LATEST ARTICLES / The Niles Files

Thursday, April 17th


The Niles Files: “God’s Not Dead” and Gimme That Check-Box Religion
God's Not Dead

Niles compares two recent faith-based films, Darren Aronofsky’s strange and formidable “Noah” and the softer–if more insidious–”God’s Not Dead.”




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Tuesday, April 1st


The Niles Files, April Fools Edition: “Dressed for the Occasion”
Hogan

For the fourth annual April Fools edition of the Niles Files, Niles takes a look back at Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan’s 1989 masterpiece of commerce and bodies, “No Holds Barred,” the only film in history to open with the name “Jesse Ventura.”




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Wednesday, March 26th


The Niles Files: Martin Scorsese’s You Can’t Do That On Television
Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese’s controversial “The Wolf of Wall Street” heads to DVD and Blu Ray this week, and Niles explores the recurring motif of television in the film, as compared to Scorsese’s warm ode to illusions, “Hugo.”




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Wednesday, March 26th


The Niles Files: The Orbital Noose
Llewyn Davis

Newly available on DVD and Blu Ray, Niles returns to one of 2013′s richest and most mystifying films, the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” a Joycean marriage of the terrene and divine in the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene.




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Wednesday, March 5th


The Niles Files: The Superfluous 2014 Oscar Hangover
12 Years a Slave

Niles goes over the winners of Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony while briefly speculating on possibly players for next year.




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Tuesday, February 25th


The Niles Files: 2014 Annual Oscar Whoo-Whoo Thingy
American Hustle

Niles offers his predictions and choices for the 86th Annual Academy Awards, which happen on Sunday, March 2.




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Friday, January 31st


The Niles Files: In Dreams
Mulholland Drive

The Trylon hosts a thrilling David Lynch weekend retrospective, “Surreal Marvel,” with a new 35mm print of “Eraserhead” beginning Friday, and screenings of “Dune,” “Mulholland Drive,” “Wild at Heart,” and “Blue Velvet” to follow.




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Wednesday, January 22nd


The Niles Files: Steve McQueen’s Hunger Artist
12 Yearsa Slave

Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” has been criticized for its aestheticism and formal approach, but the film suggests that the creative will to authorship is a mode of resistance.




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Wednesday, January 15th


The Niles Files: Martin Scorsese’s New York Dead
Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a startling cousin of Scorsese’s little-seen “Bringing Out the Dead,” as the two films, both set in the early ’90s, explore civil responsibility (or the utter lack of it) during New York’s crucial turning point.




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Monday, December 23rd


The Niles Files: 2013′s Best Films, No Fingers-Crossed Infinity Edition
Act of Killing

The Niles Files offers up his annual best in the year of film roundup – plus Honorable Mentions, Favorite Performances, and The Hall of Disappointment.




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Thursday, December 12th


The Niles Files: Bilbo Does Sit-Ups, Tightens Mid-Section
The Hobbit

Though still hyperbolic and feeling like a 165-minute video game, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” marks a huge improvement for Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel.




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Thursday, December 5th


The Niles Files: City of Lost Kubrick
Barry Lyndon

Throughout December, the Trylon features “The Underrated Stanley Kubrick”: “Paths of Glory,” “Killer’s Kiss,” “Fear and Desire,” “Barry Lyndon,” and “Lolita.”




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Sunday, November 17th


The Niles Files: Out of the Past – Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence”
Age of Innocence 2

The Niles Files looks back on Martin Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence,” which initiated a more somber, prestigious stage of the filmmaker’s later years.




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Wednesday, November 13th


The Niles Files: Every Everything About Sound Unseen
Every Everything

The annual Sound Unseen Film and Music Festival kicks off today with “Every Everything,” a documentary about Husker Du founder Grant Hart. For the next week, Sound Unseen curator Jim Brunzell III rocks the Twin Cities at the Landmark Center, the Trylon, and McNally Smith College of Music.




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Wednesday, November 6th


The Niles Files: “Blue is Warmest Color” and Existence vs. Essence
Blue 3

Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Color” has gotten attention for its extended sex scenes between two female leads, but the film is also a tender and sympathetic look at first love between people from disparate psychological and social arenas.




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Tuesday, October 29th


The Niles Files: Steve McQueen’s Forgotten Histories
12 Years a Slave

The Walker highlights the world of visual artist-turned-narrative filmmaker Steve McQueen, whose new film “12 Years a Slave” brilliantly displays how changing circumstances lead individuals to a different experience of the world around them.




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Wednesday, October 23rd


The Niles Files: Heads, Limbs, and Lady Parts
The Counselor

Ridley Scott directs Cormac McCarthy’s first screenplay “The Counselor,” an unnerving cartel thriller of excessively lavish lifestyles under the author’s trademark assault of unexpected death.




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Wednesday, October 16th


The Niles Files: Twin Cities Film Fest
Nebraska

The annual Twin Cities Film Festival features 50 films from Thursday October 17 and runs until Saturday October 26 at St. Louis Park’s West End Icon Theater. In addition to filmmakers and cast members presenting their work, local short films, complimentary programs, and social mixers, the fest features the local premieres of high profile holiday releases like Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” and John Wells’ “August: Osage County.”




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Tuesday, October 8th


Stephen Tobolowsky Tells “TRUE STORIES” at the Walker
Stephen Tobolowsky

Actor Stephen Tobolowsky will be in person talking about his approach to storytelling at the Walker this Wednesday, October 9, preceded by a screening of his collaboration with David Byrne, the 1986 comedy “True Stories.”




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Friday, October 4th


The Niles Files: The Great Below
Gravity

Alfonso Cuarón’s stunning astronaut story “Gravity” is a spectacular 3-D outer space experience, but it resonates deeply as a continuation of the filmmaker’s mythic stew of realism and symbolic fable-making when so often people get lost in the functional engineering of work and relationships.




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Thursday, September 19th


The Niles Files: Angels and Demons
Prisoners

Centered around a child kidnapping, “Prisoners” is an unexpectedly potent and wholly absorbing small-town thriller imbued with the ghostly atmosphere of a frantic nightmare.




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Thursday, September 12th


The Niles Files: This Corrosion – Exit Music (For Some Films)
World's End

Niles enters melodic territory and lists some of his favorite uses of pop music during a film’s end credits.




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Thursday, August 29th


Wong Kar-wai’s Motion-Photographs
Grandmaster

Wong Kar-wai’s martial arts spectacle “The Grandmaster” is Chinese history in a tight close-up. A biography of kung fu master Ip Man (Tony Leung), Wong’s film is more a symphonic visual tapestry interested in the elusive nature of images and time than a conventional historical narrative.




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Thursday, August 22nd


The Niles Files: Johnnie To’s Walking Dead
Drug War

Playing exclusively at the MSP Film Society of St. Anthony Main this weekend, acclaimed director Johnnie To’s “Drug War” is a slow burn dazzler of existential dread.




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Thursday, August 15th


The Niles Files: Woody Goes West
Blue Jasmine

Woody Allen connects for extra bases with “Blue Jasmine,” a class conscious dramedy about an unraveling woman (Cate Blanchett) who’s tumbled from riches to rags.




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Saturday, August 10th


The Niles Files: “Like Very Special Episode Bad”
The Way Way Back

One of the summer’s sleeper hits, “The Way, Way Back” is an aggravating coming-of-age trifle about a misfit that feels like it was put together for a very well adjusted audience.




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Wednesday, July 31st


The Niles Files: Born Free
The Act of Killing

Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary “The Act of Killing” – screening tonight & tomorrow at the Walker Art Center – transcends the genre, being as dramatically compelling and tragic as the gangster epics that influenced the killers.




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Wednesday, July 17th


The Niles Files: “God” Damn!!
Only God Forgives

Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn reunites with his “Drive” star Ryan Gosling in “Only God Forgives,” a film that’s more of a hypnotic and atmospheric ritual than pulp fiction.




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Wednesday, July 10th


The Niles Files: Stupid or Just Pretending to be Stupid?
Lone Ranger

“The Lone Ranger” is the latest over-expensive Hollywood flop. But there’s reason to think this offbeat and messy film, more a true Western than a bland amusement park blockbuster, is smarter than it looks.




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Wednesday, June 26th


The Niles Files: The Home Invaders
The Bling Ring

The Niles Files reviews Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” – an engrossing, beautiful and disturbing film about a group of kleptomaniac teenagers in an era of selfie, tabloid-fueled narcissism.




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