The 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival is one month and four days away. That’s one month and four days to prepare for an onslaught of films ranging from the highbrow and challenging to the rowdy and crowd pleasing. And they don’t get much more rowdy or crowd pleasing than the Cinema Hooligante films. Cinema Hooligante is a midnight-movie-indebted program teeming with all things bloody, raunchy, fantastical, terrifying, and awesome. Milwaukee Record is proud to sponsor this year’s lineup, which is so good Milwaukee Film may need a bigger fest.
Highlighting the program are 35mm screenings of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 fish tale Jaws (“It’s a tiger shark!” “A whaaaaat?”), and Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 hotel promo film The Shining (“Danny isn’t here, Mrs. Torrance”). Jaws is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and The Shining its 35th. If you’ve seen both films countless times, it’s time to enjoy them on the big screen and in glorious 35mm. If you haven’t seen them, buckle up (and stay away from the water and/or Snow Cats).
There’s plenty more where that came from. “I’m incredibly proud and excited to present films of this caliber in what is certainly the coolest program of the festival,” says Jaclyn O’Grady, Programming Manager and Cinema Hooligante Co-Programmer in a press release. “One highlight for me is They Have Escaped, a shocking Finnish thriller about a road trip gone awry, which will leave you absolutely reeling when the credits roll.”
“This program is always so much fun to put together; we get to juxtapose so many different, interesting films against each other,” says Kristen Coates, Operations Director and Cinema Hooligante Co-Programmer in the same press release. “One film that I’m especially excited to show our audiences is White God. It has a stunning visual feel and is a story unlike any other I’ve seen.”
The 7th annual Milwaukee Film Festival takes place September 24-October 8, 2015 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill, Times Cinema, and Avalon Theater. Passes and ticket 6-packs are currently available at discounted rates at mkefilm.org/tickets. Check out the full Cinema Hooligante lineup below, courtesy of Milwaukee Film.
Bang Bang Baby
(Canada / 2014 / Director: Jeffrey St. Jules)
A demented blend of 1950s sci-fi and musicals, Bang Bang Baby is a brazenly original, genre-twisting fever dream of a film. Stepphy (Jane Levy) is a high school girl with dreams of breaking out of her sleepy hometown, and her acceptance into the American Ingénue Singing Competition seems to be the ticket. But her alcoholic father (Peter Stormare) refuses to let her go, and it’s only the arrival of heartthrob singer Bobby Shore into town that gives her a chance — that is, if she can keep Bobby from noticing the freakish mutations and hallucinations being brought forth by a factory leak in the town.
(Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, USA / 2015 / Director: Raul Garcia)
This ghoulish anthology film celebrating the macabre works of Edgar Allan Poe is broken into five distinct animated segments (including classic works such as “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Pit and the Pendulum”). Aided by narration from some of horror’s most beloved luminaries (Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi and Guillermo del Toro, to name a few), Poe’s psychological adventures are brought to startling life, each story receiving its own particular animation style uniquely suited to its creepy tone. If your spine is in the market for shivers, this is the choice for you.
(USA / 1975 / Director: Steven Spielberg)
Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, Jaws comes to the Milwaukee Film Festival. Often imitated but never replicated, Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning cultural phenomenon remains the apex predator of summer blockbuster filmmaking. A story of the small town of Amity (which, as you know, means “friendship”), the great white shark that’s terrorizing it, and the trio of dudes tasked with putting a stop to it hasn’t lost a step over 40 years later. If you’ve only ever seen this classic from the comfort of home, you’re going to need a bigger screen.
(United Kingdom / 2015 / Directors: Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine)
We all have baggage; it just so happens that Rob’s returns from the dead, gorily erupting through the bed sheets any time he attempts to sleep with his new girlfriend. Left physically and emotionally wounded after a car accident that robbed him of his beloved Nina, Rob is finally taking timid steps toward re-entering the world with the help of his supermarket co-worker Holly, only to find that Nina has a penchant for violently reappearing with sarcastic words of support mid-coitus. This sly horror-comedy-romance provides a fresh take on the genre, a sexy, blood-drenched ode to the ways our past continues to haunt us.
(USA, United Kingdom / 1980 / Director: Stanley Kubrick)
All digital and no 35 mm screenings make Jack a dull boy, so feast your eyes on this special 35 mm screening of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary horror tale. Snugly nestled away in the mountains, the Overlook Hotel offers plenty of vacancies. And when the Torrance family gets snowed in for the winter, recovering alcoholic father Jack (Jack Nicholson at his most iconic) gets a little stir-crazy. Take a shot of red rum, avoid all elevators and twins, and, whatever you do, don’t go into Room 237. This tale of conspiracy and insanity will lead you into a mental hedge maze you won’t soon escape.
They Have Escaped (H e ovat paenneet)
(Finland, Netherlands / 2014 / Director: J-P Valkeapää)
What begins as a tale of two teenage outcasts finding one another at a halfway house and subsequently running away together slowly morphs into a primal fairy tale that will challenge your senses and expand your mind. Joni and Raisa have run out of chances when they meet and see in one another a kindred chaotic spirit, so of course their intense bond leads to them leaving civilization altogether and embarking on a wild, nightmarish journey of drug use and feral living. Intimate and intense, They Have Escaped defies expectations, a movie that will uproot your sense of reality and leave you reeling.
(Canada, New Zealand / 2015 / Directors: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell)
In the post-apocalyptic future of 1997, acid rain beats down on the barren landscape while evil warlord Zeus kidnaps people in order to harvest them for their precious water. In steps reluctant hero The Kid, a youngster content to tool around on his BMX bike and read old Turbo Man comic books all day. But when his only friend is taken hostage, he must embrace his destiny and become the hero he’s only ever read about. The retro-futuristic Turbo Kid is a cult classic in the making, combining ’80s movie nostalgia with geysers of blood to make something you’ve never seen before.
(Hungary / 2014 / Director: Kornél Mundruczó)
Imagine The Birds told from the animal’s perspective and you’re only scratching the surface of this remarkable Hungarian thriller, a morally challenging cautionary tale tackling cultural and political tension amid an all-out dog revolt. Lili is forced to abandon her beloved mutt, Hagen, due to the state’s strict breeding protocols, but she refuses to give up hope that they will be reunited. As Lili searches, Hagen is subjected to the cruelties of man and so slowly amasses an army of the unwanted to exact revenge. A remarkable feat of filmmaking, White God suggests instead of going to heaven, all dogs might unleash hell on Earth.