The critic is a joyless creature. Where one should see life in their eyes there is only emptiness.
– Werner Herzog*
Joyless Creatures is a broad repository for film, video, and moving image culture, including reviews, in depth coverage, interviews, and a much needed space for conversation and analysis.
Matt Levine is a freelance writer and film critic who has written for independent arts publications in Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Minneapolis. His work includes feature articles for Milwaukee's ThirdCoast Digest and the Walker Art Center; a Master's thesis on Louis Feuillade written at Emory University entitled Specters and Spectacles; film-related essays presented at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota, and the Orphans Midwest symposium in 2013, among others; and Still Dots, co-written with Jeremy Meckler, a monograph on The Third Man published by Colpa Press in July 2013.
Jeremy Meckler works in administration for a grant making program for filmmakers and occasionally as a freelance videomaker. His writing has been published on the Walker Art Center's website, in print and online in connection with the video work of Ira Sachs, and in the book The Big Lebowski: An Illustrated Annotated History of the Greatest Cult Movie of All Time. He is the co-author of Still Dots, a micro-analysis of Carol Reed's The Third Man, published by Colpa Press, 2013 and a contributor to World Film Locations: Cleveland, to be published by the University of Chicago Press in late 2016.
Kathie Smith is a freelance film critic and reporter who has written for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, City Pages, In Review Online, Twitch, Walker Art Center, Keyframe, and The Third Rail. She is also a founding board member, programmer and projectionist for the Trylon microcinema in South Minneapolis. You can also hear her every week on KFAI's Cinema Shanty. Follow Kathie on Twitter @KathDSmith.
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Artwork by Jeremy Meckler and Nancy Nark
Chris Fletcher is a freelance writer and film critic who teaches film appreciation in the Twin Cities. For his English M.A. he wrote about Christopher Nolan’s Inception and its relationship to Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. He is still trying to work out what he said in that essay. He is currently in preproduction on a short which is probably trying too hard to be a lost film by Jean-Pierre Melville. Follow him @CAFletcher.
Daniel Getahun is the least-qualified but best-dressed film writer in town. With no background whatsoever in film production, programming, or criticism, he gets by on moxie and unmatched skills with a thesaurus. For several years he opined about the movies at Getafilm and, occasionally, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @getafilm.
Jeff Henebury is a graduate of Macalester College. He lives in Minneapolis.
Jenny M. Jones has worked in film exhibition in such places as the Northwest Film Center in Portland, Oregon, the late, great Oak Street Cinema and the Walker Art Center, both in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the author of The Big Lebowski: An Illustrated, Annotated History of the Greatest Cult Film of All Time and The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay. For the latter, she was honored to be able to interview Francis Ford Coppola, who - prior to meeting her - had imagined her as a "little elderly woman."
Nick Mangigian studies fiction in the University of Wyoming’s MFA program.
Aaron Mendelson lives in Oakland, CA. When he's not relentlessly building his personal brand, he enjoys writing, making radio, eating vegetarian food, listening to Prince and contributing to Rockaliser.
A lifetime film-enthusiast, Michael Montag studied at the University of MN where he graduated with degrees in Cinema Studies and Cultural Studies. Since then, he's worked in construction, museum administration, and the world of insurance, but he spends most of his time daydreaming about a road-trip that'll take him from Alaska to the bottom of South America. His three favorite pictures are The Lost Weekend (1945), Taxi Driver (1976), & The Band Wagon (1953).
Frank Olson graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006. Since then he has served as a member of both the Feature Film and Short Film Screening Committees at the Milwaukee Film Festival. His writing can be found at www.tacopress.blogspot.com.
Lee Purvey grew up in and around the Twin Cities. He likes to think of himself as the tweet game Juan Rulfo.
Nathan Sacks is an academic writing instructor and writer who was originally born in Ames, IA. He currently lives in Minneapolis. He has written three books, owns two cats, and contributes to one music blog, Rockaliser.
Peter Schilling Jr. was the film critic for the Rake Magazine and writes the Estate Sale Confidential column at his blog, theBugBlog.org. He is a projectionist at the Trylon microcinema and the author of the novel The End of Baseball, and the forthcoming Carl Barks' Duck, and Mark Twain's Mississippi River.
Nina Slesinger graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English. She lives in Chicago and tweets sporadically @ninasles.
Geoffrey Stueven lives in Minneapolis. He might still live somewhere much further west, if not for the nearby theaters and microcinemas, gay libraries and bars, record stores, music venues, museums, schools and community centers. And the people. Don't forget the people. He writes about recent music happenings at BigTakeover.com.
Eliza Summerlin splits her time between the Walker Art Center where she is the film/video intern and the Uptown Theater where she wears fancy pants and ushers movie goers into the cinema. She graduated from Macalester College in 2013 with a degree in Media and Cultural Studies and now resides in Minneapolis. She has a penchant for French coming-of-age films, feminist literature, and a good gin and tonic.
Peter Truax is a pretentious, venal trash bag who lost his reputation and most of his clothes following the Layman Brother's collapse. He subsists on a steady diet of ramen, old bagels and Activia probiotic yogurt. A phrenologist would immediately know him as a serial bastard prone to criminal ineptitude and excessive habits of self-love. He aspires to be a silent partner in a used car dealership.
Peter Valelly is a writer, editor, erstwhile web professional, and sometime film and video maker. He writes primarily on pop music and film, with occasional forays into books and politics. Peter currently lives in the Philadelphia area after seven years studying and working in the Twin Cities.