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Our look at the films of Pierre Étaix continues this weekend with Étaix’s final controversial film, The Land of Milk and Honey from 1971. Made up of 16mm footage that he shot on vacation with his wife, singer Annie Fratellini, in 1969, this radical film of protest was Étaix’s own response to the social upheaval in France following May 1968. But Étaix, the humorist and the optimist, does not leave us without hope. As Dave Kehr points out in the New York Times:  “Land of Milk and Honey comes close to expressing the unbridled contempt for humanity of a contemporary freak show like Ulrich Seidl’s Dog Days. But Mr. Étaix maintains his humanist bearings by conveying a sense of what once was there and might be again.”

Land of Milk and Honey screens Friday and Saturday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm, and on Sunday at 5:30pm and 7:00pm. Advanced tickets (with no service fee!) are available at trylon.org.

In other good news, our Fall Programs are now available! Come by and pick one up and find out why we are trying to add the word “Lancastic” to the human vernacular!

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Come celebrate the second anniversary of the Trylon’s Defenders series with the brainchild of it all, Jim Brunzell III. Jim is the Director of Sound Unseen and has a weekly film column that you should definitely check out on the Twin Cities Daily Planet. You’ll have to show up to see what kind of abomination Jim has picked for your viewing (dis)pleasure, but remember: asking ‘why’ is your job! As with all the Defenders screenings, proceeds go towards a worthy cause, and in this case they will go towards the 2013 edition of Sound Unseen coming to the Trylon in November. The fun starts at 7:00 pm tonight, Wednesday, August 21. Advanced tickets are available at the Trylon website.

By John Moret
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There is a moment about an hour into Hellboy 2: The Golden Army that beautifully showcases the tender love that Guillermo Del Toro has for giant monsters.

The villain, Prince Nuada, releases what seems to be a little green “jumping bean.”  What at first appears to be a harmless little seed grows into a giant tentacled moss creature.  (We learn it is an elemental, a giver of life and destroyer, a forest god).  In typical Del Toro fashion, Hellboy carries a baby up a marquee with his tail and then throws it into the air while loading his gun, which is named Big Baby.

But, in the midst of this light-hearted silliness, he also instills moral ambiguity. Hellboy shoots at the beautiful creature and it slowly shys away, seemingly in pain. Hellboy hesitates, and Prince Nuada questions him, “This is what you wanted, isn’t it?  The last of its’ kind, like you and I.  If you destroy it, the world will never see it’s like again.”

Torn, Hellboy shoots the elemental, causing it to flower and spread a beautiful moss across the ground.  It flowers open, graciously snowing cotton-like leaves down on the surrounding populace.  It’s a poignant moment that is meant to put Hellboy in a place where he must choose between the monster world and human world, a line he must constantly walk.

But, more importantly, it pits the audience against itself.  From that moment on, there is confusion as to who the audience feels compelled to root for.

That same moral confusion sits with all of Del Toro’s films.  Whether it’s the ghost in The Devil’s Backbone, the vampire in Cronos or the Fawn in Pan’s Labyrinth, Del Toro continually causes the audience to question whether the things that go bump in the night are really the thing that we should be afraid of, or is it us?

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army screens Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 23 at 7:00 and 9:15pm. Advanced tickets available at the Trylon’s website.

Safety-Last

A short four years ago, a group of dedicated cinephiles opened their new 50-seat palace to the world with the films of Buster Keaton. That was us and that was the Trylon. Each year we have marked our anniversary with the silent American classics from Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd – films that have lost their place in 21st century multiplexes and symbolize what we want to bring to the Twin Cities. Our modest success and the support from our loyal audience is more than we could have asked for.

This weekend we celebrate those four years in the best way we know how: A new 35mm print of Harold Lloyd’s iconic Safety Last!

Safety Last! screens Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 at 7:00 and 8:30pm, and Sunday, July 14 at 5:00, 6:30 and 8:00pm. Advance tickets available at the Trylon’s website.

fanning

The heyday of Napster seems like a foggy fever dream, and although the online peer-to-peer file sharing service only lasted two years, Napster changed the music industry and our relationship to music forever. Tonight at the Trylon, Sound Unseen presents the new documentary Downloaded directed by Alex Winter (better known as Bill in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure) that takes a look at the innovative company, the subsequent legal battles and the far reaching effects of its brief existence.

Downloaded screens Wednesday, July 10 at 7:00pm. Advance tickets are available on the Trylon website.