Stuck Between Stations, a 2011 film shot on location in Minneapolis, was released on DVD, digital download and video on demand just last Tuesday. You can read more about the film in these excellent reports by MPR News’ Euan Kerr here and here.
Of particular interest to fans of The Current, however, is that Stuck Between Stations‘ director of photography is Bo Hakala, a former videographer at The Current (a post now held by Nate Ryan).
Hakala found the project appealing from the moment he was approached by Stuck Between Stations‘ director Brady Kiernan. “I thought it would be a fun and interesting way to explore the city in a way I hadn’t had the opportunity to do in other projects, so it was exciting to get that opportunity,” Hakala recalls.
A Minneapolis resident, Hakala had been speculatively crafting a project like Stuck Between Stations for some time. “If you’re a photographer or any kind of visual artist, you’re always impacted by your environment,” Hakala says. “There are a lot of things I would see around town and think, ‘I would love to incorporate that into a shot.'”
Because the script is dialogue heavy, Hakala says he and Kiernan thought of the film as a play, with Minneapolis as its stage. “We really wanted to bring Minneapolis to life and really give the film a sense of place,” Hakala says, “so it was definitely a deliberate portrait of Minneapolis.”
Local viewers will recognize such iconic locations as First Avenue, the Washington Avenue bridge near the University of Minnesota, the Walker Art Center and of course, the downtown Minneapolis skyline.
Stuck Between Stations screened at the 2011 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), enjoyed an extended run last summer at the St. Anthony Main cinema in Minneapolis and sold out several shows at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan. In his review of the film, New York Times critic Andy Webster specifically called out “Bo Hakala’s glowing cinematography.”
“It was interesting to see reaction to the film in a city that isn’t Minneapolis,” Hakala says of the Tribeca screenings. “There were a lot of people who were surprised to see Minneapolis look the way it did. I think there are a lot of preconceptions out there about our town and what it may or may not be, whether that’s Purple Rain or just a flyover state or what have you. I think [Stuck Between Stations] kind of opened people’s minds to how pretty our city really is.”
Stuck Between Stations is complete, but two more works by Hakala will be releasing soon. The first is a music video for Doomtree’s song “Beacon,” the fourth track off its latest album No Kings. That video is planned for release in April, and will likely be used to promote Doomtree’s U.K. tour. The second project, a co-production of National Geographic and NOVA on which Hakala was cinematographer, is a documentary about the statues of Easter Island. It is planned for broadcast on PBS in May.
Here are a couple of Hakala highlights from The Current’s video archives:
Tegan & Sara in studio from 2007, shot and edited by Bo Hakala:
OK Go at Rock the Garden 2010, directed by Hakala:
And here is the official trailer for Stuck Between Stations: