Jon Anne Willow

Milwaukee Film unveils partial lineup for 2010 festival

By - Jun 4th, 2010 04:00 am
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Metropolis: 147 minutes of pure film glory

Off to a good start with their inaugural festival in 2009, Milwaukee Film is already flashing signs that this year’s event will move them further along in their quest for a place in the Midwest film fest pantheon.

On Thursday, MF unveiled the news that 2010 will see over 150 films screened from around the world. Even better for serious film buffs is caliber of the titles announced to date. Most are in keeping with, either in iconic stature or festival circuit cred, the beauties to which we’ve been treated in the months since last October (most recently, the riveting documentary, Sergio, in April).

“We’re trying to spread our net even wider in terms of what we’re looking at and what we’d potentially bring to the festival,” explained Jonathan Jackson, Milwaukee Film Executive Director. And it appears they’re succeeding. Whereas Milwaukee’s former festival was often criticized for screening too many second-tier and relatively out-of-date (3+ years) titles, the 2010 schedule to date shows promise for a top quality lineup and engaging guests.

His and Hers

“The films we announced today represent titles from around the world, including two documentaries,” said Milwaukee Film Programming Director TJ Fackelman. “ And Ken Wardrop, the director of His and Hers, will be in Milwaukee for the festival. Not only will he present this film, but also a separate program of his own documentary shorts.”

But of broadest appeal is sure to be the Milwaukee premiere of the – finally – complete cut of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Those familiar with this 1927 iconic cautionary tale of the future had long since given up on ever seeing Lang’s entire masterwork. Almost immediately after its release, its German distributor, UFA, got cold feet about the film’s length (and possibly breadth) and drastically cut the film from almost two and a half hours to less than 90 minutes, altering both its quality and its meaning. Over time, though, much of the original footage has been slowly discovered, and in 2002 a “definitive” cut was released at 124 minutes.

Then in 2008, in Buenos Aires’ Museo del Cine, a faded 16 mm print was discovered that had been languishing in a private collection since 1928. When matched to the 2002 version, the score fit nearly like a glove to the visual narrative and – in answer to a nearly abandoned dream – Lang’s opus was restored to its original glory.

Having premiered in February 2010 at the 60th annual Berlin Film Festival, Metropolis is now screening in New York City and will make its way across the county this summer and fall, opening locally at the Milwaukee Film Festival. And though clearly excited to share the news, Fackelman was thoroughly modest about the festival’s cinematic victory. “We’re very excited to hold the Milwaukee premiere of the full version of Fritz Lang’s classic.” So are we.

Watch the trailer:



About Elly

About Elly (Iran, 2009) While vacationing on the banks of the Caspian Sea, the joyful atmosphere dissolves when a group of friends discover their guest has vanished in this award-winning, modern Iranian drama.

Ajami (Israel, 2009) In Jaffa’s diverse Ajami neighborhood, young Nasri finds himself in trouble when his uncle, the proprietor of a humble café, unknowingly wounds a member of a powerful clan who tried to sell him protection.

Feed the Fish (United States, 2009) Local filmmaker Michael Matzdorff tells the story of Joe Peterson, a burnt-out kids’ book writer who finds himself and his muse on a trip to the Polar Bear Plunge in the dead of winter in northern Wisconsin. In an attempt to reignite his fire, he meets a mentor, a lover, his nemesis, a vicious burrowing animal and more. Starring Tony Shalhoub, this Northwoods comedy was made using primarily Wisconsin crew and talent.

His & Hers (Ireland, 2009) A 90-year-old love story told through the collective voice of 70 ladies. Shot in homes across the Irish Midlands, this documentary delivers a uniquely charming perspective into sharing life’s journey.

Lourdes (Austria, 2010) Confined to her wheelchair and hoping for a cure, Christine makes a journey to Lourdes in the Pyrenées Mountains. Along the way she discovers the most important part of the journey lies within herself.

Metropolis (Germany, 1927) Adding almost 30 minutes of previously-thought lost footage from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, this definitive restoration of the most influential sci-fi movie of all time is the cinematic event of the year.

Only When I Dance (Brazil/United Kingdom, 2009) This inspiring documentary follows two teenagers from the violent favelas of Rio de Janeiro to exhilarating ballet competitions around the world, as they pursue their dreams of becoming professional dancers.

Categories: Movies

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