One of the delights of the late summer is that it's time when local arts folks mix it up a little.
Take tonight at IFP Minnesota's Fresh Fete at the Varsity Theater. As the local organization devoted to independent film it will of course be showing films, but blending some chat and a lot of music too. The film comes from local writer director Emily Haddad who won IFP Mn's Fresh Film grant last year and used it to make "Egg Timer" which will premier at 6.30. There will be a conversation between Mystery Science Theater 3000's Bill Corbett and local playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher. The evening will be rounded out by local icon Willie Murphy and the Angel Headed Hipsters and pianist John Sims.
If you haven't seen the Walker Art Center's examination of conceptual art "The Quick and the Dead" - or even if you have - it's worth a visit. There are some 90 pieces by 53 artists, some of which are designed to change over time, hence the value in returning. Take for example Claes von Oldenburg's "The Garden" which involved burying 100 objects and then exhuming and displaying one item per day. He didn't specify what the object should be, but the Walker staff chose lemons, and you can see the results in jars in the Center's lower lobby.
If you are considering a little road trip this weekend, there is the final weekend of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, and the always whacky Free Range Film Festival in Webster, about half an our south of Duluth. Movie shorts in a barn, how can you miss?
And for the truly dedicated sports fan the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis is presenting live coverage on the big screen of the Tour de France. You can watch the cyclists sweat while sitting in the finest art deco movie house the Twin Cities has to offer. Admission is free, although they are collecting non-perishable goods for local food shelves, or a $2 donation.
Emily Haddad is a big fan of IFP Minnesota. After all it did give her the Fresh Film grant last year which allowed her to make "The Egg Timer" which premieres tonight at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.
The film, which stars local actor Stacia Rice, had a couple of inspirations when Haddad (left) first began writing it five years ago.
"My mother was very sick at the time and I was taking care of her," she said. "Also a story from my grandmother's childhood. It's about guilt and confession."
Haddad tried to produce it a couple of times, but she was never able to gather the resources she needed to tell the story the way she felt it should be told. The she won the grant.
"It was just a wonderful opportunity," she said, not just because of the money, but also because of the way the Twin Cities film community came together to help her. You can read extensive details in the blog she kept over the last year. What is remarkable is the huge number of people who came forward, and were really needed for the production.
"It's a complicated process," she said. "Pre-production, and then the production with the film crew and the director of photography and the actors. Then post-production, people that help edit it and mix the sound track and do graphics and animation."
Haddad counted up all the people mentioned in the credits of the film, which just runs 16 minutes, and came up with over 100 who had helped significantly with the film.
She says it's a shame that there are so few productions being made in Minnesota. "Because we have so many talented people and we need to really to push to allow them to use those talents on more films."
After the screening of "The Egg Timer" tonight at IFP's Fresh Fete, Haddad will enter the film into film festivals around the country. She is hoping not only to get into events around the country but also to screen the film more around Minnesota.
You can hear our conversation, recorded yesterday by clicking on this link" Listen
If you have ever wondered how film makers get those great shots of people driving their cars, take a look at the picture below.1 Comments)