We are now less than a month away from the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival! To whet your appetites for the tasty selection of films we have cooked up, we’re serving you with another wave of film announcements! This time, we’re highlighting films in our Art & Artists, Film Feast, and Sound Vision series. Like our previous announcements, the titles below are just a sample of what you can expect before our full Festival lineup is revealed on September 26th at our Program Book Launch Party at Good City Brewing. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our first and second wave announcements!
ART & ARTISTS
One of the beautiful things about art is that it affects everyone in different ways and allows us to express ourselves through a myriad of various mediums. Our Art & Artists series hopes to inspire creativity in our audience through films showcasing a variety of artists and art forms. An artist’s work lives on forever, and that’s especially poignant in a film like Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. The film chronicles the life and work of the late Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author through Morrison’s own reflections and features interviews with Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Oprah Winfrey, and many more.
Highlighting the life and career of another prolific artist who sadly passed away in 2019, Varda by Agnès finds the beloved auteur turning the camera on herself for her final film. Seeing Varda (a MFF alum with Faces Places) reminisce on her life will no doubt be bittersweet, but we’re grateful she’s sharing her incredible journey with everyone. If you’re not very familiar with Varda’s work, we can’t recommend her films enough. Her movies radiate with an energy that could only be created by someone with an unquenchable love for cinema who saw no greater pleasure in life than making films.
A documentary on dogs in general would be enough to get us excited, but one that’s also a whimsical examination of creative dog grooming competitions has pushed our excitement level through the roof. One subject in the film’s trailer states that being a creative dog groomer “has to be in your blood,” so we can’t wait to find out what it takes to succeed in such a competitive field.
Editor’s note: As someone who could rarely brush their dogs’ fur without them quickly turning on me, it’s safe to assume that creative dog grooming is most definitely not in my blood. THANKS MOM AND DAD.
Click here to read the full Art & Artists lineup courtesy of OnMilwaukee.
Featuring movies that celebrate the culinary arts and everything food-related, this year’s Film Feast lineup gets a certified chef’s kiss*. Sitting down for a good meal is a great way to bring people together and that’s perfectly exemplified in Abe. Starring Noah Schnapp of Stranger Things fame, the film follows a 12-year-old half-Palestinian, half-Israeli boy who takes up cooking in an attempt to bring the two opposing sides of his family closer together.
* Not a certified chef, but I do approve of giving the lineup the chef’s kiss gesture. - Joe the editor
In the United States, an estimated 20 million kids depend on free lunch programs at school. However, the food they receive is often unhealthy or so unappealing that it ends up in the trash. Eat Up chronicles one year in the Boston public school system as entrepreneur and philanthropist Jill Shah attempts to change the system and introduce healthier and more appealing lunch options. An examination of longstanding regulations, bureaucracy, and corporate power, the film looks at what can be done to influence healthier options in schools across the nation.
Dubbed “the Indiana Jones of cooking – always searching for that next precious gem,” Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy follows the 95-year-old cook as she reflects on her life. Kennedy is most recognized for spending several decades becoming an expert on Mexican cuisine and authoring numerous cookbooks. The film also features various recipes from Kennedy including her signature guacamole recipe and a plea to audiences that if party guests don’t like cilantro, “for heaven’s sake, don’t invite them.”
Click here to read the full Film Feast lineup courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine.
Showcasing various music personalities, performances, and genres, the Sound Vision series is the perfect blend of cinema and music. There’s perhaps no better example of this marriage than Making Waves; The Art of Cinema Sound. The film highlights the crucial role sound design plays in films and how it’s evolved since the early talkies. Featuring interviews with the likes of David Lynch, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Sofia Coppola, and many more, the film will open your eyes (and ears) to how what you hear is just as important as what you see in your favorite movies.
Shifting gears from the art of cinema sound to the art of creating irresistibly catchy 80’s rock music, Mystify: Michael Hutchence is an intimate documentary depicting the life of the late INXS frontman. Forgoing the use of traditional talking head interviews to tell the story, the film weaves home videos, rare archive footage, outtakes, and narration from friends and family to craft an intimate portrait of an artist who left this world much too soon. This style of documentary saw incredibly powerful results with 2015’s Amy, so we’re anticipating this will have a similar impact.
Our last film looks to answer one of the most hotly debated questions of the last 20 years; who let the dogs out? Most are surely familiar with the infectiously catchy hit from the Baha Men, but few are likely familiar with the song’s origins. Simply and aptly titled Who Let the Dogs Out, the documentary follows a self-declared expert on the hit song as he breaks down it’s complicated origins. From the same creative team that brought Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary! to last year's Festival, what follows is an exploration of race, cultural appropriation, legal battles, and an origin that dates as back as 1959.
Click here to read the full Sound Vision lineup courtesy of WMSE.
Tickets for all Festival screenings and events, including these titles and over 300 more, go on sale to the general public on Thursday, Oct. 3. Milwaukee Film Members can purchase tickets early with discounted pricing, starting on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Visit mkefilm.org/memberships to become a member today!
Full Festival passes, as well as voucher packages that can be exchanged for tickets to non-premium screenings, are currently available at mkefilm.org/tickets.