Speaking of...

Speaking of Montana, the Metro Cable Network (MCN, Ch. 6) at 2 p.m. Sunday will host the Minnesota TV debut of "Butte Magic of Ignorance." It's an independent production on digital video by John Akre, who teaches production at the Minneapolis Telecommunications Network, the city's public-access channel, and Seattle filmmaker Rob Price.

They bill it as "a collage of genealogy, history and fantasy," and it helps to know that going in. Otherwise, you might be saying "Huh?" for a while. The film follows a woman named Irene (Mary Charlotte Farmer) who takes a bus to Butte, Mont., to research her family history. But it frequently digresses into poetic informational interludes about the "copper kings' who mined the Butte area for all it was worth and includes intriguing snippets of interviews with assorted people about what they do and don't know about their family backgrounds.

Call it an art film, call it a meditational travelogue. "Butte Magic" is as genial as it is genealogical, and it makes the city look like an interesting place to visit.

Noel Holston, Star Tribune, 12/17/00

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