Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
The 37th-annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Fest is the largest film fest in the upper Midwest, drawing up to 50,000 attendees annually. This year’s lineup features 268 films from 75 nations, all screening in the Twin Cities for the first time. This is down from last year’s whopping 350-plus films — an effort to focus on the very best films out there. Here are some highlights:
- Ingmar Bergman Tribute: MSPIFF presenting organization, MSP Film Society, will present a 16-film Bergman retrospective in May. To offer a taste, it will screen two films by the Swedish filmmaker, “Summer with Monika” (1953) and “Persona” (1966), plus the 2013 biography “Trespassing Bergman” with co-director Hynek Pallas in attendance.
- “RBG”: The 2018 documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg makes its Twin Cities premiere for MSPIFF’s opening night, and it’s also one of more than 50 features and 40-plus shorts at this year’s festival by and about women. The film’s co-director, Betsy West, will be in attendance (and Justice Ginsberg has been invited).
- “Deep Astronomy and the Romantic Sciences”: As front man for San Francisco’s infamous cult combo, the Billy Nayer Show, Cory McAbee became known for his brilliantly kitschy pop songs in the ’90s. He went on to write and direct experimental short films with a similarly irreverent vibe. For MSPIFF, he’ll present and star in a live sci-fi event that features a mix of music, animation and artwork.
When: April 12–28
Where: Various locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul
Cost: $14 ($11 members, $8 for youth under 25 and students with ID)
‘Garden of Names’
Born out of a collaboration between Zorongo Flamenco Dance Company’s founder and artistic director, Susana di Palma, and dancer/choreographer Joe Chvala in 1991, “Garden of Names” is a critically acclaimed dance work inspired by Lawrence Thornton’s novel of political torture inspired by real-life events, “Imagining Argentina.” More than 20 years later, the powerful, provocative show is being restaged by di Palma with Chvala and his Flying Foot Forum dance troupe and an all-star cast of internationally renowned flamenco dancers, singers and musicians, including Edwin Aparicio — one of the most sought-after flamenco performers in the U.S. — and dancer/percussionist José Moreno, the son of famous flamenco artists Estresa Morena and Pepe de Málaga. Set in 1970s Argentina, where people disappeared to be tortured and killed during a reign of government terror, the performance shows the strength of the human spirit and the power of the imagination to fight injustice.
When: April 6–15
Where: The Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave.
‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’
Based on the iconic, thought-provoking 1967 film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” which starred Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy as affluent Californians whose liberal leanings are put into question when their daughter comes home with Sidney Poitier on her arm, this stage adaptation by playwright Todd Kreidler in 2011 is as relevant today as ever. The play respects the key moments of the film while offering a different reading of the story — while the film is a situation-driven, socially conscious story delivered in a too-neat package, the play is more nuanced and character-driven, focusing on the relationships of the characters and touching on complex issues of race, gender and class in modern-day America. The Guthrie production stars prolific Twin Cities actress Sally Wingert in Hepburn’s role.
When: April 7–May 27
Where: Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St.
‘Striations’ & ‘Aerials’
In their new dual exhibition at Rosalux Gallery, Minneapolis abstract artists Shawn McNulty and David Malcolm Scott explore the relationship between man-made structures and the natural world. McNulty’s “Striations” comprises canvases covered in layers of acrylic and pumice applied with unorthodox methods such as a shoe palette knife, Plexiglass and brooms, rather than a paintbrush. In a move away from his signature geometric abstractions, the artist’s new pieces feature heavily textured, organic forms and complex compositions that bring to mind ancient structures and eroded rock formations. In “Aerials,” Scott uses a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylics, pencil and ink, collage and photography, to draw the viewer into a historical narrative made up of rivers, prairies, lunar cycles and human settlements.
When: April 7–29. Opening reception Saturday, April 7, 7 p.m.–10 p.m. On view Saturdays & Sundays noon–4 p.m. or by appointment.
Where: Rosalux Gallery, 1400 Van Buren St. NE, #195
Paisley Park Prince Celebration 2018
Last April, to mark the anniversary of Prince’s death, his Paisley Park studio-turned-museum in Chanhassen gathered some of his closest collaborators for a weekend of live performances, panel discussions and presentations. While this year’s Celebration is less star-studded than the inaugural 2017 event, it features several Prince-associated acts missing from last year’s lineup, including Sheila E. and fDeluxe (formerly known as the Family). A supergroup of alumni from various Prince bands, including New Power Generation, will also perform. Like last year, passes are sold in alternating timed blocks that move patrons in and out of Paisley Park. They also include access to the Prince Live on the Big Screen at Target Center on April 21, where musicians will accompany unreleased video of the Purple One performing live.
When: April 19–22
Where: Paisley Park, 7801 Audobon Road, Chanhassen
Cost: $550–$1,050 for Celebration passes; $39–$199 for Prince Live on the Big Screen