Jeramey Jannene

Milwaukee Film Announces Initial Festival Movies

Also releases the new artwork for annual festival, which returns April 20.

By - Mar 7th, 2023 03:38 pm
2023 Milwaukee Film Festival artwork. Image from Milwaukee Film.

2023 Milwaukee Film Festival artwork. Image from Milwaukee Film.

Things are about to get “Milwacky” at a theater near you.

The Milwaukee Film Festival will run from April 20 through May 4, and the initial details about the 15th annual festival are now being released.

The first film announced is a special screening of the 1927 silent science fiction masterpiece Metropolis. The lack of a soundtrack will be offset by a live performance by the Anvil Orchestra, a fan-favorite experience. The film was ranked as the 67th-best film of all time in the 2022 Sight and Sound critics poll.

Two additional classics have also been announced. The festival will screen Losing Ground, a semiautobiographical 1982 film by Kathleen Collins. The movie is reported to be the first feature-length film directed by an African-American director since the 1920s. It was restored in 2015. The festival will also screen an uncensored, director’s cut of The Doom Generation, a 1995 cult classic that offers “as much sex and violence as you can handle.” The black comedy stars Rose McGowan and James Duval as troubled teenage lovers.

The full festival lineup, which will include a mix of new releases, locally-made films, shorts and classic features, is scheduled to be released April 6.

In addition to the first three films, Milwaukee Film also released the festival’s 2023 artwork – a series of hand-drawn, caricature-driven pieces by local artist Dwellephant. The artwork’s theme is “Milwacky,” a nod to the “joy and togetherness” of the festival.

“It’s paying tribute to this special thing that happens at the festival, where people who don’t interact for 50 weeks a year have all of these shared moments and experiences. Complete strangers on any other day wind up in a dark theater together for two straight weeks and laugh, cry, get inspired, get angry…and then talk about it in line, at a bar after, online, etc,” said Dwellephant, also known as Milan Zori, in a statement. “The characters are a mix of random things and some Milwaukee references – everything from the Bucks and Samson the Gorilla to Laverne & Shirley and the Milwaukee Lion/Oriental Theatre lions.”

The festival will again be centered around the Oriental Theatre’s three theaters, but will include a number of additional theaters and venues across the city.

A portion of the lineup will again be offered virtually, but there will be an increased emphasis on in-person screenings.

Discounted ticket packages and passes are now available for sale. A price increase will occur March 17.

Can’t wait for the festival? Milwaukee Film is running a host of Women’s History Month programs throughout March. The Black Birth Symposium occurs March 24, with a free screening of the 2022 documentary Aftershock the day before. The documentary has a 100% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

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