U Film Society founder Al Milgrom, right, in his office with assistants Randy Adamsick and Joseph Yeung in April 1982.
Duane Braley, Star Tribune
50 years of film fests in Minnesota
- Article by: COLIN COVERT
- Star Tribune
- April 8, 2012 - 9:27 AM
1962 U Film Society is founded.
1963 Pauline Kael introduces a film by India's Satyajit Ray. Impatient students interrupt her long-winded presentation, jeering "Shut up and sit down." Subsequent visitors include Liv Ullmann, Milos Forman, Frank Capra, Roberto Rossellini and Robert Altman.
1972 Jean-Luc Godard comes to town, is jokingly "kidnapped" by U Film pranksters who think it would be funny to drive him to Lakeville rather than to his film talk.
1977 Terry Gilliam ("Monty Python and the Holy Grail") appears, receives measly $75 honorarium.
1978 UFS staffer is placed under citizen's arrest by state Rep. Kenneth J. McDonald for exhibiting "obscene" "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom." Charges are later dropped.
1979 Werner Herzog appears. Asked "What's the strangest society you've ever visited?" he replies, "America."
1980 "The Tree of Wooden Clogs" becomes U Film Society's first smash hit, runs for six months.
1983 U Film Society launches Rivertown Film Festival in Stillwater in May.
1985 Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov ("Burnt by the Sun") appears with a suitcase full of vodka bottles and a KGB agent assigned to keep him from defecting.
1996 Rivertown renamed the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.
1998 German punk thriller "Run Lola Run" opens fest, becomes international hit.
2002 Oak Street, U Film and MSP International Film Festival merge.
2006 Documentary "Al Franken: God Spoke" opens fest. Franken attends, launching his Senate race.
2008 Fest consolidates at one location: St. Anthony Main Theatre.
2011 "Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times" opens the festival with star David Carr in attendance. Fest runs three weeks for the first time.
2012 30th anniversary of MSPIFF, featuring more than 250 feature-length and short films.
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