There used to be two schools of film, headed by two agressive gladiators who headed non-profit independent and foreign film organizations -- Oak Street Cinema and the U Film Society both centered on the University of Minnesota campus. And they showed movies.
The titans were Al Milgrom and Bob Cowgill, who both oddly have the same character bearing of being men with a slight chip on their shoulder, a glaring judgemental attitude toward anyone in their field, and a fiercely competitive and entrepreneurial life in the arts.
Milgrom programmed foreign films from obscure outposts in the Baltics, Iranian and Scandinavian films, and hard hitting documentaries. Cowgill programmed revival fests based on film auteurs, themes and American indie genres. Inspite of the shared love for film the often battled to the bloody end of picture for a thin but dedicated film literati in Minnesota. And then a few years back in a fit and mania the two organizations merged. and then they hired Seattle film empressario Jamie Hook to oversee the new future of non-profit film exhibition in the Twin Cities.
Unfortunately, the Unviersity has never supported this thriving film resource, nor has it ever shown much educational interest in film arts. In fact, the University has done more to destroy any sense of community surrounding its campus life by making parking unbelievably impossible, imposing a one-way traffic grid that makes travel forboding and akin to an on/off ramp on the freeway and both Milgrom and Cowgills fight has always been with parking and not the intelligence of the film-going public or media (Milgrom always enjoys chastising the medis for being film illiterate) BUT in reality the parking is so bad film lovers routinely chose not to go there and instead to the Edina (free parking ramp) to see Landmark Cinema programming due to convenience.
The film community owes much to these two men -- Cowgill and Milgrom for their tremendous dedication to film arts.