Opinion

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

The eighth annual Milwaukee Film Festival, which closed Oct. 6, proved to be bigger than ever. Over 15 days, nearly 77,000 attendees—an 8% increase over 2015—binged on 283 films from 51 countries presented on six screens. Among them were Critic Speak contributor Eric Beltmann and The Cinemaphile blogger Shelly Sampon. They talk here about the festival’s […]

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Eric Beltmann’s Top Five

Each screening at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival began with a chuckle, as Alice Cooper reminded filmgoers that it’s actually pronounced “Mill-e-wah-que,” which is Algonquin for “the good land.” That beloved sound bite from “Wayne’s World” was included in the festival’s sponsor trailer, which ran before every movie. It was a discordant choice, since this year’s […]

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

One of the hottest titles at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival is coming to West Bend, and the wait won’t be long. “Almost Sunrise,” the festival’s Centerpiece Film, concerns two Iraq veterans now battling depression, anxiety and guilt. Together they embark on a 2,700-mile mental health march from Milwaukee to Santa Monica. Along the way, […]

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Scheduled Guests

Who knew Bud Selig likes fabulist movies spoken in Farsi? There he was, sitting directly behind me during a 2010 Milwaukee Film Festival screening of Shirin Neshat’s “Women Without Men,” a work of magic realism about four Tehran women. I’ve often had the good fortune of bumping into public figures at festivals—Harold Ramis, Susan Sarandon […]

Introducing the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

Introducing the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

Topping my Netflix queue today are “The Forbidden Room,” an absurdist ode to early cinema from Canada, and “Winter Sleep,” a prizewinning drama from Turkey. If we scroll past the blockbusters, the relentless, rotating inventories of streaming services remind us that unique movies are always being made all over the world—and that filmgoers seldom have […]

Preview: 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

In his compulsively readable new book “Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies,” film critic Owen Gleiberman recommends limiting one’s intake at film festivals to three movies per day. Four movies or more, Gleiberman contends, is just too many, and keeping one’s slate to three “guarantees you won’t fail to respond to the nuances in that […]

James Frazier’s 2016 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Danny made the “suicidal” guess that “Mad Max: Fury Road” would win big. I hope he’s right, but I think he’s wrong!   BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” “Spotlight.” PERSONAL PICK: “Mad Max: Fury Road.” PREDICTION: “The Revenant.”

Danny Baldwin’s 2016 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Contrary to what some websites have decided in recent years, Oscar predicting should not be a year-round game. The winners are not to be obsessed over, as they fade from memory quicker than most things. But on the day of the ceremony, it makes for a fun game. This year, I managed to see every […]

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival

If no one talks about it, does a movie exist? Perhaps the real meaning of a film festival lies in its sidewalk chatter. Even though the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival closed Oct. 8, Critic Speak contributor Eric Beltmann and The Cinemaphile blogger Shelly Sampon lengthened the festival through one more conversation. Eric Beltmann: I think […]

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Eric Beltmann’s Top Five

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Eric Beltmann’s Top Five

Perhaps there are too many movies. When I started writing professionally about cinema 24 years ago, seeing all the key films that received North American distribution—blockbusters, indies, foreign releases—was a feasible proposition, but now that technology has democratized the medium and swelled access to motion pictures of all stripes, it’s impossible to stay ahead of […]