Minnesota Film Critics Alliance Member Profile: Frank Lee

Frank Lee works for the Brainerd Dispatch newspaper and on a weekly basis keeps up with new releases with film reviews. Along with his straightforward reviews, Lee also writes film industry-related columns.

Here’s more about Lee in his own words.

How long have you been producing content about movies?

As a film buff or lifelong fan of cinema, I have written movie reviews ever since my days working on the college newspaper, even seeking out foreign titles on my own in many cases to broaden my horizons while studying at the university.

In my youth, my movie critiques were simply shared with friends and acquaintances from the perspective of an avid moviegoer who loved the immersive (and relatively affordable) experience of going to the movies or renting them.

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

Brainerd, Minn.

What type of content do you produce about movies?

I write a weekly (spoiler-free) movie column for the Brainerd Dispatch, a daily Forum Communications Co. publication. Right now, I mainly focus on new releases in the theaters, but also occasionally review older film classics and write news articles pertaining to the film industry as well as write opinion columns about personal motion picture favorites related to a theme, holiday, occasion, etc.

What motivated you to create content about movies?

I wanted to champion feature films, foreign movies and/or documentaries that could easily be overlooked by mainstream audiences.

What inspired your love of movies?

Motion pictures offered a relatively easily accessible way to learn more about American pop culture and history. But my awareness of the power of film as a transformative medium began, I guess, with the original “Star Wars” trilogy that practically redefined or revolutionized what a Hollywood blockbuster really could be and how it could unite a movie-going public as a cultural touchstone.

What do you enjoy most about living in Minnesota?

I appreciate the Midwestern values the region is known for that the state’s residents seem to share. I like their appreciation for their natural resources, particularly the woods and lakes, and I enjoy fishing and exploring the state parks.

What is your favorite movie theater in Minnesota?

I don’t have a favorite movie theater in Minnesota. But I am partial to movie theaters that are smaller, family-owned or are not part of a major movie chain because the owners of those kinds of movie theaters or their staff are often genuinely interested in movies as an art form or are passionate about films, as I am, and I love talking to them about upcoming releases, old favorites and audience reactions to different movie titles.

What are some of your favorite movies from the past year (2020)?

“The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” “Possessor,” “Honest Thief,” “Freaky,” The Croods: A New Age,” “Promising Young Woman,” “The Courier,” “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” and “The Personal History of David Copperfield.”

What are your favorite movies set in Minnesota?

“Overnight Delivery,” “Fargo,” “Contagion,” “Inside Out,” “New in Town,” “Rio,” and “A Simple Plan.”

Where can people find your work?

At the Brainerd Dispatch.

What are your social media accounts?

On Twitter @BDFilmForum

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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