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.
The Wrecking Crew (7 p.m. – Downer Theatre)
Denny Todesco’s long-in-the-making doc shines a spotlight on a largely unknown group of 1960s and ’70s session musicians, who backed up everyone from Frank Sinatra to Sonny & Cher to Elvis. Known as “The Wrecking Crew,” this group of polished musicians were sometimes even better than the bands they backed up—and the bands knew it. Brian Wilson admits here that the Crew recorded most of Pet Sounds instead of the Beach Boys themselves. The same goes for many of The Monkees’ early albums. Having originally traversed the film festival circuit back in 2008, the film just recently raised enough money to cover the extensive music rights, and is being shown tonight with the director (whose late father Tommy was a member of the Crew) in attendance.
Recommended if you like: Muscle Shoals; Twenty Feet From Stardom; the West Coast Sound of the ’60s; reading liner notes.
Krisha (7 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
Not up for a music history lesson tonight? Looking for something a bit more…intense? Then Krisha is your 7:00 date. An expansion of a short film (with the same name) that played MFF last year, director Trey Edward Shults’s barn-stormer is filled with family members, friends, and non-professional actors, telling the story of a sixty-something recovering alcoholic returning to her family after a decade-long absence. And thus begins the most painful Thanksgiving celebration we’ve seen on screen in quite some time. In his feature debut, Schults pulls off some kind of magic, winning both the Grand Jury and Audience Award at this year’s SXSW. Since when do the critics and the public agree on anything? Never. Except for Krisha. Need we say more?
Recommended if you like: The Celebration (Festen); August: Osage County (the play, not the film); yelling at your family.
The Shining (9:45 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
It’s Stanley Kubrik’s 1908 classic featuring the iconic Jack Nicholson performance, screening on 35mm in the main house of the Oriental. Boom. If that’s not enough to get you out of the house for a late screening on a Tuesday night, we give up. As we mentioned in our “13 reasons to get excited for the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival,” The Shining is being presented by John Axford, who has a special penchant for Kubrik’s films, stretching back to his time as a film undergraduate at Notre Dame. Axford will be in attendance, and hopefully we can convince him to reenact the best bat scene ever.
Recommended if you like: creepy Big Wheels; hallways filled with blood; drinking with ghosts; winters in Northern Wisconsin.