Mountainfilm 2019 Festival Theme: Equity

Mountainfilm 2019 Festival Theme: Equity

Our first vlog and review set from 2019 Mountainfilm takes a look at this year’s theme of equity and features reviews of films with topics as diverse as Woodstock, transgender athletes, America’s railroads, and the Telluride Valley.

Documentary Filmmaking in the Here and Now

Documentary Filmmaking in the Here and Now

With topics as far-ranging as filmmaking, serial killers, war, pop culture, and lifestyle, five recent documentaries–Shirkers, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, They Shall Not Grow Old, Minimalism, and Rethinking Barbie–show the range and versatility of documentary form.

Shirkers: A Film 26 Years in the Making

Shirkers: A Film 26 Years in the Making

Shirkers was to be a punk-art 1992 movie made by teenagers and their adult mentor, until he spontaneously kidnapped the footage and disappeared. In 2018, Sandi Tan’s film looking back at those events, also named Shirkers, is one of the most idiosyncratic documentaries the year.

Frozen River Film Festival: A Recap

Frozen River Film Festival: A Recap

Another fantastic year of the Frozen River Film Festival now under Winona’s belt, Winona State’s Film Studies students share their reviews of some of their favorite and award-winning documentaries from the 2019 festival.

Preview: Office Space (1999, dir. Mike Judge)

Preview: Office Space (1999, dir. Mike Judge)

The second film in this year’s “Careers, Conflicts, and Callings” series Oct. 5, Office Space is a hilarious look at the job of IT workers in the office environment, portraying how one might overcome the obstacles their bosses present.

Finding His Voice: Spike Lee’s Development as a Filmmaker

Finding His Voice: Spike Lee’s Development as a Filmmaker

What makes a film so singularly Spike Lee’s?  This visual essay examines the development of  Lee’s distinctive artistic voice, featuring looks at some of his earliest work like Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop leading up to Malcolm X, the apex of his creative career.

Dance as Storytelling in School Daze & Do the Right Thing

Dance as Storytelling in School Daze & Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee uses dance as an illustrative mode of storytelling throughout his filmography, and in School Daze (1988) and Do the Right Thing (1989), as a vehicle for the disenfranchised, persecuted, and misunderstood. This visual essay analyzes scenes School Daze’s “Good and Bad Hair” dance number and Do the Right Thing’s opening credits sequence.

Reflecting upon Race Relations in Spike Lee’s Opening Credit Sequences

Reflecting upon Race Relations in Spike Lee’s Opening Credit Sequences

One of the more overlooked aspects of Spike Lee’s filmmaking may be his opening credit sequences and how they establish a message he has delivered numerous times in his career.  This visual essay from Joe Van Ryn and Dylan Johnson examines Lee’s title sequences for School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Malcolm X.

Spike Lee: The Musical Effectiveness of Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee: The Musical Effectiveness of Do the Right Thing

Perhaps the most effective and impressive aspect of Spike Lee’s films is their creative and unique use of music. In this visual essay, Harrison McCormick and Chris Schroeder look at Lee’s most recognizable film, Do the Right Thing, for within it lies perhaps his greatest and most effective use of music.

They Shall Not Grow Old: An Immersive Experience

They Shall Not Grow Old: An Immersive Experience

Released in 2018, Peter Jackson’s World War One documentary They Shall Not Grow Old recalls the events of the war through soldiers’ personal accounts, humorous anecdotes, and firsthand battle descriptions, and in the process tells an exciting and entertaining story along the way.

Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie in the 21st Century

Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie in the 21st Century

Diving into the story of the iconic doll, Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie captures a pivotal time in Barbie’s life: a time where more and more people respect and want to see greater diversity represented in culture and society, and expect child influences–like Barbie–to reflect that.

Any One of Us (2019, dir. Fernando Villena): Mountainfilm Review

Any One of Us (2019, dir. Fernando Villena): Mountainfilm Review

Going into the Mountainfilm 2019 screening of Any One of Us, nearly every audience member knew that professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia was going to suffer a devastating accident leading to a spinal cord injury.  Fortunately, director Fernando Villena was very aware of this fact and used it to the film’s advantage.

Mountainfilm 2019 Symposium Review: Equity

Mountainfilm 2019 Symposium Review: Equity

At Mountainfilm, this year’s Moving Mountains Symposium was focused on the topic of Equity and featured speakers and entertainment along the way. This was the perfect time and place for the Symposium so we could hear all about the differences in the world–and how to address them.

The Railroader (2019, dir. Russell Bush): Mountainfilm Review

The Railroader (2019, dir. Russell Bush): Mountainfilm Review

Through a personal and detailed story from John Bush, poetic and expository modes, and polished cinematography, Russell O. Bush created a beautiful film that not only manages to capture the audience in its grasp, but also provides an important story on how locomotives have made an impact on America throughout history.

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Ken Graetz

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