Film – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com Music, culture, gentle sarcasm. Mon, 21 May 2018 16:41:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 http://milwaukeerecord.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cropped-mrapp-32x32.jpg Film – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com 32 32 Jump into summer with a June 20 screening of ‘Hot Rod’ at Avalon Theater http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/jump-into-summer-with-a-june-20-screening-of-hot-rod/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/jump-into-summer-with-a-june-20-screening-of-hot-rod/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 05:45:27 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49993 The fine folks Avalon Theater have been kind enough to let Milwaukee Record screen a different underappreciated classic at the Bay View movie house every month lately. Last night, we followed up April’s sold-out UHF showing with a rowdy and well-attended 20th anniversary screening of Can’t Hardly Wait. With ample proof that people will come […]

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The fine folks Avalon Theater have been kind enough to let Milwaukee Record screen a different underappreciated classic at the Bay View movie house every month lately. Last night, we followed up April’s sold-out UHF showing with a rowdy and well-attended 20th anniversary screening of Can’t Hardly Wait. With ample proof that people will come out on weeknights to see weird movies from yesteryear, we’re proud to bring you yet another unsung and offbeat comedy to help kick off the summer.

Join Milwaukee Record at Avalon Theater on Wednesday, June 20 for a special presentation of Hot Rod. The 2007 comedy stars Andy Samberg as aspiring stuntman Rod Kimble. When his stepfather falls ill, Rod and his crew of characters—including the likes of Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Isla Fisher, and Jorma Taccone—must go to extreme measures to raise enough money for an operation. Hilarity and injury both ensue.

Though the film grossed less than $15M in box office earnings (well below its $25.3M budget), the goofy and all-around absurd movie has built a respectable cult following in the decade since its brief theatrical run. If you’ve made it this far, you’re either part of that following or you’re interested in seeing what you missed 11 years ago.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. screening are $5. Our friends at Lakefront Brewery have also joined forces with us for a $10 “I Like To Party” package that comes with a movie ticket, a Riverwest Stein tallboy, and a Milwaukee Record pint glass. There’s a limit of 48 “I Like To Party” packs, so act fast. Lakefront’s new Eazy Teazy will also be on special all night long. If there’s a better way to start your summer than seeing Hot Rod in an air-conditioned movie theater, we aren’t aware of it. So it’s settled, we’ll see you at Avalon Theater on June 20. Cool beans? Cool beans.

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Strangers’ lives entangle in Milwaukee-made feature, ‘Lesser Beasts’ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/strangers-lives-entangle-in-milwaukee-made-feature-lesser-beasts/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/strangers-lives-entangle-in-milwaukee-made-feature-lesser-beasts/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 05:10:25 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49505 In addition to the all-around excellence of the Milwaukee Film Festival and frequent screenings of time-tested favorites and cult classics (cough!) at the city’s various neighborhood theaters, the state of cinema in Milwaukee is currently in a great place because local writers, directors, and videographers are plying their skills to make feature films. After experiencing […]

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In addition to the all-around excellence of the Milwaukee Film Festival and frequent screenings of time-tested favorites and cult classics (cough!) at the city’s various neighborhood theaters, the state of cinema in Milwaukee is currently in a great place because local writers, directors, and videographers are plying their skills to make feature films.

After experiencing some success with short films and a documentary about Dead Man’s Carnival, Casey Malone has become the latest Milwaukee filmmaker to finish a feature. Following a great reception at its world premiere in the Chattanooga Film Festival last month, Malone’s film, Lesser Beasts, will get a belated hometown screening on May 10, when it’s shown at Times Cinema.

The ambitious feature that promises “Four stories. One mystery” was shot in and around metro Milwaukee much of last year, with some scenes being filmed in forests in Oconomowoc. Beyond writing, filming, and directing Lesser Beasts, Malone also produced, edited, and scored the entire project himself.

“The film is kind of a high-wire balancing act of intersecting narratives, so every frame of the finished product had so much thought put into it that the fact I survived it relatively unscathed is a minor miracle,” Malone tells Milwaukee Record.

Though he did the glut of the work, Malone also recognizes the execution of his vision would not be possible without the contributions of actors Anieya Walker, Alice Wilson, Josh B. Bryon, Mario Andre Alberts, Kerric Stephens, and Randy Allen. Malone describes his debut feature as such: “Four strangers’ lives are entangled in a surreal and atmospheric journey to solve the puzzle they have all unwittingly become a part of.”

Milwaukee area audiences are invited to be part of the “atmospheric journey” at Thursday night’s Times Cinema screening. The special one-night showing of Lesser Beasts begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

LESSER BEASTS (2018) – Official Trailer from Absolutely No1 Films on Vimeo.

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‘American Gods’ has started filming at House on the Rock http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/american-gods-filming-house-on-the-rock/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/american-gods-filming-house-on-the-rock/#respond Fri, 04 May 2018 05:30:08 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49440 Last summer, we paid a visit to the most quintessential of bat-shit Wisconsin oddities, House on the Rock. “House on the Rock is a glimpse into the mind of a madman,” we said back in August 2017. “It’s an illustration of what can happen when endless funds are met with a blatant disregard for regulation. It’s […]

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Last summer, we paid a visit to the most quintessential of bat-shit Wisconsin oddities, House on the Rock. “House on the Rock is a glimpse into the mind of a madman,” we said back in August 2017. “It’s an illustration of what can happen when endless funds are met with a blatant disregard for regulation. It’s as astounding as it is baffling. It’s hands down the best tourist attraction in Wisconsin.”

Now, acclaimed Starz TV series American Gods—based on the 2001 Neil Gaiman novel of the same name—has discovered the nutty nuttiness of House on the Rock, too. Production has begun on the series’ second season, and a new video shows the cast, crew, and Gaiman shooting in the Iowa County, Wisconsin landmark. House on the Rock plays a critical role in the American Gods novel, serving as a meeting place for the Old Gods.

“The first season was all about getting to the House on the Rock,” says Gaiman. “It’s amazing to see everyone back, and to be entering the next stage of the story with the best bunch of actors around, along with some inspired filmmakers.”

The eight-episode second season of American Gods is set for release in 2019. Oh, and here’s Gaiman riding “The Largest Carousel in History” back in 2010.

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Riverwest Film & Video documentary premieres at Wisconsin Film Festival http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/riverwest-film-video-documentary-wisconsin-film-festival/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/riverwest-film-video-documentary-wisconsin-film-festival/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:15:36 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=48425 The following piece by Reid Kurkerewicz was originally published on Tone Madison under the headline “Filmmaker Emir Cakaroz on being a fly in the soup.” mir Cakaroz is a Milwaukee-based filmmaker and UW-Milwaukee lecturer whose most recent documentary, Riverwest Film & Video, premiered on April 6 at the Wisconsin Film Festival. This documentary takes the viewer on […]

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The following piece by Reid Kurkerewicz was originally published on Tone Madison under the headline “Filmmaker Emir Cakaroz on being a fly in the soup.”

Emir Cakaroz is a Milwaukee-based filmmaker and UW-Milwaukee lecturer whose most recent documentary, Riverwest Film & Video, premiered on April 6 at the Wisconsin Film Festival. This documentary takes the viewer on a highly personal journey through an artistic community center in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, where people come to check out DVDs, host their own radio shows, buy film equipment, and chat about French empires and modern artistic movements. Cakaroz’s style, which he links to Direct Cinema and cinema verite, brings us extremely close to his subjects, as the characters become comfortable around a director who establishes himself as a participant in the community. This subjectivity brings us to a non-objective kind of truth, which is specific to the moments in space and time that the director chooses to show us.

I sat down with Cakaroz while he was in Madison for the festival. We discussed his style, how Wisconsin compares to his homeland in Turkey, and how his documentaries (including Revza, which screened at the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival) challenge what we commonly think of as truth-telling.

Tone Madison: How did you end up at UW-Milwaukee’s Masters of Fine Arts program?

Emir Cakaroz: I was looking for good non-fiction and documentary programs. I was working at a university in Turkey, with professors who had gone to school in the US. They knew which schools were good for non-fiction, and UWM was one of them. I was given a full scholarship, so that was an easy decision. After school I got married, and have been living in Milwaukee since. I moved there in 2007, so this is my 11th year.

Tone Madison: How do people in Turkey view Wisconsin and Milwaukee?

Emir Cakaroz: That’s funny. People know the Milwaukee Bucks because people follow the NBA. And there was a Turkish player, Ersan İlyasova. People also know the Milwaukee brand drills. Other than that it’s unfortunately not known very well.

Tone Madison: I know you’re a teacher as well as an artist. What do you hope to teach your students?

Emir Cakaroz: I feel like more than teaching, I share what I know. I’m learning from students too, and this is what I like about teaching. It goes both ways. Sometimes the students know more than you.

Tone Madison: Walk me through how you came to the decision to make a documentary about Riverwest Film & Video.

Emir Cakaroz: The owner, Xavier Leplae, is a longtime friend. He’s locally well known in the underground filmmaker world. And I was a member, always checking out DVDs. One day I met one of the characters in the film, the Rabbi, talking to the microphone on the radio. I asked him what was going on, and later on more and more people came, and it turned into an internet radio station. I decided to film the radio station from 2012 through 2105. And when I started, it was just internet based. In 2015 they got a license and became FM, though it only broadcasts out five miles. I stopped filming then, because it started to be more regulated, the space started changing, some of the characters stated to leave. Rabbi doesn’t live there anymore.

Tone Madison: That idea of change is interesting. The Riverwest neighborhood is often said to be going through gentrification. Was that something you were trying to capture?

Emir Cakaroz: I’m not sure gentrification is the right word. When I say change, I mean that at first they had less control over the radio show. But now they have certain criteria they have to follow to have an FM station. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different, on a different path from where I started. Now it would be a different documentary, and I hope someone makes it. And this radio station is only one part of the store. People live and hang out there and cook there. People would come there to talk about art and their problems. It became a community center, and it’s a unique space. People from different cultures are brought together, and I haven’t seen that before. It still rents DVDs for a dollar a day, which is basically nothing. They mostly make money by selling film equipment to local filmmakers, like 16mm film, which is unusual to find, especially locally.

Tone Madison: One of the most intimate moments of Riverwest Film & Video is in the kitchen, when Rabbi is baking chicken and making little comments to himself. It seemed like you had him wearing a GoPro?

Emir Cakaroz: Yes, that was a GoPro connected to his chest. I think it made a nice subjective point of view. It helped take me out as a filmmaker. We could see what the subject saw, and hear what the subject heard. It helped that I wasn’t there. When the filmmaker is there, your subjects are acting, which is OK. But when you’re not there, most likely they forget the camera is there. People can act more normal, closer to normal than when there is a big camera and lighting and a microphone. It creates that intimacy.

Tone Madison: It’s like the person is acting for themselves, which is what a person is doing at any given time anyway.

Emir Cakaroz: I’d say it’s a democratic way to record. The people are recording for themselves, and putting out their own voice. They are doing it for themselves.

Tone Madison: The cooking scenes are also one of Riverwest’s commonalities with Revza, the documentary about your mother. Both films had extended scenes where all you see is hands working with food. Do you want to talk about how cooking works in your films?

Emir Cakaroz: For me, cooking is a relaxing moment. It’s one of the most comfortable places. People become very natural when they cook. They don’t act, they are focused on what they do. This is why I like it. There are rituals. Cooking has a beginning and an end. Everyone has their own style.

Tone Madison: It’s almost a universal thing. Especially in universities, the idea of the universal is in trouble, but it’s hard to argue against the fact that everyone has to eat, almost everyone has to cook. It’s what connects your mom in Istanbul to the Rabbi in Milwaukee. Would you say Istanbul and Milwaukee are very different?

Emir Cakaroz: [Laughs] Oh, there is a huge difference—15 million people live very close to each other in Istanbul. My neighborhood in Milwaukee is like Istanbul in that it’s very cosmopolitan, and diverse. But it’s very quiet here. When I came here I had difficulties when I went out. In Istanbul you feel like people are going to crash into you. There is more space here. You don’t see as many people on the streets.

Tone Madison: It seems to be a part of your style that connects the two places.

Emir Cakaroz: Most of the film Revza is in the house. And in Riverwest it’s 95 percent inside the store. Even though one is in Istanbul and one is in Milwaukee, the city isn’t important. They are both in their own private space. The shared intimacy comes from the fact of their being in a private space. With my Mom I had better access than in the video store. But being in their own area makes people more intimate.

Revza_Excerpt from faraway look on Vimeo.

Tone Madison: Even though the public space surrounding these spaces are very different, the private spaces are connected.

Emir Cakaroz: The cultures are connected, but also when people are in their home, they begin to behave similarly. They start to talk about their lives and what they think about their futures.

Tone Madison: You’ve talked before about the balance of power you establish with your subjects. You certainly place yourself on the subjective side of the spectrum of objectivity. I’m wondering what you gain from that, and what you give up with this subjective portrayal.

Emir Cakaroz: I don’t think I’m looking for objectivity. That’s something I never think about. This is my film, and this is my world. Even though it’s someone else store, it’s through my point of view, so why hide myself? Why not show people the process? I’m not afraid to put myself in the film. It just comes up like that. When someone talks to me I talk to them. I don’t say, “Don’t talk to me, don’t act.” I am becoming part of the reality. I don’t think I’m losing anything, but I’m gaining a lot by being my own subject. People come to see the filmmaker the way they see the subjects, and the more they know the filmmaker, the more they know the film. The audience sees this guy from Turkey, who maybe lives in Riverwest, and they know this film is from his point of view.

Tone Madison: Maybe loss isn’t the right word, but do you think there’s a tradeoff? I mean, in the way documentary making is related to journalism, and how they are supposed to relate the world as it is.

Emir Cakaroz: I don’t know if I agree. They are certainly connected. Journalism to me is dealing with the facts. You give them a where and when, and specific factual information, which you have to be up front about. But if we consider the documentary to be art, then the filmmaker has to be a part of it. This is how we can separate it from journalism. There are journalistic documentaries, for sure. But I think the documentary brings it to an art form when the filmmaker is integrating his or her own part of view. I’m not talking about propaganda films, I’m talking about my own process when I talk about showing yourself to the audience. I’m not even necessarily pushing it. Michael Moore is always in front of the camera, trying to be a film star. Or Morgan Spurlock from Super Size Me. These guys are stars and the film revolves around them. My films don’t revolve around me. I’m not necessarily leading the film. I just put myself into the flow of the film. If someone talks to me, I talk to them. If someone asks me a question, I answer.

Tone Madison: I’d agree. I think your work, though we’d formally call it a documentary, is separate from news and lots of what people watch that we call documentaries. Even with those propaganda documentaries, and even with what people agree is factual, stuff like Forensic Files, a point of view comes across. We think of those as journalistic, but they still insert a filmmaker.

Emir Cakaroz: They are very popular, and the cuts are fast. I find much more honesty in reality shows. I don’t necessarily like reality TV, but style-wise I find myself closer to that. I like to linger, with long takes. You don’t see that in many films, where there has to be quick cuts and there’s always music. These genres are always keeping people on edge, and looking for a result. They build a climax towards an end. I don’t build towards what’s going to happen. I show what’s happening. I don’t have the concern for showing a typical narrative structure. Of course there are moments where you could point to a climax, but my structure is much looser than the films you’re talking about.

Tone Madison: Do you want to talk about the documentaries that have inspired you?

Emir Cakaroz: I really like 1960s moments in the US and France. The Direct Cinema movement, like Albert Maysles and cinema verite, directors like Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin, who made Chronicle Of A Summer. These films are very in these two countries are inspiring for me. Style-wise, especially the American cinema has affected me. Movies like Grey Gardens are my favorite films. Sometimes people don’t separate these moments, but when you go deeper they are different. In the American cinema you don’t see the director as much, it becomes what we call “Fly on the wall.” In cinema verite, the filmmakers become a fly in the soup. They become part of the subject, like what I do. But I also like the observational aspect of the Americans. I try to combine these two approaches.

Tone Madison: What artworks outside of film inspire you?

Emir Cakaroz: I like Junot Diaz. I’d say he’s my favorite American author. His writing is close to my practice, and he writes based on his own experience. I find him very challenging and very fun to read. I read many Turkish books. I like the Turkish poets Yaşar Kemal, Nâzım Hikmet and Orhan Veli Kanik. I listen to a lot of Turkish folk music. I’m still connected to my roots. I came here at 26, so it’s hard to change your taste. You still look for what you’re used to.

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Join us for a 20th anniversary screening of ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ at Avalon Theater http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/join-us-for-a-20th-anniversary-screening-of-cant-hardly-wait-at-avalon-theater/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/join-us-for-a-20th-anniversary-screening-of-cant-hardly-wait-at-avalon-theater/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 14:56:07 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=48071 It’s going to be tough to top last night’s sold-out screening of UHF we hosted at Avalon Theater, but dammit if we won’t try. With school ending and the film’s 20th anniversary a few weeks away, we figured it was time to bring Can’t Hardly Wait back to the big screen. Yes, Milwaukee Record is […]

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It’s going to be tough to top last night’s sold-out screening of UHF we hosted at Avalon Theater, but dammit if we won’t try. With school ending and the film’s 20th anniversary a few weeks away, we figured it was time to bring Can’t Hardly Wait back to the big screen. Yes, Milwaukee Record is showing the 1998 high school rom-com at Avalon Theater next month.

Join us at the Bay View theater on Wednesday, May 16 to see Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) try to win the favor of Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt) at the graduation party of the century. This underrated comedy—which grossed more than $25M during its theatrical run, compared to just a $10M budget—also features Seth Green and Peter Facinelli, along with cameos from Donald Faison, Jason Segal, Jerry O’Connell, Jamie Pressly, Melissa Joan Hart, Jenna Elfman, Selma Blair, and countless other ’90s notables.

If you missed it the first time around or you want to see it again, it’s safe to say this is your one chance to watch Can’t Hardly Wait in theaters. Does it hold up? We’ll find out together! Tickets to the 7 p.m. showing are $5. See you there!

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Our ‘UHF’ after-party at Vanguard will feature Weird Al music and videos, Twinkie Wiener Sandwiches http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/uhf-after-party-vanguard-weird-al-music-videos-twinkie-wiener-sandwiches/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/uhf-after-party-vanguard-weird-al-music-videos-twinkie-wiener-sandwiches/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:32:20 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=48010 Hey! Welcome to Weird Al Week! For the next seven weekdays, Milwaukee Record will be filling your feed with fresh, funny, and slightly fanatical Al-related materiel. It all leads up to the two Weird Al shows at Pabst Theater April 9 and 10, as well as a performance from longtime Al band members Steve Jay […]

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Hey! Welcome to Weird Al Week! For the next seven weekdays, Milwaukee Record will be filling your feed with fresh, funny, and slightly fanatical Al-related materiel. It all leads up to the two Weird Al shows at Pabst Theater April 9 and 10, as well as a performance from longtime Al band members Steve Jay and Jim West at Shank Hall April 11. Fun!

You have tickets to our Wednesday night screening of UHF at the Avalon, right? Because if you don’t, you’re out of luck: it’s sold-out. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from heading over to The Vanguard after the film (around 9 p.m.) for our Weird Al-themed after-party. Here’s what we have in store:

• A whole lot of Weird Al music, courtesy of Milwaukee Record. Requests are encouraged, in case you have a sudden hankering for, say, “Mr. Popeil.”

• A whole lot of Weird Al videos, courtesy of The Vanguard. Everything from “White & Nerdy” to “I Love Rocky Road.” Will more obscure clips like “This Is The Life” make the cut? STOP BY TO FIND OUT.

• TWINKIE WIENER SANDWICHES, courtesy of The Vanguard.

Yes, the infamous treat from UHF (a hot dog inside a Twinkie bun, covered in Cheez Whiz) will be available for purchase ($5) and, if you’re up for it, consumption.

Oh, and one more thing: Our UHF screening will come complete with a special video message from Al himself. Fun! Hope you enJOY it!

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Here’s the lineup for Downer Theatre’s new “Almost Midnight” movie series http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/lineup-downer-theatres-new-almost-midnight-movie-series/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/lineup-downer-theatres-new-almost-midnight-movie-series/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 05:10:28 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=47426 Do you like movies? Do you like “midnight” movies? Do you like watching “midnight” movies at midnight? If so, then you’re sure to love Downer Theatre‘s new “Almost Midnight” movie series. Beginning in April, the Downer will screen fan-favorite cult classics like The Big Lebowski, Bottle Rocket, the original (thank god) Psycho, and Back To […]

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Do you like movies? Do you like “midnight” movies? Do you like watching “midnight” movies at midnight? If so, then you’re sure to love Downer Theatre‘s new “Almost Midnight” movie series. Beginning in April, the Downer will screen fan-favorite cult classics like The Big Lebowski, Bottle Rocket, the original (thank god) Psycho, and Back To The Future on Fridays and Saturdays at 11:59 p.m. Tickets for each screening are $8.50, and are available here.

Trivia will precede each screening, with prizes from Pizza Man and the Exclusive Company. Flash your ticket stub at nearby Henry’s, meanwhile, and receive half off your first drink the night of the film (not valid for happy hour or drink specials). Check out the lineup (featuring a nice Deep Red deep cut) below:

April 20-21
The Big Lebowski

April 27-28
The Shining

May 4-5
Bottle Rocket

May 11-12
Psycho

May 18-19
The Room

May 25-26
Raiders Of The Lost Ark

June 1-2
Deep Red

June 8-9
Back To The Future

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Excellent! Lakefront Brewery will screen ‘Wayne’s World’ at Avalon Theater in April http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/excellent-lakefront-brewery-will-screen-waynes-world-at-avalon-theater-in-april/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/excellent-lakefront-brewery-will-screen-waynes-world-at-avalon-theater-in-april/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2018 05:01:22 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=47269 Last month, Lakefront Brewery and Avalon Theater joined forces to show Tommy Boy on the eve of Chris Farley’s birthday for an event they called “Farley + Barley.” After the success of that sold out screening, the brewery and Bay View theater will follow it up with another ’90s favorite with Saturday Night Live ties […]

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Last month, Lakefront Brewery and Avalon Theater joined forces to show Tommy Boy on the eve of Chris Farley’s birthday for an event they called “Farley + Barley.” After the success of that sold out screening, the brewery and Bay View theater will follow it up with another ’90s favorite with Saturday Night Live ties next month. Wednesday, April 18 will be “Mill-E-Wah-Que Fest” at Avalon when Lakefront hosts a screening of Wayne’s World.

The classic 1992 comedy stars Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey as two underachieving basic cable talk show hosts who bite off more than they can chew. Of course, you know that. Wayne’s World is one of the highest grossing and most culturally transcendent comedies of all time, and (for better or worse) it inspired a treasure trove of quotes that are still in regular circulation today. As the event’s name indicates, Milwaukee also plays a prominent part in the picture.

The screening will also double as a tap takeover at Avalon. Lakefront will offer Riverwest Stein, Lakefront IPA, Happy Glamper Leisure Ale, Eazy Teazy Low Calorie Green Tea Ale, and Strange Neighbor Double IPA.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. screening are on sale now. They cost $5. You definitely want to miss this rare opportunity to watch Wayne’s World on the big screen. NOT!

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The case against Sony’s upcoming Slender Man movie http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/case-against-slender-man-movie/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/case-against-slender-man-movie/#respond Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:18:14 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=47126 Despite the conclusion of the trials of teens Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier for the stabbing of their classmate Payton Leutner, Wisconsinites are not out of the woods yet in regards to Slender Man fallout. Sony Pictures is backing an upcoming film, simply titled Slender Man, set premiere on August 28 of this year. The […]

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Despite the conclusion of the trials of teens Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier for the stabbing of their classmate Payton Leutner, Wisconsinites are not out of the woods yet in regards to Slender Man fallout. Sony Pictures is backing an upcoming film, simply titled Slender Man, set premiere on August 28 of this year. The film announcement has caused a stir locally, due to its perceived disrespect to the families involved in the case.

In an interview with the Associated Press earlier this year, Bill Weier, Anissa’s father, called the film “extremely distasteful” and asked local theaters to decline screenings. Some have. Local theaters did not respond when asked whether or not they planned to screen the film.

To understand the outrage, it is important to be familiar with the timeline of events:

• May 31, 2014: Leutner was stabbed by Geyser and Weier in Waukesha

• May 2016: Sony began development on the film

• June 19-July 28, 2017: Footage for the film was shot

• September 15, 2017: Weier was found not guilty by mental disease or defect

• October 7, 2017: Geyser was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect

• December 21, 2017: Weier was sentenced to up to 25 years in a state mental institution

• January 2-3, 2018: Sony released poster and teaser for the film

• February 1, 2018: Geyser was sentenced to 40 years in a state mental institution

It might seem a bit odd that the timelines for the film production and the trials intersect. While it certainly seems distasteful, and even abhorrent, it is legal. Local attorney Jason Richard offered his insight, focusing on the First Amendment.

“Think about the amount of art that has been made that we deem offensive,” Richard says. “But still, in this country, the way we view our freedom to make art and express our ideals revolves around the concept that ultimately we are going to be able to make art.

“There used to be a bunch of challenges as to the legality of obscenity. It was a huge thing that was constantly in front of the Supreme Court. I don’t think I’m going to get the quote exactly right, but it was something along the lines of, ‘You’ll know obscenity when you see it.’ That leaves tremendous room for error, but that’s our society taking the position that we’re pretty much going to let anything fly. I’ve seen obscenity where I went oof, but as far as banning it? I think the First Amendment is too important.”

That answers the question of how the movie can be created, in general. But to write, cast, film, announce, and release a trailer prior to the conclusion of the trial seems like a completely different issue. Naturally, there are loopholes.

The trailer looks suspiciously similar to what actually happened in Waukesha, but it seems apparent that the movie will take a highly fictionalized turn. Because of this, the studio is not blatantly ripping off a headline. “They’ll always argue there are enough differences, that it’s not the same,” Richard offered.

And if there aren’t any differences?

“You could make the argument to your image, to the use of your story, but you’re going to end up in long litigation against a studio with an unlimited budget for legal fees,” Richard says. The likelihood of a family independently having enough money to file a suit and go toe to toe with fancy corporate lawyers is slim to none.

As far as the overlapping timelines, Richard explained the jury selection process, which is extremely important in any case, but specifically those with such a strong presence in the media.

“Every attorney on every case has a right to pick their own jury. They’re given preemptive strikes. During those questions, there’s always questions about whether or not you could be impartial, whether or not you had exterior sources that would affect the way you ultimately look at the case. If someone’s watching this idiotic film, they’re kicked off the jury.”

This method isn’t foolproof—people often lie. But the film won’t hit theaters until the end of this summer, which is long after the trial concluded.

With many films based on true stories, it seems strange that there hasn’t been another movie in recent memory that has evoked the same “how dare they” response. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee film studies instructor and PhD candidate Joni Hayward was able to provide an example: Heavenly Creatures.

“It came out in 1994 and is based on the Parker-Hulme murder case which happened in New Zealand in 1954, so we’re looking at a 40 year gap, and it was still somewhat controversial,” Hayward explains.

This example has shocking parallels to the Slender Man case: teen girls, mental illness, a fictional world they created, and a premeditated crime to help them attain acceptance into this world. The stark difference between the approaches of the two films is that one aims to be biographical, while the other relies on shock value and a fictitious villain. Another difference? Heavenly Creatures was well-received.

“To me, it would make a lot more sense if the horror about the movie wasn’t about Slender Man per se, but based on the trailer it looks like it will be,” Hayward says. “In terms of whether a film like this could provide an ethical experience, I think it could if the horror of it was about media and media propagation as opposed to Slender Man.”

Regardless of their different backgrounds, both Richard and Hayward do not believe petitions circulating on the internet to nix the film will sway Sony’s mind, especially at this stage in the game. They also agreed that the most effective way to protest the film is to vote with your wallet and not see it. In the entertainment industry, money talks.

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We got it all at Avalon Theater on April 4 when we screen the “Weird Al” classic ‘UHF’ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/we-got-it-all-avalon-theater-april-4-screen-uhf/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/film/we-got-it-all-avalon-theater-april-4-screen-uhf/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 06:40:25 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=46741 Put down your remote control. Throw out your TV Guide. Put away your jacket. There’s no need to go outside. Well, there is a need to go outside on Wednesday, April 4. Yes, that’s the night we’re teaching poodles how to fly screening the classic 1989 “Weird Al” Yankovic film UHF at Milwaukee’s Avalon Theater. The movie […]

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Put down your remote control. Throw out your TV Guide. Put away your jacket. There’s no need to go outside. Well, there is a need to go outside on Wednesday, April 4. Yes, that’s the night we’re teaching poodles how to fly screening the classic 1989 “Weird Al” Yankovic film UHF at Milwaukee’s Avalon Theater. The movie starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5, and can be purchased hereMilwaukee Record, Avalon Theater, and UHF: It’s the reason movies were invented.

A film that originally tested well with audiences but flopped upon release (it was up against little flicks like Batman, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, and Ghostbusters II), UHF has since gone on to become a bona fide cult classic. And now you’ll be able to experience its zany brilliance on the big screen: Watch as George Newman (Yankovic) struggles to save a fly-by-night UHF station! Thrill as janitor Stanley Spadowski (Michael Richards) takes the world by storm with his firehose-happy Stanley Spadowski’s Clubhouse! Jeer as diabolical Channel 8 owner R.J. Fletcher (Kevin McCarthy) schemes to put George and friends out of business! Recite every single word of the Gandhi II, Conan The Librarian, and Spatula City commercials! And, immediately following the movie, stop by The Vanguard for an Al-themed DJ spin and more tasty surprises! Hope you enJOY it!

And because sometimes you gotta grab life by the lips and YANK as hard as you can, there’s more. The screening will serve as the kickoff to “Weird Al Week” at Milwaukee Record. Buckle up for some fresh, funny, and weird content every day on the site, all leading up to Al’s two “Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” shows at the Pabst Theater April 9 and 10.

So, to sum up: We’re screening UHF at the Avalon on Wednesday, April 4. The movie starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5, and can be purchased here. There’s an after party at The Vanguard. Be there!

The post We got it all at Avalon Theater on April 4 when we screen the “Weird Al” classic ‘UHF’ appeared first on Milwaukee Record.

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