Tag Archive | MFF

2017 Milwaukee Film Festival: Cream City Cinema

2017 Milwaukee Film Festival: Cream City Cinema

Where should we pin the good citizenship ribbon? While some film festivals function as annual interlopers—destination events that cater to out-of-towners while largely excluding the locals—the nonprofit Milwaukee Film Festival has always been a provincial affair, inseparable from the city and its people. For nine years, MFF has invested in Milwaukee by celebrating its unique […]

2017 Milwaukee Film Festival: Competition

2017 Milwaukee Film Festival: Competition

I suppose it’s easier to sell a throwback Western starring Peter Fonda than a nonfiction look at Baltimore’s rat infestation. No wonder, then, that the Milwaukee Film Festival, which opened Thursday, screened “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” last night inside the vast, majestic Oriental Theatre but will show “Rat Film” (pictured above) in an afternoon […]

Introducing the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival

Introducing the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival

When the Milwaukee Film Festival named “The Blood is at the Doorstep” as this year’s Centerpiece Film, it was akin to drawing a line in the sand. Erik Ljung’s debut feature is a hot-button political documentary that asks audiences to feel empathy for victims negotiating the American justice system in the wake of a police […]

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 […]

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 […]

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

You’ve heard of sing-along movies, but what about the dance-along? Milwaukee Film Festival patrons are encouraged to unlock their bodies Saturday night during “Stop Making Sense” (Oriental Theatre, 11 p.m.), Jonathan Demme’s euphoric 1984 concert film about the Talking Heads and the ever-expanding big suit worn by frontman David Byrne. Playing for the third consecutive […]