Milwaukee Film Festival

Flick by Flick, Part 2

We break down October's offerings in this comprehensive festival guide.

By - Sep 19th, 2012 08:43 pm
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This year’s Milwaukee Film Festival runs from Sept. 27 through Oct. 11, at three theaters citywide.

If you liked Part 1 of our guide to the fourth annual Milwaukee Film Festival, then you’ll really like Part 2, spanning Oct. 1 to 11.

As in that previous iteration, this Flick by Flick guide lists films by the night they first debut on MFF screens, and provides a summary, showtimes and trailers (when available) for all of them. Do take note: Many of the films included in Part 1 do have screenings in the month of October (almost all of them, in fact), so this isn’t all that’s left to see once the calendar page turns over by any stretch of the imagination.

We’ve again simplified categories and classifications, only denoting “Spotlight Presentations” with an asterisk (*) before the title of a film. For more information on any of these films, click through to their official websites or stop by the MFF site. And if you’ve liked our coverage so far, stay tuned – we’ll be reviewing a wide spread of the festival’s films over the next few weeks.

Films will screen at one or more of the festival’s three theaters: Fox-Bay Cinema, 334 E. Silver Spring Dr., Whitefish Bay; Downer Theatre, 2589 Downer Ave.; or the Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave. For tickets, visit any of their box offices, call (414) 727-8468 or check the MFF website.

Monday, Oct. 1

Detropia

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady travel through Detroit to discover that even in the hardest of times, its residents are full of pride, hope and beauty. In English.

  • Monday, Oct 1, 4:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Saturday, Oct 6, 7:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Tuesday, Oct 9, 4:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Thursday, Oct 11, 9:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

How to Survive a Plague

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: Looking back to a time in America when AIDS was being ignored when it needed attention the most, this documentary shows the power of numbers, proving that when raised to a shout, the voiceless can no longer be ignored.

  • Monday, Oct 1, 5 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Friday, Oct 5, 4:15 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Monday, Oct 8, 7:00 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema

Trailer:

http://youtu.be/LQbM4bb6Zpk

Shorts: Whodunit?

Format: Shorts

Synopsis: Pretty self explanatory-a series of awesome mystery shorts ranging from bank robberies to missing persons.

  • Monday, Oct 6, 6 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Friday, Oct 5, 9:30 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct 9, 9:45 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema

Compliance

Format: Feature

Synopsis: A young girl working at a suburban fast food chain is accused of stealing from a customer, and a bizarre police investigation soon commences. Based on a true story.

  • Monday, Oct 1, 7 p.m., Downer Theatre

Trailer:

*Brooklyn Castle

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: A documentary following five members of a Brooklyn junior high school chess team as they attempt to pursue their 27th national title.

  • Monday, Oct 1, 7:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Friday, Oct 5, 4:45 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Wednesday, October 10, 5 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

Sons of Norway

Format: Feature

Synopsis: With his life falling apart, young Magnus looks to the music of the Sex Pistols for solace and understanding in this “punk rock coming of age tale”. In Norwegian with English subtitles.

  • Monday, Oct 1, 8:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 9 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Friday, October 5, 7:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This documentary looks at Anonymous, the online “hacktivist” collective known for their intricate information leaks and online pranks. Make no mistake, this is hardly Hackers, people.

  • Monday, Oct 1, 9:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 9:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, October 4, 4:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

Atomic States of America

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This documentary questions the safety of nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima plant disaster.

  • Monday, Oct 1, 9:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Saturday, Oct 6, 5 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Sunday, Oct 7, 4 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema

Tuesday, Oct. 2

Love Free or Die

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This film documents the struggle of Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop who receives prejudice and death threats nearly every day.

  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 noon, Oriental Theatre
  • Monday, Oct 8, 4:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Thursday, Oct 11, 7:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema

Trailer:

Romancing in Thin Air

Format: Feature

Synopsis: After being left at the altar on his wedding day, a man gets hit by a truck, its driver helping him make sense of his situation. In Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles.

  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 2:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Monday, Oct 8, 8:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct 11, 7:30 p.m., Downer Theatre

Trailer:

Mama Africa

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This documentary examines the life of legendary singer and social activist Miriam Makeba. In English and French.

  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 5 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Sunday, Oct 7, 5:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct 9, 5:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema

Trailer:

Elena

Format: Feature

Synopsis: After marrying a wealthy businessman, Elena grows frustrated with his lack of financial support for her struggling family. In Russian with English subtitles.

  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 6 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct 4, 9:45 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Friday, Oct 5, 5 p.m.,Downer Theatre

Trailer:

http://youtu.be/fhEd2uqI7aM

Valley of Saints

Format: Feature

Synopsis: A romance develops between a visiting scientist and a local boatman in Asia’s Dal Lake, the site of a rather intense territorial conflict between India and Pakistan.

  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 5 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Saturday, Oct 6, 6:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Monday, Oct 8, 7:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

http://youtu.be/3kUg8uu1N_k

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This critically acclaimed documentary examines the life of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, with exclusive interviews, archival footage and more.

  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Sunday, Oct 7, 3 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Monday, Oct 8, 9 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Wednesday, Oct 10, 6 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
Trailer unavailable. Click here for official site.

Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal

Format: Feature

Synopsis: In this Danish film, a painter takes on a teaching job in an attempt to revitalize his creative process, befriending a cannibal along the way. Seriously.

  • Tuesday, Oct 2, 9:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Friday, Oct 5, 12 midnight, Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

http://youtu.be/oW5U6JBt4Gg

Wednesday, Oct. 3

Found Memories

Format: Feature

Synopsis: A young traveler arrives in a quiet Brazilian village with a camera and breathes new life and excitement into the community. In Portuguese with English subtitles.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 3, 12 noon, Oriental Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 5 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

Off White Lies

Format: Feature

Synopsis: This comedic drama follows a 13-year-old girl overseas to Israel to live with her father, who is homeless. Posing as war refugees, they are taken in by a wealthy family in Jerusalem. In Hebrew with English subtitles.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 3, 5 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 2 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 5:15 p.m., Downer Theatre

Trailer:

Five Star Existence

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This thought provoking documentary poses the question as to whether current technology-like computers and cellphones-have too much control over modern life.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 6 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Sunday, Oct 7, 2:30 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Wednesday, Oct 10, 9:45 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema

Trailer:

Let the Bullets Fly

Format: Feature

Synopsis:  A group of criminals and con artists in 1920s China attempt to overthrow the current governorship in what has now become China’s all-time highest grossing domestic film. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 6:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Thursday, Oct 4, 7 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Saturday, Oct 6, 8:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct 11, 9:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

A Girl Like Her

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: A documentary looking at the millions of unwed women who gave birth in secret in the 1950s and 60s, featuring archival footage interspersed with interviews of the women today.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

Policeman

Format: Feature

Synopsis:  This film highlights the class struggles of Israel, concluding in a rather “stomach churning” conclusion. In Hebrew with English subtitles.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 7 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct 4, 9:30 pm, Downer Theatre
  • Saturday, Oct 6, 9 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema

Trailer:

My Dad is Baryshnikov

Format: Feature

Synopsis:  A 14 year old boy in Moscow lies to his fellow ballet classmates, claiming that his dad is ballet superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov. In Russian with English subtitles.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 7:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct 4, 7 pm, Downer Theatre

Trailer:

High Tech, Low Life

Format: Documentary

Synopsis:  China’s internet firewalls and media censorship continue to limit just what the public is exposed to. This documentary follows two reporters determined to cover the uncovered while avoiding imprisonment. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 9:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Friday, Oct 5, 9:45 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Saturday, Oct 6, 7:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

Crulic – The Path to Beyond

Format: Documentary

Synopsis:  Romanian Claudiu Crulic was wrongfully held in a Polish prison for being accused of stealing a wallet. This animated documentary tells his story of injustice with unique visuals. In Romanian with English subtitles.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 9:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Friday, Oct 5, 7:15 pm, Fox-Bay Cinema

Trailer:

Citadel

Format: Feature

Synopsis:  Feral children roam wild on the streets of ruining lives in this post-apocalyptic thriller.

  • Wednesday, Oct 3, 9:45 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Friday, Oct 5, 9:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre

Trailer:

Thursday, Oct. 4

Charles Bradley: Soul of America

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: For almost all of his 62 years, Charles Bradley has dreamed of being a professional singer, finally finding success in 2011 with the release of his acclaimed debut album No Time for Dreaming. This doc traces Bradley’s journey from homelessness and poverty to mainstream success and recognition.

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 5 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 9:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 6 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
Trailer:

Taxi to the Dark Side

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: Through the example of an innocent Afghan taxi driver tortured and kiled by American soldiers, documentarian Alex Gibney explores U.S. policy on torture and interrogation, much of which violates established Geneva Convention-standards. Gibney will be present for a Q&A after the film.

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 6:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

The Milwaukee Show

Format: Shorts

Synopsis: The annual collection of the Cream City’s best short films returns again this year, with contributors both new and old. Selections include the 2012 Collaborative Cinema project, The Vampire Formerly Known as Dracula, local filmmaker Tate Bunker’s premiere of Studies in Space and eight other great Milwaukee-born shorts.

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre

The Ambassador

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: Journalist/documentarian Mads Brügger, with a slew of hidden cameras, brazenly poses as an international businessman seeking power and wealth in the complex underworld of formerly-French African diplomacy.

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 9:30 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Monday, Oct. 8, 9:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Teddy Bear

Format: Feature

Synopsis: Bodybuilder Dennis is the unlikely hero of this late-coming-of-age story, in which he flees the home of his overbearing mother in an attempt to find love in Thailand. In Danish, English and Thai with subtitles.

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 12 noon, Oriental Theatre
  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 5 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
Trailer:

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Format: Feature

Synopsis: An imprisoned teen with psychic abilities attempts to escape from her captor in this psychedelic, dystopian film, an homage to Kubrick and Cronenberg.

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 10:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 9:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Friday, Oct. 5

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Format: Feature

Synopsis: Improbable interruptions plague a sextet of wealthy Europeans trying to gather for dinner in this Oscar-winning surrealist satire by Luis Buñuel.

Showtimes: 

  • Friday, Oct. 5, 2:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy27guq83kQ

*Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: Alex Gibney’s latest doc unravels a conspiracy of silence protecting a priest who abused more than 200 deaf children in St. Francis, and the coverup that leads from Milwaukee all the way up to the Vatican itself.

Showtimes: 

  • Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Violeta Went to Heaven

Format: Feature

Synopsis: This biopic of singer Violeta Parra, based on a memoir by her son, traces the life of the woman who reinvented Chilean folk music and brought it to the world. In Spanish and French with English subtitles.

Showtimes: 

  • Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 6 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 5:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Saturday, Oct. 6

The Princess Bride

Format: Children’s feature

Synopsis: Looking for a classic flick your kids can fall in love with as much as you did? As you wish: The classic love story The Princess Bride gets a 25th anniversary screening presented by the Brewers’ John Axford. And yes, there’s kissing parts.

Showtimes: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 2:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

As Goes Janesville

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: Ever since Paul Ryan got the VP nod and brought it to the national stage, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t recognize the story of Janesville’s infamous GM plant. But Milwaukee filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein tells the story behind the story in this world premiere, following laid-off workers, local business leaders and elected officials for three years as Wisconsin builds toward the eventual firestorm over Governor Scott Walker’s controversial plan to eliminate collective bargaining.

Showtimes: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 5 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Monday, Oct. 8, 2:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7:15 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 8:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
Trailer:

http://vimeo.com/41579639

Everybody in Our Family

Format: Feature

Synopsis: In this darkly comic film, a divorced father arrives to take his daughter on holiday, only to find he is not allowed to take her with – a fact that quickly sends the splintered family’s lives spiraling out of control. In Romanian with English subtitles.

Showtimes: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 5 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Monday, Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 9:15 p.m., Downer Theatre
Trailer:

Tchoupitoulas

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: Three brothers explore New Orleans post-sunset in this impressionistic adventure in the French Quarter.

Showtimes: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 9:30 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 4:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

The Giant Spider Invasion

Format: Feature

Synopsis: Milwaukee Film launches its new monthly cult film series, Mark Borchardt Presents, with this Wisconsin-made drive-in hit from director Bill Rebane. If you still need a summary: Giant spiders invade.

Showtimes: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 9:30 p.m., Downer Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 4:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Klown

Format: Feature

Synopsis: Not your average buddy film, Klown follows a man who brings his pregnant girlfriend’s 12-year-old son along on a quest to prove he’s ready for fatherhood. A series of misadventures drags the duo and a sex-crazed ally through brothels, armed robberies and prison, with hilarious results. In Danish with English subtitles.

Showtimes: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 12 midnight, Oriental Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 9:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Sunday, Oct. 7

Sleepover

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This world premiere doc, over ten years in the making, tracks the lives of four girls over three sleepovers years apart.

Showtimes: 

  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 4:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer: Here.

*Quartet

Format: Feature

Synopsis: A home for retired opera singers is thrown into turmoil when the former wife of a resident shows up and brings her eternal divahood to bear on the home’s annual Verdi concert.

Showtimes: 

  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 5 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best

Format: Feature

Synopsis: Recently dumped Alex and his new bandmate Jim embark on a road trip performing songs using children’s instruments, in this comedy about grown-ups finally growing up.

Showtimes: 

  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 6:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 9:45 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Bending Toward the Light

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: An examination of local education in the vein of Waiting for “Superman,” avoiding blame and finger-pointing in favor of emphasizing what the community can do to improve the system.

Showtimes: 

  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 7:15 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Monday, Oct. 8, 5 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
Trailer:

*No God No Master

Format: Feature

Synopsis: This period drama, shot in Milwaukee with a local cast/crew, follows a federal agent in NYC circa 1919, tasked with hunting down an anarchist plot against the government.

Showtimes: 

  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7:15 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
Trailer:

Monday, Oct. 8

Blackmail

Format: Feature

Synopsis: This silent Hitchcock thriller from 1929 focuses on a young woman blackmailed by a petty thief after she is forced to kill a would-be rapist in self-defense. The Alloy Orchestra (one of the most esteemed silent film-accompanying orchestras in the world) returns to the festival for the screening, having previously accompanied the festival’s screening of Metropolis in 2010.

Showtimes: 

  • Monday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Tuesday, Oct. 9

Last Call at the Oasis

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: This film, from the makers of Food, Inc. and Waiting for “Superman,” makes the case that our next global crisis is a water crisis, examining communities already suffering from a lack of clean water and exposing the current system’s leaks and weaknesses.

Showtimes: 

  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 4:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 5:30 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
Trailer:

Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir

Format: Documentary

Synopsis: At age 70, Sigrídur Níelsdóttir started making music – electronic keyboard composition layered over with sound effects from household items – and didn’t stop, cranking out 59 albums over seven years. This doc, filmed during her creative apex, reveals her DIY aesthetic and charming creativity. In Icelandic/Danish with English subtitles.

Showtimes: 

  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7:45 p.m., Fox-Bay Cinema
  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 5:30 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Wednesday, Oct. 10

*The Sapphires

Format: Feature

Synopsis: After being discovered on a remote Aboriginal mission, four girls calling themselves The Sapphires are branded the “Australian Supremes” and sent to entertain U.S. troops in Vietnam.

Showtimes: 

  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Thursday, Oct. 11

*The Sessions

Format: Feature

Synopsis: A 38-year-old man confined to an iron lung sets out to lose his virginity with the help of a priest and a “sex surrogate.” Based on the life of California journalist/poet Mark O’Brien, the film won over both audiences and the jury at Sundance and is getting early Oscar buzz.

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m., Oriental Theatre
Trailer:

Click here for part one of TCD’s Flick by Flick preview. Check back during the Milwaukee Film Festival, Sept. 27 – Oct. 11, for more of our coverage.

Follow Matthew Reddin on Twitter at @matthewreddin and follow Sahan Jayasuriya at @sahanicyouth.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Movies

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