Minnesota in the Movies

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Minnesota in the Movies

Post  mrsamct on Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:45 am

charms silver
Almost every city in the USA has, at some point or another, found itself the subject of Hollywood's scrutiny and featured heavily as the location for a movie or TV series. Over the years many famous landmarks, and lesser known features of the vast and varied American landscape, have became immortalized in celluloid history. Whenever a film crew rolls into town, there comes with it a sense of unbridled excitement as residents vie for the chance to become 'extras', and local architectural treasures grab a piece of the limelight.

The on-screen representation of any city, town or region can evoke a range of responses. Outsiders may well build an opinion about a place based solely on what they see in a movie, with the result that once little know communities can develop a unique sense of celebrity. Local residents, depending on the depiction of their home, may be overcome with feelings of exceptional pride, or find themselves utterly insulted by how they and their town have been represented by the script writers and directors. One only has to think about the way that many Minnesotans felt aggrieved by their depiction in the Coen Brothers' widely acclaimed movie Fargo. Many locals complained bitterly about what they considered to be the controversial use of exaggerated accents, one of the most talked-about and loved features of the movie.

But way before the Coens ever cried "camera, lights, action!", filmographers had been flocking to the Minneapolis area, inspired by the landscape and the people of this unique region. Major 1970s productions such as Airport and Slaughterhouse-Five were shot in Minnesota, but as far as the viewer is concerned could really have been filmed anywhere. Others, such as the psychological thriller You'll Like My Mother, fully utilized the distinctive landscape of the state.

In more recent year, several popular blockbusters have made good use of Minnesota's many charms, including family favorites The Mighty Ducks and Grumpy Old Men franchises. A few less memorable productions, such as Drop Dead Fred and Jingle All The Way have also been lured to the Twin Cities area with varying degrees of success. Iconic local landmarks, including St Paul's famous eatery Mickey's Dining Car, have been put to good use on occasion, appearing on the big screen a number of times.

One of Minneapolis's most celebrated sons, Prince, famously used the city as the backdrop for his hit 1984 movie Purple Rain, and mid 90s 'indie' cult classic Mallrats focused on events filmed in Eden Prairie Center, although was supposedly set in New Jersey. More recently, the Coen's turned their focus back on the area for their acclaimed film A Serious Man, and recent thrillers Phasma Ex Machina and The Inheritance were both filmed in Minnesota.

Of course for many, that ground-breaking 70s TV comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show put Minneapolis firmly on the map. In fact, the Kenwood Parkway house that featured in the show, as the location of Mary's apartment, became a major tourist attraction in its own right, continuing to attract sightseers for many years after the show ended in 1977. The city today honors the cultural impact that this comedy had in the US, in the form of a statue that depicts Mary tossing her hat into the air, as famously depicted in the show's opening credits.


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