It’s been a few days into the film festival already. Feeling burned out yet? If the answer is no way, then you’re my kind of person! Here are my picks for what’s playing this week:
Monday, September 28th
THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION: Playing at 6:15 PM at the Oriental Theatre
2015 Milwaukee Film Festival Tribute Stanley Nelson’s documentary about the famous organization The Black Panthers has never been more relevant in a time where racism and police brutality are still ongoing. Masterfully weaving together archival footage with interviews involving party members, journalists, and even FBI informants, this film is one eye-opening history lesson you probably won’t get in school. Don’t miss it.
MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW: Playing at 7:00 PM at the Avalon Atmospheric Theatre
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Young woman moves from her home in India to the Big Apple to study abroad. Young woman meets boy. Young woman also meets… girl? Laila, a spirited young woman with cerebral palsy, travels from her traditional family in Delhi to study at NYU and, in the process of coming to terms with her sexuality, comes to terms with her own self as well. Equal parts uplifting and heartwarming, this writer is not ashamed to admit that she cried. Several times.
BEATLES: Playing at 9:30 PM at the Fox Bay Cinema Grill
When Beatlemania hits Norway, four friends decide that now is the perfect time to form their own rock quartet. This is a coming of age story that will resonate with every die hard Beatles fan, anyone who has ever grown up loving music, and even the fledgling fans as well. Guaranteed to be a rocking good time, Beatles is a movie for all Judes, Madonnas, and the occasional Eleanor Rigby.
Tuesday, September 29th
MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER: Playing at 1:30 PM at the Oriental Theatre.
Husband and wife duo Gyeyuel Kang and Byongman Jo have been married for 76 years. Over the course of a year, we follow them on their daily routines, watching warmly as these lovebirds pick flowers and fall asleep hand-in-hand. However, after an entire lifetime side-by-side, they now have to come to terms with the idea that their time might be coming to a close. This romantic love story for the ages has become the highest grossing Korean independent movie of all time, and rightly so. It will tug at just the right heartstrings. Bring a box of tissues, or three.
LOVE AND LEMONS: Playing at 4:15 PM at the Downer Theatre.
Love and Lemons screened for the Members of Milwaukee Film last month, and has quickly become one of the standouts of the festival. This winning Swedish film is a lovely romantic comedy that is a feast for both the heart and the stomach. After being fired from her job in a five-star restaurant and dumped by her loser wannabe rock star boyfriend, Agnes needs a change of pace. When the opportunity to own her own restaurant presents itself, a push from her supportive parents, and the super cute food critic next door, just might be the push she needs to take that leap of faith. Don’t miss this movie, but don’t see it on an empty stomach either.
ALMOST THERE: Playing at 7 PM at the Times Cinema
At the ripe old age of 83, Peter Anton is discovered by two filmmakers living in a broken down house with collections of his own artwork. Ahead of his first ever gallery show, newly revealed information about Anton’s childhood just might complicate matters a little bit. Artists and art lovers alike will enjoy this riveting documentary.
Wednesday, September 30th
A GIRL LIKE GRACE: Playing at 3:45 PM at the Oriental Theatre
Following the suicide of her best friend, Grace’s life is about to become even more complicated. And to make matters worse, the bullies at school just won’t leave her alone. Looking for closure and understanding, Grace (newcomer Ryan Destiny) seeks out the older sister of her friend, and in the process, starts to discover more things about her self. Many members of the cast and crew visited Milwaukee this weekend, including co-star Raven-Symoné, making this event one of the festival’s many highlights.
HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO: Playing at 4:15 at the Times Cinema
One of the things that makes the Documentary Festival Favorites program special is its ability to highlight stories that are equal parts inspiring and thought-provoking. A good example of this is in the film How to Dance in Ohio, about a group of kids living with developmental disabilities in—you guessed it—Ohio. As these kids prepare for their very own spring formal, audiences will no doubt admire the strength and determination on display. HBO is said to have picked it up for a later release, so see this now before everyone else does.
NEPTUNE: Playing at 9:30 PM at the Oriental Theatre
Shot in Maine but with the support of Cream City itself, Neptune is an absolutely beautiful portrayal of grief and coming of age. When her classmate drowns off the coast of a sleepy Maine island in the late eighties, Hannah, a ward of the church takes his place working on a fishing boat with the deceased boy’s father. Despite the disapproval of her guardian, Hannah fights back against a world determined to thrust its own expectations on her. Milwaukee Film works hard to showcase the efforts of its local filmmakers, and Neptune is one that is not to be missed.
Thursday, October 1st
THE WONDERS: Playing at 11:30 AM at the Oriental Theatre
At least your family isn’t this weird. On the outskirts of modern society, Gelsomina is set on taking over her family’s practice of beekeeping and honey making. Not that she has much of a choice. When the surreal reality program searching for the country’s most “traditional” family comes knocking, things get a little more complicated. Based loosely on the personal experiences of writer-director Alice Rohrwacher and her sister, Alba (who also stars in the film), The Wonders is a colorful take on the dysfunctional family films that we all love.
SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION: Playing at 7 PM at the Fox Bay Cinema Grill
Actor Ethan Hawke has created his most personal film yet in the form of a touching tribute to his pianist friend, Seymour Bergstein. This documentary will bring a smile to your face and remind you why you fell in love with music in the first place. Seymour is a delight, and his documentary is too.
KRISHA: Playing at 10:15 PM at the Oriental Theatre
Every family has a black sheep. This one just so happens to be sixty, and back in town after ten years away for a Thanksgiving weekend. When Krisha comes home, she finds herself beginning to unravel as the evening carries on. Then again, maybe her emotional state was always fragile to begin with. A double winner at South by Southwest of both jury and audience awards—and featuring members of Shults’ own family—Krisha can’t be missed.
Tickets can be bought online at mkefilm.org, by phone at (414) 727-8468, or in person at any one of the box offices located at all theatre venues. Stay tuned for picks for the next week coming soon!