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Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 128: Sound Unseen

Celebrating 20 years of music on the big screen

Music and movies get equal billing at Sound Unseen, one of Minneapolis’ best-curated film festivals. Founded in fall of 1999 by a team of volunteers, it has evolved into a six-day spectacle featuring exclusive screenings, dynamic panel discussions, and intimate live sets.

Lead programmers Jim Brunzell III and Richard Gill kicked off Sound Unseen’s 20th anniversary at Walker Art Center on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 with a screening of the politically charged PJ Harvey doc A Dog Called Money and a ukulele performance by London-born local artist Katy Vernon.

Though we were bummed to miss the following Wednesday’s feature-length flicks, including long-overdue documentary looks at MTV and Manhattan’s sorely missed Other Music shop, the screenings continued through Sunday at Surly Brewing Co., Bryant-Lake Bowl, TRYLON, and Parkway Theater.

Our top picks: The Midwest premiere of Beats, a fictionalized take on the U.K.’s seminal warehouse party scene; Mystify: Michael Hutchence, an intimate portrait of the late INXS frontman; and Punk the Capital, a documentary about D.C.’s underground punk scene, followed by a talk with co-director James June Schneider and former Minor Threat drummer Jeff Nelson. Last but not least: Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine, a loud-and-proud look back at “America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine” and the bands it worshipped (KISS, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, etc.).

Couldn’t make it out for the festival proper? Sound Unseen hosts monthly screenings throughout the year; watch this page for upcoming events. That’s how we first discovered Heavy Trip, a ridiculously funny Finnish film that’s like a death-metal version of Spinal Tap. Watch it now and thank us later!