Family-friendly flicks

Marcus Theatres starts up its Kids Dream film series this weekend with discounted family-friendly flicks at Lakes Cinema in Hermantown.

Movies start at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with discounted ticket and snack prices.
This week’s feature film is “Despicable Me 2,” the story of Gru, the former evildoer last seen with a trio of young adopted daughters.

In this sequel to “Despicable Me,” Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help thwart a new super-criminal.

Other movies in the series include: “Turbo,” Feb. 8-9; “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” Feb. 15-16; “Smurfs 2,” Feb. 22-23; “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” March 1-2; “Free Birds,” March 8-9.

Zinema 2 starts up its Saturday Morning Family Series on Feb. 8. Shows start at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The lineup includes “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” Feb. 8; “My Neighbor Totoro,” Feb. 15; “Babe,” Feb. 22; “ET” March 1; “An American Tail,” March 8; “Goonies,” March 15; “Matilda,” March 22 and “The Great Muppet Caper,” March 29.

Going to the cats

The Internet’s love of cats has crossed over into the real world, and Eh? wonders why the Internet loves cats so much anyway, but that can wait for another time. For now, suffice it to say, crazy cat videos are coming to a theater near you.

On Tuesday, Zinema 2 and the Duluth Art Institute will be screening … wait for it … cat videos. That’s not all. In addition to some locally made cat videos, there also will be a screening of “Cat Video Film Festival” from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which has been billed as “insanely popular.” Check Friday’s Wave Extra for more details.

Author-director talks supper clubs

Dreamland Supper Club will host writer and documentary filmmaker Ron Faiola from 6-8 p.m. Friday for a signing of his book, “Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience.”

Faiola’s recent documentary of the same name aired nationwide on PBS stations, and Dreamland was one of the 14 establishments that were profiled in the film.

Faiola’s documentary garnered press from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post, and its sister book has gained plaudits from WGN Radio and the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel, among other publications.

The restaurant is at 4368 S. County Road E in South Range.

Food Farm parties

Twenty years after its founding, the owners and operators of Food Farm in Wrenshall are inviting the public to help them celebrate.

A tour, kids’ activities, a tractor pull and a talent show will be offered from 3-6 p.m. Saturday at the farm, 2612 County Road 1. That will be followed at 6 p.m. by a review of the farm’s history and a movie appropriate for all ages in the Free Range Film Festival barn.

You’re invited to bring your own picnic, if you’d like. A food truck will be on the farm for those wishing to buy food.

Gathering of future superheroes

The Duluth Public Library is looking for future superheroes to gather at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the main library’s Green Room.

Kids entering grades K-4 are invited to come dressed as their favorite superhero to enjoy activities, crafts and a screening of “Batman the Brave and Bold.” But space is limited, so sign up your young superhero by calling (218) 730-4200, option 4.

Penguin and Catwoman need not apply.

Creating a soundtrack

It’s been about two years since Gaelynn Lea and Alan Sparhawk teamed up to create a live score for “The Penalty,” starring Lon Chaney, which played at Zinema 2.

They’ve got another score to settle: The duo, which has continued to play together as the band The Murder of Crows, has created a live score for the movie “Jaws.”

The show is at 9:30 p.m. today at Red Star, 600 E. Superior St., and is part of the Rock ’n Reel Tuesdays series at the lounge. Other bands featured this month include Total Freedom Rock, Doghouse Riley, Kathy McTavish and If Thousands and Tim Kaiser.

The show is free.

Sean Penn spotted in Duluth, 83 years ago

The Kansas City Bridge Co. crewman (left) looks an awful lot like Sean Penn (right), who was born in 1960. (Left photo courtesy of Duluth Public Library)

Did you know that Sean Penn was photographed in Duluth sometime between August 1929 and March 1930? Well, it was someone who looked like Sean Penn, not that anybody in Duluth knew who Sean Penn was in 1930.

That’s when a crew from the Kansas City Bridge Co. came to town to convert the transfer bridge over the Duluth ship canal to the Aerial Lift Bridge we still use today. And one of the guys on the crew really did look a lot like Sean Penn. He’s front and center in a photo of the crew posing on the bridge.

The history lovers at Zenith City Online found the photo at the Duluth Public Library and posted it. Check it out there and join the conversation about when and where you would go if you were as good at time-traveling as Sean Penn.

For young filmmakers

Heads up, young Spielbergs.

The folks behind the Reel Youth Film Festival want to see your cinematic creativity.

The festival, a showcase of movies made by young filmmakers, is open to students in grades K-12.

Films must be no longer than 5 minutes. Submissions are due May 17. The films will be critiqued by a panel of jurors and those selected will be screened starting at 6 p.m. June 1 at the Reel Youth Film Festival in the Free Range Film Farm, 909 Carlton County Road 4, Wrenshall.

For more info and an entry form, go to <a href=http://www.cloquet.k12.mn.us target=”new”>cloquet.k12.mn.us</a>.

Zach Braff loves Duluth

Actor Zach Braff voices Finley (right) the flying monkey and James Franco (left) plays Oz in “Oz the Great and Powerful.” (Disney Enterprises / Associated Press)

Well, we don’t really know if the actor loves Duluth, but he has mentioned the city at least twice.

Braff, known for his role as J.D. on the show “Scrubs” and Finley the flying monkey in the box office’s No. 1 movie, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” told Conan O’Brien on Tuesday’s “Conan” that he decided to reward one of his Facebook and Twitter followers with a visit to the winner’s hometown.

Hopefuls submitted videos telling Braff what they’d do with him if they got to hang out with the star. Braff told O’Brien he had expected to get a winning submission from somewhere a little closer to home.

“I thought, like, Duluth, you know, Newark,” the New Jersey native said.

Instead, the winning video came from a group of guys in Vienna, Austria.

Tuesday was the second such reference to Duluth from Braff, who wrote, directed and starred in the 2004 film “Garden State,” which also mentions Duluth.

Zach, consider this your invitation to spend the day in Duluth. We’ll drop nickels off the top of Enger Tower and complain about how there’s nothing to do in town — both Duluth traditions.