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.
Jaws (1:45 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
Think back to your childhood…sure, you know the iconic theme music (duh-duhn…duh-duhn…), and maybe a few choice quotes, like “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” Can you be certain you’re not just remembering those from Clerks, though? Maybe you caught bits and pieces on network TV in the ’80s, if you were alive in the ’80s, in between “Where’s the beef?” commercials. Admit it: you’ve never actually seen Jaws! All the way through, unedited, uninterrupted? On the big screen? You don’t need us to convince you to see Jaws, though, right?
Recommended if you like: Jaws.
Panel: Immersive Storytelling: Virtual Reality & The Next Wave Of Filmmaking (3 p.m. – Kenilworth Square East)
We may still be waiting impatiently for hoverboards and replicators, but at least it seems like virtual reality is popping up in more and more cute NPR stories these days, so maybe now is the perfect time to re-watch Strange Days and start having nightmares about Tom Sizemore with Fabio hair again. A more productive idea: attend this virtual reality panel and get an insider tour of the current state of VR technology, particularly as it pertains to filmmaking. There will be live demonstrations, and you can even get your grubby mitts on some of the equipment at the “drop-in Tech Gallery.”
Recommended if you like: Star Trek: The Next Generation; Back To The Future Part II; escaping your mundane existence.
Safety Last! (5 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
The live-music aspect of the festival continues to downsize. In 2013 it was the 18-piece ensemble of Altos performing their original score for the film Earth. Last year, the meager three-piece Alloy Orchestra took on Man With A Movie Camera. This year, they could only get one guy?? However, the experience promises to be as potent as ever, as that one guy, renowned accompanist Scott Foppiano, will take command of the largest theater organ in the country, which just happens to be built into the main room at the Oriental Theatre. So technically, maybe this is an upsize, after all? Tonight, Foppiano will play the Kimball organ (as well as conjure up appropriate sound effects) to enhance the 1923 Harold Lloyd silent classic Safety Last! As a bonus, the screening opens with the beloved Buster Keaton short The Electric House, so don’t be late!
Recommended if you like: film history; slapstick comedy; old-timey music.
The Milwaukee Show I (8 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
Milwaukee Film’s local-centric programming gets more ambitious every year, but there’s no substitute for the original, celebrated Milwaukee Show. Like last year, the collection of shorts by Brew City auteurs is split between two nights, and night one boasts an intriguing and varied lineup of films. All the usual genres are represented: adventure (The Death Drive), tear-jerker (The Sonatina), noir (It’s Cold Up North), surrealism (Beautiful Orifice Boy), adolescent extortionism (Dog*Walk), man-has-thumb-for-head-ism (The Life And Times Of Thomas Thumb Jr.), and many more.
Recommended if you like: supporting local arts; experimental film; not waiting two hours to figure out what the point of the movie is.
“The Life and Times of Thomas Thumb Jr. – Introduction from Ryan Fox on Vimeo.