodgson said the resurrection of cult favorites like "Veronica Mars" convinced him that crowdsourcing was the best way to finance future installments. He also said that legal issues, which made new episodes difficult in the past, have finally been cleared. Backers can secure everything from a coffee mug to an appearance in an upcoming show. The campaign's initial goal is to raise $2 million, which will allow Hodgson to produce three feature-length episodes to shop to TV networks and streaming services. Despite the fact that Hodgson hasn't secured participation from the entire original creative team, fans seem interested. In the first 24 hours, more than 8,000 backers contributed more than $1 million.
Lorna is our sunshine
Twin Cities author/comedian Lorna Landvik was predictably entertaining as all get-out last weekend during her keynote talk at the North Shore Readers and Writers Festival in Grand Marais, Minn. She confessed to weeping as she typed up the closing pages of her first novel, "Patty Jane's House of Curl." ("It was a rainy May night, and I realized my fingers were wet, and I wondered, 'Do we have a leak?' ") She talked about self-publishing her last novel, "The Mayor of the Universe." ("It was brutal, filled with typos that I thought I'd fixed." She felt fortunate that the University of Minnesota Press picked up the book and did it right.) She riffed on why this state is so literary. ("It's like how walleye decided Minnesota waters were the best! It's this area!") And then she picked up the ukulele. "I'm just learning this," she said, strumming the strings, and as she launched into a rousing "You Are My Sunshine," dozens of smartphones were raised. "No pictures!" she said. "No social media!" But it was too late: Let 100 Instagrams bloom. Photos posted, the audience lowered their phones and sang along.
Prince Bonds with fans
Just as his many October events at Paisley Park all proved to be relatively momentous, Prince's pair of pajama parties last Friday and Saturday night also had a lot going on. For starters, the happy host invited a handful of journalists from Europe to his Chanhassen complex in order to personally deliver the news that he will play a string of solo piano concerts in 15-plus cities across the Atlantic, starting Nov. 21. He also performed an hour or so for the PJ-clad fans both nights and took the cozy vibe to an extreme after his solo-piano set Saturday, inviting all the attendees out to Chanhassen Cinema for specially arranged 1 a.m. screenings of the new James Bond flick "Spectre" on five screens. Longtime Prince fan Jon Copeland recounted, "He said from the stage he was ready to go to the movies." Tickets were on Prince, and concessions were open. Martinis were not shaken or stirred — or offered anywhere in the night, though.
"Love," the latest provocation from firebrand film auteur Gaspar Noé, will receive a rushed 11th-hour screening at Walker Art Center this weekend. Shot in stereoscopic 3-D, the film presents a hyper-erotic romantic melodrama between an American boy living in Paris and two girls, to a soundtrack of Bach, Erik Satie and Funkadelic. After setting the Cannes Film Festival atwitter with its blood, tears and other bodily fluids, "Love" was shunned by mainstream U.S. distributors and would not have appeared at Twin Cities theaters. However, "Love" screens at 10 p.m. Saturday in the Walker cinema. Tickets are on sale at walkerart.org and 612-375-7600.
Twin Cities soft-rock?
In his recent Minneapolis concerts, Jackson Browne has mentioned that his mother was from St. Paul. But on Tuesday at the Orpheum Theatre he said he could have been born in Minneapolis if his mother from St. Paul hadn't met a guy from California — in Alaska. "She could have met an Alaskan," mused the Southern California bard.
Jonesing for Wilkins
Howard Jones made little mention of his intimate surroundings during a nostalgia-heavy solo show at the Fine Line on Tuesday night, until someone informed him in between the main set and the encore that he had played in St. Paul's Roy Wilkins Auditorium 30 years ago to the date. So Jones, who helped make synthesizer pop tolerable throughout the '80s, celebrated in his first hit, "A New Song," ad-libbing "I've been waiting oh so long/To come to the Twin Cities to sing this song." When Jones made note of the 1985 St. Paul concert, the decidedly middle-aged crowd burst into applause. "Were you all there?" the singer quipped.