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Minnesota Film Critics Alliance Member Profile: Frank Stanko

Frank Stanko is the Richland County reporter at the Wahpeton Daily News, which covers Wahpeton, ND., and Breckenridge, Minn.. In his spare time, he writes the “Thoughts On” column at The Pop Culturists. This year, Thoughts On is covering the films of 1985 and occasionally “Mad About You.”

Here’s more background on Stanko, who lives in Wahpeton:

How long have you been producing content about movies?

I started professionally reviewing movies as a college student in 2007. “American Gangster.” I was so pretentious, I used pronouns borrowed from old New York Times reviews. “Mesdames”!

Where do you live and/or produce content about movies?

Southeast North Dakota, one hour south of Fargo and 30 minutes north of South Dakota.

What type of content do you produce about movies?

Reviews, both for the Daily News and The Pop Culturists.

What motivated you to create content about movies?

I started blogging about movies by year in 2014. A friend and I were talking about great awards lineups and I mentioned the 1984 Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe nominees. Steve Martin, Dudley Moore (the winner), Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray and Robin Williams. I realized 1984 had its share of awesome comedies and musicals (and stuff I cheated to include, like Amadeus).

What inspired your love of movies?

I watched a lot of them on TV as a boy, but I’d actually only go to a movie theater about 1-2 times a year. The day after Thanksgiving or thereabouts. The first one I remember seeing was either Home Alone 2 or Aladdin (but the latter makes a better story).

What do you enjoy most about living in the Minnesota region ?

I grew up to become Mary Tyler Moore!

What is your favorite movie theater in Minnesota?

The late, lamented Cinema 6 in Breckenridge.

What are some of your favorite movies from the past year (2019)?

Let’s go with “Toy Story 4.” I don’t know if I’ve ever known a genre that’s as good at riding into the sunset and riding back in.

What are your favorite movies set in Minnesota?

“Drop Dead Gorgeous”! It was one of those movies that my entire family would sit down to watch.

Where can people find your work?

The Wahpeton Daily News and The Pop Culturists.

Are you on social media platforms? If so, what are your handles?

It’s been so long. I have a Twitter, but I need to use it again.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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