Your last, best hope

A&E wants to tempt you with these films from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival’s final week

by Steven Snyder

The film festival is already at an end. For 15 days, it has taken over the city, from downtown, to Uptown, to the University campus.

Here are five picks for the final three nights of the festival:

“Popular Music From Vittula”

9:15 p.m. today, Lagoon Cinema and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Oak Street Cinema

The Beatles changed the United States in the 1960s. Now, they’re taking Sweden by storm. Based on Mikael Niemi’s best-selling book about two die-hard Swedish Beatles fans, the film also deals with the dangers and consequences of the pop star lifestyle.

“One Night Husband”

9:30 p.m. Friday, Crown Theaters Block E

The festival program says director Pimpaka Towira is regarded by some critics as the “female David Lynch.” Her Thai thriller inverts traditional gender roles in a story about a new bride, a missing husband and a world of suspicion about what happened to him and who’s involved.

“Anytown, USA”

7:30 p.m. Friday, Bell Auditorium

This quirky documentary had its world premiere during the weekend in Uptown and now returns for an encore presentation. The first work from director Kristian Fraga, “Anytown, USA” is his look at the warped but all-too-real world of local politics in Bogota, N.J. The contest is a mayoral race, but along the way, Fraga captures the hysteria of the townspeople and the shrewdness of the political machine. In brief moments, however, he also captures something a bit more heartwarming: the sincere, albeit occasionally misguided, drive of many residents to make their city a better place.

“Bruno Ganz”

1:15 p.m. Saturday, Bell Auditorium

As a movie actor, he has played everything from an angel (“Wings of Desire”) to the devil himself (Adolf Hitler in “Downfall”). This documentary looks at the incredible career of one of Germany’s great personas of stage and screen.


9 p.m. Saturday, Uptown Theatre

The festival’s closing night event is one of the most discussed entries from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The competition is not all that unusual: rugby – intense rugby – played by people who consider it more than a sport. But its participants are anything but the norm. Confined to wheelchairs, they up the ante in their quest for Paralympic gold, turning these rugby matches into ruthless demolition derbies.