February 16, 2009

No Time To Catch Your Breath

I have this crazy idea I've been kicking around for the last year or so and it goes like this: People need a break from new Hollywood releases. Therefore I plan to propose an official Offseason, in which no new movies would be released beginning the day after the Oscars each year, and ending April 1st (if you don't know yet, April is the new July - Iron Man 2 will officially kick off the 2010 summer movie season...next April).

What would this Offseason do?

1. Allow everybody a break in which to catch up on the past year's releases and any classics they've been waiting to watch on DVD. You get a solid month to get to all those movies you've been meaning to see.

2. Prevent Hollywood from feeding us garbage. Everyone knows the months of January - March are the dumping grounds for movies that studios have no faith in. Don't be fooled by box-office records during these months (My Bloody Valentine, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Friday the 13th have pulled in millions and millions of dollars in recent weeks), because it just means we're paying more for less. These movies dumb down movie audiences and they're a waste of time and money. Get rid of this dumping-ground time and you'll get rid of these garbage movies at the same time. Or, at the very least the studios will be forced to dump the garbage in with the rest of the movies throughout the year, when they can be easily ignored and quickly moved out of theaters.

3. Build inflated anticipation for the summer movies (as if there isn't enough already).

4. Other stuff, but I'll stop listing because I've been on a tangent and I want to better prepare the details of this proposal offline before I submit it to Hollywood.

My point in mentioning all of this is that despite the fact that there are fewer quality movies in theaters during these months, I'm still somehow unable to catch a break. Here's why:


Universal Noir @ The Heights - Starting tonight with This Gun for Hire and continuing for the next month, Barry Kryshka's Take-Up Productions presents "From the Vaults of Universal: Seven Classic Film Noirs". This will be at least the fourth impressive series Barry has launched in the last year, and he is clearly establishing himself as one of the most hard-working film impresarios in the Twin Cities. Kathie Smith posted a nice Q & A with Barry last week in which he explains the challenges of screening classic films and his goals for future programming. Check it out and don't miss the opportunity to see one of these classics at the beautiful Heights Theatre.

MARCH 2 - 19

The Amazing Double Interlocking Polaroid System 3D Film Festival @ The Parkway - In just over a year's time, Joe Minjares has turned The Parkway into one of the most intriguing theaters in town. Second-run releases, classic movies, special events, and now a 3D film festival. During the first few weeks in March, plan on paying the always low $5 admission price to see one of these classics in 3D: House of Wax, Gorilla At Large, Miss Sadie Thompson, Inferno, The Mad Magician, and Dial M For Murder.

MARCH 6 - 8

1st Annual Italian Film Festival (Mpls./St. Paul) @ MCAD - Aside from the fact that is' presented by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul, I don't know much about the background on this three day, five film festival coming up in March, but that it's happening at all is a promising sign. Check out the synopses of the five contemporary Italian films here, and make plans to head to MCAD for one of the three nights.

Did I forget to mention the best part? ALL THE SCREENINGS ARE FREE.


MARCH 6 - 21

16th Annual Women With Vision International Film Festival: "Dimensions" @ The Walker Art Center - There's never a break in the action with films at the Walker. After wrapping up the Expanding the Frame series next week, the inspiring annual festival that celebrates "the perspectives women bring to the art of filmmaking" will kick off with Treeless Mountain from South Korea. This is one of the unsung movie events in the Twin Cities each year, and I admit that I even I haven't given it the attention it deserves. Last year I only saw the affecting Mutum and I was sad to have missed Older Than America. This year I have my sights on 3D Sun, Examined Life and The Sari Soldiers (pictured).

So much for an offseason, especially with the 27th Annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) looming on the horizon, confirmed for April 16-30. (Speaking of which, it appears the Global Lens series will curiously be part of MSPIFF this year and not screened at the Walker...very interesting move by Minnesota Film Arts. Also interesting to see that the aforemention Mutum is included in this year's Global Lens series.)

And just a reminder, upcoming movies and events to keep an eye on are always listed in my primitive release schedule on the left.


  1. Daniel, and it wouldn't be right not to end it on April Fool's ...

  2. Haha, the significance of the date completely escaped me. And it makes it all the better.

  3. I think I've been living in a permanent offseason for years now...

  4. And you're healthy and happy, right? A lesson for us all, that's for sure.


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