Mark Metcalf

Recent Articles

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson

In his last podcast before moving out west, Mark Metcalf talks to the minds behind Milwaukee's Theatre Gigante, a company unafraid to blend theater, dance and more.

“Before Midnight”: Romantic, dramatic people with time on their hands
“Before Midnight”

Romantic, dramatic people with time on their hands

After another nine years, filmmaker Richard Linklater drops in again on a beautiful couple as they work out their romantic drama -- this time in sun-swept, romantic Greece.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Filmmaker Ryan Sarnowski
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Filmmaker Ryan Sarnowski

Mark talks to the doc|UWM co-director about the film program, his history with documentaries and his latest project: a doc following the last acolyte of a religion/social movement called Lawsonomy.

“Now You See Me” short on movie magic

“Now You See Me” short on movie magic

While the cast of actors is astounding, director Louis Leterrier isn't on the same level, dragging down the film with dull special effects.

“Love Is All You Need”: Simple premise, unpredictable execution
“Love Is All You Need”

Simple premise, unpredictable execution

Pierce Brosnan does remarkably well alongside Trine Dyrholm, in this tale of unexpected love that doesn't hesitate to get honest.

“At Any Price” takes director from urban immigrants to Midwestern farmers

“At Any Price” takes director from urban immigrants to Midwestern farmers

Bahrani's brilliant successes with little-known casts don't translate to a bigger film with Hollywood veterans.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” a satisfying action-adventure

“Star Trek Into Darkness” a satisfying action-adventure

While Mark's never been a Trekkie, this installment of the rebooted franchise leaves him looking forward to more.

“The Great Gatsby”: The Luhrmann Razzle-Dazzle
“The Great Gatsby”

The Luhrmann Razzle-Dazzle

Baz Luhrmann's "Gatsby" delivers big stars and cinematic flash, but misses F. Scott Fitzgerald's elegance and depth of feeling.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Carlo Besasie
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Carlo Besasie

The Milwaukee director talks with Mark about his career thus far and the changing landscape of modern filmmaking.

McConaughey doesn’t get his hands dirty with “Mud”

McConaughey doesn’t get his hands dirty with “Mud”

Jeff Nichols' script is an excellent star vehicle, but McConaughey is still too glamorous to sell the role.

Robert Redford’s “Company” dares too little

Robert Redford’s “Company” dares too little

"The Company You Keep" could be a gripping film about the fine line between activism and terrorism, but Redford wastes his star-studded cast on melodrama.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Matt Kemple
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Matt Kemple

The Milwaukee Comedy founder and part-owner of the Underground Collaborative talks to Mark about the growth in the city's comedy scene and the busy weekend ahead.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Lee Ernst
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Lee Ernst

The 20-year veteran of the Milwaukee Rep talks about his theater origins and time in Wisconsin regional theater.

“The Croods”: Fun, but without straying from its prototype
“The Croods”

Fun, but without straying from its prototype

Dreamworks' newest flick is a clever, prehistoric family romp in a classic tradition, but it's too unimaginative to be more than a moneymaker.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Ilana Setapen
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Ilana Setapen

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's associate concertmaster met with Mark to discuss her upcoming solo performance of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 and more.

“Gatekeepers” exposes Israel’s unseen security force

“Gatekeepers” exposes Israel’s unseen security force

Six former directors of the Shin Bet intelligence service are interviewed in a documentary by Dror Moreh, opening this weekend at the Downer Theatre.

“West of Memphis” documents a harrowing miscarriage of justice

“West of Memphis” documents a harrowing miscarriage of justice

The latest film following the West Memphis Three covers the span of the case, from their apprehension to their eventual release.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: The Mitchell & Mackie Buildings
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

The Mitchell & Mackie Buildings

Mark talks to Joshua Jeffers, a member of the ownership group managing the two buildings, historical landmarks commissioned by Alexander Mitchell. Photos by Benjamin Wick.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Faythe Levine
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Faythe Levine

Mark Metcalf talks with artist, filmmaker and entrepreneur Faythe Levine about her roots, DIY and new film "Sign Painters."

Moving Pictures: The 2013 Oscars
Moving Pictures

The 2013 Oscars

Mark Metcalf breaks down this year's not-so-surprising Best Director snubs and pitches for his favorite Best Picture nominees.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Andy Noble
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Andy Noble

Mark talks to the longtime music-lover and DJ about his experiences in Milwaukee and his comprehensive, "trim" record collection.

Moving Pictures: Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts
Moving Pictures

Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

The Oriental Theater screens all five of the animated short films in contention this year, as well as the live-action shorts.

Backstage with Mark Metcalf: Paula Suozzi
Backstage with Mark Metcalf

Paula Suozzi

This first installment of Mark's extended podcast series focuses on Paula Suozzi, a former theater/opera director who's recently become a personal trainer.

Moving Pictures: “Warm Bodies”
Moving Pictures

“Warm Bodies”

The zombie-human love story is a unique angle, but the story itself is nothing more than a too-long homage to "Romeo & Juliet."

Moving Pictures: “Amour”
Moving Pictures

“Amour”

Director Michael Haneke's simple but striking observational technique results in a moving portrait of a devoted elderly couple in their last months of life.

Moving Pictures: “Rust and Bone”
Moving Pictures

“Rust and Bone”

Marion Cotillard, among the great actors of the age, digs down to the truth of a tragic and inspiring role.

Moving Pictures: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Moving Pictures

“Zero Dark Thirty”

If Kathryn Bigelow's latest, about the hunt for Bin Laden, is "just a movie," it's solid entertainment. But Mark Metcalf's not sure about that.

Moving Pictures: “The Impossible”
Moving Pictures

“The Impossible”

Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor deliver powerful performances in Juan Antonio Bayona's "The Impossible," opening Friday at the Oriental Theatre.

Moving Pictures: “Django: Unchained”
Moving Pictures

“Django

Quentin Tarantino's "Django: Unchained" is a great film, but Mark Metcalf says it's difficult to see something so violent in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown.

PODCAST: TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Five
PODCAST

TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Five

Rounding out the Holiday Traditions series are three of TCD's interns: Callie Koller, Kristen Poehlmann and Breanne Brennan.

Moving Pictures: “Jack Reacher”
Moving Pictures

“Jack Reacher”

Mark Metcalf says "There is a fascinating character hidden inside 'Jack Reacher,'" but unfortunately, "Tom Cruise is not a good actor."

PODCAST: TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Four
PODCAST

TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Four

Continuing with our Holiday Traditions podcast series, Mark Metcalf talks with the TCD Photo Team: Angela Morgan, Lacy Landre and Howard Leu.

Moving Pictures: “Chasing Ice”
Moving Pictures

“Chasing Ice”

Filmmaker Jeff Orlowski will be at the Oriental to introduce and answer questions about his film, "Chasing Ice." Mark Metcalf reviews the powerful documentary.

PODCAST: TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Three
PODCAST

TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Three

Mark Metcalf talks with Matthew Reddin, Sahan Jayasuriya and Carly Rubach about plans for celebrating the holidays.

PODCAST: TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Two
PODCAST

TCD Holiday Traditions, Part Two

Mark talks with Dan Shafer and Danielle McClune about celebrating the holidays, and then Dan asks Mark a few questions about his seasonal traditions.

Moving Pictures: “Killing Them Softly”
Moving Pictures

“Killing Them Softly”

Mark Metcalf calls Brad Pitt's new film "a beautiful fusion of traditional movie entertainment pushed right into the real political world we all live in."

PODCAST: TCD Holiday Traditions, Part One
PODCAST

TCD Holiday Traditions, Part One

'Tis the season, and Mark Metcalf wants to know how TCD celebrates. Tom Strini shares a musical story from Christmas past and offers tips on tree decorating.

Moving Pictures: “Rise of the Guardians”
Moving Pictures

“Rise of the Guardians”

"Rise of the Guardians," the 3D fantasy adventure opening Thanksgiving week, is a "great way to start the holiday season," says Mark Metcalf.

Moving Pictures: “Breaking Dawn, Part 2”
Moving Pictures

“Breaking Dawn, Part 2”

The Twilight saga's final installment hits the same very low bar for Mark Metcalf, although all the vampires and werewolves are a bit more smiley.

PODCAST: “Technology Through The Ages”
PODCAST

“Technology Through The Ages”

Mark Metcalf talks with Nicolet High School student Ben Lawton, who has started a volunteer group to teach elderly people how to use cutting edge technology.

Metcalf: To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 4)
Metcalf

To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 4)

Mark Metcalf's 45-film American Filmology course: Start by earning your "High School Diploma" and graduate all the way to "Doctorate." This is Part 4, "Doctorate."

Metcalf: To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 3)
Metcalf

To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 3)

Mark Metcalf's 45-film American Filmology course: Start by earning your "High School Diploma" and graduate all the way to "Doctorate." This is Part 3, "Master's."

Metcalf: To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 2)
Metcalf

To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 2)

Mark Metcalf's 45-film American Filmology course: Start by earning your "High School Diploma" and graduate all the way to "Doctorate."

Metcalf: To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 1)
Metcalf

To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 1)

Mark Metcalf's 45-film American Filmology course: Start by earning your "High School Diploma" and graduate all the way to "Doctorate."

Moving Pictures: “Smashed”
Moving Pictures

“Smashed”

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul, "Smashed" explores the couple's drunken downward spiral. Opening tonight at the Downer Theatre.

PODCAST: Milwaukee Short Film Festival, past and present
PODCAST

Milwaukee Short Film Festival, past and present

Mark Metcalf talks with Ross Bigley, president of the Milwaukee Independent Film Society, about the 14th annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival.

PODCAST: New Voters Series, Part Four
PODCAST

New Voters Series, Part Four

Many young people will vote in their first presidential election this year. Mark Metcalf talked with three Wauwatosa East students who are doing just that.

PODCAST: New Voters Series, Part Three
PODCAST

New Voters Series, Part Three

Mark Metcalf talks with eight students from Milwaukee's Rufus King High School about voting in their first presidential election this year.

Moving Pictures: “Fun Size”
Moving Pictures

“Fun Size”

This extra-complicated Nickelodeon TV-esque flick is tailored only for the most simplistic of sensibilities.

Moving Pictures: “The Other Dream Team”
Moving Pictures

“The Other Dream Team”

This doc on Lithuania's ragtag 1992 Olympic basketball team, supported by unlikely allies the Grateful Dead, is a powerful allegory for their struggles with the USSR.

PODCAST: New Voters Series, Part Two
PODCAST

New Voters Series, Part Two

At Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Mark Metcalf talks with four high school students who are eligible to vote in their very first presidential election.

PODCAST: New Voters Series, Part One
PODCAST

New Voters Series, Part One

Many young people will cast their first votes for president this year, and today begins Mark Metcalf's series interviewing new voters. Today's guest, Alyssa Swan, will cast her first vote while studying abroad in Tasmania, Australia.

PODCAST: First Stage opens “Big”
PODCAST

First Stage opens “Big”

Mark Metcalf talks with Jeff Frank, artistic director at First Stage Children's Theater, before "Big: The Musical" opens the season this weekend.

Moving Pictures: “Samsara,” an article of faith
Moving Pictures

“Samsara,” an article of faith

Ron Fricke's new film, Samsara, conveys the power of faith around the world.

PODCAST: Sammy Rangel, Against Violent Extremism
PODCAST

Sammy Rangel, Against Violent Extremism

Mark Metcalf talks with reformed gang member Sammy Rangel about his personal story and working with groups like SAFE Streets Outreach and Life After Hate.

PODCAST: Collaborative Cinema at The Milwaukee Show
PODCAST

Collaborative Cinema at The Milwaukee Show

Mark Metcalf talks with Nathaniel Schardin, director of "The Vampire Formerly Known as Dracula," which premieres tonight at The Milwaukee Film Festival.

PODCAST: The Director and Star of “Little Red”
PODCAST

The Director and Star of “Little Red”

Mark Metcalf (aka the Big Bad Wolf) talks with director Tate Bunker and Hannah Obst about "Little Red" before its world premiere at the Milwaukee Film Festival.

Moving Pictures: “The Master”
Moving Pictures

“The Master”

Mark Metcalf reviews Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," opening tonight at the Oriental Theatre.

PODCAST: Lewis Black on the 2012 Election
PODCAST

Lewis Black on the 2012 Election

Before taking the stage at the Riverside, Lewis Black and John Bowman joined Mark to talk about the pre-show rituals, the 2012 election and much, much more.

PODCAST: One Sikh reflects on the Oak Creek Tragedy
PODCAST

One Sikh reflects on the Oak Creek Tragedy

Mark talks with Jesse Dhaliwal about the Sikh religion, his family's American story and how the community's response to tragedy is something to be proud of.

Moving Pictures: “Farewell, My Queen”
Moving Pictures

“Farewell, My Queen”

Mark Metcalf compares the new film, "Farewell, My Queen" to the British television series "Downton Abbey." The film opens tonight at the Oriental Theatre.

One Month Later: Reflecting on the Sikh Temple Tragedy
One Month Later

Reflecting on the Sikh Temple Tragedy

One month after the tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Mark Metcalf talks with former white supremist Arno Michaelis, founder of Life After Hate.

PODCAST: Shakespeare in Houston
PODCAST

Shakespeare in Houston

Tom Strini interviews Mark Metcalf about spending a few weeks in Texas, acting in "Hamlet" and "Comedy of Errors" in the Houston Shakespeare Festival.

Moving Pictures: “Celeste and Jesse Forever”
Moving Pictures

“Celeste and Jesse Forever”

Opening this weekend at the Oriental, "Celeste and Jesse Forever," written by and starring Rashida Jones, works hard to be a different kind of romantic comedy.

PODCAST: Into the wild with Mark Metcalf
PODCAST

Into the wild with Mark Metcalf

Mark Metcalf shares some stories and photos from his travels through one of America's great treasures, its national parks.

Moving Pictures: “Neil Young Journeys”
Moving Pictures

“Neil Young Journeys”

Neil Young returns to his hometown in Jonathan Demme's documentary, opening Friday at the Oriental Theatre.

PODCAST: Life After Hate
PODCAST

Life After Hate

Former white supremist Arno Michaelis speaks out about his past. His story reminds us that people do change.

PODCAST: Get your laugh on at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival
PODCAST

Get your laugh on at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival

Melissa Kingston of Broadminded Comedy and festival hosts Matt Kemple and Patrick Schmitz talk with Mark to preview the biggest Milwaukee Comedy Festival yet.

Moving Pictures Review: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Moving Pictures Review

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

With a stunning performance by Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" achieves greatness. "See it now before they become legends," says Mark Metcalf.

PODCAST: Pabst Theater, Point Fish Fry and a Flick
PODCAST

Pabst Theater, Point Fish Fry and a Flick

Tiffany Coris and Andy Nelson of the Pabst Theater look ahead to this year's Point Fish Fry and a Flick.

Moving Pictures: “To Rome With Love”
Moving Pictures

“To Rome With Love”

Mark Metcalf explores Woody Allen's post-NYC filmmaking journey that has taken him to London, Paris, Barcelona, and now, "To Rome With Love."

PODCAST: “Animal House” Revisited
PODCAST

“Animal House” Revisited

Mark Metcalf talks about playing Douglas C. Neidermeyer in "Animal House" with a fan of the film and friend of the podcast.

PODCAST: Another side of Summerfest
PODCAST

Another side of Summerfest

Dave "Punky" Wastak has a wealth of stories to share after spending years working behind the scenes at Summerfest.

Moving Pictures: “Hysteria”
Moving Pictures

“Hysteria”

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in "Hysteria," the story of the two men who invented the electronic vibrator. The film opens Friday at the Landmark Downer Theatre.

PODCAST: Milwaukee Innovation Week
PODCAST

Milwaukee Innovation Week

Milwaukee Innovation Week is June 6 - 11, and Mark Metcalf talks with Laurel Osman and Angela Damiani to preview the week's events.

PODCAST: First time voters take to the polls
PODCAST

First time voters take to the polls

Mark Metcalf talks with six high school students, who will cast their very first votes in the historic recall election on June 5.

Moving Pictures: “Monsieur Lazhar”
Moving Pictures

“Monsieur Lazhar”

"Monsieur Lazhar" addresses the difficult topic of discussing tragedy with children. The film screens tonight at the Oriental Theatre.

PODCAST: From “white power skinhead” to “Life After Hate”
PODCAST

From “white power skinhead” to “Life After Hate”

Former "white power skinhead" Arno Michaelis is now working against the racist ideology he once embraced. This week, he sits down with Mark to tell his story.

Moving Pictures: “Darling Companion”
Moving Pictures

“Darling Companion”

Lawrence Kasdan's "Darling Companion," starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline and a dog named Freeway, has Mark Metcalf longing for a little authenticity.

PODCAST: Under the lights at the Milwaukee Mile
PODCAST

Under the lights at the Milwaukee Mile

Stock car racing returns to the Milwaukee Mile for an event benefiting the MACC Fund on June 12, and Mark talks with 20-year-old driver Michael Bilderback.

PODCAST: A Grand Transformation
PODCAST

A Grand Transformation

Mark talks with Tracy Korpela, Laurel Osman and Leah Fiasca about the transformation at The Shops of Grand Avenue and the latest innovation, Pop-Up.

NEW! Moving Pictures: “The Deep Blue Sea”
NEW! Moving Pictures

“The Deep Blue Sea”

The Terence Davies-directed adaptation of a Terence Rattigan play is melodramatic and powerful, with a tragically beautiful performance by Rachel Weisz.

NEW! Moving Pictures: “Damsels in Distress”
NEW! Moving Pictures

“Damsels in Distress”

Damsels in Distress, now playing at the Oriental Theatre, rises out of the "mumblecore" genre but the film ultimately feels unimportant.

PODCAST: Robert Ricigliano, author of “Making Peace Last”
PODCAST

Robert Ricigliano, author of “Making Peace Last”

Mark Metcalf discusses peacebuilding, Afghanistan and the changing role of the U.S. military with Robert Ricigliano, author of "Making Peace Last."

PODCAST: Catching up with Dave Begel
PODCAST

Catching up with Dave Begel

Mark takes a break from the serious side of things this week to catch up with Dave Begel and talk about more lighthearted topics like the weather.

Moving Pictures: “Footnote”
Moving Pictures

“Footnote”

"Footnote," opening Friday at the Downer Theatre, is a compelling exploration of a difficult moral question as both father and son vie for the Israel prize.

PODCAST: State of Education in the Walker Era: Part Five
PODCAST

State of Education in the Walker Era

Mark talks with Elm Creative Arts School teacher Jenny McKillen for this week's installment of TCD's award-winning podcast, "Backstage with Mark Metcalf."

PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Part 7
PODCAST

“We don’t go past the bridge”

For the latest installment of "We don't go past the bridge": A Discussion on Race in Milwaukee, Mark Metcalf talks with comedian Joel Boyd.

Moving Pictures: “Apart,” Romance and hocus-pocus
Moving Pictures

“Apart,” Romance and hocus-pocus

"Apart": Pretty people, young love, paranormal visions of disaster, fate... oh, never mind.

PODCAST: America’s Black Holocaust Museum reopens online
PODCAST

America’s Black Holocaust Museum reopens online

Mark talks with Dr. James Cameron's son Virgil and coordinator Fran Kaplan.

Moving Pictures review: “In Darkness”
Moving Pictures review

“In Darkness”

Mark Metcalf finds parallels between Agnieszka Holland's "In Darkness," opening tonight at the Downer, and Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List."

PODCAST: State of education in the Walker Era: Part Four
PODCAST

State of education in the Walker Era

Christina Ratatori, founder of dance education group, ta.da (teaching. arts. dance. academics), talks about the benefits of arts in education.

PODCAST: State of education in the Walker Era: Part Three
PODCAST

State of education in the Walker Era

Mark talks with Jasmine Alinder, of "I Love My Public School" about her efforts to preserve public school funding.

Moving Pictures: “Friends With Kids”
Moving Pictures

“Friends With Kids”

Despite having an accomplished cast and a strong comedic performance from Jon Hamm, Mark Metcalf says, "We all know where "Friends With Kids" is going to end."

PODCAST: State of education in the Walker Era: Part Two
PODCAST

State of education in the Walker Era

Fox Point-Bayside teacher and chief negotiator Mark Conforti speaks out on collective bargaining and the looming fear of a shift toward privatized education.

PODCAST: State of education in the Walker Era: Part One
PODCAST

State of education in the Walker Era

"Backstage with Mark Metcalf" begins a series of conversations on the state of education in Wisconsin. Tom Beebe sits down with Mark to kick things off.

Moving Pictures: 2012 Academy Awards
Moving Pictures

2012 Academy Awards

Oscar night is this Sunday, and Mark Metcalf shares his predictions, thoughts and hopes for Hollywood's biggest night, the 2012 Academy Awards.

PODCAST: “Coming out” on the North Shore
PODCAST

“Coming out” on the North Shore

Mark Metcalf talks with Nick Witte about being gay in Wisconsin and "coming out" at a young age.

Moving Pictures: “A Separation”
Moving Pictures

“A Separation”

Mark Metcalf reviews Iranian film "A Separation," which looks at a couple parting ways in a very different, yet strikingly similar world.

PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Part 6
PODCAST

“We don’t go past the bridge”

For part six of We don’t go past the bridge: A Discussion on Race in Milwaukee, Mark talks with actor and stand-up comedian Allen Edge.

PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Part Five
PODCAST

“We don’t go past the bridge”

Mark Metcalf talks with author and activist Peggy Rozga and student Javaris Bradford about the Arts@Large Civil Rights tour and gallery project.

PODCAST: Mallorey Wallace as Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
PODCAST

Mallorey Wallace as Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Mark Metcalf talks with Mallorey Wallace, who plays Scout in Milwaukee Rep's "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Moving Pictures: Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” at the Downer
Moving Pictures

Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” at the Downer

Mark Metcalf reviews David Cronenberg's latest, "A Dangerous Method," opening today at the Landmark Downer Theatre.

PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Part 4
PODCAST

“We don’t go past the bridge”

For part four of We don't go past the bridge: A Discussion on Race in Milwaukee, Mark talks with Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year, Dewayne Boothe.

PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Part 3
PODCAST

“We don’t go past the bridge”

For part three of the series, We don't go past the bridge: A Discussion on Race in Milwaukee, Mark talks with Tony Baez of the Council for the Spanish Speaking.

PODCAST: Will Durst on New Hampshire and the road ahead
PODCAST

Will Durst on New Hampshire and the road ahead

With Mitt Romney breaking through as New Hampshire's big winner, Mark Metcalf and Will Durst discuss the road ahead for the 2012 presidential campaign.

PODCAST: Kickstarted – The next step for WMSE
PODCAST

Kickstarted – The next step for WMSE

After raising more than $30,000 through Kickstarter, Ryan Schleicher and Billy Cicerelli talk with Mark Metcalf about what's next for WMSE 91.7 FM.

“Backstage with Mark Metcalf”: A look back at 2011
“Backstage with Mark Metcalf”

A look back at 2011

Take a look back at Mark Metcalf's picks for the best "Backstage" podcasts of 2011.

PODCAST: Spending the holidays at the theatre
PODCAST

Spending the holidays at the theatre

Theatre thrives at the holidays, and to discuss what theatre means for Milwaukee this time of year, Mark talks with actor Matt Daniels of In Tandem Theatre.

PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Pt. 2
PODCAST

“We don’t go past the bridge”

For part two of the series "We don't go past the bridge": A Discussion on Race in Milwaukee, Mark Metcalf talks with Marquette University student Tommy Walls Jr.

PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Part 1
PODCAST

“We don’t go past the bridge”

"Backstage with Mark Metcalf" presents "We don't go past the bridge": A discussion on race in Milwaukee. The series begins with poet Dasha Kelly.

PODCAST: Something cooking at VETransfer
PODCAST

Something cooking at VETransfer

VETransfer helps veterans start businesses, and one of those veterans is Sam Stein, who is developing a cooking show based on cooking with natural, fresh foods.

PODCAST: Dave Begel on Black Friday, the holidays and much more
PODCAST

Dave Begel on Black Friday, the holidays and much more

On a special holiday podcast, Mark Metcalf and Dave Begel discuss Black Friday and how this new "holiday" fits into the bigger picture.

Moving Pictures: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1
Moving Pictures

The Twilight Saga

What did Mark Metcalf think of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1"? Let's just say he wasn't at the midnight screening.

PODCAST: Music heals at Guitars for Vets
PODCAST

Music heals at Guitars for Vets

Guitars for Vets provides veterans an opportunity to heal through music. Mark Metcalf talks with Guitars for Vets president Dan Van Buskirk, a true guitar hero.

PODCAST: Special Veterans Day edition: Dry Hootch
PODCAST

Special Veterans Day edition

In honor of Veterans Day, TCD brings you a special Friday podcast with David Pelis of Dry Hootch, a coffee shop and veterans support center on Brady Street.

PODCAST: Fostering innovation at VETransfer
PODCAST

Fostering innovation at VETransfer

TCD's podcast series with veterans in Milwaukee kicks off with Ted Lasser of VETransfer, a first-of-its-kind organization that helps veterans start businesses.

PODCAST: History of the LGBT rights movement in America
PODCAST

History of the LGBT rights movement in America

From the Stonewall Riots in 1969 until now, the LGBT rights movement has grown, but there's still a long way to go.

PODCAST: He said, She Said, A (non-traditional) Wedding Story, pt. 3
PODCAST

He said, She Said, A (non-traditional) Wedding Story, pt. 3

Kathy and Justin never planned on getting married -- in fact, both are anti-marriage. But this week, they'll say "I do."

Review: “My Afternoons with Marguerite”
Review

“My Afternoons with Marguerite”

Gerard Depardieu brings a deep, rich humanness to his role in "My Afternoons with Marguerite." Now playing at the Downer Theatre.

Review: “Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame”
Review

“Detective Dee

"Detective Dee" captures many of the more enjoyable elements of Chinese film, but it's connection to the West is also part of its undoing. Now playing at the Oriental Theater.

PODCAST: Same sex adoption and parenting
PODCAST

Same sex adoption and parenting

Kevin McElroy is the co-owner of Robert Laurence Hair Studio in Shorewood, and the father of two boys he adopted with his partner of 24 years.

PODCAST: Life after “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
PODCAST

Life after “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

In the wake of the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell," Mark asks and LGBT rights activist Miriam Ben-Shalom tells her story of being a lesbian in the military.

PODCAST: Jonathan West, Sunset Playhouse
PODCAST

Jonathan West, Sunset Playhouse

At Sunset Playhouse, Jonathan West lives his passion by establishing a sense of community in local theatre.

PODCAST: Through the years with Milwaukee Public Theatre
PODCAST

Through the years with Milwaukee Public Theatre

Mark talks with Barbara Leigh, co-founder of the Milwaukee Public Theatre. She discusses her journey from humble beginnings to what the theatre has grown to today.

PODCAST: Backstage at the Pabst
PODCAST

Backstage at the Pabst

Tiffany Coris stops by to give a behind the scenes look at the venues of the Pabst Theater Foundation.

PODCAST: The F-word
PODCAST

The F-word

After decades of struggle and success in women's rights, has "feminism" become a dirty word? Prof. Merry Weisner-Hanks takes a historical view of the movement.

PODCAST: Blood, Gore, and Indie Film – A conversation with Drew Rosas
PODCAST

Blood, Gore, and Indie Film – A conversation with Drew Rosas

Fresh off the success of his first feature film "Blood Junkie," filmmaker Drew Rosas embarks on a new project - a deranged psychological thriller set in rural Wisconsin.

PODCAST: Sex, Violence and Pop Music
PODCAST

Sex, Violence and Pop Music

In pop music, is overt female sexuality a form of empowerment, or is it undoing decades worth of work in women's movement? Today, Prof. Gillian Rodger and I start the conversation.

PODCAST: He said, She Said – A (non-traditional) Wedding Story, pt. 2
PODCAST

He said, She Said – A (non-traditional) Wedding Story, pt. 2

Some brides have been dreaming of their perfect wedding day since they were in pigtails. Kathy Bryja is not one of those brides.

PODCAST: He said, She said – A (non-traditional) Wedding Story
PODCAST

He said, She said – A (non-traditional) Wedding Story

Kathy and Justin never planned on getting married -- in fact, both are anti-marriage. But this fall, they'll say "I do." The question is: what the hell happened?

PODCAST: Theater for the people
PODCAST

Theater for the people

Mark catches up with Dave Begel to have a conversation about local theater, and how to open up the Milwaukee arts scene to a broader audience.

PODCAST: Milwaukee is a funny place
PODCAST

Milwaukee is a funny place

And it's about to get a whole lot funnier. The Milwaukee Comedy Festival kicks off August 4, featuring some of the best stand up, sketch and improv this city (and beyond) has to offer.

PODCAST: Live action superheroes dominating a theatre near you
PODCAST

Live action superheroes dominating a theatre near you

In 2011 alone, 12 comic book adaptations are slated to debut on the big screen. This week, comic connoisseur John Steib explores comic book history and the super hero phenomenon.

Moving Pictures: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Moving Pictures

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Fourteen years and eight screen adaptations later, the characters of Hogwarts say goodbye with a finale that is less-than-spectacular, but bittersweet nonetheless.

PODCAST: At the movies with Gino Salomone
PODCAST

At the movies with Gino Salomone

Movie critic Gino Salomone makes a living traveling the world, seeing films and interviewing the stars. Today, he shares some of his best (and worst) interviews and talks about his faux engagement to Sandra Bullock.

PODCAST: Whatever happened to the Comedy Stage?
PODCAST

Whatever happened to the Comedy Stage?

In its heyday, Summerfest's now-defunct Comedy Pavilion hosted some of the country's best comedians. Former stage manager David 'Punky' Wastak reminisces on the good old days.

PODCAST: Semi-Twang, rebooted
PODCAST

Semi-Twang, rebooted

Before taking the stage at Summerfest, Semi-Twang frontman John Sieger drops in to chat about the inception and revival of one of Milwaukee's great alt-country bands.

Moving Pictures: Meek’s Cutoff
Moving Pictures

Meek’s Cutoff

The true story of Stephen Meek and 1,000 pioneers crossing the wilderness is fascinating. The film is not as rich a story.

PODCAST: Countdown to the Big Gig
PODCAST

Countdown to the Big Gig

11 days, 600 bands. Are you ready for Summerfest? VP of Entertainment Bob Babisch offers a taste of the world's largest music festival in 2011.

PODCAST: The Riverwest 24 – Community on two wheels
PODCAST

The Riverwest 24 – Community on two wheels

In July 600 cyclists will tour the streets of Riverwest as part of an exercise in stamina and camaraderie. Today, organizers discuss the origins of this fast-growing community event.

PODCAST: Ladies who ride: The Bella Donnas
PODCAST

Ladies who ride

The founders of Milwaukee's latest all-female cycling club chat about how The Bella Donnas use biking to challenge themselves -- and the status quo.

Moving Pictures: Midnight in Paris
Moving Pictures

Midnight in Paris

In quite possibly his best written and acted film in a long time, Woody Allen takes us to Paris in the 20s as we follow a writer trying to find his voice.

PODCAST: A view of Milwaukee on two wheels
PODCAST

A view of Milwaukee on two wheels

The city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Dave Schlabowske talks about plans for a more bike-friendly Milwaukee and the benefits of experiencing our fair city on two wheels.

PODCAST: Small behaviors, big change
PODCAST

Small behaviors, big change

Want to save the planet? Environmental stewardship begins with you. Ken Leinbach of the Urban Ecology Center talks about how simple behaviors can have a huge impact.

PODCAST: The buzz on urban beekeeping
PODCAST

The buzz on urban beekeeping

Honeybees play a vital role in the food system, but they are in peril. Today, Beepods co-founder Charlie Koenen talks about how saving the bees can potentially save the world.

Moving Pictures: In a Better World
Moving Pictures

In a Better World

"In a Better World" isn't a slick, star-studded blockbuster. It is simply a film about people, and how actions (or lack thereof) have complicated consequences.

PODCAST: A hen named Milwaukee
PODCAST

A hen named Milwaukee

A silkie chicken, to be exact. Today, Mark chats with "Milwaukee" and Jessica Lane of Cream City Hens about the benefits of backyard henkeeping.

PODCAST: Building communities, one garden at a time
PODCAST

Building communities, one garden at a time

Through the Victory Garden Initiative, Gretchen Mead uses urban agriculture to connect people to sustainable food sources, and in turn, to each other.

PODCAST: Domestic Violence: A survivor’s story
PODCAST

Domestic Violence

After decades of experiencing violence in the home, Jenissee Volpintesta was able to break the cycle of abuse for her family. Today, she shares her story.

PODCAST: The psychology of domestic abuse
PODCAST

The psychology of domestic abuse

How much does environment inform behavior? Social worker Cathy Arney explains how gender roles, societal messages and abuse at home affect the cycle of violence.

Gallery at Large

Gallery at Large

Non-profit arts advocacy group Arts@Large opens a new gallery to house work by Milwaukee's diverse student population. Check out the grand opening on Gallery Night.

PODCAST: Breaking the chain of domestic violence
PODCAST

Breaking the chain of domestic violence

Daystar Inc.'s long-term transitional home offers shelter and resources to battered women, helping them to become financially stable and emotionally independent.

PODCAST: Creating a safe place for victims of domestic abuse
PODCAST

Creating a safe place for victims of domestic abuse

In 2009, domestic violence rates reached a 10-year high. In Milwaukee, the Sojourner Family Peace Center works to aid victims and end violence through education.

Moving Pictures: Of Gods and Men
Moving Pictures

Of Gods and Men

Based on the true story of seven Trappist monks caught in the middle of Algeria's civil war, the film artfully captures the profound tale of faith and humanity.

PODCAST: Helping students reach their true potential
PODCAST

Helping students reach their true potential

Mark talks with MPS teacher Ralph Janes about how theater and the arts are powerful tools for creating autonomous, high-achieving students.

PODCAST: Using the arts to address the whole child
PODCAST

Using the arts to address the whole child

As programs are stripped from schools, Christina Ratatori uses A.R.T. to collaborate with teachers, artists and students to get the arts back in education.

Finding Penelope

Finding Penelope

Patients and caregivers at Luther Manor collaborate on a theatre piece in homage to Penelope, grounded in the serious reality we all deal with as we age.

PODCAST: A “Mad Hot” approach to arts education
PODCAST

A “Mad Hot” approach to arts education

Danceworks Executive Director Deborah Farris explains how ballroom dance helps to build confidence and leadership in Milwaukee's underprivileged students.

PODCAST: “Teaching life skills through stage skills”
PODCAST

“Teaching life skills through stage skills”

As schools are forced to cut back, First Stage Children's Theater and Academy offers a creative outlet for students, fostering empowerment through the arts.

Moving Pictures: The Illusionist
Moving Pictures

The Illusionist

One may be tempted to call this film "other worldly," but its sweet sentiment is very much a part of this world. Or at least of a bygone era in entertainment.

PODCAST: Making the case for arts in education
PODCAST

Making the case for arts in education

At the height of Wisconsin's budget crisis, we explore the role of art in education - both in and out of the classroom - starting with Arts@Large.

Moving Pictures: Barney’s Version
Moving Pictures

Barney’s Version

Paul Giamatti’s performance in "Barney’s Version" has ‘Oscar’ written all over it. It’s too bad the film itself isn’t award-worthy.

PODCAST: Plan your death well
PODCAST

Plan your death well

Dr. Bruce Wilson joins Mark again this week, with advice about planning your death, and the potential consequences if you don't.

PODCAST: The right to die is “a difficult subject”
PODCAST

The right to die is “a difficult subject”

It's a complex issue, but undeniably important to talk about. This week, I've invited Dr. Bruce Wilson to join me in starting the conversation.

PODCAST: “A deliberate and courageous choice”
PODCAST

“A deliberate and courageous choice”

In August, a Milwaukee couple made the choice to end their lives. Today, Mary Gute-Witte shares her parents' story and discusses this taboo and difficult topic.

Moving Pictures: Another Year
Moving Pictures

Another Year

Mike Leigh makes great roles for actors, as evidenced in this latest film. He lets them do what actors seldom get to: live in front of the camera.

PODCAST:The Penelope Project: Redefining age and memory loss
PODCAST

The Penelope Project

UWM's Center on Age & Community collaborates with Sojourn Theatre, using Homer's "Odyssey" to creatively engage seniors in long-term care at Luther Manor.

PODCAST: Dementia and the burden of care: One woman’s story
PODCAST

Dementia and the burden of care

When Lynda Markut's mother was diagnosed with dementia, she became both daughter and caregiver. Today, that experience inspires her outreach efforts.

Moving Pictures: Made in Dagenham
Moving Pictures

Made in Dagenham

"Made In Dagenham" is a workman-like film about women's (ongoing) fight for equal pay, with a brilliant script and several beautifully realized performances.

PODCAST: Alzheimer’s: Research and preventative intervention
PODCAST

Alzheimer’s

This week, Dr. Piero Antuono discusses risk factors for the disease and the curative measures being taken to improve quality of life for Alzheimer's patients.

PODCAST: Living with Alzheimer’s Disease
PODCAST

Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

Backstage begins a new series talking to caregivers and doctors in Milwaukee who are working to better understand -- and cope with -- Alzheimer's Disease.

PODCAST: The Year in Review
PODCAST

The Year in Review

2010 was full of ups and downs. But hey... the weather was pretty good, right? This week, Mark and guest David Begel discuss the big stories of the year.

Moving Pictures: Black Swan
Moving Pictures

Black Swan

It may be said that "Black Swan" is a bit overwrought. It is, but brilliantly so.

PODCAST: The not-so-funny side of teenage improv
PODCAST

The not-so-funny side of teenage improv

Two Rufus King students share the creative challenges they face on stage as "kids" and the harsh off-stage reality for young performers.

PODCAST: Improv is for everybody
PODCAST

Improv is for everybody

Two high school students find their creative salvation on the stage and struggle to be taken seriously - as teenagers and in the world of high art theatre.

PODCAST: Survivor Stories, pt.4
PODCAST

Survivor Stories, pt.4

There are many medical treatments for breast cancer, but where can women go to heal the emotional trauma of the disease? The answer is as simple as ABCD.

PODCAST: Survivor Stories, pt.3
PODCAST

Survivor Stories, pt.3

Cancer diagnosis alone is devastating. For some women, the "M" word - Mastectomy - is just as terrifying. Or, in Regina Aringer's case, oddly liberating.

PODCAST: Survivor Stories, pt. 2
PODCAST

Survivor Stories, pt. 2

A new test can sometimes tell women with a family history of breast cancer if they're predisposed to the disease. If you had the gene, would you want to know?

PODCAST: Survivor Stories
PODCAST

Survivor Stories

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Backstage begins a new series talking to Milwaukee women in various stages of their own battles with breast cancer.

PODCAST: The Watchman cometh
PODCAST

The Watchman cometh

Real-life superheroes -- are they asking for trouble, or empowering communities? Backstage talks to The Watchman about why he got involved in the movement.

PODCAST: Mad as hell
PODCAST

Mad as hell

And real-life superheroes aren't going to take it anymore. Backstage and TCD go inside the movement with author Tea Krulos.

Moving Pictures: A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop
Moving Pictures

A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop

Acclaimed Chinese director Yimou Zhang takes a Coen Brothers classic and turns it on its head. I just can't tell whether or not that's a good thing.

PODCAST: MFF’10 – Buried
PODCAST

MFF’10 – Buried

Mark talks to Executive Director Jonathan Jackson about the final night of the MFF, featuring a film that Variety calls "an exercise in sustained tension."

MFF’10 Preview: Mesrine
MFF’10 Preview

Mesrine

French gangster series"Mesrine" is a wonderful ride, featuring a phenomenally kinetic performance from one of the most exciting actors around today.

MFF preview: Marwencol
MFF preview

Marwencol

After he was beaten nearly to death, Mark Hogancamp finds salvation in creating a model village in this story of art, recovery and picking up the pieces.

MFF’10 Preview: Breathless
MFF’10 Preview

Breathless

What plays right off the screen and into your lap is Paris, youth, sex and romance -the energy of fear and throwing it all away - and doing it all with style.

PODCAST: Bring on the shorts!
PODCAST

Bring on the shorts!

Short films, that is. MFF'10 offers up seven shorts programs, chock full of wacky characters and animated hilarity you just won't find anywhere else.

PODCAST: Curtain Up
PODCAST

Curtain Up

Tragedy, romance, action, comedy and visually stunning documentary film - it's all part of the Milwaukee Film Festival, and it all begins tonight!

Moving Pictures: Irreversible
Moving Pictures

Irreversible

To say that this film is shocking and disturbing would be an understatement. It is also stunning, brilliant and one of the most compelling films I've seen.

PODCAST: Take One
PODCAST

Take One

Mark and Milwaukee Film intern Jessica Farrell offer their picks for Take One and discuss how every detail counts when creating a successful film festival.

PODCAST: The backbone of the festival
PODCAST

The backbone of the festival

The staff at Milwaukee Film put a lot of hard work into the film festival, but it simply wouldn't run without the aid of dedicated volunteers.

PODCAST: Revving up for the Milwaukee Film Festival
PODCAST

Revving up for the Milwaukee Film Festival

The second annual Milwaukee Film Festival is just around the corner. In the weeks leading up to the Fest, Mark talks with the people who make it happen.

PODCAST: Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People
PODCAST

Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People

No matter how far she travels, Susan Firer's poems will always be tethered to the geography of her hometown.

PODCAST: The Darwin Poems
PODCAST

The Darwin Poems

A walk through Australia's Blue Mountains sent Emily Ballou on a cross-continental journey to bring Charles Darwin's reality to life through poetry.

PODCAST: On states, herons and clove cigarettes
PODCAST

On states, herons and clove cigarettes

What happens when a born mathematician leaves a lucrative career to follow his passion for poetry?

PODCAST: Lyricism as outreach
PODCAST

Lyricism as outreach

Through the COA's youth programming, spoken word artist Damien Smith helps teens channel their emotions and express themselves through poetry.

PODCAST: Poetry that sticks, DIY style
PODCAST

Poetry that sticks, DIY style

For Keith Gaustad, running a (semi-regular) small-press poetry anthology is a labor of love.

Moving Pictures: The Kids Are All Right
Moving Pictures

The Kids Are All Right

Lisa Cholodenko’s film explores the family dynamic of same-sex parents and their children's desire to meet their father.

PODCAST: Poetry, from the page to the stage
PODCAST

Poetry, from the page to the stage

Must a poem always follow traditional forms? Or can it evolve and free itself from the page to become something else entirely?

Moving Pictures: The Girl Who Played With Fire
Moving Pictures

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The second film adaptation in Stieg Larsson's trilogy finds salvation in the performance of lead actrees Noomi Rapace.

PODCAST:Vacuum-packed poetry
PODCAST

Vacuum-packed poetry

What makes a poem different than a story? Jennifer L. Knox likes to think of poems as narratives with all extemporaneous detail sucked out -- like air out of a vacuum bag.

Moving Pictures: Coco & Igor
Moving Pictures

Coco & Igor

It's beautiful to look at, but watching this film is like thumbing through a coffee table book while waiting for dinner to be served at a boring party. Nothing happens.

PODCAST: “Intoxicology”
PODCAST

“Intoxicology”

As the creators of Bittercube, Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz have taken cocktailing to another level and parlayed their collective expertise into an intriguing business venture.

Moving Pictures: MicMacs
Moving Pictures

MicMacs

MicMacs is stunning to look at and delightful to see. There is tenderness is right in the middle of the story, beneath the gloss and behind the shimmer.

PODCAST: Enabling the celebration
PODCAST

Enabling the celebration

Recipe for a good bartender: combine equal parts wit, product knowledge, sincerity and professionalism. Stir. Garnish with a smile.

PODCAST: A career bartender
PODCAST

A career bartender

Robert Biermann has been in the hospitality business for 30 years, serving up beers, shots and the occasional bit of everyday wisdom.

PODCAST: The customer is always right
PODCAST

The customer is always right

Mixologist, bar chef, bartender.Call him whatever you like, but for Chad Doll of Bryant's it's always customers before cocktails.

Moving Pictures: Please Give
Moving Pictures

Please Give

Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt play a couple who sell what the dead leave behind. It's like something out of a Woody Allen film, but with less artfulness and subtlety.

PODCAST: The imbibing experience
PODCAST

The imbibing experience

Backstage begins a new series exploring the emergence of craft cocktailing in Milwaukee's bar scene.

Moving Pictures: Mother and Child
Moving Pictures

Mother and Child

It can’t be true. But it is true. As true as anything we might hope to be or become.

PODCAST: Art that just “is itself”
PODCAST

Art that just “is itself”

Backstage wraps its focus on visual artists with painter and Milwaukee native Gregory Klassen.

PODCAST: “Whence cometh…Borg?”
PODCAST

“Whence cometh…Borg?”

What happens when a bunch of "artists, musicians, engineers, derelicts, politicians, activists, noise makers and rejects of contemporary culture" start an art and music collective? DIY magic, that's what.

Moving Pictures: I Remember Better When I Paint
Moving Pictures

I Remember Better When I Paint

For those living with Alzheimer's, the act of creation is an act of liberation.

PODCAST: “The spiritual mechanism that enables art”
PODCAST

“The spiritual mechanism that enables art”

For kathryn e. martin, creating art is not (and will never be) a "job" -- it's a compulsion

PODCAST: Rocky Trails
PODCAST

Rocky Trails

Local filmmaker Drew Rosas' first feature, an 80s hipster slasher/comedy, opens tomorrow night at the Oriental

Moving Pictures: The Secret in Their Eyes
Moving Pictures

The Secret in Their Eyes

Even though the film begins with a murder and follows the obsession of one man to solve that crime, "The Secret in Their Eyes" is a romance, really.

PODCAST: “A tsunami of [Marc] Tasman”
PODCAST

“A tsunami of [Marc] Tasman”

One self portrait every day, for ten years (and one day). You can do the math.

Moving Pictures review: Babies
Moving Pictures review

Babies

Babies is a surprising film, both in the technique it uses to communicate and in the emotional response that accumulates while watching it.

PODCAST: RedLine Milwaukee promotes art, professional development
PODCAST

RedLine Milwaukee promotes art, professional development

Lori Bauman spends her days at RedLine Milwaukee with "a conglomerate of a million volunteers" and some seriously talented people

PODCAST: Telling stories with Ex Fabula
PODCAST

Telling stories with Ex Fabula

No stand-up, no pontification. Just the story, the stage and YOU.

PODCAST: Anjl Rodee of the Whiskey Belles
PODCAST

Anjl Rodee of the Whiskey Belles

Backstage wraps its Milwaukee Music series with Anjl Rodee of vintage country trio the Whiskey Belles

Moving Pictures: Feed the Fish
Moving Pictures

Feed the Fish

Despite reaching awkwardly for humor, the film finds its center and ends up very a sweet and knowing chronicle.

Moving Pictures: Westbound
Moving Pictures

Westbound

Wisconsin design firm Arketype Productions documents the life and times of Adolph Vandertie, aka the "Grand Duke of the Hobos"

Moving Pictures review: The Joneses
Moving Pictures review

The Joneses

The Joneses was the longest 90 minutes in the dark that I have experienced lately.

PODCAST: Gallery Night Special: Makeal Flammini
PODCAST

Gallery Night Special

Makeal Flammini's illustrations of assassinated female political figures are about strength, not power. And politics -- not political statements.

PODCAST: On not being a cover band of yourself
PODCAST

On not being a cover band of yourself

Improv wizard Jason Wietlispach never steps in the same river twice.

PODCAST: Andy Noble may or may not be a control freak
PODCAST

Andy Noble may or may not be a control freak

But some things are for certain: He'll never give up on vinyl, and he doesn't want to rip you off.

Moving Pictures: How To Train Your Dragon
Moving Pictures

How To Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon is fairly predictable, but makes for a charming story that children and grown-ups will love.

Moving Pictures: Chloe
Moving Pictures

Chloe

Director Atom Egoyan's "Chloe" is a definitive example of elegance in film-making.

Moving Pictures: Greenberg
Moving Pictures

Greenberg

Noah Baumbach's Greenberg is more like an homage to nothingness and disconnection than it is a quirky, insightful dark comedy.

PODCAST: Hal Rammel
PODCAST

Hal Rammel

When Hal Rammel began experimenting with music, he wound up reinventing the wheel (among other things).

PODCAST: Masonry
PODCAST

Masonry

Are they math rock? Does that even mean anything?

MFF Winter Review: Red Cliff
MFF Winter Review

Red Cliff

John Woo's "Red Cliff" is like a chess game played by gods. Except the gods are men-complicated, flawed and necessarily devious men.

MFF Winter Review: The Bad Lieutenant
MFF Winter Review

The Bad Lieutenant

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as the storm of nature recedes and the rebuilding of the city begins, a man-made storm of drugs,gambling and crime gathers momentum.

PODCAST: The troubadour Pezzettino
PODCAST

The troubadour Pezzettino

Mark starts a new music series with Pezzettino, Milwaukee's one-lady indie accordionist, performance artist and video-maker.

MFF Winter Review: Which Way Home
MFF Winter Review

Which Way Home

Mark reviews Which Way Home, a film that documents the journeys of young children as they migrate from their impoverished homes in Mexico and Central America in search of the American Dream. Plus, listen to a bonus audio interview with producer and former Milwaukeean Jack Turner.

PODCAST: Technology at play
PODCAST

Technology at play

Backstage wraps up the tech series with Joe McBride and Kevin Costello of Kinsale Technologies - creators of Bothday, the "conceptual holiday" app; and Text-to-Movie, a tool that lets you turn any script into an animated featurette.

PODCAST: No five-year plans
PODCAST

No five-year plans

In Internet marketing and new media, you have to be okay with a little ambiguity about your future.

Moving Pictures: The White Ribbon rattles our beliefs
Moving Pictures

The White Ribbon rattles our beliefs

Michael Hanecke's award-winning film takes you on an uncomfortable though necessary journey into the secret lives of the people in a tiny village.

PODCAST: O, Brave New World!
PODCAST

O, Brave New World!

It's Day One out there: How a single human being and some start-up dollars can completely change the world.

(Moving Pictures) The Last Station: when a nation could love a novelist
(Moving Pictures) The Last Station

when a nation could love a novelist

This historical drama boasts powerful performances and stories about the life lessons of the legendary Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

PODCAST: Voices in the void
PODCAST

Voices in the void

Where is Internet entrepreneurship headed? This innovator is banking on the value of the voice.

PODCAST: Drummers get more love?
PODCAST

Drummers get more love?

Local crooner Chris DeMay talks about drumming legends, Milwaukee's local music scene and the truth about groupies.

PODCAST: On the road with Johnny Beehner
PODCAST

On the road with Johnny Beehner

Local comedian prefers the open road, doesn't mind hecklers and recalls his worst gigs ever.

Moving Pictures: The Invention of Lying
Moving Pictures

The Invention of Lying

The question of truth and faith is comically explored in this religious satire that gets Mark to thinking, too.

Moving Pictures: Avatar and District 9 – alike, yet very different
Moving Pictures

Avatar and District 9 – alike, yet very different

TCD Blogger Mark Metcalf draws comparisons between films that make villains and heroes out of the human experience.

PODCAST: The women of Broadminded Comedy
PODCAST

The women of Broadminded Comedy

Who says you have to be ugly to be funny? The zany women of Milwaukee's Broadminded Comedy group prove otherwise.

PODCAST BONUS: Carlo Besasie, finalist in the People’s Choice Pitch Awards
PODCAST BONUS

Carlo Besasie, finalist in the People’s Choice Pitch Awards

Carlo Besasie tells us why we should vote for his movie, All the Queen's Men, in the People's Choice/American Film Market pitch contest.

PODCAST: The Gentlemen’s Hour
PODCAST

The Gentlemen’s Hour

Sophisticated fellas of Milwaukee sketch comedy talk business with Mark Metcalf.

PODCAST: Michael Gull and Michael D’Aquisto on life-and-death comedy
PODCAST

Michael Gull and Michael D’Aquisto on life-and-death comedy

Two really funny Milwaukee comedians tell you why hecklers can be beautiful.

PODCAST: David Begel wants you to win a prize
PODCAST

David Begel wants you to win a prize

Can anyone guess why David calls himself Mark's "TMJ GUY?" No, seriously — can you? We're not really sure either, but the correct answer will make you a winner.

PODCAST: Lee Ernst’s Fight Club
PODCAST

Lee Ernst’s Fight Club

The 29-year veteran actor is preparing for uncertainty as a new artistic director ascends at The Rep. And his take on starting a fight club.

Moving Pictures: Avatar thrills on many levels
Moving Pictures

Avatar thrills on many levels

TCD's Mark Metcalf says the weekend's top box-office draw is visually mesmerizing and flatly political. Thus, expect every teen will want to see it.

PODCAST: Jim Fletcher and Combat Theatre
PODCAST

Jim Fletcher and Combat Theatre

What could be more gratifying than writing, directing and performing in a play about Martha Stewart in a submarine in 24 hours?

Moving Pictures: Top holiday flicks
Moving Pictures

Top holiday flicks

TCD's movie maven picks an unexpected mix of comedy, action and drama.

My friend, my journey with comedian Lewis Black

My friend, my journey with comedian Lewis Black

TCD's Mark Metcalf reminisces about the good old days that led to this cranky comic's meteoric success and to last Saturday's performance at The Riverside.

Moving Pictures: Run Lola Run keeps moving
Moving Pictures

Run Lola Run keeps moving

It doesn’t try to smugly fool you, but it poses questions about fate and about the effect our actions may have on those we pass by.

Moving Pictures: Taking on Pelham, past and present
Moving Pictures

Taking on Pelham, past and present

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a very simple little heist movie except that it may be the best one ever made. Here, Mark Metcalf compares the 1974 version with its 2009 remake.

MFF Preview: Ward Three’s Natalie Mullins
MFF Preview

Ward Three’s Natalie Mullins

Wauwatosa West student learns some real-life lessons in the process of bringing her film to life.

Festival filled void when it was needed most

Festival filled void when it was needed most

Ties run deep for those tied to the Milwaukee Short Film Festival, which created a place of support and growth for the city's inner-film sanctum.

Pros help students to produce films

Pros help students to produce films

Film students get help from Milwaukee professionals to take their ideas from concept to the big screen.

Moving Pictures: I’ve Loved You So Long
Moving Pictures

I’ve Loved You So Long

Feisty film is the quintessential example of French cinema's lens on the imperfections of adulthood.

Mark Metcalf does Mad Men: Part two
Mark Metcalf does Mad Men

Part two

The suit does the talking: the second essay in Mark's two-part series about auditioning for, and appearing in, the hit TV show Mad Men.

Moving Pictures: Mark Metcalf does Mad Men
Moving Pictures

Mark Metcalf does Mad Men

Sometimes trips to California don't turn out as planned. Part one in a two-part essay on auditioning for, landing and shooting a one-scene part in MAD MEN.

Moving Pictures: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Moving Pictures

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The previous Harry Potter films have been enjoyable to watch even for those who haven't read the book. How does the Half-Blood Prince compare?

Moving Pictures: A few new ways to see Shakespeare
Moving Pictures

A few new ways to see Shakespeare

There is a lot of Shakespeare on film – much of it declaimed, pompous and stale. Here are two takes on Shakespeare that everyone can love.

Moving Pictures: Red River
Moving Pictures

Red River

For years I thought John Wayne was a bad actor, indicative of that kind of Hollywood movie star who could play only a paper thin character, changing his hat maybe and not much more. I felt the same way about Marilyn Monroe until I saw Bus Stop, The Misfits, Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch in a two day span on a little black and white television, hole up in my Lower East Side apartment in New York with no money and nothing to do. When you see them all at once you begin to think about what artists call a "body of work." You can see the subtlety of the changes. You can actually see the artist work, whereas before you were being fooled, as intended, and seeing just character.

Moving Pictures: The Motor City Comic Con
Moving Pictures

The Motor City Comic Con

In the third and final installment of his Conventions series, Mark Metcalf reunites and reminisces with Carrie Fisher and Julie Newmar and considers the Michigan film incentives -- and how they compare to Wisconsin's.

Moving Pictures: The Hollywood Collector’s Show
Moving Pictures

The Hollywood Collector’s Show

Mark Metcalf meet Lois Lane, Bobby Brady, Big Bird and a mailman with a machine gun at the Hollywood Collector's Show in part two of his three-part series on conventions.

Moving Pictures: Conventions
Moving Pictures

Conventions

  When you’ve worked your whole adult life as an actor, you’re a member of all the unions, have a complicated personal life that doesn’t allow you to leave home for long stretches of time, live in Wisconsin — where there isn’t a lot of union work as an actor, making it hard to make […]

Twilight: Take it from a former vampire …
Twilight

Take it from a former vampire …

  I’m not a vampire, but I played one on TV … bah, dum, bum … rim shot. Old joke … I did play a vampire though, throughout the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a turn of the (20th) century Warner Brothers Television show that was a pretty big hit and to some […]

Fincher

Fincher

On the advice of my friend Max Lawton I have been revisiting the films of David Fincher.  When I first viewed these films, I did not like them.  I found Fight Club to be too belligerent and Seven to be over-the-top and Gothically dark.  The Game, as I remembered it, played too much with reality […]

Seeing things: Blindness
Seeing things

Blindness

BLINDNESS Fernando Meirelles directed one of the best movies of the past ten years: City of God, which takes place in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.  Because the depth and impossibility of the poverty is something that most of us in this country are unfamiliar with, it feels like an apocalyptic parable.  It feels […]

A handful of observations

A handful of observations

AUGUST RUSH I’ll put August Rush on the ring finger because it is a fantasy romance and I think of marriage that way lately.  I don’t really like the picture, except that the romance is mostly told with music, and Freddie Highmore, the child actor from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Finding Neverland, is […]

Two ways to run an agent

Two ways to run an agent

Body of Lies stars Russell Crowe doing an accent.  He’s done a lot of accents lately:  New York City Irish cop in American Gangster, also directed by Ridley Scott; American cowboy in 3:10 To Yuma; and Virginia family man here, again directed by Ridley Scott.  He also apparently put on 66 pounds to play this […]

Epic romance

Epic romance

  Seventy years ago, Gone With The Wind blew across the movie screens of America and became, for many, the quintessential American movie.  GWTWand The Wizard of Oz, also made in 1939, were for decades the definition of the Hollywood spectacular and a road map for how American ingenuity and innovation could bring a degree […]

Superheroes

Superheroes

There are two questions that plague me about the movies. One is: Why do we need love stories? Why is romantic love so basic to our cinematic literature? I tend to think that it is all about procreation and part of an elaborate mating ritual, but I am told that just asking the question makes […]

Monday Night at the Movies

Monday Night at the Movies

The Milwaukee International Film Festival wriggled, wormlike and whimpering, out the door last year, primarily because the founder was unable to release the choking grip he had on its throat. But the people who made it work – the heart, the lungs, the arms and legs, and to a great degree the brain of the […]