Summer blockbuster season is just around the corner. Before it hits, though, we have a great opportunity to experience a dazzling array of stories and styles that don’t fit that mold. The Minneapolis–St. Paul International Film Festival opened on April 9, but there’s still plenty of fest left—it runs through Saturday, April 25. With over 200 films from 60-plus countries, you have a diverse slate of cultures, ideas and voices to choose from.
So, what to see? Based solely on their descriptions and trailers, here are some ideas. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for MSP Film Society members, and $6 for students with ID. Ticket packages and festival passes are also available. Except where noted otherwise, films screen at St. Anthony Main, in close proximity to several bars and restaurants perfect for post-movie discussion.
For Gamers with Families
In this Dutch/Belgian production, a 14-year-old boy unwittingly uploads people and things from his own world into a diabolical computer game. Now he must play the game to free them from its evil creator.
Showing: Saturday, April 18, at 3:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 25, at 1:00 p.m.
For the Film Noir Fan
Two journalists and a crime novelist team up to solve the murder of a rich dude, uncovering secrets along the way, in this Argentinian mystery.
Showings: Friday, April 24, at 5:15 p.m. (Northrop Best Buy Theater on the U of M campus)
For the Scientifically Minded
Norway’s kilo must be transported from the Norwegian Institute of Weights and Measures to Paris to be calibrated. Naturally, this brings up existential ponderings for the young woman assigned to travel with it.
Showings: Wednesday, April 22, at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 25, at 5:15 p.m.
To Watch while Awaiting the Apocalypse
In the year 2030, Vietnam is mostly submerged due to global warming. Against this bleak seascape, a woman tries to piece together the clues in her husband’s death.
Showings: Sunday, April 19, at 9:00 p.m. (St. Anthony Main) and Wednesday, April 22, at 7:00 p.m. (Northrop Best Buy Theater, U of M)
For the Stand-Up Aficionado
Call Me Lucky
This documentary from director Bobcat Goldthwait explores the troubled and complex life of his friend and comedy mentor Barry Crimmins.
Showings: Wednesday, April 22, at 7:00 p.m. and Friday, April 24, at 9:15 p.m.
Of Local Interest
The World’s Largest Ball of Twine
This documentary recounts the decades-long battle between twine-ballers in Minnesota and Kansas. Maybe it will answer the age-old question: what’s up with the gigantic twine ball?
Showing: Saturday, April 18, at 1:30 p.m.
For the Romantic-Comedy Fan
Love at First Fight
In a small French town, a laid-back guy and a tough survivalist woman trade barbs and paintballs as they wend their way to romance.
Showing: Tuesday, April 21, at 2:30 p.m.
Looking for a Laugh
This Icelandic film centers on a mild-mannered husband and father approaching retirement and taking stock of his life so far. Apparently, the prostate jokes are hilarious.
Showings: Saturday, April 18, at 7:40 p.m. and Thursday, April 23, at 2:45 p.m.
For the Beach Boys Fan
Love & Mercy
Local boy Bill Pohlad directs this unconventional look at two periods in the life of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, played by Paul Dano and John Cusack. Also featuring Paul Giamatti, Love & Mercy examines Wilson’s personal voyage and the price he paid for his success. Tickets for the closing-night screening come with admission to the festival’s closing party at Mattie’s on Main. Pohlad will be present for a Q&A.
Showing: Saturday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m.
This is just a glimpse of what’s available—see the full line-up of films at the festival’s website.