Every year I look forward to the release of the Milwaukee Film Festival Program. I go through the program book page by page and read about every movie. Then I get down to the difficult work of trying to plan my festival schedule. This is not easy because as much I would like to see every movie playing I don’t have that much time between my actual job and spending time with my family. But after reading the whole thing I try to pick the movies that I consider a must see. Sometimes it’s because it is generating Oscar buzz or got big praises from previous festivals. Or it’s just sounds the right kind of zany that I will like it.
This year Chris and I will give you the six movie we think are a must see at the festival.
1. The Imitation Game- The movie is about Alan Turing who helped crack the Enigma code during World War II and then was arrested for being homosexual. But afterwards was The movie got rave reviews when it premiered at The Tulluride Film Festival. And everyone will be talking about Benedict Cumberbatch's performance come Oscar time.
2. Wetlands- Anytime a movie is called "The Grossest Movie of the Year" it gets out attention. The movie is about an 18 year old German girl who has an obsession with bodily fluids. I have heard it's not one to eat popcorn while watching.
3. Witching and Bitching- Every year my friends ask me what is the craziest horror movie playing at the festival. This year it is Witching and Bitching. A movie about four guys that rob a store then end up in the Spanish countryside just in time for witch ritual. It's said to have copious amounts of sex, gore, and comedy. Sounds like the perfect midnight movie.
4. An Honest Liar- this documentary about magician James Randi features a lot of people in the magic industry. It looks like a fun documentary about a really fascinating guy. Chris also has family connections to the magic world so that makes this a must see.
5. The Surface - The Surface is a thriller that tells the story of two strangers that meet out in the middle of Lake Michigan. It stars Sean Astin who was in one of our favorite movies The Goonies. The movie was filmed here in Milwaukee with local crew. One of the crew members is a friend of Chris so that has us very excited to see the finished product.
6. Shorts: Stranger than Fiction - I recommend everyone check out at least one short program. The documentary shorts is one of my favorites and after introducing the program last year it am glad it is back. You always learn something new and there are some strange people in the world and this is a fun way to learn about them.
One additional movie that is always a must see but I can't tell you the name. And that's because it's a secret. The Super Secret Screening is always a surprise till they start the movie. Last year it was Short Term 12 the year before that was Silver Linings Playbook. So you never know and it's always exciting that way.
Besides recent movies there are lots of other programs worth checking out.
The Mary Poppins Sing-A-Long- This sounds like a whole lot of fun and something to take the kids too.
Top Secret! With the directors Zucker, Abrams, and Zucker in attendance. The kings of comedy during the 80's Top Secret! was their follow up to the classic Airplane. It will be great to hear what they have to say about the movie and the many attempts to copy their success.
Man With a Movie Camera- One of the events I love at the film festival are the silent films they show that has live music played to it. It's like a movie and a concert all in one. This year the movie the 1929 film Man With a Movie Camera. The movie is a documentary about a man making a documentary.