Seven Days, 22 Films, One Snowstorm: Milwaukee Film at the Wisconsin Film Festival
I’ve been going to the Wisconsin Film Festival for fourteen years now – initially, as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college student with a fiery love for cinema (see sidebar for my top five WFF moments), and now in the employ of an actual, honest-to-goodness film organization. Regardless of what capacity I’ve attended the WFF in, it’s always been a top-notch festival experience courtesy of our friends to the immediate west, and the 2019 vintage was no different! I learned plenty, saw a ton, and had a great time. Some key takeaways:
1. Wisconsin Weather is Undefeated
Being that we live in a state that experiences all seasons at all times simultaneously, it should come as no surprise that we were gifted with a little spring snowstorm over the course of the WFF. Operationally, they handled their business with aplomb, making sure we didn’t take on a yeti-level coating of powder ahead of being shuttled into our screenings, and even cheekily (a sponsor trailer variant played only on that day that humorously poked fun at the weather events taking place outside). Plus, it looked pretty:
I managed to take in a couple of 3-D pictures over the course of the week, and my deep and abiding love for this gimmick only grew deeper. Whether it’s genre classics or new world cinema titles, 3-D is absolutely engrossing if deployed correctly. It sure would be cool if our world-class theater would get in on the 3-D action. *winks conspiratorially at you through your phone/computer/tablet screen*
The room where it happens, it being 3-D presentations.
3. Let’s get classical!
One of my favorite aspects of the WFF year-in and year-out is their exquisite repertory catalogue. Whether silent classics (seeing the GOAT Lubitsch’s Rosita with live piano accompaniment), world cinema sidebars (the absolutely engrossing 1961 Italian film The Girl in the Window), or seemingly forgotten delights (a restoration of the 77 ensemble picture Between the Lines, featuring young Jeff Goldblum having sprung into the world seemingly fully formed as the human delight he is today), WFF does a bang-up job bringing blasts from the past to my attention.
Look upon Yung Goldblum and weep, knowing Goldblum is and has always been.
Thanks to the Wisconsin Film Festival for being such lovely hosts to me over the course of the week. MKE locals, be sure to sate your cinema hunger by checking out their festival each spring!