Milwaukee Film Blog

posted by Milan on April 24th, 2014

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The Italian Film Festival @ UWM Union Theatre (Fri-Sun, Apr 25-27) 
This multi-city traveling festival comes to UWM Union Theatre this weekend to present local premieres of seven critically acclaimed (and oftentimes award-winning) Italian films, including Il rosso e il bluViva la libertàBuongiorno papàRealityGli equilibristiTeorema Venezia, and Bianca come il latte, rossa come il sangue. Each film is in its original language with English subtitles, and all are absolutely free. 
Get more info on the Italian Film Festival here.

Locke @ Fox-Bay Cinema Grill (Tue, Apr 29 @ 6:30 p) 
(Steven Knight, USA, 2013) 
A film that's essentially 85 minutes of one guy driving his car, talking either on the phone or aloud to himself sounds like a bit of a hard sell. Not in Locke's case, though. The one guy in the film? Tom Hardy (Bronson, MFF 2009), who could make a live read of an elevator inspection certificate seem like Shakespeare's best. Hardy plays the title character, as he drives around town, dealing with the blowback from a phone call that forces him to fight for the well being of his family, job, and self. As a bonus, this special screening at Fox-Bay is a part of the New York Film Critics Series, which means through the magic of remote live broadcasting, you'll get to watch the post-screening Q + A with some of the film's talent as it happens. 
Watch the trailer for Locke here.

The Rocket on DVD (Tue, Apr 29) - MF Members 
(Kim Mordaunt, Australia/Thailand/Laos, 2013) 
Back in February, Milwaukee Film Members got to see this feel-good drama on the big screen. For the rest of you, next Tuesday brings it to DVD. The Rocket is set in rural Laos, and follows a ten-year-old boy who sets out to build a giant rocket to both compete in the dangerous Rocket Festival and help him break free of his ill-fated destiny. The result is an uplifting tale (peppered with hilarity from crowd favorite character Uncle Purple, who loves James Brown) that earned audience awards at film festivals like AFI, Tribeca, and Sydney (among others). 
Watch the trailer for The Rocket here.


Fanie Fourie’s Lobola (MFF 2013) on VOD (Tue, Apr 22)
Filth on VOD (Thu, Apr 24)
Visitors @ UWM Union Theatre (Thu, Apr 24 @ 7p)
Blue Ruin on VOD (Fri, Apr 25)
Escape from Tomorrow on DVD (Tue, Apr 29)
Gloria on DVD (Tue, Apr 29)
Liv & Ingmar @ UWM Union Theatre (Wed, Apr 30 @ 7:30p)

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posted by Anna on April 23rd, 2014

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Director Jason Mann ("Delicacy") at a post-screening Q + A last year.

In my (only slightly biased) opinion, watching a shorts program at a film festival is the ultimate viewing experience. The audience is taken on a journey from one short to the next, absorbing the emotions and narrative of each self-contained world as it compounds upon the next to create a communal exploration of what "Shorter is Better" really means. When watching a shorts program, just like the weather in Wisconsin, all you have to do is wait a few minutes and you've got something completely different.

And the filmmakers who contribute to the Shorter is Better programming come from all different corners of the world: from Sweden to Seattle, Austin to Australia. A kaleidescope of cultures, the Shorter is Better programs give viewers small curated glimpses into stories told from all walks of life. So use your email, carrier pigeon, or telekinetic powers and pass along our Call for Entries to shorts filmmakers everywhere! It's FREE to submit and the deadline is June 23!

Click here to get all the information needed to submit!




posted by Milan on April 17th, 2014

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Jodorowsky’s Dune @ Oriental Theatre (Opens Fri, April 18) 
(Frank Pavich, USA, 2013) 
30 years ago, a little film called Dune hit theaters directed by a young David Lynch. (Perhaps you've heard of him?) But almost a decade before they shouted "action" on that set, Dune was cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's to direct. Based on his plans, the film would have been roughly 14 hours long and involved the likes of Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, H. R. Giger, Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, and David Carradine, among others. This is a film about that, and how financial reasons tragically halted the project, leaving the rights to expire, and, well, the rest is history as we know it. 
Watch the trailer for Jodorowsky's Dune here.

The Trials of Muhammed Ali on DVD (Tue, Apr 22) 
(Bill Siegel, USA, 2014) 
When the United States asked Muhammed Ali to join the Army and head to Vietnam, he refused because of his Muslim beliefs. As a result, he was convicted of draft evasion and received a five-year prison sentence, a $10,000 fine, and a three-year ban from boxing. And though he stayed out of jail while his case was appealed, it wasn't until four years later that the Supreme Court overturned his conviction. Through countless interviews with the people who knew him, The Trials of Muhammed Ali tracks this period in Ali's life where he chose what he believed was right over what would best help his career, and the positives and negatives that resulted from it. 
Watch the trailer for The Trials of Muhammed Ali here.


Dom Hemingway @ Oriental Theatre (Opens Fri, April 18)
Robert Nelson’s Suite California Stops and Passes @ UWM Union Theatre (Tue, April 22 @ 7p)
To Make A Farm @ UWM Union Theatre (Wed, April 23 @ 7:30p)
Thin Ice @ Charles Allis Art Museum (Wed, Apr 23 @ 7:30)

(Want this info and more sent to your inbox every Thursday? Sign up for the Milwaukee Film Newsletter.)


posted by Kristopher on April 16th, 2014

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Your April members-only screening is ...Like Father, Like Son.



Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu (Nobody Knows) has been garnering festival prizes around the world for his touching family drama, Like Father, Like Son, winning the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and the Audience Award at both the 2013 San Sebastian and Vancouver Film Festival.


The film explores the complicated meaning of parenthood and the debate of 'nature' versus 'nurture' in child rearing. Hard-working and successful Ryota is forced to make a life-changing decision when he learns that his 6-year-old child was switched with another family at birth.


"5 Stars. A tender poem about the ebb and flow of paternal love." - The Telegraph


The screening takes place on Wednesday, April 30th at 7 PM at the Landmark Oriental Theatre. The film has a running time of 121 minutes.


RSVP HERE to reserve your spot for the screening. Space is limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Reservations close at NOON on Tuesday, April 29th. No RSVPs will be taken after this time. If you do not receive a reply to your RSVP within 48 hours, please call me at 414-755-1965 x204. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at


"Hey, Kristopher! What if I'm NOT a member, but I want to come to this and all subsequent screenings, and I want to get lots of great deals on festival tickets and merchandise, and--"  Whoa! Slow down, friend! I have just the solution. BECOME A MEMBER THIS VERY MINUTE and all your movie-related dreams will come true!


posted by Milan on April 15th, 2014

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Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ben Balcom, our new Technical Director.

Ben first joined our festival seasonal staff in 2011 as a projectionist. We liked him so much that we're keeping him around permanently! As Technical Director, he'll be responsible for making sure you get to experience every film at the festival with the best possible sound and projection. 

Born in Boston and raised in Illinois, Ben came to Milwaukee in 2011 to pursue an MFA in filmmaking at UWM. In addition to being our brand new staff member, Ben is also an associate lecturer at UWM, and curator of a small neighborhood screening space in Riverwest called Microlights, which specializes in underground and experimental cinema. And as if that weren't enough to do, he's also a filmmaker, whose film and video work addresses (in his words) "everything from metaphysics and the moon, to hand massages, and household objects. Its pretty weird." 

Welcome to the family, Ben!