The Minnesota Daily

All content by Tom Horgen

Cinematic specificity

April 28, 2005

This can never be said enough: Movie-going in the Twin Cities wouldn't be the same without the Oak Street Cinema. Since 1995, the little movie palace has given film-lovers the chance to see classic, independent...

Means of Production

April 21, 2005

It's Saturday night, and local hip-hop producers Benzilla and Elex are out looking for records. Not to listen to, though. These guys are crate diggers. They dig through dusty bins at used record shops,...

Apartment of flying daggers

April 21, 2005

Stephen Chow is China's most popular comedian. His claim to fame? He writes, directs and stars in hilarious kung-fu movies that make a lot of money. The filmmaker has found success by innovating in a genre...

Original, mortal and deadly

April 7, 2005

E very once in a while, a new film comes along that rewrites the language of cinema. Quentin Tarantino did it with "Pulp Fiction." George Lucas did it with "Star Wars." And way back when, D.W. Griffith...

Riding rap’s high horse

February 17, 2005

There's room for everybody in hip-hop these days: men, women, blacks, whites, gangstas, revolutionaries and nerds. Sage Francis often gets lumped in with the last category: the nerds. Nerd rap is political,...

All that heaven allows

February 10, 2005

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is approaching that point in his career when we should probably be calling him a master. He knows it too. The opening credits of his latest gender-bending, sex-obsessed...

Eyes on the prizes

February 3, 2005

If the most conservative members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had their way, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg would probably win Oscars every year. Those guys, luckily, take breaks....

Come fly the bleak, uncertain skies

January 27, 2005

This might sound familiar. A right-wing president is re-elected on the promise of bringing U.S. troops home from an unwinnable war. A rebel who despises the president's crooked, capitalistic empire then...

Send lawyers, guns and money

January 27, 2005

At first, "The Documentary" seems like the strangest title you could come up with for a gangsta rap album. It comes from The Game, Dr. Dre's latest protege and a money pit in the making. Dre signed the...

Some desperate glory

January 20, 2005

A great bleached-blond poet once asked, "Hi kids, do you like violence? Wanna watch me stick 9-inch nails through each one of my eyelids?" And his audience answered emphatically, "Yes. Yes, we do." Because...

Seduction of the innocent

December 9, 2004

Author Warren Ellis changed the world of superhero comics forever in 1999. First, with his comic book "The Authority," he asked the question: What would real people do with real superpowers? Would they...

Making movie magic from scratch

December 2, 2004

It has begun. The University used to be a barren wasteland for students hoping to learn about film production. You could talk about movies all day long in film studies classes, but getting behind the camera...

He watch channel zero

November 18, 2004

Eminem is a pop culture addict. Thoughts of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Paris Hilton dance around in his head like little kids on Jacko's bed. This addiction serves him as both vice and virtue,...

Lewd did I live & evil I did dwell

November 11, 2004

Vordul Mega says life in his neighborhood is disgusting. Not the people, though. Not the single mothers who work endlessly. Not the kids who play in urine-drenched hallways. The people are beautiful. It's...

What’ll we do without him?

November 4, 2004

Before he created soul music, Ray Charles was great at mimicking other musicians. He did a mean Nat King Cole impression. Early on in this biopic, a young Charles tries explaining this talent to a girl...

The world that’s owned by idle drones

October 28, 2004

In the new documentary "Michael Moore Hates America," it only takes Minneapolis director Michael Wilson a few minutes to find a black man mowing his lawn in suburbia. Wilson doesn't believe in white flight...

Elvis ain’t a hero to Mos

October 21, 2004

Mos Def hates Limp Bizkit. He hates Linkin Park. He hates rap-rock. To the Brooklyn MC, hip-hop isn't just something you try out. Or pimp out for that matter. What's worse, thieves such as Fred Durst remind...

Ahead of its time

October 14, 2004

Movie-lovers love film festivals. They have to. It's where they discover filmmakers still untouched by Hollywood's corrupting reach. But let's face it, most film festivals still have their handful of stinkers...

Hip-hop knowledge, but at what price?

October 7, 2004

Talib Kweli isn't stupid. The street philosopher knows you can't reach the people if you're broke. And airtime costs money nowadays. That hasn't stopped the Brooklyn, N.Y., MC from staying political. But...

What would Jean do?

September 30, 2004

With 2003's release, "The Black Album," a reflective Jay-Z showed us what a retirement album sounds like. With "This Week," Jean Grae shows us what it sounds like when you're about to become Jay-Z. OK,...

Phantoms in the darkness

September 23, 2004

Here's what Hollywood knows about the Middle East: Arabs are either terrorists whoregularly pester Arnold and other celluloid superpatriots, or they're a lowly bunch of people, besieged by eternal war. One...

Fighting for the right to fight

September 16, 2004

You don't as much watch Zhang Yimou's "Hero" as you witness it. This is the Super Bowl of kung fu war epics. A film seeking to surpass all those that have come before it. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"...

Revenge of the cyborgs

September 16, 2004

There are three kinds of Japanese-anime fans. There are the super-geek fans who watch every movie and every episode of every anime they can get, usually downloaded off the Internet. There are also the...

Three years in the life of

September 9, 2004

Sept. 11 is upon us once again. In these times, with November approaching, the anniversary of the 2001 attacks has become a lightening rod for conservatives, liberals, Bush, Kerry, whoever, to drum up...

Laser light legacy

May 6, 2004

Take a break from the megaplexes this summer and check out these 10 soon-to-be-released DVDs. Release dates are subject to change. "Enter the Dragon - Special Edition" - May 18 This two-disc re-release...

A call to arms

May 6, 2004

Right now, Disney is paying some kid in Haiti two bucks a day to sew Mickey Mouse T-shirts so another kid in suburbia can remember his vacation. At the same time, other corporate leviathans are spreading...

How the other half gazes

April 29, 2004

Near the end of "In the Company of Women," a new documentary about female directors, filmmaker Nancy Savoca delivers a lucid summary of the past, present and future of the female voice in cinema. "There's...

Walking through the darkness

April 29, 2004

When the Wu-Tang Clan's debut, "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)," hit the streets in 1993, most rap heads put the Ghostface Killah near the back of the monster nine-emcee lineup. But now, with the RZA...

If there is a film-nerd heaven

April 22, 2004

When hard-core film buffs go to sleep at night, Cinema Revolution is what they dream about. It's a sleekly designed DVD rental store that specializes in foreign and independent films. While there are other...

Old scratch

April 15, 2004

There is a tendency in U.S. cinema to demand a certain seriousness from superhero movies. The "X-Men" and "Spider-Man" franchises crank out high drama, striving to be taken seriously. The first "Batman"?...

Rap is not afraid of you

April 15, 2004

There are people who will hear Minneapolis rapper P.O.S.' debut, "Ipecac Neat," and with knowledge of his background - a black kid raised on punk rock - try to rationalize the album. They'll try to divorce...

Cut deep down the middle

April 8, 2004

The Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival pushes into its second week today. The festival celebrates its halfway point tonight with a screening of the Swedish documentary "Presence" at 7:30...

Presence

April 8, 2004

WDir. Jan Troell hen you live and die by the click of a camera, the moment is everything. "That's why we take pictures - we want to look at time." So says Georg Oddner, the renowned Swedish photographer...

Yoshino’s Barber Shop

April 1, 2004

UDir. Ogigami Naoko topia has its costs. And they're often not too pleasant. In "Yoshino's Barber Shop," a small Japanese town maintains its apparently idyllic routine by abiding strictly to tradition....

Seeing in the dark

April 1, 2004

Around the world in 80 days? Forget about it. The Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival explores the cinematic universe in just two weeks. "It's the largest film event, if not one of the largest...

Pirated Copy

April 1, 2004

IDir. He Jianjun f you've gone to the movie theater or watched an award show lately, you've probably seen the commercials and heard the rhetoric condemning film piracy. Here's a movie that offers a somewhat...

The guy who knows everything

March 25, 2004

Johnny Depp continues his conquest of all roles weird with the suspense-thriller "Secret Window." Neurotic behavior hasn't been paid this much attention since Woody Allen started mumbling for effect. Unfortunately,...

Resistance to tyrants

March 25, 2004

The Battle of Algiers" places the grit of violent revolution at our fingertips. It's physical. It muddies our shoes with bloody streets and fills our lungs with the smoke of exploding bombs. The 1965 film...

Top 5 things that we picked of the week

March 25, 2004

Here are the top five ways to spot a "backpacker" (a pretentious underground hip-hop fan). 1. Backpacks They wear backpacks. All the time. To shows. To the record shop. All the time. 2. Elitist ramblings They...

The loneliest number

March 11, 2004

Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" usually lands in the top 10 whenever critics are polled for the best films of all time. And cineastes such as Roger Ebert and Martin Scorsese consider the 1963 film, about a...

Chasing light

March 11, 2004

The 13th annual Susan Himmelman-Shapiro Twin Cities Festival of Jewish Film will give filmgoers plenty to talk about. Many of its films are unexpectedly timely, and to the surprise of its organizers, the...

Dominance and submission

March 4, 2004

Here we go again. Ashley Judd returns like a bad headache to pester us with another movie about someone killing someone. And yes, she's hell-bent on figuring out why. Story-wise, Judd's thrillers might...

Better must come

March 4, 2004

Hip-hop can be a fierce platform for articulating social unrest. But artists rarely rhyme at length about, much less devote entire albums to, political commentary. Public Enemy and KRS-One used to do it....

Unto a good land

March 4, 2004

The Tibetan Film Festival offers people a chance to explore a fascinating culture that is rarely mentioned in the mainstream United States, except for when the Beastie Boys or Richard Gere yell "Free Tibet!" The...

Known for dropping science

February 26, 2004

On any given night, when ?uestlove cracks the drum sticks and Black Thought's vocals ride in on a wave of sound, The Roots deliver the type of rap show you can't get anywhere else. It's not just because...

Three bums and a baby

February 19, 2004

Tokyo Godfathers" has nothing to do with the Japanese mob. Well, that's not entirely true; the Yakuza do make a brief appearance. But the actual pith of this story lies in the bonds of family, real and...

The way the system works

February 19, 2004

Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" has been lauded for its gorgeous, almost poetic vision, but disdained for its flirtation with merciless, predatory violence. Concentrating on the masturbatory camera...

McNamara’s wall

February 12, 2004

The human subject of this documentary, Robert McNamara, will probably go down in history alongside Donald Rumsfeld, the man steering President George W. Bush's war machine, as one of this country's most...

Dancing the plot away

February 12, 2004

As far as story goes, nothing really happens in "The Company." This new film from director Robert Altman is intended to be an exploration of the day-to-day mechanics of the prestigious Joffrey Ballet of...

Crises on the high seas

February 5, 2004

With a plethora of acclaimed documentaries, film circles rightfully dubbed 2003 "the year of the doc." And lucky for the Twin Cities, the University Film Society is making sure we don't miss one of the...