- Film Guide
Jeff Kurz is not just some dude. Jeff is our official Production Consultant, works closely with our filmmaker-in-residence, and has been on our Features Screening Committee since Milwaukee Film’s very first year. Before he joined our team, he was Senior VP, acquisitions & production for Miramax. So when Jeff recommends a film, everyone listens.
The list below? All the films Jeff recommends for this year's Milwaukee Film Festival. Again-- when Jeff recommends a film, everyone listens. Let's see what Jeff picked:
My favorite (so far) is Opening Night's beguiling French-Canadian comedy about a scruffy middle-aged slacker who gets a mega-wake-up call when he discovers that, due to frequent deposits in a sperm bank 20 years ago, he has 533 children–and they've joined forces to track him down! Wonderful performances and a fresh, hilarious script collide with deft, clever direction to make this a completely rewarding experience. I love this movie!
More low-key but just as satisfying is the story of hulking but soft-hearted bodybuilder Dennis, who can't relate to the women in his little Danish town or escape his manipulative mother's iron-clad grip. When his milquetoast uncle returns from a Bangkok holiday with a hotsy-totsy Thai bride, Dennis decides to take a little love journey of his own. The results are unpredictable, charming, bittersweet, and will leave you with a warm glow.
BONES BRIGADE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
If the test of a truly great documentary is it makes you embrace a subject you have no interest in; this one wins hands down for me. This exhilarating, breakneck study of skate culture blends pop culture, raging egos and death-defying feats as Tony Hawk et al. chronicle their rags-to-riches joyride.
BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING
Do yourself a favor and sink into the endearingly twisted world of artist Wayne White, the subversively kooky mastermind behind Pee-wee's Playhouse and other pop culture touchstones. Get a glimpse inside the imagination of a guy who bravely helped make kids shows fun for adults. (NOTE: Wayne White will be in the house for the Sunday, September 30 screening. Afterwards, you'll get the chance to thank him for some happy childhood memories at a reception at Alterra on Prospect.)
THE MILWAUKEE SHOW
Each year, Milwaukee Film celebrates local talent with this fantastic showcase of short films by Milwaukee filmmakers. The line-up on Thursday, October 4 is particularly strong this year, so I won't play favorites… mainly because there are too many to choose from!
MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney will be in town for the U.S. premiere of his latest documentary, which focuses largely on the the Catholic Church's sex abuse cover-up at St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis.
ME @ THE ZOO
On the surface, this entertaining study of YouTube sensation Chris Crocker, who burst into our on-line lives with a distraught defense of his favorite pop diva ("Leave Britney alone!"), is a glimpse at flash-in-the-pan fame. But it has a deeper agenda in mind as it lays bare our society's fickle addiction to celebrity, and proves Andy Warhol's prophecy that everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes has come true in the digital age.
Part breathtakingly beautiful travelogue, part alarming wake-up call, this look at our rapidly warming climate's effects on polar ice caps is mesmerizing, fascinating, and mandatory viewing for anyone who doesn't believe in global warming (and just about everyone else).
The Milwaukee Film Festival continues to be an unwavering supporter of the local film scene, and it offers a great chance to see features by some of this area's most talented filmmakers, including:
But wait -- the festival's not just for the big kids! Be sure to check out The Milwaukee Children's Film Festival's features and shorts programs!
VERY HONORABLE MENTIONS
The Invisible War, Gayby, 5 Broken Cameras, Come As You Are, Nobody Else But You, Summer Games
I’M ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Brooklyn Castle, Klown, Detropia, I Want My Name Back, The Sapphires, Charles Bradley: Soul of America.