The 11-day Milwaukee Film Festival returned last Thursday, Sept. 22, and the city is buzzing with excitement.
Running until Sunday, Oct. 2, the film festival is already in its fifth day, and people all over town are discussing flicks they've seen or want to see. Featuring a lineup of 177 feature and short films, the Milwaukee Film Festival is an incredible opportunity to see movies that, for the most part, you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see on the big screen.
It's awesome to hear enthusiasm over a local film festival and the eagerness and openness to attend screenings of unconventional, unfamiliar films from more than 44 countries. Yep, the fest features films from around the world, but also will show several films with local ties.
This year, The Milwaukee Show (Thursday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre) rounds up nine short films from local filmmakers, including Anima Mundi by Kate Balsley and Missed Connections, a short from Gal Friday Films that was shot at The Gobbler supper club. Other local highlights include Valley Maker (Tuesday, Sept. 27., 7:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre; Saturday, Oct. 1, 12:30 p.m., Downer Theatre), a film that documents Sean Kafer’s trek down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft; the première of Points Of Interest (Friday, Sept. 30, 9:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre), an impressionistic tour documentary featuring Juniper Tar; and a short film based on the award-winning play by Wisconsin native Jeffrey James Ircink, Pass the Salt, Please (Friday, Sept. 30, 12 a.m., Oriental Theatre), which allows viewers to be a fly on the wall as a conversation between an elderly couple turns into a dialog seemingly straight from a porno scene.
Here are some other films I’m excited to check out this week: (Who wants to go?)
• Like Crazy, Sundance Grand Prize winner, a woeful love story directed by Drake Doremus (Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre)
• Happy, director Roko Belic tries to discover what makes humans happy (Monday, Sept. 26, 9:45 p.m., North Shore Cinema; Thursday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre; Sunday, Oct. 2, 5:15 p.m., Ridge Cinema)
• The Last Mountain, a documentary about the coal industry’s hazardous practices in Appalachia by award-winning documentarian Bill Haney (Monday, Sept. 26, 7:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre; Wednesday, Sept. 28, 5 p.m., Ridge Cinema; Sunday, Oct. 2, 2:15 p.m., North Shore Cinema)
• The Interrupters, directed by Steve James, follows the fervent work of CeaseFire, who are looking to lift their very city of the situation it finds itself mired in (Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m., North Shore Cinema)
• Here, a globetrotting romance by Braden King with sweeping shots of the Armenian countryside (Monday, Sept. 26, 7:15 p.m., Ridge Cinema)
• The Best Damn F*#&ing Midnight Program Ever. Sh*t, a midnight shorts program that features 87 minutes worth of material involving prostitutes, badass dolls, robots, sexy talk from old folks, and a horror musical (check out the trailer below), among others. (Friday, Sept. 30, 12 a.m., Oriental Theatre)
Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, $8 for members and $6 for children. They can be purchased on line, by phone and at theater box offices. For ticket information and a schedule, head over here.