The 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival runs Thursday, September 24 through Thursday, October 8. Check out our list of 13 reasons to get excited for the fest here. If you’re looking for daily recommendations and/or when and where to stalk us, look no further.
T-Rex (12:45 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
We’re over halfway through the fest, and at this point, choosing films becomes at once easier and harder. There’s not as much to choose from, but your mind is failing you from so little sleep and too much popcorn and wine. Was that the film you thought looked great but read that horrible review? Which one did that person in line at the Downer rave about three days ago? Did you already see that film or just the trailer? T-Rex is one trailer Milwaukee Film has been pushing hard over the first week, and we admit that we’ve been beaten into submission: We must see this film. The shot of a teenage Claressa “T-Rex” Shields slo-motion boxing in the snow under a street lamp has us mesmerized. Will she win boxing gold at the Olympics? What will stand in her way? We’re dying to know. With so much discussion in the media these days about the lack of support for women’s sports (and how to remedy that), we’re putting our money on this film to create a new sports hero.
Recommended if you like: Rocky; Million Dollar Baby; the Olympics; fierce women.
Pitch Us Your Film! Contest (noon – Kenilworth Room 620)
If you were in the packed crowd at last night’s Milwaukee Show II, you’ll know we have quite a bit of filmmaking talent in our city. Last year, MFF launched an event to help these folks hone their pitching skills, which is perhaps the key skill in pre-production. If you can’t tell a succinct, engaging, and convincing version of your film, you’ll be hard-pressed to raise money, hire a crew, and promote it when it’s done. While the 2014 contest focused on documentary films (with Joel Van Haren’s King of Strings coming away victorious), this year’s group will be pitching fiction films. Who will win the $1,000 prize? Come see the future of Milwaukee films today at noon.
Recommended if you like: Project Green Light; early previews of MFF2016.
Stop Making Sense (11:00 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
“Hi. I’ve got a tape I want to play.” Thus begins the best music documentary in history. Jonathan Demme’s masterpiece transports you to the early ’80s, when the Talking Heads when still together and at the height of their influential powers. (Drinking game: Take a shot for every current band you can identify that has roots in this concert. Arcade Fire: drink! Vampire Weekend: drink! Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: drink!). At three years in a row, it seems the festival has settled into “tradition” territory for this film, embracing the all-out dance party that it has become. If you’ve attended in the past, it’s already on your must-see list for the fest. And if you’ve never seen this film, seriously, what are you waiting for? There’s nothing like a big screen filled with a dark-haired David Byrne in a big suit to make you feel young again.
Recommended if you like: rock concerts; dancing in the aisles; white sneakers.