Anna's Picks

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April 11, 2005 // UPDATED 1:53 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Minneapolis-St. Paul 23rd Annual Film Festival

The Minneapolis-St. Paul 23rd Annual Film Festival encourages thoughtful and provocative filmmaking. Alternately quirky and articulate, the filmmakers represent an international imagination spanning the gamut in terms of direction and appeal.

The artful movies emerge from rookies and established filmmakers alike. Many of these stories concentrate on relationships between among friends, lovers and families, while illuminating a larger point about cultural ties and conflicts and other small sociological snapshots. There are plenty of poetic and comic moments in these meandering titles that hearten those weary of formulaic Hollywood flicks.

One such movie is Sweden's "Dalecarlians" from first-time director Maria Blom. It focuses on a woman named Mia and her return to her hometown to celebrate her father's 70th birthday. It's an uncomfortable journey that stirs her past and present together into a confusing mush. Preoccupied by village life, Mia's family is totally oblivious to her career as an information technologist. Meanwhile, Mia's old haunts impart the same kinds of raw sentiments and tensions that you'd expect a high school reunion to draw out. The reluctant visit distills Dalecarlia's lack of flexibility and portrays how familiarity sometimes breeds invisibility.

- Movies daily thru April 16, call for times (or check the web Web for a full schedule).
Crown Theatres Block E, 600 Hennepin Ave. S. (and other area theaters). $6-$9.
331-3134, www.mnfilmarts.org and www.brownpapertickets.com.

'Blush'

"Blush" isn't a new lipstick or a "Cosmopolitan" competitor - it's an exhibit of the work of local artists Jennifer Davis, Jamie Lang, Ashley Billingsley and Todd Cameron who show as part of the nomadic gallery Find the Rabbit - An Elusive Gallery.

It's the sort of spontaneous gallery that takes over vacant spaces and converts them into temporary displays. This time, you'll see work such as Jennifer Davis' humorous yet gracefully composed collages that cut and paste together vintage magazine snippets together.

Jamie Lang's sculptures feature items like a funky set of chairs with thick, solid legs and backs that I could imagine decorating the interior of a cave.

Ashley Billingsley's abstract interiors exaggerate proportion with almost childlike magnification, and Todd Cameron's striped glass bowls are sculptural.

All take up residence at Marshall Field's but Find the Rabbit has also been known to turn up in other places such as Calhoun Square. They're kind of a covert group, with intermittent shows that seem to materialize mysteriously. Together, they underscore the idea that a gallery doesn't have to be formal and may inhabit all manner of settings.

Additionally, they're not kidding when they challenge viewers to find the rabbit. Maybe you've seen the graffiti rabbits decorating lampposts and various other Downtown spots that allude to the exhibit. The game continues at the opening, as viewers are invited to find the rabbit there as well.

But what's the purpose of all of this mystery? Does it service the shows? Here's what gallery proprietors had to say in an online statement, "Each new opening is the bait, with each unique space dictating the type of gathering.  There will be no conservative, predictable, traditional opening events allowed. rabbit Rabbit will work tirelessly to make them electric, unpretentious, inspiring, memorable, and purely enjoyable."

- Reception: Th April 14, 5-7 p.m.
Gallery: Daily, April 14-24.
Thomas Pink, Marshall Field's, 700 Nicollet Mall.
Free. www.findtherabbit.com.