Posted at 8:08 AM on January 14, 2010
by Chris Roberts
Filed under: Art Hounds
This installment is geared toward the cinephile as the hounds lead us to a film that's become a cult hit, a you-pick showcase of documentarian Melody Gilbert's work and movie scores courtesy of Minn. Orch.
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Clarence Wethern is an actor in the Twin Cities. Clarence says "The Room," a black comedy about love, lies and betrayal that's become a cult classic, is deliciously bad. He says you can't go wrong taking in a midnight showing at the Uptown Theater on January15th and 16th, or on February 19 and 20th.
Randall Davidson is a Twin Cities composer and educator. Randall went looking for signs the local art scene is alive and well and found a potent example in "Movie Night." He says it's like a book club for films, only looser. It happens on a slightly irregular basis at Locus Architecture in the Northrup King building in Northeast Minneapolis. This Saturday, Jan. 16th, the group will pick one of St. Paul filmmaker Melody Gilbert's documentaries, watch it, then discuss it with Melody afterward. There's no "Movie Night" web site. People normally find out about it via e-mail only, so you'll have to show up Saturday to get on the list.
Laura Bidgood is a theater artist in the Twin Cities. Laura is a movie lover and thoroughly enjoyed the Minnesota Orchestra's Sounds of Cinema series. You can watch movie classics at Orchestra Hall while the orchestra plays the film's score, live. This Friday and Saturday, the orchestra tackles The Wizard of Oz. On Sunday, Jan.17th, the orchestra will accompany a montage of Oscar-winning films.
Posted at 10:05 AM on January 14, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Culture
This month the websites minnesotaplaylist.com and mnartists.org are co-publishing a series of articles on what they call "Feeling Minnesota." The conversation is prompted by the question "does Lutheran practicality plus Scandinavian progressiveness multiplied by snow and divided by passive-aggressiveness add up to an aesthetic?"
It's an interesting question, and it's already inspired some strong responses. Critic Quinton Skinner thinks there's something about the harshness of our winters that drives artists to perservere, while creating a thirst in audiences for visual stimuli in an otherwise barren landscape. Although I think I have to disagree with his claim that "outsized egos deflate here." Might not our cold weather instill just a smidgen of sinful pride?
Lightsey Darst muses on the "Minnesota style" of the Twin Cities dance scene (which she points out is really the Minneapolis dance scene). Can there be a Minnesota style if almost all the choreographers in town moved here from somewhere else? Yes, she says, because - quoting Kristin Van Loon - "if you choose Minneapolis, you're 'okay with hiding under a rock and really making your thing.'"
Darst says the local dance scene is marked by both political consciousness and a deliberate lack of fashion. Dancers here often favor narrative over form (making it easier to justify/explain your work to the masses) and purposely avoid looking too beautiful or too hip.
Tom Poole writes that he sees a lasting influence from the now defunct Theatre de la Jeune Lune on young performance groups who combine movement and theater. So might Minnesota trace its roots all the way back to the Jacques Lecoq school in Paris?
Whatever the Minnesota style is or isn't, the question is a provocative one. To think that amidst all the diverse art and artists, there is a common thread or quality that unifies them all. What do you think it is?
My vote? "Understated."