Sunday, January 27, 2013

Best and Worst Films of 2012

On today's episode of Sounds of Cinema I counted down my picks of the best and worst films of last year.


1. Samsara

2. Life of Pi

3. Argo

4. Django Unchained

5. Take This Waltz

6. Looper

7. The Sessions

8.The Raid: Redemption

9. Zero Dark Thirty

10. Moonrise Kingdom

  1. Project X
  2. The Devil Inside
  3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
  4. Playing for Keeps
  5. Piranha 3DD
  6. Last Ounce of Courage
  7. Bachelorette
  8. One for the Money
  9. 2016: Obama's America
  10. The Watch
You can find more information, including rationales for each film and lists of honorable mentions and cinematic trends of 2012, here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sounds of Cinema 2012 Year End Wrap Up

On Sunday, January 27th, Sounds of Cinema will look back at the cinema of 2012 with a countdown of my picks of the ten best and worst movies of the past year. Tune in to see if your favorites made the cut.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Movies About Abortion

This week is the fortieth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court decision. With that in mind here are a few films dealing with abortion:

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
This winner of the top prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival tells the story of a woman pursuing an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania.

After Tiller
This documentary about the murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Citizen Ruth
Directed and co-written by Alexander Payne, this film is a satire of the abortion debate as a pregnant drug addict finds herself a celebrity when both pro and anti-abortion activists try to sway her decision.

If These Walls Could Talk
An anthology of stories about women coping with the abortion issue in the 1950s, 70s, and 90s.

Lake of Fire
This documentary (which I screened at Winona State University in 2011) takes an expansive look at the abortion debate.

October Baby
A young woman discovers she is the adopted survivor of a botched abortion and goes on a road trip to find her biological mother.

Vera Drake
A drama about a working-class woman providing illegal abortions in 1950s London. The film won the Golden Lion Award at the 2004 Venice Film Festival.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Frozen River Film Festival: Jan. 23 - 27

The 2013 Frozen River Film Festival begins today in Winona, Minnesota. The annual event offers documentary films and related programming intended to engage, educate and activate the community through film.

According to the festival website, the festival aims at:
  • Educating our viewers by offering films and discussion on issues of local, regional and world importance. We expose our audience to people they would never meet, to cultures they might never understand and to issues they have yet to consider.
  • Providing a global perspective on environmental issues and culture offering alternate viewpoints. Through the presentation of film makers from around the world, we offer diverse perspectives on world issues and nature.
  • Giving opportunities for debate, discussion and discourse on a variety of topics important to our community.
  • Encouraging action on the part of each festival participant. Our festival will give audiences access to tools and connections to take action on social issues.
  • Promoting cross-cultural dialogue through innovative film making.
  • Fostering collaboration through coalition building with partner organizations and grassroots organizations around specific issue programs.
Tickets can be purchased at Chapter 2 Books between 10am and 6pm through January 25th. On January 26th and 27th the ticketing table will be in the Science Learning Center Atrium on the Winona State University campus.  Passes and tickets can also be purchased at any of the event location’s ticketing tables. 

You can find the event schedule and additional ticket information on the festival website.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Colin Stokes on Movies and Manhood

Check out this TED lecture in which Colin Stokes connects the images, characters, and stories of popular entertainment with gender roles and expectations:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LandLocked Film Festival on Jan. 18th

The LandLocked Film Festival will be held on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at The 410 Project in Mankato, Minnesota. The event begins at 5pm.

Each film will be less than ten minutes in length and feature the city of Mankato in some way. A panel of judges will select the first, second, and third best film. A People's Choice award will also be presented.

Artwork from LandLocked cover artists will also be featured at the event and performances by local bands will  follow at the RedSky Lounge.

See the Facebook event page for more details.