MSPIFF 2015 is here once again! April 9-25: 17 days, 250+ films!

MSPIFF15

The Film Society kicked off the 2015 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival last Thursday with the Opening Presentation, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (actor Cory Peterson attending). This hilarious Swedish comedy, the highest grossing film in the country’s history, launches 17 days of more than 250 remarkable films, visiting filmmakers, exciting parties, and enlightening panel discussions.

I’ve said this before but really, I’m fortunate to live in a city that has TWO film festivals, one in Spring and the other (TCFF) in Autumn, two of my favorite seasons! Founded in 1962, The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul is Minnesota’s foremost film exhibition organization, and a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We bring the best of international and independent film to Minnesota audiences through the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, numerous niche film festivals and series, and nightly programming 365-days a year.

Check out the awesome MSPIFF official trailer:

One of the exciting 2015 programs of MSPIFF is that the Women and Film program, featuring 40+ films under that category/genre.

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is dedicated to representing the work of women filmmakers as a critical part of its programming. Look for the Women and Film tag as you decide what to see at the 2015 Festival. It identifies the outstanding films by women directors and related events that are part of the Festival’s program this year.


Check out the full MSPIFF 2015 Schedule

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Photo courtesy of mspfilm.org

Last year’s opening night film, Amma Asante‘s period drama Belle, ended up being one of my top 10 films of 2014, and it’ll likely be one of my fave films of all time! I wonder which other films I’ll be seeing this year will also make my top 10 of the year. Unfortunately, this year I won’t have time to see as many films as I did last year, but I have Josh from JJames Reviews to help me out again like last year. So hopefully between the two of us, we’ll get to about a couple dozen films.

Here are a sampling of films we hope to catch in the next three weeks:

FEATURE FILMS

Clouds of Sils Maria
At the peak of her international career, Maria Enders is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years ago, only this time she will take the role of the older woman. Seeking refuge in Sils Maria, a remote region of the Alps, to rehearse the play, she takes stock in her career and her unknown future with her young assistant. Director Olivier Assayas takes pleasure in being coy by with his two stars—Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart—as he knowingly layers references to their own lives and roller coaster careers.

USA | 124 min | English
Directed by: Olivier Assayas
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz

The Center
Produced by Jonathan Demme and shot locally in St Paul, Charlie Griak’s atmospheric debut focuses on a vulnerable young man who falls into the trap of a cult-like group. Ryan is a recent college grad searching not only for a job but also for a meaning in life. When he comes across a self-help organization, simply known as The Center, with a charismatic leader, Ryan seems to have found what he has been looking for.

USA | 72 min | English
Directed by: Céline Sciamma
Starring: Matt Cici, Judd Einan, Ramon Pabon

The Connection
Inspired by true events, The Connection tells the story of real-life Marseilles magistrate Pierre Michel (played by Jean Dujardin from The Artist) and his relentless crusade to dismantle the most notorious drug smuggling operation in history: the French Connection. In his crosshairs is charismatic and wealthy kingpin, Gatean “Tany” Zampa (aka La French), who runs the largest underground heroin trade into the States. Shot entirely on 35mm, Cédric Jimenez’s The Connection is a throwback to a time when 70s Italian and American crime dramas reigned supreme.

France | 135 min | French
Directed by: Cédric Jimenez
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Ce´line Sallette

Girlhood (Bande de filles)
Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to a new life. Director Céline Sciamma (Water Lilies,Tomboy) cements her cinematic expertise in exploring the many facets of young female identity with her most powerful film yet.

France | 112 min | French
Directed by: Charlie Griak
Starring: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamouh

El Critico
A playful yet heartfelt take on the rom-com genre, El Critico follows Victor Tellez, a world-weary Buenos Aires film critic who prefers to think in French and eschews romantic clichés…until he finds himself living one. Tellez drifts from screening to screening in search of cinematic perfection, casting judgment on filmmakers and their films with scathing incisiveness. But when a chance meeting throws him into the jarring world of gorgeous thrill-seeker Sofia, he starts to question his meticulous, intellectual routine and realizes there’s more to his story than he ever dreamed.

Argentina| 98 min | Spanish/French
Directed by: Hernán Guerschuny
Starring: Rafael Spregelburd, Dolores, Blanca Lewin

….

Marshland
True Detective, Spainsh-style! A series of brutal murders of adolescent girls in a remote and forgotten town bring together two disparate characters—both detectives in the homicide division—to investigate the cases. With deep divisions in their ideology, detectives Juan and Pedro must put aside their differences if they are to successfully hunt down a killer who for years has terrorized a community in the shadow of a general disregard for women rooted in a misogynistic past. Alberto Rodríguez paints a gritty noir portrait of rural Spain circa 1980, rich with style, ambience and character.

Spain | 105 min | Spanish
Directed by: Alberto Rodríguez
Starring: José Antonio Félez, Mercedes Gamero, Ricardo García Arrojo

Labyrinthus
Discovering a backpack containing a USB key and a strange old camera, 14 year-old Frikke unknowingly starts a computer game that uploads real children, animals, and objects from his world into a gigantic labyrinth in the gaming world. Ordinarily, Frikke is expert at computer games; but this one is real! Frikke’s avatar must help his friends, Nora and Marco, through the labyrinth, escape from the game’s evil creator, and break the code that will release them. At least one third of the action takes place in a CGI animated alternate reality; the rest in Ghent, Belgium. Frikke must find the connection between these two worlds, before its too late!

Netherlands | 95 min | Dutch
Directed by: Douglas Boswell
Starring: Spencer Bogaert, Emma Verlinden, Felix Maesschalck

Chagall-Mallevich
A story of love and passion, hatred and egotism, and the clash of huge creative personalities, Chagall – Malevich is based on real events that occurred during the time of Marc Chagall’s short-lived Vitebsk period (1917-18), a time in which he created an Academy of Modern Art inspired by dreams of a bright and beautiful future. More than 140 copies of paintings by Chagall and his brilliant colleague Kazimir Malevich were made for the film. Here, too, is the story of Chagall’s wife Bella and her selfless love for her husband. It’s a story further complicated by her former childhood friend and one-time suitor Naum, a bitter man who is now a Soviet Commissar.

Russia | 120 min | Russian
Directed by: Aleksandr Mitta
Starring: Leonid Bichevin, Anatoliy Belyy

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The Golden Era
Hong Kong master Ann Hui vividly brings the life of pioneering 20th century female novelist and poet Xiao Hong to the screen. Hui’s lavishly shot period piece shifts perspective, narrators, and time periods freely as it chronicles Xiao Hong’s struggles—an oppressive family, an arranged marriage, a fiery affair with fellow writer Xiao Jun, and her passion, compulsion and talent for writing—until her death at age 30 in 1942.

China/Hong Kong | 178min | Chinese (Mandarin)
Directed by: Ann Hui
Starring: Tang Wei, Feng Shao Feng

To Life! (Auf Das Leben!)
Fate has taken its toll on the aging cabaret singer Ruth and the young but terminally-ill Jonas. Yet despite their great age difference and their entirely opposite experiences in life, they form an intense bond and give each other a reason and purpose to live.

ToLife_Deutschfilm

Germany | 90 min | German
Directed by: Uwe Janson
Starring: Hannelore Elsner, Max Riemelt, Sharon Brauner

Gods
Riveting, fast paced, compelling and filled with humor, Gods is the story of the rebel cardiac surgeon, Zbigniew Religa, who performed the first successful heart transplant in Soviet controlled Poland in 1984. With the support of his renegade medical team, he battled everyone including fellow doctors, the communist bureaucracy and a shocked religious community, Religa, to make history and become a national hero.

Poland | 120 min | Polish
Directed by: Lukasz Palkowski

Secrets of War
In a Nazi-occupied Dutch village that’s slowly changing, 12 year-olds Tuur and Lambert initially incorporate the war into their childhood games. Until the boys begin to question what they see: a toy appearing out of a passing train; traces of people’s belongings in the underground caves; secretive parents. Befriending Maartje, a new girl in town, the boys’ friendship is tested when they learn a powerful secret of their own and the reality of war changes their childhoods forever.

Netherlands | 95 min | Dutch
Directed by: Dennis Bots
Starring: Maas Bronkhuyzen, Joes Brauers, Pippa Allen

… 

DOCUMENTARIES

The Dinkytown Uprising
The year is 1970 and the disastrous Vietnam War keeps escalating. Protests are erupting all over U.S. campuses. But in Minneapolis, word that the national Red Barn Restaurant chain wants to erect a new fast-food franchise in old, venerable Dinkytown, the “war at home”  takes a different turn. This stunning documentary chronicles the unprecedented 40-day, 40-night continuous Dinkytown “Occupation” to prevent construction of an unwanted hamburger joint.

https://vimeo.com/121387504

Directed by: All Milgrom

The Look of Silence

Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence focuses on a family of survivors who discovers how their son was murdered in the 1965 Indonesian genocide, as well as the identities of the killers. The youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, decides to break the suffocating silence by confronting the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions.

Directed by: Joshua Oppenheimer

 

Every Face Has a Name

In Every Face Has A Name, a sequel of sorts to Harbor of Hope (MSPIFF 2012), director Magnus Gertten tracks down and interviews survivors from German concentration camps seen in a 35mm archival film reel showing their arrival at the harbour of Malmo, Sweden on April 28, 1945.

The group includes Jews from all over Europe, Norwegian prisoners of war, Polish mothers and children, members of the French resistance, British spies, as well as a young Italian-American accused of being a spy—with personal reactions that are both powerful and moving.

Directed by: Magnus Gertten

All the Time in the World

Concerned with the fundamental disconnect of living in the city, a family of five leaves the comforts of home behind for a remote cabin in the Yukon wilderness camera in tow. Without running water, electricity, phone or even direct road access, Suzanne Crocker, her husband and three children (ages 10, 8 and 4) embark on a nine month experiment. Making do with no crew and limited equipment, Crocker skillfully chronicles her family’s unique personal discovers and turns them into a universal story on life, family, and everyday struggles.

Directed by: Suzanne Crocker

… 


Get your tickets and MSPIFF passes before they sell out!

MSPIFFgraphic

Regular Screenings
General Admission: $12.00
Film Society Members: $10.00
Students w/ID: $6.00

NEW! Beginning this year, tickets can be purchased online at mspfilm.org.

DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL GUIDE & FULL SCHEDULE 

 


What do you think folks, does any of these films interest you?

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46 thoughts on “MSPIFF 2015 is here once again! April 9-25: 17 days, 250+ films!

    1. They always do, which is quite a feat as it goes on for 3 weeks! Hope I get to see all of these. Which one(s) are you most excited about Steven?

    1. Yeah, the premise sounds intriguing! Plus you can’t go wrong w/ miss Binoche and K-Stew doesn’t seem as annoying as she always is, ahah.

  1. Tom

    Wow. To say that I am jealous of what you have ahead of you might be the understatement of 2015. 🙂 There are so many excellent-sounding selections here. I don’t even know where to begin.

    1. Hi Tom! Wish you could come over to MN during Spring to attend MSPIFF! 😉 There really are a TON of great films, I wish I had time to see ’em all.

      1. Tom

        I wish I could as well! It sounds like a great time. I’m in the process of getting my shit together enough to move out to Salt Lake City so i might be in a better position to attend future Sundance Festivals. I think that’d be a blast.

              1. Tom

                It would be indeed. I would love to try and make this happen. Have you met anyone else from the blogosphere besides Fernando? I remember seeing that post and thinking that was way cool. 🙂

                1. I met another blogger who lives in IL but she doesn’t blog as often now. Other than that no, but I’d love to meet more bloggers I interact regularly so yeah let’s make this happen somehow Tom 😃

                  1. Wish we could do a meet up w/ a bunch of bloggers, but of course that’s wishful thinking given we live all over the world! But hopefully we’ll meet again Fernando! 😀

  2. Hope you enjoy the festival, Ruth. I’m dying to see Clouds of Sils Maria! Girlhood and The Look of Silence are also on my radar. El Critico and The Connection sound promising, too.

    1. Oh I think you’ll love Clouds of Sils Maria. There are some slow moments but for the most part I was quite engrossed in the story. I actually like Kristen Stewart in a movie, now that’s a first 🙂 I’ll be seeing El Critico for sure, but I have a conflict on The Connection so my other blogger friend named Josh is gonna see and review that.

  3. Cool to see some of the films that played at recent film fests here (Girlhood, The Connection, Clouds…) along with a bunch of stuff that looks fantastic! Envious! >;D

    Glad you enjoyed the 100-year-old-man film. That played here mid-last year, I thought it was hysterical!

    1. So you’ve seen most of those already then Jordan? Oh I actually didn’t see the 100-year-old-man film, that was the opening night film but I couldn’t make it. I just came back from Clouds of Sils Maria, I quite enjoyed that one.

      1. I liked Clouds… I don’t remember much haha but I liked what I saw. It comes out as full release in a few weeks down here 😀

        I haven’t seen most of those you listed, many sound AWESONE, but I was lucky enough to see a bunch of those films at the film fests this year, and the spanish ones you listed are playing next month here, along with 100+ others. I’m luckier than I thought, Adelaide is kinda the art/cultural centre of Ausland, but I never really appreciated it until now

  4. The Connection looks great, hopefully the film will be as good as the trailer. Also, I’m pretty excited to see any film shot on film, I remember just about ten years ago I wanted more movies to be shot on digital. Now I’m want more films to be shot on film, lol.

    1. It is better than the trailer. I wish i’d written about it sooner after I saw it as I can’t remeber it well enough to write anything proper about it now. But…. yeah, see The Connection mate, you won’t regret it

    2. I’m bummed I won’t be able to go see The Connection but my friend Josh is going so he’ll review it. Marshland is supposed to be a good retro thriller also.

      1. Yeah I am actually kinda shcoked by it all…. English FF, French FF, now Spanish coming up… they aren’t international films but they screen a lot of unreleased stuff. I usually buy ten ticket packs, its addictive! I’m actually thinking of going to Melbourne this july for the melbourne INTERNATIONAL FF. There I could really see some new stuff 😀

  5. Not super excited about the 100 year old man….didn’t care for the book, and neither did my 93 year old grandmother – boy did she have some choice words! 😉

  6. This looks great! Hope you enjoy Girlhood – I saw it recently at Flatpack Festival and I can’t believe it still doesn’t have a proper release date here in the UK yet. I’m amazed such a powerful and well conceived film has been so overlooked.

    1. Oh cool, you’ve seen Girlhood already. I was immediately intrigued by it, thankfully there’s an online screener for that as I can’t make the scheduled theatrical screening.

    1. Hi Mark! Yeah, Natalie just said Girlhood’s really good. I have a feeling Marshland and The Connection are right up your alley too.

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