What to See at Sound Unseen 2022

DISPATCH is proud to partner with this year’s incredible Sound Unseen Film Festival!

Named “One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals In The World” and “One of 20 Great Film Festivals for First-Time Moviemakers” by MovieMaker Magazine, and named “One of the best parts of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Arts & Culture scene” by us at DISPATCH, the Sound Unseen film festival annually wows everyone from general film fans to big-time music buffs.

The lineup for this year’s festival continues the tradition of excellence. After a smaller run through the cinemas of Austin, Texas, the tireless programmers—Festival Director Jim Brunzell, Program Director Rich Gill, and Festival Producer and Shorts Programmer Kat Swenson—often bring in films to premiere in Minnesota months before they hit rotation in other theaters. Documentaries, short films, and music videos make up much of the programming, but Sound Unseen also showcases rare concert footage, interactive panels, and live music events. This year’s festival will also have a virtual presence with more than 25 films available for Minnesota residents through the virtual platform Eventive, and viewers can even grab a badge to watch all the offerings.

Along with the screenings themselves, Sound Unseen has a well-earned reputation for having some of the best events of the year. A bold claim? Yes, but things like a thunderous performance from Taiko drummers Enso Daiko along with the film Finding Her Beat and even Neko Case (yes, that Neko Case) and filmmaker Geoff Marslett attending the closing night proves it true. To help attendees navigate all of the exciting selections and events, DISPATCH put together a handy special section in the newest issue that you can pull out and bring with you that has all the information you need to take in the entire festival.

Haven’t grabbed your copy yet? Here’s just some of the highlights from this year’s program. 


Films | Band + Mad / Woman
If This Is Spinal Tap had been centered on an all-female group of Icelandic performance-artist musicians, it would look a lot like Band, singer-turned-filmmaker Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir’s hilarious and poignant portrait of the misadventures of her Post Performance Blues Band. The film is preceded by short film Mad / Woman; A woman beaten unconscious by her husband searches her mindscape for a way out. Inspired by the songs of genre-fluid indie rocker Storm Large and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic feminist short story The Yellow Wallpaper, this musical phantasmagoria continues in the surrealist tradition of Queer Cinema pioneers Jean Cocteau and Derek Jarman. 9:15 PM • Trylon Cinema

Festival Event | Transmission Opening Night Party
Come celebrate the kickoff for Sound Unseen by joining us at the Uptown VFW, where we’ll dance and drink until they drag us out the door. 10:30 PM • Uptown VFW


Film | AGE OF RAGE – The Australian Punk Revolution
Through music, photos, archival footage and commentary, we examine how Australian punk ideology, music, social issues, community, violence, drugs, police harassment and a ferociously DIY ethos transformed Australian lives. 7 PM • Bryant Lake Bowl

Film | In Person Shorts Program
The SU23 shorts program features national, international, and local Minnesota short films that run the gamut from music videos to narratives and documentaries. 7:15 PM • The Main Cinema

Film | Wayne’s World (30th Anniversary Screening)
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hurl. When a sleazy TV exec offers Wayne and Garth a fat contract to tape their late-night public access show at his network, they can’t believe their good fortune. But they soon discover the road from basement to big-time is a gnarly one, fraught with danger, temptation, and ragin’ party opportunities. 7:30 PM • Parkway Theater


Film | Smithereens (40th Anniversary Screening)
After escaping New Jersey, the quintessentially punk Wren (Susan Berman)—a spark plug in fishnets—moves to the city with the mission of becoming famous. When not pasting up self-promotional flyers or hanging at the Peppermint Lounge, she’s getting involved with Paul (Brad Rinn), the nicest guy to ever live in a van next to the highway, and Eric (Richard Hell), an aloof rocker. 7 PM • Trylon Cinema

Film | Circus Of The Scars – The Insider Odyssey Of The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow
A scrappy, sensational sideshow revival act playing Seattle dive bars is suddenly propelled into the big time, riding the same wave that brought grunge rock crashing into mainstream culture. Circus of the Scars follows the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow on a relentless and controversial world tour as they rise from obscurity to international infamy. 7:15 PM • The Main Cinema

Film | Desperately Seeking Susan (special screening)
Roberta is a bored suburban housewife who is fascinated with a woman, Susan, she only knows about by reading messages to and from her in the personals section of the newspaper. This fascination reaches a peak when an ad with the headline “Desperately Seeking Susan” proposes a rendezvous. 9:15 PM • Trylon Cinema


Film | A Man There Was, with live score
Terje Vigen, a sailor, suffers the loss of his family through the inflexibility of another man. Years later, when his enemy’s family finds itself dependent on his benevolence, Terje must decide whether to avenge himself. With a live score performed by The Poor Nobodys. 1:00 PM • Parkway Theater

Film | Haxan 100th Anniversary Screening, with live score
Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. 3 PM • Bryant Lake Bowl

Film | Butterfly In The Sky
Butterfly In The Sky tells the story of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow, its iconic host LeVar Burton, and the challenges its creators faced in cultivating a love of reading through television. Two seconds into the bubbling synth sounds of its theme song will have a child of the 1980s or ’90s exclaiming “Reading Rainbow!” Such is the beloved nature of the classic children’s literary television show that introduced millions of kids to the wonder of books. 4:15 PM • Parkway Theater


Film | We Were Famous, You Don’t Remember: The Embarrassment
Surrounded by wheat fields, cowboys, and cars, four bespectacled misfits in Kansas grabbed instruments and blasted out “a ravenous strain of rock ‘n’ roll” as tuneful, brainy, and enthralling as anything coming from the coasts. They worshipped the Stooges and witnessed the Sex Pistols bring punk to the Great Plains, igniting within them an uncontrolled prairie fire to do it themselves.12:30 PM • Bryant Lake Bowl

Film | Immediate Family
This documentary follows the work and lives of legendary 1970s session musicians who were featured on some of the most iconic recordings and live tours of the era. 1:00 PM • Parkway Theater

Film | Quantum Cowboys
Quantum Cowboys is an old-fashioned western about two haplessly charming drifters, Frank and Bruno, who team up with Linde, recover her land, and trek across 1870s southern Arizona in order to find an elusive frontier musician. But it is also the director’s love letter to quantum physics, animation, music and memories. 5 PM • Parkway Theater

Film | I Get Knocked Down
Twenty years after his fall from grace, the former frontman of the anarchist band Chumbawamba is angry and frustrated. But how does a middle-aged, retired radical—who now feels invisible—get back up again? 5:00 PM • Trylon Cinema

SU MPLS Festival Event | Closing Night Party w/ James Eugene Russell

Join us as we close out #SoundUnseen23 in style with a free show at the Uptown VFW featuring the country sounds of James Eugene Russell & His Enablers. The drinks will flow and the tunes will be raucous as we close the books on another festival. 7:00 PM & • VFW Uptown

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