Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

All content by Niels Strandskov

There and back again

Published May 5, 2005

At this point in his career, it should be obvious Todd Solondz's films are not for everyone. In addition to the critical voices that have made this point, Solondz himself said in an interview with The...

Bits and pieces of light and darkness

Published April 21, 2005

In the early days of film, when cinema was barely out of the carnival tent and the nickelodeon, art critics vigorously debated the question of whether movies could be art. "The seventh art," as some commentators...

The lone and level sands

Published April 7, 2005

In the many roles Steve Zahn has played, the actor has never looked like he's phoning it in. On the contrary, Zahn's effervescence sparkles through even his more serious parts, though never at the expense...

The personal is historical

Published February 10, 2005

In 1970, students protesting the Vietnam War filled the space in front of Coffman Union. Their image is preserved in the east and west entryways to the building, in large black-and-white photographs that...

Jug band hootenanny

Published February 10, 2005

At a Dinkytown cafe Saturday, several members of the Geezers Jug Band were living up to their name. "About the only place left from when we were here is Al's Breakfast," said University alumnus Peter Albrecht....

A cursed age when man was wolf to man

Published February 3, 2005

Even, or especially, in the face of danger, it's important to laugh. "The Lizard," a new film from Iranian director Kamal Tabrizi, is not the kind of movie one might expect to see from a country on the...

The most powerful woman in the world

Published January 27, 2005

An old slogan has it that "you can't blow up a social relationship." Indeed, the solutions to the worst problems we face as a civilization are often complex, messy and not amenable to violent intervention. Such...

24-Hour Theatre presents art that’s all in the timing

Published January 20, 2005

Every day, around the world, artists are struggling to make art. They struggle to find money, to overcome political and social obstacles, to get their work into a public venue, and to transcend their own...

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

Published January 20, 2005

At a large land-grant institution like the University, it can be easy to lose track of everyone who passes through the halls. Unlike the products of the Ivy League or the Seven Sisters, our graduates don't...

Seek truth from literature

Published December 9, 2004

Now that all the anti-Bush and anti-Kerry books are safely on their way to the pulping plant and all the textbooks are headed that way soon, there is a chance to catch up on some pleasure reading. It can...

Scottish scientists seek stolen serum

Published December 9, 2004

So begins one of the chapters in Ken Follett's new super-bug potboiler "Whiteout." The Kremlin referred to is not the famous seat of Russian political power. Rather, it's a fancy house in Scotland that...

Weaving the way to Ragnarok

Published October 28, 2004

Ignoring the equinoxes is one of the ways Western society tries to hide its pagan past. Long ago, the people of Europe lived closer to the earth. They honored the soil, gazed lovingly at the moon, and...

Wild nights ahead

Published October 7, 2004

Along with Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and Luis Bunuel, Ingmar Bergman reigns as one of the gods of arthouse film. Bergman was born in 1918 in Uppsala, Sweden. Since 1946, he has...

Art is all around us

Published September 30, 2004

On Friday, dancers will commandeer the skyways between Blegen Hall and the Social Sciences tower. There will be a large metal cage erected along 21st Avenue, and tap dancers will kick up a storm on the...

Rocket to the crypt

Published September 16, 2004

It's not hard to see why the money people in Hollywood wanted another installment of the "Resident Evil" franchise. "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" follows a successful first film and a very successful video...

A dish best served cold

Published September 9, 2004

Hollywood movies are never so absurd - and never so satisfying - as when they try to criticize the Hollywood system. "Paparazzi," the new revenge fantasy from TV director Paul Abascal, doesn't have quite...

Welcome to a new year of A&E

Published September 9, 2004

Last year, I had the opportunity to welcome you, our readership, to a new and improved A&E section, one that again stood separately from the main body of the paper. And six months ago, I was able to...

Big, long sliding thing

Published September 9, 2004

After eating a large meal, it often seems like you have some insight into what an anaconda must feel like after it has swallowed a whole goat. Imagine the bloating and dyspepsia that would follow upon...

What rough beasts, their hour come round at last

Published August 18, 2004

What a way to wind up the summer blockbuster season! Just when you thought it was safe to go to a science fiction movie, along comes "Alien vs. Predator" to remind us all of past glories never to be regained. When...

Stylish ‘Collateral’ offers beauty in evil

Published August 11, 2004

The new film "Collateral," directed by Michael Mann, can't seem to escape the tag "stylish." Stylish is a adjective that many critics have recourse to when describing Mann's other projects like "Heat,"...

The Gibson continuum

Published July 28, 2004

It was 20 years ago this month that William Gibson changed the world of science fiction with his first novel, "Neuromancer." Gibson brought the relatively new genre of cyberpunk to the world with his book,...

News, American style

Published July 21, 2004

For some people in the United States, the late 1970s signify a halcyon age of fondue pots, the AMC Gremlin and disco ascendant. Never mind that the half-decade sandwiched between the horrors of Vietnam...

Tougher than silicon

Published July 21, 2004

The dream of robotics is to remove drudgery from human experience. This dream dovetails well with Hollywood's stated intention to take us away from our mundane lives, if only for two hours at a time, and...

The violence inherent in the system

Published July 14, 2004

Of all the popular heroes in British history - Boudicca, Wat Tyler, Gerard Winstanley - King Arthur seems like the least obvious choice for constant reinterpretation. But that's never stopped anyone. The...

No one trusts anybody

Published July 6, 2004

With all due respect to the western, the costume drama, the comedy and the musical, film noir may very well be the most important genre in the history of film. The original film noir directors of the late...

Tangled up in red and blue

Published June 30, 2004

For long-time fans of Marvel Comics, it's nice to see the industry's most venerable imprint finally getting the cinematic respect it deserves. Marvel's superhero titles have always been more intelligent,...

Time for livin’

Published June 23, 2004

There's always a temptation to compare each new Beastie Boys' disc to their first album, 1986's brash, boyish and bombastic "Licensed to Ill." This is probably because pretty much anything would seem mature,...

It’s payback time

Published June 23, 2004

Film directors may be some of the most unreliable narrators around, especially when the narrative involves themselves. "BAADASSSS!" is a story told by two narrators, Melvin Van Peebles, the director and...

Touch of evil

Published June 16, 2004

An evil horde of warrior fanatics is racing across the inhabited universe, bent on converting every human to their insane religion of blood and honor. Their chief weapon: Merciless tickling. Well, not...

The green man returns

Published June 16, 2004

In our post-"Shrek" world, it can be hard to remember what animated fairy tale films were like in the bad old days. So complete is the transformation that even relatively recent Disney products like "The...

Gender trouble

Published June 16, 2004

The original 1975 screen version of "The Stepford Wives" owed much of its creepiness to Enrique Bravo and Owen Roizman's brilliant cinematography. The green and pleasant avenues of suburban Connecticut...

Dreams of whiteness

Published June 7, 2004

A ttending a screening of Roland Emmerich's climate-change epic, "The Day After Tomorrow," here is somewhat anticlimactic. In the weeks prior to the film's opening, the New York Times ran a number of fidgety,...

War, what is it good for?

Published May 24, 2004

Judging by their pottery, the ancient Greeks were interested in three things: breasts, buggery and badasses. Sadly, "Troy," directed by Wolfgang Petersen, presents evidence of only one of these three obsessions. "Troy"...

Scruffed with fire & cinders

Published April 28, 2004

Popping, gurgling, reeking, glowing, smoking and hissing, molten iron is an extremely sensual material. The iron, star of the art department's 35th annual Iron Pour, looks like raw, broken garbage (which...

Elina: As if I Wasn’t There

Published April 8, 2004

TDir. Klaus Härö hose Finns can be pretty hard-headed. The same stubbornness that served Minnesota well in the battles to organize the Range leads to trouble for the title character in "Elina:...

The Letter

Published April 8, 2004

LDir. Ziad H. Hamzeh ewiston, Maine isn't the kind of town normally associated with racial strife. But perhaps it should be. In a rapidly globalizing society, it is small towns like Lewiston, Austin, Minn....

Kops

Published April 1, 2004

WDir. Josef Fares hatever your idea of "Swedish film" consists of, it will probably be challenged by Josef Fares' "Kops." This amalgam of "Super Troopers" and "Mayberry RFD" couldn't have less in common...

Between Latvias

Published April 1, 2004

LDir. Mara Pelece ife isn't easy in former Soviet republics. Regimes that ruled by fear and economies, burdened by bureaucracy and graft have been replaced by governments beholden to the World Bank and...

Taking action

Published March 25, 2004

In the dark, grimy recesses of the 7th Street Entry, the Strike is getting ready to play its first all-ages show in the Twin Cities in more than five years. Formed in 1993 in Minneapolis, the Strike has...

A&E expands to offer more for our readers

Published February 19, 2004

It almost seems like too much of a good thing. First, we reintroduced A&E last semester, after a three-year absence. Now, we have the chance to bring you A&E in broadsheet format. Hopefully, this...

Pleasure & principles

Published February 12, 2004

When sex and politics intersect in our culture, the result is often unpleasant. We live in a society that is divided about the role of sexuality in public and private life, and in particular, public expressions...

Love getaway

Published February 12, 2004

Among the many images that Sylvain Choumet put in his disturbing, humorous and poignant film "The Triplets of Belleville," the dreaming dog stands out as particularly strange. Bruno the dog, a birthday...

See how high she flies

Published January 29, 2004

It's always a bit surprising to go to Hayao Miyazaki films like "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away" and not find any vicious, slavering religious zealots blocking the entrance. There's so much in his...

Life is brutal

Published January 29, 2004

If the meek ever want to inherit Earth, they would do well to follow the example set by Iiris (Kati Outinen) in Aki Kaurismaki's "The Match Factory Girl." Iiris works all day in the titular match factory,...

The Finn never ends

Published January 22, 2004

American directors are afraid. They're afraid that if they make a picture with any trace of social conscience, any hint of idealism, they'll be pilloried by the knuckle-dragging entertainment press and...

The great northeast

Published January 22, 2004

There's no shortage of bars in northeast Minneapolis. Along with old brewery buildings and lots and lots of churches, bars are one of the chief distinguishing features of "Nordeast," that little Slavic...

It’s a man’s world

Published November 6, 2003

If you want earth-saving adventure, tales of burning ski resorts and exploding SUVs, you're out of luck - this ain't that kind of elf story. "Elf" tells the story of Buddy Elf (Will Ferrell), a human being...

An ocean of possibility

Published October 23, 2003

When you're adrift, there's plenty of time to think. The films of Andrei Tarkovsky sanctify drift, both in terms of human feelings and as a cinematic technique. A Tarkovsky retrospective will be presented...

Weather you believe

Published October 23, 2003

At the end of October the veil between the world we see and that which we do not see becomes gossamer. Barebones Productions, a local puppetry collective, has for the past 10 years taken this opportunity...

If a man ever needed dying, he did

Published October 16, 2003

Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." So wrote William Blake in "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell." In "Kill Bill," Quentin Tarantino gives us a violent and heartfelt evocation...

Secret dread and inward horror

Published October 9, 2003

The time required to kill a human being by hanging can vary considerably. Some improvised suicides-by-hanging meet with alarmingly quick success - elapsed times from drop to death of under a minute are...

The chance won’t come again

Published September 18, 2003

What would you do if your country was conducting an illegal war on the other side of the world? A group of young radicals in the 1960s thought the only way to oppose the United States' war against North...

Retro adventures

Published September 11, 2003

This is the time of year when the studious types put away their atlases and inure themselves to another winter of dodging idiotic drivers and sliding on black ice. But for those few adventurers who refuse...

Progressing toward love

Published September 4, 2003

More than any other city in the world, Los Angeles has a reputation for devouring its inhabitants. Drawn by sun, fun and the promise of wealth and fame, people from around the world show up there only...

From the editor: A&E is back, and we’re here to stay

Published September 4, 2003

Today you hold in your hands the first issue of A&E, The Minnesota Daily's weekly arts and entertainment section, published for the first time in almost three years. When A&E was cut on Oct. 25,...

Marrying fools

Published August 11, 2003

As H.L. Mencken famously remarked: "Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?" Apparently the characters in "American Wedding," the newest comedy in the "American Pie"...

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum

Published July 28, 2003

A good pirate movie is hard to find. Even though Hollywood cut its teeth on swashbucklers starring the likes of Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks Sr., the genre has been allowed to molder and atrophy....

Ahead of the curve

Published July 28, 2003

One of the most poignant scenes in Danny Boyle's 1996 film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's cult novel "Trainspotting" occurs during the famous Edinburgh International Festival. A dopey tourist walks into...

End times

Published July 7, 2003

But Sacco's name will live in the hearts of the people and in their gratitude when Katzmann's bones and yours will be dispersed by time; when your name, his name, your laws, institutions, and your false...

First blood

Published June 16, 2003

To paraphrase Raoul Vaneigem: People who talk about vampires without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth. Midway...

Things that make you go boom

Published May 27, 2003

Every year it seems Hollywood's mercenary compulsion has reached its zenith. "This is it," supposes the observer. "We simply can't have a more derivative crop of sequels, re-makes and spin-offs next year."...

A world about to change

Published May 1, 2003

Two dozen birch trees are arrayed along the back of the Guthrie Theater's thrust stage for "Three Sisters." Their white trunks and mostly leafless limbs bear mute witness to the antics of the actors in...

Hail to the chief

Published March 13, 2003

CENTURY CITY, Calif. -"What does America's Funnyman do when he's at home?" asked a peculiarly fawning reporter of Chris Rock at a recent press conference in this Los Angeles suburb. Unfazed by the questioner's...

Day of the locusts

Published February 13, 2003

CENTURY CITY, Calif. - Will Ferrell can't help but amuse. At a recent Los Angeles press conference, the star of the new Todd Phillips comedy "Old School" had the assembled college and professional journalists...

Mondo Tiki

Published January 23, 2003

Somewhere in 1950s America a switch is thrown: What had been a dark, cavernous room fills with the soft glow of electric light filtered through dozens of colored glass orbs that may once have been fishermen's...

The Cold World Awakens

Published December 12, 2002

If you think Minneapolis, save for its complement of professional sports teams is, in Hubert H. Humphrey's memorable phrase, no more than a "cold Omaha," you would do well to consider the broad range of...

Space Ghost Neurosis

Published December 5, 2002

Solaris," the Steven Soderbergh version of Andrei Tarkovsky's classic Soviet science fiction film from 1972, is a prime example of why Hollywood should not be allowed to remake foreign films. Even when...

Fall from Grace

Published December 5, 2002

From the dramatic surprise entrance (which we will not ruin for you) to the final curtain call, Miss Richfield 1981's holiday extravaganza takes the audience virtually everywhere except the land where...

Live! Nude! Scotsmen!

Published November 27, 2002

It's a sad world we live in, and author Irvine Welsh is exceptionally gifted at unlocking the puzzle of that melancholy. Of course, there's plenty of depravity in his novels as well. Welsh's breakthrough...

Streetcar Conspiracy

Published November 21, 2002

Anyone can play the devil - even myself - but give someone the role of God and you'll always have problems." So remarks a minor character in Luis Buñuel's "Illusion Travels by Streetcar" ("La Ilusión...

You Couldn’t Tell

Published November 14, 2002

If this country had a future, hopefully it would look something like this: In San Francisco, in the late 1960s, several hundred communes of radicals, queer people, hippies and mystics coexisted beautifully....

Visions on Fire

Published November 7, 2002

Except for the occasional coup, carnival, labor disturbance or soccer championship, the culture of Latin American rarely impinges on the consciousness of media consumers here in the United States. Despite...

Auto-Erotic Fixation

Published October 31, 2002

There is no question that Hogan's Heroes was oddly cast. The half-hour television comedy about life in a Luftwaffe prison camp in World War II included four Jews in the roles of four principal German military...

Eldritch Evil Roams the Earth

Published October 31, 2002

This is what it sounds like when the gods die. Out of the roiling chaos of a madwoman's psychosis comes the Skriker (played by Jennifer Rand), an ancient fairy, forgotten by the descendents of the humans...

Tip Your Hat to the Dead Mariachi

Published October 31, 2002

The scent of marigolds, candles and fresh-baked bread fills the house. In an honored spot stands an altar, consecrated to the memory of departed loved ones and covered with a variety of decorations, offerings...

The Gun Fever Is Bad

Published October 24, 2002

Paranoia is a funny thing. Take the National Rifle Association - please! A group of gun-owners, overwhelmingly white, male, middle-class and politically active, they have access to far more civic and physical...

Days of Thunder

Published October 17, 2002

Moonshine. White Lightning. Mountain Dew. In the backwoods of the southeastern United States, rural people have long produced their own illegal, untaxed corn whiskey in homemade stills. Though the practice...

Spank You Very Much, Sir

Published October 10, 2002

It seems strange that a culture which clings so doggedly to women's social, economic and emotional submission should find a movie like Secretary so exhilaratingly novel and wicked. But try as you may to...

A Cold, Cold Omaha

Published October 10, 2002

Punk Rock Omaha is that rarity in theater: an improv-based play that is actually funny. Not just dry-chuckle-at-a-play-on-words funny either, but gnashing, hard-hitting, ironic funny that lampoons its...

A Fiercer Hell

Published October 3, 2002

Despite the number of film appearances that Satan has racked up, there are comparatively few cinematic portrayals of hell. Not only that, but movie hell is too mannered - too cartoonish and clichéd...

No god, no master

Published September 12, 2002

It is difficult to watch Siddhartha in 2002, given that in the 30 years since its release, the central myth of the movie ñ that of a seeker of spiritual understanding ñ has gone from hot new idea to...

Wild Manchester nights

Published September 12, 2002

As an account of the transformation of England's most notorious industrial wasteland into a global dance music mecca, Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People is far from exhaustive. Although billed...

Dull Dot Net Backslash Yawn

Published September 5, 2002

Fear Dot Com raises the question: When will America’s love affair with serial killer pictures finally end? The genre’s pretty full at this point. Hollywood has worked through every obvious...