- Film Guide
It’s been an absolutely incredible fifteen days of wallowing in cinematic ecstasy, but the time has come for the 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival to cool down with one last fantastic screening before we wrap on another wildly successful year. And we have a genuine dandy of a documentary to send you packing with, a film so powerful that it took both the Jury and Audience Awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Blood Brother is a story of extreme beauty and joy growing out of a hopeless situation– the true story of one man’s life finding purpose through caring for others. Rocky Braat went backpacking through India in an attempt to salvage his own life, which he felt had lost its meaning. During his travels he came upon an orphanage that doubled as a care center for women and children suffering from HIV and AIDS. This stop stayed with him through the rest of his journey and he soon found himself returning to the orphanage in order to help in any way he could. Soon thereafter he encouraged his best friend to come film in India and discover for himself the life-changing experience that is being there for these shunned, sickly children. What follows is an immensely powerful portrait of both Rocky and the children growing simultaneously, finding reserves of courage and strength they didn’t know existed through one another.
Both a stunning window into lives often pushed to life’s periphery, as well as an inspiring portrait of the restorative power of love in the face of crushing odds, Blood Brother comes to us on a wave of tears from previous film festivals (best bring tissues if you’re anything like me, which is to say the blubbering type). We here at the Milwaukee Film Festival are also extremely pleased to have director Steve Hoover attending this closing night screening for a Q+A immediately following the film. And I’m sure this packed house will have plenty of questions and accolades to heap upon him by film’s end.
And remember: the fun doesn’t have to end with the last film of the festival. If you become a Milwaukee Film Member, you’re treated to a gratis monthly screening that keeps the party going all year long. (And you can become one at the entry level for $10 off! Discount ends Friday at midnight.) There are other sweet perks, too, like discounts on merchandise (like Milwaukee Film pint glasses, coffee mugs, and more) and early box office access for next year’s festival. So even though we’ve come to a close on the 2013 festival season, we certainly hope we’ll be seeing you throughout the year. Thanks for reading these daily festival blogs of mine yet again this year. See you in 2014!
BLOOD BROTHER screens today (Thursday), 7:30 PM at the Oriental Theatre. Tickets are no longer available online, but can be purchased in person at any of our box office locations. Tickets to tonight's special Closing Night Film are $20. Director/Executive Producer/Screenwriter/Editor Steve Hoover is scheduled to appear for a Q+A immediately following the film.
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This was Tom Fuchs' fourth year as our featured festival blogger, telling you all about our daily festival picks. Tom has been on our shorts programming committee for all five years of the Milwaukee Film Festival, and wrote all of the film descriptions for 2013's film festival program book.
Is everybody ready for MFF 2013 Closing Night? We have an incredibly moving documentary lined up for you--BLOOD BROTHER. We even have the director, Steve Hoover, on hand to help shed some light into the process of creating this film. Tickets are still available at the festival box office--join us for one last cinematic hurrah!
It's been an incredible time spending the last two weeks with all of you enthusiastic Milwaukee movie lovers. Remember how this all began 15 days ago? Enjoy...
At this year’s State of Cinema keynote address, five staff members of The Dissolve took part in a round-table discussion about the present and future of film and film criticism moderated by former A.V. Club National Music Editor and current Milwaukee writer Steven Hyden (staff writer for Grantland, freelance writer for Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and others). On the panel for The Dissolve (from left to right in photo): Keith Phipps, Nathan Rabin, Scott Tobias, Steven Hyden (moderator), Genevieve Koski, and Tasha Robinson.
We can't thank them all enough for making the trek up from Chicago with their families and hanging out with us for the weekend. A nicer bunch of critics you won't find.
The entire panel can be streamed here:
Read news coverage of The Dissolve's visit to MFF 2013:
Be it overtime football, mini hotel shampoos, or the french fry that covertly fell on your lap mid-meal, one thing we all can agree on is a mutual love of bonus material. So when the Milwaukee Film Festival is so lucky as to acquire more movies to show us after the film guide has been published and the schedule plotted out, we make sure nobody's looking and gobble that extra fry down. And while I let that metaphor get away from me a little bit, you best not to let Wednesday's spotlight screening of Ain't Them Bodies Saints get away from you. Should you need extra persuading (what, my awe-inspiring ability to spin an extended metaphor isn't enough for you?), just take a look at this fantastic trailer to get a taste of what you're in for.
Directed by Waukesha native David Lowery, this brooding ‘70s period piece follows one man's (Casey Affleck) jailbreak and subsequent journey home through Texas Hill Country to his wife (Rooney Mara) and the daughter he's yet to meet. The minimalist poetic dialogue and ravishing magic hour cinematography has drawn favorable comparison to early Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, Badlands) as it's rolled out across the country to a great deal of critical acclaim. We're especially lucky to have David Lowery in attendance for a Q&A following the film, only adding more pizazz and prestige to this screening.
(And as if he needed to prove his film festival bonafides even more, he also edited another MFF 2013 Spotlight Presentation I'm hopelessly in love with, Upstream Color.)
Ain't Them Bodies Saints is a gorgeously crafted tale of doomed love, suffused with emotion and meaning even as the characters that inhabit the story remain reticent, stacked with perfectly calibrated performances (haven't yet mentioned that Ben Foster and Keith Carradine also provide memorable turns in support of our leads) and visuals that drizzle over your eyelids like a melted stick of butter. It's a great way to spend this penultimate evening of the 2013 MFF and I for one will there to take part in this great bit of added value to the year's festivities, as I've always been known as a 'no fry left behind' guy. (That's right: I just stuck that metaphorical landing Kerri Strug-style.)
AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS screens today (Wednesday), 6:30 PM at the Oriental Theatre. Advanced tickets are no longer available online, but may be purchased at any film festival box office location. Director David Lowery is scheduled to appear for a Q+A immediately following the
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Tom Fuchs is returning for a fourth year as our featured festival blogger, telling you all about our daily festival picks. Tom has been on our shorts programming committee for all five years of the Milwaukee Film Festival, and wrote all of the film descriptions for this year's film festival program book.
Seems like every year after we put the film schedule and festival program book to bed, we get offered an incredible film that we just can't pass up. We know how much our audiences will love it, so we shuffle a few things to make it happen. This year, that film is Ain't Them Bodies Saints, directed by MFF alum (Pioneer, MFF 2011) and Wisconsin native David Lowery.
David stopped by the downtown studio of WMSE 91.7FM yesterday to discuss his film with their Promotions Director Ryan Schleicher. Listen to the interview here.
Watch the trailer here:
Ain't Them Bodies Saints screens one time only on Wednesday, October 9, 6:30pm at the Oriental Theatre. Tickets are available online until 9p tonight and at any festival box office today and tomorrow.