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Justin is the film specialist / projectionist for the Minneapolis Walker Art Center. Simultaneously, he is a documentary filmmaker and freelance video editor.
Blu-ray courtesy of Indicator (UK). Image copyright: Author, Justin Ayd

hit cinemas at the tail-end of the 1970s, a decade known for its shift in American culture following tragic events and activism from the 1960s. Women’s liberation movement, Roe v. Wade abortion laws, gay liberation movement, black power movement, racial injustices, declining confidence in the Vietnam War, and of course Watergate — a scandal so impossible to grasp, it created a deeply rooted distrust in the United States government for decades to come.

The unbearable weight during this volatile period of time was reflected on the silver screen, moving beyond Hollywood’s golden era of cinema into a…


The 4K image is breathtaking, and shows off the capabilities of a well cared for restoration.

4K UHD Edition Courtesy StudioCanal. Image Credit: Author

It goes without saying, 4K Ultra-High Definition releases are treats in their own right, but there’s an extra layer of satisfaction when beloved work from a bygone era of filmmaking is given a well deserved new life.

With a sharp picture, rich blacks, and a natural grain structure, StudioCanal’s 2020 4K restoration of (1980) — scanned from the original 35mm camera negative, supervised by David Lynch—provides viewers an experience that feels both pristine and incredibly contemporary.

tells the achingly heartbreaking story of John Merrick (John Hurt), a man whose full body and facial disfigurements…


A brief, spoiler free look at Thief on its 40th anniversary.

Blu-ray courtesy the Criterion Collection. Image Copyright: Justin Ayd

Forty years ago this weekend—specifically March 27, 1981—Michael Mann hit the world by storm with the release of his criminally underrated first theatrical feature , a neo-noir tale of hot-blooded, safecracking Frank (James Caan) looking to leave his life as a jewel thief and settle down with his version of the American dream.

Out of the gate, Mann’s methodology for world-building would become a signature career defining approach; a foray into any given enterprise would be thoroughly researched and developed, extensively trained by his actors, and rehearsed on set. …


When millions of people across the United States and world began to adjust daily routines back in March of 2020 due to rising COVID-19 cases and subsequent lockdown orders, entertainment venues and museums —like so many businesses—were forced to think outside the box. Those kind of institutions hold several large, often sold out in-person events on a weekly basis, so would transitioning to a strictly online presence be feasible, and more importantly, would patrons remain similarly interested as they would in person?

The Minneapolis Walker Art Center cautiously leapt down that rabbit hole, adapting existing programming like Free First Saturday…


[Photo Credit: Author]

Through the lens of our collective experience from this last year — perhaps even going back to 2016 or 2008, if not 2001, and even further back to the 90s if we’re to connect and comprehend all events of man’s obsession with war, power and greed as an endless never changing cycle — Alfonso Cuarón’s film feels more urgent now than when released in 2006.


Minnesota is at a tipping point as we head into Labor Day weekend. As indicated yesterday during Governor Tim Walz‘s press conference, we’re back in a place similar to one we experienced in April, yet we aren’t sheltering in place — we’re enjoying barbecues, attending weddings and going back to school, with a great many gathering mask-less.

EVAN FROST — MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

After three delays throughout summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Christopher Nolan’s long awaited is ready to open in cinemas across the U.S.

Beginning Monday, August 31st Emagine Willow Creek in Plymouth, Minnesota — 10 miles outside of Minneapolis — will be one of six movie theatres nationwide opening the twisty science-fiction epic on traditional 70mm motion picture film.

In the last week, over one-thousand theatres in the U.S. re-opened as NATO (National Association of Theatre Owners) introduced a strict set of health protocols to keep customers safe. Yet, according to the most recent survey conducted by Performance Research


Minneapolis, and the country, has reached a breaking point, but what happens when a country, city and people continue to reach a breaking point year in and year out for decades and centuries? One cannot possibly support general city destruction, especially when locally owned stores burn to the ground — though there’s plenty of evidence that indicates White Supremacists have mostly been behind it — but nevertheless, destroyed property can be rebuilt, but black men, women and children executed at the hands of enraged and racist white police officers cannot be resurrected.

Particular hateful law enforcement organizations, including the Police…


Ten years ago today the critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and one of the most talked about and debated television shows of all-time came to an end.

Once upon a time there was an island, a plane crash and forty-eight survivors. When the series first premiered on September 22nd, 2004, was about an unlikely group castaways (or Losties, as fans would say) working together to survive the elements — at the surface: storms and natural wildlife, and further in unexpected threats like polar bears and the island’s original inhabitants known as “the others” — all while attempting make sense of the many unexplainable properties of the island: one castaway no longer felt the effects of cancer and others discovered their purpose in life, and from a…


I’ve been in the most fortunate position since the beginning of the mid-March Minnesota quarantine, still miraculously employed during a time when upward of 40 million Americans have lost their jobs, and still holding onto my health — washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing is key. Due to the type of job I hold, I am space dependent. There’s little a film specialist and projectionist can do outside of a quarantined museum that employs him, except do the thing that sparked his interest in film projection some 25 years ago: watch movies.

Bong Joon Ho’s Mother on 35mm | February 4, 2020 | Walker Art Center

My department has held virtual…

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