- Film Guide
In 1987, I was a pimply pre-teen with a best friend named Kim. In seventh grade, we spent five of our seven class periods sitting near one another since our last names are alphabetically close. (She’s an H. I’m a K.) We listened to Sting and Terrence Trent D’Arby equally and unabashedly. In fact, one day we accidentally both wore our brothers’ sleeveless Sting sweatshirts to school. Everyone thought we planned it, and even though we didn’t, we “accidentally” continued buying parallel outfits for years. Kim loved movies as much as I did, and I’m sure my cinephilia stems as much from her friendship as from something inherent that lures me to the movies time and again.
Most of my early film memories include Kim. They may not even be factual memories (and, to be honest, I don’t really care), I just so blend certain periods of cinema with that friendship that I may insert her into these memories. We watched A Clockwork Orange at a sleepover because her older brother told us to—and her parents promptly shut it off. We dissected the meaning of Angel Heart, agreed that Under the Cherry Moon wasn’t nearly as bad as critics claimed, and watched countless hours of John Hughes films. I went to my first art house theater in Boulder, CO, with Kim and saw My Life as a Dog. But mostly we went to the mall, which is where we happened upon The Princess Bride some afternoon in a small, nearly empty theater.
We loved it, of course, and I’m sure we watched it another dozen or so times on VHS. We may have fawned over Westley, perhaps considered naming kids after him, or planned romantic dates with boyfriends we didn’t have. This is why The Princess Bride. It’s a film that, if it speaks to you, takes on a life outside the movie theater, and its reverberations make the world more fun. Despite one’s best efforts otherwise, the quotes instinctively surface! Who doesn’t rhyme “mean it” with “peanut,” or gutturally exclaim, “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya” from time to time?
The Princess Bride encourages adventure, excitement, love, dreams, laughter, and enduring friendship. It’s exactly the kind of film one wants to share with others, to pass down from friend to friend and generation to generation. This is why The Princess Bride. I hope the film’s original fans want to share it with sons or daughters—or even sons and daughters of sons and daughters.
And, selfishly, I simply want to experience the film on the big screen in 35mm again, so I can pretend I’m back in junior high, awkwardly fitting my paisley Pasta mini-skirt, and laughing at thieves and giants with my friend Kim.
P.S. I’ve since changed my mind about Under the Cherry Moon. It’s a ridiculous movie, but I still love the soundtrack.
The Princess Bride screens one time only on Saturday, October 6 at 2:30pm in the Oriental Main Theater. Milwaukee Brewers star pitcher John Axford is scheduled to present the film. Buy your tickets now.comments...
Last Monday, we assembled our first kids screening committee for the Milwaukee Children’s Film Festival. The committee, comprised of kids aged six through nine, met at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum to watch six short films that are in consideration for this year’s Kids Shorts programs. The reports are in: they liked three, thought two were ok, and didn’t like one because it was “too mature.”
During the screening, the kids discussed what they enjoyed, or didn’t enjoy, about the films after writing some comments. For example:
“I liked how their fingers got stuck in everything.”
“It had a nice ending with the backpack, but the rabbit thing was weird.”
“It was dumb that they didn’t talk.”
“I liked how stuff that he wrote came to life.”
“Why were they picking their nose?”
Although the discussions were brief, it is clear that we have a budding community of cinephiles in Milwaukee. How many people know what stop-motion animation is in elementary school? I sure didn’t, but one boy explained it to the group. Another commented that he likes claymation, while a girl pointed out that the lesson of a different film made it worthwhile. Form and content—they seem to understand it all.
I’m obviously pushing for six- to nine-year-olds to program the entire Milwaukee Film Festival next year. Angela Catalano would agree, don’t you think?
Calling all film lovers ages 6 to 9! We need you to be part of the Children’s Film Selection Committee! You will help decide what short films will be shown this year at the Milwaukee Children’s Film Festival (MCFF), which occurs during the Milwaukee Film Festival (Sept 27 – Oct 11).
Youth committee members will attend two pre-screening sessions (June 18 and June 25 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.) at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum. During these hours, you will view and discuss a variety of short films that we are considering for the 2012 MCFF shorts programs. Your opinions will help us shape what we show at the film festival! Participants also will receive four vouchers to attend the 2012 MCFF and free admission to the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum each day of the committee meetings.
Space is VERY limited and participants must register in advance by contacting Susan Kerns, Education Director for Milwaukee Film, at email@example.com. We want your opinions, young film critics!comments...
Today’s blog day, and I’ve been trying to come up with just one topic for a blog about kid’s movies. We’re in the programming stages of the Milwaukee Children’s Film Festival, accepting submissions for The Milwaukee Youth Show, and gearing up for a screening of Mia and the Migoo at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum this Friday, April 20, at 1pm as part of an Earth Day celebration! We’re also working with a number of partners on Global Youth Service Day, so there’s a ton going on! Thus, you get two mini-blogs.
Mia and the Migoo, which played during the 2011 Milwaukee Children’s Film Festival, is an animated French film about a little girl searching for her lost father. Along the way, she encounters magical forest creatures called “Migoo.” She travels with them, and a newfound friend named Aldrin, to an enchanted forest and protects the creatures of the earth. Mia and the Migoo is an all-ages film, and the English-language version will screen at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. The event is free with regular admission to the museum, so it’s a great way to spend a Friday!
On Global Youth Service Day, youth work together to improve their communities through service projects or service learning. It’s a great way for students and groups to get together and give to their communities while learning the value of volunteerism and community involvement. What does this have to do with film? Well, this year the Milwaukee contingent has added a video component to the program! Individuals or teams participating in Milwaukee’s GYSD 2012 can create a video that tells the story of their activity… which is fun enough, but that’s not even the best part. One chosen video will win $500 to be donated to the school or non-profit organization of the team’s choice! AND the videos will screen as part of a GYSD celebration on Sunday, May 20, 1 – 3pm at Discovery World. There is still time to register, so please help spread the word!
Finally, if you’re an Aardman fan, The Pirates! Band of Misfits starts April 27. That’s less than two weeks away from fun with the creators of Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, and last year’s (underrated) Arthur Christmas. Enjoy!comments...
You’ve all heard of The Milwaukee Show – our annual showcase of short films produced by Milwaukee filmmakers that screens during the Milwaukee Film Festival (Sept. 27 – Oct 11, 2012). This year, for the first time ever, we’re opening up a second showcase for filmmakers ages 18 and younger: it's The Milwaukee Youth Show! This blog, therefore, is a request that you send your kids’ shorts to Milwaukee Film! Or encourage your kids to send in their shorts! Or tell your neighbors’ kids, your grandkids, or your neighbors’ grandkids! You get the point: we’re looking for kids' short films to showcase in a very grand way.
Here are the details:
Ready to enter? Fill out the entry form and send in the movie!
There are loads of other rules and regulations on this page, so please read through that and see what you see. If you have additional questions about the youth showcase specifically, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m going to Berlin!!! With Angela, who has a new bionic arm post-wrist breakage, but that is not what this blog is about.
Specifically, I’m attending the Berlinale, and even more specifically than that, I’ll be checking out their Generations program, which features films that, by European standards, are suitable for young audiences. We need some movies to program the 2012 Milwaukee Children’s Film Festival, you know? So Milwaukee Film is sending me, lucky me!!! Here’s what I’m particularly excited to check out.
If you saw The Crocodiles at last year’s Milwaukee Film Festival, you might recognize the name Christian Ditter. His latest directorial effort, Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods, will screen as part of the LOLA@Berlinale program, since it’s nominated for a LOLA—the German version of the Academy Awards. (The Crocodiles won best Children’s Film in 2009.) Ditter reminds me of Robert Rodriguez, in that he crafts solid action movies for kids the way Rodriguez did with the Spy Kids franchise. Wickie, a Viking coming-of-age tale, looks like it will be a rowdy and effects-heavy adventure that’s fun in all the right ways.
Also nominated for a LOLA is The Crocodiles: All for One, the third film in that franchise. This time, the gang works together to help a Crocodile in need of an organ transplant. A new director is at the helm, yet Ditter shares screenwriting credit. The first film was so beloved by Milwaukeeans that I probably need to check out this one too.
I’m very curious about The Monkey King, a 3D version of the 1960s animated Chinese classic. The stills look beautiful, but when directors revisit beloved films, there’s usually some backlash from cinephiles. I’m excited to go in fresh, though, as there’s little I love more than eye-poppingly gorgeous animation.
Actually, there appears to be a ton of great animation this year, and Zarafa looks terrific as well. Based in part on the true story of the first giraffe to be exhibited in Paris (her name was Zarafa), this film focuses on Zarafa’s friend, a little boy named Maki. After Zarafa’s capture, Maki makes his way from Africa to Europe in the hopes of saving his animal friend, only to find himself overwhelmed by the fanfare. I’m a sucker for animal stories, and Zarafa sounds like it’s destined to be a classic.
The final mention goes to Electrick Children. This American film directed by Rebecca Thomas will also screen at SXSW, so I’m guessing its Generation 14+ category may qualify it as adult fare in the US. As far as I can gather, a naïve girl thinks she gets pregnant from listening to a cassette tape, so she runs away with a Culkin dressed as a skater. If Immaculate Conception doesn’t warrant a little teen angst, I don’t know what does. This film sounds right up my alley.
I’ll report back at the end of my trip with favorites from the Berlinale. If I love even half as many films as I’m looking forward to, it’s going to be a terrific couple of weeks!!!