The Minnesota Daily

All content by Steven Snyder

From Brazil to the injustice of Africa

August 17, 2005

Many words could be used to describe the brilliant and humble filmmaker Fernando Meirelles - words such as courageous, inventive, subversive and kinetic. One word you won't find in the list is "timid." He...

Daring rescue comes to the big screen

August 10, 2005

It's clear from the most basic synopsis of "The Great Raid" that enough drama exists behind the real story to warrant a movie - or two or three. But according to director John Dahl, the major force behind...

In search of the next great hoax

August 10, 2005

Approximately halfway through Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett's "Abel Raises Caine," the documentary starts spinning. How is it, we wonder, that the documentary's quiet and humble subject ever pulled off such...

‘Broken Flowers,’ Dreams and Memories

August 3, 2005

Much like movies themselves, our lives are divided into different acts, featuring an ever-changing array of dramas and players. Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers" is a film preoccupied with the chasm that...

Sculptures in search of a reaction

July 27, 2005

Like a city unto itself, the University has its many neighborhoods and traffic patterns. And just as all mainstream Twin Cities arts venues benefit from being on a certain street or intersection, University...

Meaningless gender games

July 27, 2005

Something is wonderfully, almost manically askew in Jean-Luc Godard's "Masculine Feminine," not really a story about the sexes, but a sensory overview of an attitude, a place and a growing rift in the...

Humans in search of humans

July 20, 2005

It only takes a few hours on any given Friday or Saturday night, wandering amid the impersonal drunkenness of First Avenue, to understand Miranda July's point in the brilliant and understated "Me and You...

‘Daily’ doses of droll discontent

July 6, 2005

Anyone can tune into Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and expect a few chuckles, but during the last few years, the show has also developed a sharper edge when it comes to the facts. Under...

The ‘World’s’ seen better days

July 6, 2005

There's a clear change in the title of Steven Spielberg's 2005 version of "War of the Worlds" - not one of words but of emphasis. Other versions of the classic 1898 H.G. Wells sci-fi thriller focused more...

Sutton’s ‘Impact:’ vitriol in the funny pages

June 22, 2005

There are those who flip through the newspaper to find the editorial page, hungry for provocation and insight. Then there are those who toss the editorial and news sections aside in a frantic hunt for...

One man’s religious journey to find his gender identity

June 22, 2005

Only while watching the documentary "Call Me Malcolm" did it become obvious that the term "transgender," and the issues of the transgender community, are unknown or misunderstood by most in this society. In...

‘Batman Begins’ again and for the first time

June 15, 2005

.This is not a superhero epic caught up in tricks, chases and gadgets. But, rather, it sees through to a larger world, providing context and explaining the impetus behind one man's quest to redeem and...

TU DANCE, OR NOT TU DANCE

June 15, 2005

Dance is usually about the quest for precision and uniformity, for an exact interpretation of an artistic vision. But this weekend, another vision takes the Twin Cities by storm - a work that embraces...

Surface surprises and hidden Paynes

June 8, 2005

In another edition of the Walker Art Center's spectacular Regis Dialogue series, held Friday, film director Alexander Payne sat down with Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan to discuss his films...

‘Best of Youth’ best of cinema

June 8, 2005

Art versus commerce, the eternal battle: How does one make something enlightening and inspiring, while still paying the bills? Fine art - the sort of art that breaks new boundaries - is hardly the stuff...

Fighting for your food and your family

June 1, 2005

The notion of sports allowing an everyman to become a hero is nothing new. One needs only to look to last weekend's "The Longest Yard" to find a story about a down-and-out loser rising back to fame on...

Critic’s notebook: art, and politics, among the stars

June 1, 2005

All right, it's been two weeks. Can we now finally have a serious discussion about this thing called "Star Wars"? The fans have had their chance to see the Sith do their revenging a few times now, wasting...

Works in search of cohesion, balance

May 25, 2005

Something about "No One Will Be Immune's" performance at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater seems perfectly appropriate, finding a natural balance between space, performers and text. The theater, located only...

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin makes a crossover into movies

May 25, 2005

Many Americans know Steve Austin as the "Stone Cold" wrestler who survived serious injury only to reassert his popular reign in the wrestling ring. But in a recent interview with The Minnesota Daily, Austin...

Film school adolescents

May 5, 2005

The Women with Vision film festival is not only a time to celebrate today's prominent female filmmakers. Thanks to the efforts of Megan Leafblad and Sara Nichol, it is also a workshop to develop the next...

You could be in pictures

May 5, 2005

Some people complain about the world. Others step up and take action. To some degree, that's been the motto of the University Motion Picture Club since its inception in the fall. Its goal has been consistent...

Sex and other connections

May 5, 2005

Technology might be dividing us more than ever, but that doesn't mean we have given up on real human contact. It's a sad, but true, fact that in this iPod-wearing, instant-messaging, cell-phone-screaming...

Through a different lens

May 5, 2005

Those who know anything about film theory know the name Laura Mulvey. And those who know anything about Mulvey know about her work on the "male gaze," which suggests cinema is, by its very structure, an...

Turn the other cheek

April 28, 2005

Despite the weekly evidence to the contrary, some mainstream films still strive to be meaningful. Too many, though, wind up feeling belabored or preachy. Although some critics have unfairly characterized...

Sex, parodies and videotape

April 21, 2005

Thanks to more submissions than expected, the Minnesota Programs and Activities Council's Films Committee will be presenting a total of three long-format shorts programs as part of the Student Film Festival...

Film school confidential

April 21, 2005

For more than two weeks, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival reigned on campus movie screens. Now, student filmmakers get their turn. Tonight through Saturday, the Minnesota Programs and...

Your last, best hope

April 14, 2005

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...

Take this job and shove it

April 14, 2005

In what can only be called the Canadian fusion of "American Movie" and "The Blair Witch Project," "Jimmywork" is a disarmingly unpredictable pseudodocumentary. It has the mechanics of a dream world, starting...

Sales culture

April 14, 2005

The events that bookend this year's Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival are more than appropriate. On opening night, Don McKellar's satirical "Childstar" worked to tear down the artificial...

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet

April 14, 2005

W ith the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival coming to a close, here's a quick question for film buffs: How many of you made it to all 163 entries? A few of you might be lying. It's impossible...

The light at the end of the Chunnel

April 7, 2005

There are the filmmakers everyone knows, and then there are those everyone should know. Benoit Jacquot falls into the second camp. Thanks to this year's Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival,...

Ahead of the pack

April 7, 2005

One of the many series featured at this year's Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, the Emerging Filmmakers Competition, highlights the work of the next wave of aspiring U.S. and Canadian...

Wait, that’s not all

April 7, 2005

With the festival in full swing, here are five picks for the second weekend of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, featuring a film from each of the major series. Contemporary World Cinema "Adam...

Culture out of nature

February 17, 2005

.The mind thinks of strange things in art museums, as it attempts to process varied messages and as personal perspective strives to confront artistic intent. The late Minnesota artist Charles Biederman's...

Far from hell

February 17, 2005

Hollywood genre tip No. 43: In movies about heaven and hell, first make the audience care about the soul in limbo. Seems pretty obvious, right? The power of other films in the genre, such as "The Exorcist"...

Ethnic conflict, political roots

November 18, 2004

What started as one man's documentation of hatred in his country has grown into a grassroots global assault against the politics of hate he sees being legitimized around the world. Director Rakesh Sharma...

U could learn a lot from UDS

September 9, 2004

To returning students and first-year students alike, welcome to the University of Minnesota, where tuition hikes have become the norm. Or, as the Notorious BIG would say: "Mo money, mo problems." It seems...

Police officers: friendly or the enemy?

August 4, 2004

To protect and serve: It is the motto of the nation's police force. They ensure the common peace and, at times, risk their safety and lives to ensure that peace. When we think of police officers, no doubt...

Bush lied to me, and I’m mad as hell

July 21, 2004

Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq." I'm not sure if anyone caught it, but President George W. Bush implicitly admitted there are no illicit...

Standing out in 2004 America

July 6, 2004

In modern America conformity is very much the norm in clothing, arts, politics, behavior and even thoughts.  When was the last time you roamed a mall in search of a unique outfit, only to find...

The heat over ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’

June 23, 2004

Michael Moore's new documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11," the most talked about documentary in history, opens Friday at area theaters.  Early reports of the film, which won the prestigious Palm d'Or at...

Ban smoking or respect the smokers.

June 7, 2004

I rarely smoke, and most of the time find it annoying when others do. When a person cannot go to a bar without his clothes reeking of tobacco, cannot sit behind a smoker at a public event without choking...

Media today: Be afraid – be very afraid

April 8, 2004

Last week, amid the national frenzy caused by the fabricated abduction claims of University of Wisconsin sophomore Audrey Seiler, the reality of our society became all too apparent. People are desperate...

Decide what you want from life

March 25, 2004

Several recent events in my life have dislodged me from the traditional track of U.S. society. I'm sure you know what I mean. We all have a set path we are expected to follow: Go to high school, get good...

Time for a change, Mr. Bush

March 4, 2004

Dear Mr. Bush, Why are you a bigot? For a long time I have supported you when others would not, written columns defending you while others were calling for your head and told others to have faith when...

Don’t waste your life watching someone else’s

February 19, 2004

Are you looking forward to "Man vs. Beast 2" on Fox tomorrow night? I know I'm counting the hours.  Is this what our society has come to? Millions enthralled on a nightly basis by humans smothered...

Who’s watching the watchers?

January 26, 2004

Print journalism has long been a respected profession. Picking up a newspaper, we believe we are getting an unbiased, accurate account of a story. We use this material as our basis for arguments and debates....

University of Minnesota, hats off to thee

December 10, 2003

The end of the semester is already here, and I can't help feeling each year is passing quicker than the last. As a friend suggested, maybe it's because as we get older, each year represents a smaller...

Power of the people increased with recall

October 9, 2003

The whirlwind California recall has come and gone, and now the national political community tries to pick up the pieces. We have time to move beyond the day-to-day debates concerning ex-Gov. Gray Davis,...

Where’s a U cop when you really need one?

September 25, 2003

When you think of the television show "Cops," what images come to mind? Police officers chasing criminals on foot through darkened alleys? High-speed car chases with helicopters in pursuit? How about drug...

Ripple in still water

May 8, 2003

It is difficult to distill a film like "Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time." It is not a traditional narrative, as it lacks plot. Then again, it cannot be lumped with traditional documentaries,...

Reflections, regrets and 10 words of wisdom

May 7, 2003

You hear college graduates saying it all the time: "We made it!" The cynical part of me wants to respond, "Well, aren't you special!" I have never understood why graduation is such a big deal. Besides...

Questions of difference and ‘Identity’

May 1, 2003

For better or worse, "Identity" will surely be one of the most discussed films of 2003. It is yet another project that relies on a major plot twist near its end, reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan's much-touted...

Students, community should talk about riots

April 23, 2003

After the Gophers won the NCAA hockey championship, the riots began. There was celebrating, vandalizing, fire-setting and car- tipping. The riot gear was deployed. But in the days since that chaotic evening,...

Spread of disease demands swift action

April 9, 2003

Iraq. Bush. Hussein. It's rather obvious where the country's attention has been focused over the past few months. But while the hostilities in Iraq have escalated, ensnaring the attention of the world's...

Forms of life and light

March 27, 2003

Upon arriving at The Goldstein Museum of Design, two things become immediately apparent: its size and remoteness. Located in McNeal Hall, this one-room museum seems, at first, appallingly cramped and confined....

Mary, Mary quite contrary

March 6, 2003

>Set in the 16th century, it's about Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland (Linda Kelsey) and Queen Elizabeth I of England (Wendy Lehr). They are second cousins, and their distant familial bonds are at the...

Don’t lose sight of life

March 5, 2003

Ask anyone about love, and you're in for a long story. As much as we pretend to be above it, love is still the one thing that drives us, changes us and creates our most potent memories. A few days ago,...

We’re not in Texas anymore

February 27, 2003

The Life of David Gale" is a prime example of everything that's wrong with "message" movies. In 2000, a film called "The Contender" was so concerned in touting the character of Bill Clinton it could have...

People measure worth in time

February 19, 2003

Does life keep getting busier with each passing year? If so, I think I'm in for a bumpy ride. I already feel like I'm running 30 different directions at once, spread far too thin over far too much. I am...

Double your pleasure, double your fun

February 13, 2003

What a pleasure it is to watch Peter Hansen and the other actors of Gremlin Theatre take control of the aimless comedy "The Venetian Twins." It is a perfect example of the energy and enthusiasm live theater...

University consistently fails to serve students

January 24, 2003

Your call is important to us. Please hold for the next available Ö". It is probably the most hilarious of modern contradictions - a prerecorded message conveying a business' appreciation of its customers....

All That Heaven Forbids

December 5, 2002

Far From Heaven" is a 2002 film made to look like a genuine 1950s melodrama with one discernable difference: It confronts the issues that 1950s films never could. "Far From Heaven" is about the "perfect"...

She Lives by Night

November 14, 2002

As its title all but proclaims, "Femme Fatale" is constructed around one central, fascinating female character, Laura Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). As in all noir films, Ash is the standard femme fatale...

Trading places: What’s new with “Shrew”

November 7, 2002

The Taming of the Shrew" is not generally considered one of Shakespeare's finest plays. Over the years, its humor between the sexes has been dampened by audiences who have tired of its blatant aggression...

DESTINY’S CHILD

March 6, 2002

Samantha Mumba believes fate works in mysterious ways. The 19 year-old hit singer, Grammy nominee, and film star of The Time Machine is the first to admit that she could not have predicted five years ago...

Oscarlicious nominations

February 13, 2002

Every year, the Academy Awards represent the ultimate union of art and business, combining talented filmmakers with ruthless marketers to win the coveted Academy nominations. As always, things do not go...

Not another teen interview

December 14, 2001

24 years old. Iowa native. Pre-med senior. The description of any number of U students? Yes, but for Eric Christian Olsen, star of Not Another Teen Movie, they are also the characteristics of a most unique...

Two’s company; three’s a crowd

October 12, 2001

Bandits Directed by Barry Levinson (Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Troy Garity) Rated: PG13 Bandits' story is told by two criminals who recount their journey on a program similar to...

Hero of the Day

October 5, 2001

Training Day Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger) Rated: R   Training Day could have been one of the best films of the year. As rookie cop Jake Hoyt...

A thriller that can’t be kept a secret

September 28, 2001

Don't Say A Word Directed by Gary Fleder (Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, Brittany Murphy, Jennifer Esposito) Rated: R Don't Say A Word is a surprisingly enjoyable guilty pleasure despite its strict adherence...

Removing the reality from art

September 21, 2001

"It seemed like a movie." Last Tuesday, thousands of people across America made this very remark as they gathered around televisions broadcasting the sights of New York City and Washington, DC. However,...

‘Reimagining’ lacks imagination

September 7, 2001

  The Musketeer Directed by Peter Hyams (Justin Chambers, Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea, Tim Roth) Rated: PG13   Movies like The Musketeer are becoming as ubiquitous as boy bands and cell phones. Each...