- Film Guide
For this installment of Shorter is Better, the doctor is in. So sit back, relax, and tell me all the troubles of your childhood because Old Fangs (MFF 2010), directed by Adrien Merigeau, is all about that tumultuous relationship you had with your father. We follow three young friends (a wolf, fox, and cat) as they make the trip through the forest to visit the wolf's father, whom he hasn't seen in a very long time. As you might expect, it doesn't go so well.
Clocking in at 11 minutes, this short is almost too short to really take in the beauty of the animation. Produced by Cartoon Saloon, the same studio that brought you The Secret of Kells, the story and emotion of Old Fangs is as sophisticated as the look of it. The film uses sound to create a feeling of fullness in the world (the ambient rustle of the leaves as the characters stroll through the forest) and to focus audience attention down to the minute details (the wolf father's powerful breathing as it fills his house). Overall, the film is a quiet and somber piece, which tells its story in curated meaningful gestures. This powerful short is highly manipulative, in the best of ways, so that as the credits roll the audience is left to work out their own thoughts and feelings. And maybe call their Dad.
Want to stay connected on the pulse of cutting-edge animation? Follow Cartoon Saloon on Twitter! (And for anyone looking to relocate to Ireland with an interest in being an accounts assistant, they're hiring...)comments...
Searching for Sugar Man @ Turner Hall Ballroom (Fri, Mar 22 @ 8p)
(dir. Malik Bendjelloul, UK, 2012)
Back in the 1970s, Detroit folksinger Sixto Rodriguez recorded two albums. Everyone seemed to love them, but not everyone bought them. But while America directed their attentions towards other musical acts, South Africa spent decades celebrating Rodriguez as a pop icon. (And without him knowing it.) 2012 Oscar-winner Searching for Sugar Man is the result of a few eager fans wanting to know what happened to their musical hero after all these years. It's also part of BAAM!-- the Beer And A Movie series at Turner Hall Ballroom. We're giving away a reserved VIP table for four at this event. Check our Facebook page later today to win!
Watch the trailer for Searching for Sugar Man here.
Stoker @ Oriental Theatre (Opens Fri, Mar 22)
(dir. Park Chan-wook, UK, 2013)
We like referring to this as Park Chan-wook's first family film. Of course, the only thing "family" about it is that there's a family in it. After all, this is the director that gave us Oldboy. (And it shows.) In Stoker, we meet young India (Mia Wasikowska), whose father and best friend die in a horrible and mysterious car accident. Suddenly, the Uncle Charlie she never knew existed moves in with her and her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). And while this seems like a perfectly reasonable idea, having your father's closest blood relative move in to fill the void his passing left behind, India suspects ol' Uncle Charlie is up to no good. Yet, instead of getting angry, she grows infatuated with him. Kids these days...
Watch the trailer for Stoker here.
All Together on DVD
(dir. Stéphane Robelin, France, 2011)
Milwaukee Film Members braved one of our worst Winter weather weekdays to see this film, and we're glad they did. All Together focuses on five aging friends who opt out of retiring at a senior home to try a youthful experiment of moving in together into a spacious house, owned by their friends Annie (Geraldine Chaplin) and Jean (Guy Bedos). Joining them is the borderline womanizer Claude (Claude Rich) as well as the bon vivant Albert (Pierre Richard) and his wife Jeanne (Jane Fonda). Yes, the Jane Fonda. All Together is her first French-language role since Jean-Luc Godard’s Tout Va Bien in 1972.
Watch the trailer for All Together here.
The Croods @ Fox-Bay Cinema Grill (opens Fri, Mar 22)
Ann Arbor 16mm film tour @ UWM Union Theatre (opens Tue, Mar 26)
In Bed With Ulysses @ Union Theatre (Wednesday, Mar 27 @ 7p)
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This blog post was written by Nathaniel Schardin, director of the 2012 Collaborative Cinema film "The Vampire Formerly Known as Dracula." Applications are now open to apply to direct this summer's Collaborative Cinema film. More details can be found here. --Susan
As you may or may not know, every year Milwaukee Film shoots a short narrative film written by a high school student as part of their Collaborative Cinema Teen Screenwriting program. I can’t believe it has already been a year since I first heard Milwaukee Film had, for the first time ever, opened up the director’s chair to college students and recent graduates looking to break into the professional industry!
When I heard the news, I was instantly struck by two big emotions. One of those emotions, on my right shoulder (you can picture it as the little proverbial angel, if you so please), represented the flame that was immediately ignited within me that conveyed excitement, joy, and the thought of endless possibilities. The emotion on my left shoulder (which you can, if you haven’t already guessed it, picture as a little demon) represented the timid part of me that wondered if I could at all qualify and take on such a huge role. With words of encouragement from friends and family, I decided there was nothing to lose. Plus, I would regret not applying. I got the director’s position, and I am here, a year later, to provide the inspiration to any and every filmmaker that has even the littlest inking of interest in applying and embarking on a journey they will never forget.
All of the doubts and fears you may have should be tossed by the wayside because you will not be alone throughout the process. Industry professionals will act as mentors and guide you the whole way. You will get a chance to read five screenplays and pick the one you connect with most. Then you pitch your project to a panel of judges, and if you are chosen, you direct a professional film crew to make your dreams and vision a reality. Not too shabby for the cost of the amount of time it takes to fill out an application, huh?
The best part is the fun doesn’t end once the house lights come back up in the Oriental Theatre the night of the premiere! I am currently in the process of submitting the film I directed, The Vampire Formerly Known As Dracula, to film festivals all over the country! Already it has won “Best Student Film” at the Beloit International Film Festival. You also meet and work with people that you will build friendships with to last a lifetime.
Really, the true crime is giving in to the part of you that may be saying you aren’t qualified or you don’t have what it takes. Listen to the part of you that says you can do this. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I can’t imagine where I would be today if I had passed it up.
Applications for the Call for Emerging Directors are due on Sunday, March 24th at midnight. Apply today!comments...
West of Memphis @ Oriental Theatre (Opens Fri, Mar 15)
(dir. Amy Berg, USA, 2012)
If you're at all familiar with the West Memphis 3, or have seen the trio of documentaries that tell their unfortunate story (Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) you know the story at the core of Amy Berg's latest documentary, West of Memphis. But she takes it one step further, retracing the trilogy's steps with a much wider lens and, in the process, revealing the incredible amount of money and time spent fighting the controversial case against the WM3. Berg was also a producer on MFF 2010 favorite Bhutto.
Watch the trailer for West of Memphis here.
The Gatekeepers @ Downer Theatre (Opens Fri, Mar 15)
(dir. Dror Moreh, Israel, 2012)
After seeing Errol Morris's Academy Award-winning documentary The Fog of War, director Dror Moreh was inspired to make his own documentary. The subject? Israel's Shin Bet-- the highly secretive internal security service tasked with keeping the country terrorist-free. Not exactly the kind of organization you'd expect to sit down for an insightful documentary. Yet somehow, Moreh managed to get six former heads of the organization to do just that. Combining in-depth interviews, archival footage, and computer animation, this Academy Award-nominated documentary explores Shin Bet's role in Israel's security for the past 40 years.
Watch the trailer for The Gatekeepers here.
This is Not a Film on DVD
(dir. Jafar Panahi, Iran, 2012)
Programming Manager Angela described this film best in her 2012 Top Ten: "Composed mostly of iPhone footage, Jafar Panahi catalogues what might be the death of his artistic career by blurring the line between documentary and fiction storytelling. Even more amazing to consider while watching it is the fact that the film was smuggled into France inside of a cake. " No need to smuggle your DVD copy inside of a cake, folks. We're certain the store will give you a proper bag.
Watch the trailer for This is Not a Film here.
The Hidden Heart @ Florentine Opera (Thurs, Mar 14 @ 7p)
Brooklyn Castle is movie of the week on iTunes
Grease @ BAAM at Turner Hall (Sat, Mar 16 @ 8p)
It's time to trade in your winter coats for togas, galoshes for sandals, umbrellas for swords. And beware the Ides of March!
Your film for the March members-only screening is... Caesar Must Die.
Neither documentary, nor fictional drama, Caesar Must Die is a brilliant mélange of the two by the renowned Taviani Brothers. The film was shot entirely in the maximum security block of Rome’s Rebibbia prison, home to men serving long sentences for murder, drug-trafficking, and Mafia-related activities. Theater director Fabio Cavalli works with (and, at times, polices) the inmates to produce Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a play steeped in murder, conspiracy, and revenge. This Golden Bear winner at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival is a fascinating and provocative look at the real-life consequences of lies and betrayals among men who value power above all else.
"How can anyone not adore Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s CAESAR MUST DIE? In a scant hour and a quarter it enlarges your notion of what theater and cinema, what art itself, can do—it dissolves every boundary it meets. --David Edelstein, New York Magazine
The screening takes place on Wednesday, March 27th at 7 pm at the Landmark Oriental Theatre.
Please RSVP now: email@example.com. Space is limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservation closes on Monday, March 25. (If you do not receive a reply to your RSVP, please call me at 414-755-1965 x204.)
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!comments...