Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Plug for the DuSu Film Festival

What a great month it has been here in the North Country, beginning with the Homegrown Film and Art Festival on through last week's Dylan Fest to this week's culmination the Duluth Superior Film Festival (DuSu FF). What a terrific way to usher in the spring.

The DuSu FF opened last night with a hilarious Norwegian film called King Curling. It was gratifying to see a full house at the Clyde Iron Works. It's also nice to watch a film for which a big Hollywood budget or screen star would add nothing to the caliber of the entertainment. There was much laughing out loud throughout the film which combined an original plot with original characters, chief of which was Truls Paulsen, an obsessive curling champion for whom "every millimeter mattered."

Tangier 57
Festival director Richard Hansen began the evening by welcoming all of us and thanking all the sponsors. He then gave a special acknowledgement to Riki McManus, who persuaded Richard to bring his Sound Unseen International Film Festival up here to the shores of Gitchee Gumee. He's never regretted the move. After the film we all moved upstairs for the opening night party with an accompaniment by the popular jazz fusion group Tangier 57.

Richard Hansen
A unique feature of this year's film festival is that it is much more directly tied into our Twin Ports community and its passions. Curling is a Scandinavian export to this region, few of us unaware of its importance to at least someone we know. Tomorrow night's Last Day at Lambeau is about Bret Favre's departure from the Green Bay Packers and the impact it had on that incredible devoted fan base. The other feature films chosen this year have similar tie-ins, such as Wildrose (a woman fighting for independence and identity on the Iron Range) and Northern Lights (about a bitter winter on the Dakota prairie), among others.

There will be two sets of short films with local tie-ins as well, including Andrew Perfetti's "Alan Sparhawk" documentary, Kathy McTavish's "Holy Fool/The Firebird" and a 20 minute film based on my own short story "Episode on South Street," about a troubled painter with obsessive compulsive disorder. Other films by UMD students and local film makers will be amongst those screening late Friday evening and Sunday.

Tonight's feature, "Low: You May Need A Murderer", will air at the Zinema 2 at 7:00. I'm fairly certain you need tickets in advance for this one. This is the only film for which your All Access pass (a steal at $20) does not work.

For more details, venues, times and places, visit

Caption top: L to Rt: Steve Larson (director, Holiday Beach), Dan O'Neil, Ian Harvey of Ireland (The Connection) and Peter Minns (director) 

Here's a link to my book The Breaking Point and Other Stories in the event that you would like to read my story Episode on South Street before seeing the film tomorrow evening. $1.99

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