Get Weird at Twin Cities Film Fest: The Odd Films Out

Categories: Film and TV
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With multiple sold-out screenings on its opening weekend, the fifth annual Twin Cities Film Fest is looking to be the most successful one yet. While other festivals spend years carving out a niche, TCFF has already hit its mark: independent films, mainstream appeal. They're proud to say they program for the casual moviegoer. So what does the casual moviegoer like? Big names (Reese Witherspoon, Adam Sandler, Benedict Cumberbatch), big causes (Hunger in America, The Syndrome), and big feelings (Big Significant Things, To Say Goodbye).

And then there are the weird films. The outliers that, against all odds, made it into the TCFF lineup. So instead of a rundown of the movies everyone's already talking about, here are five films you may have had no idea were playing at the festival. Make it a point to hit up one of these screenings, and get a taste of something not coming to an AMC anytime soon.

See also:
What To See at Twin Cities Film Fest: Other Film Fests Weigh In



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What To See at Twin Cities Film Fest: Other Film Fests Weigh In

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The Twin Cities Film Fest opens tonight for its fifth year. But with a lineup that includes 50-plus screenings over 10 days at the ShowPlace ICON Theatre in St. Louis Park, how do you pick what to see? Do you go for Wild, the Reese Witherspoon Oscar contender based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir? Or is the grab-bag of short films titled Evil, Enemies, and Aliens for you?

In the spirit of camaraderie, the directors of the more established Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival each chose three films that they think you should check out at the TCFF. Their events have been running for a combined total of 40 years, so they know their stuff.

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Film Podcast: Dear White People, Go See Dear White People

Categories: Film and TV

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Justin Simien's Dear White People
With the news that Paul Feig is going to reboot Ghostbusters with an all-female cast, we wonder on this week's Voice Film Club podcast what it would be like if they re-did another '80s classic: Young Guns. We then move onto the latest Brad Pitt World War II movie, Fury, which is ultra violent. Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly says, "I like a war movie where they talk about how war is just really awful...this is muddy in-the-trenches war movie." Joined as always by Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, the trio then moves onto Justin Simien's much-anticipated new film, Dear White People (be sure to read our interview with Simien), and then to post-apocalyptic Western Young Ones, written and directed by Jake Paltrow.


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Film Podcast: Twin Peaks Returns, The Judge Disappoints, and Whiplash Drips with Jazz

Categories: Film and TV

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Miles Teller in Whiplash
Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson, open this week's podcast with a brief discussion of Twin Peaks, which comes back to TV via a series on Showtime in 2016, and move onto The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, and then to Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.

The gang also discuss the latest Left Behind movie, starring Nicolas Cage, before wrapping up with recommendations of the 1964 film Nothing But a Man and the documentaries Evolution of a Criminal and The Overnighters. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.


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Podcasts: Gone Girl Explores Marriage, the Media, and Missouri

Categories: Film and TV

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Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson, talk about one of the big movies of the year, Gone Girl, which opens in about 3,000 U.S. theaters on Friday, but the trio also makes room for lesser-known films like The Blue Room, Men, Women & Children, The Skeleton Twins, and The Two Faces of January. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.


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Podcast: In The Equalizer, Denzel Kills, Summarizes Hemingway, Kills Again

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo by Scott Garfield - © 2013 CTMG
Denzel Washington in The Equalizer: "It's about a guy who is a knight in shining armor, except he lives in a world where knights don't exist anymore." He's talking about Don Quixote but he's really talking ABOUT HIMSELF.
As Bob McCall in The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays a regular Joe who turns into an eye-gouging, brain-drilling nightmare for Boston's Russian mob. At first Washington "toodles about a Home Depot-like store, helping customers, decked out in New Balance shoes and jeans so last-century you'll be looking for pleats," writes the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl. That's before he turns DIY crime-fighter in Antoine Fuqua's latest crowd-pleaser. Scherstuhl, along with the Voice's Stephanie Zacharek and Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly discuss that movie, along with kiddie-charmer The Boxtrolls, which will make you laugh, cower and think of Hitler, naturally. The trio also dive into the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre Benjamin, Jimi: All is By My Side, plus Amy gives us the highlights from Fantastic Fest. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.


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Finally, a Movie with Liam Neeson That's as Good as Liam Neeson

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo by Atsushi Nishijima - © 2014 - Universal Pictures
Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones.
Special guest Inkoo Kang, film critic at TheWrap and news editor at Indiewire's Women and Hollywood blog, joins Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of the LAWeekly to discuss a variety of topics on this very big podcast, including: The Maze Runner, what it's like interviewing director Steve McQueen, Amy's highlights from the Toronto Film Festival, Kevin Smith's Tusk, and Matthew Crawley, err, Dan Stevens's role in two movies out now -- A Walk Among the Tombstones and The Guest. Alan makes an anti-recommendation for Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? and Inkoo heartily endorses season 2 of Masters of Sex on Showtime.

Phew! Listen to it all below, and don't forget to...

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Venice update: Ethan Hawke's Good Kill is an intimate war on terror drama

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo by Lorey Sebastian
Ethan Hawke in Good Kill.
Today is my last day in Venice, which always makes me blue. Yesterday morning, on the way to my final screening, a tourist with an Eastern European accent I couldn't quite identify stopped me a block or so from the sad and shuttered Hotel des Bains and asked me if it was open. "I have seen it in the Visconti film," he said, referring to the 1971 adaptation of Death in Venice, "and was hoping to go inside." When I told him that the hotel had been closed for several years now, and that the proposed construction to turn this grand old building into luxury condominiums had stalled out, he looked as forlorn as the building itself does. "I had hoped they'd turned it into a museum," he said.


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Bill Hader can make you cry: The SNL star on digging deep in The Skeleton Twins

Categories: Film and TV

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Four years ago, comedian Bill Hader told his agent he wanted to do a drama. It took a while. "I used to think typecasting wasn't a thing, and it totally is," Hader admits. "That's an industry feeling: 'How can I take that person seriously when I know they're capable of such weird insanity?'" But Hader doesn't look insane. For a comic, he looks almost perversely normal, with the flexible, borderline-forgettable looks of an actor who could play anything -- a handsome mortician, a strict dad, a socially awkward CEO. He just needed a shot.


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Venice Film Festival: Michael Almereyda makes magic with Cymbeline

Categories: Film and TV

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Cymbeline is the misunderstood schoolchild of Shakespeare's plays, the misfit who speaks up at odd times and sometimes says the wrong thing, awkward in all kinds of obvious ways. It's a special-needs play, but the beauty of it is right there in its bones, not least because in it we can see the great playwright's life -- that is to say, his career -- flashing before his eyes. A scheming queen, a heroine who disguises herself as a boy, a pair of semi-star-crossed lovers, a potion that gives the illusion of sleep -- it's all there in Cymbeline, a kind of greatest-hits scrapbook, and the play that even those who claim to love Shakespeare are least likely to defend.


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