This year Milwaukee Film has put together another great festival. All the movies look good and I wish I could see them all. The question I am always faced with is, do I see movies that are getting a lot of buzz and might get a future wide release, or do I see movies I have never heard of that may surprise me? I try to see a mixture but always feel like I missed something that could have been special.
This list are the movies I am most excited about. I encourage everyone to head over to Milwaukee Film and look over all the movies and find ones that will interest them. Check out some documentaries, foreign language, shorts, and local films.
1. Compliance- Based on a true story about a manager in a fast food restaurant who gets a call from a guy claiming to be a police officer. He tells her one of her employees stole from a customer. The guy instructs her on how to interrogate the employee with increasing intensity. Of course, the goal of the caller is to see how far he can get manager to go. The scariest thing is that this has happened in real life multiple times. The movie got great reviews when it premiered at Sundance in January and I have been looking forward to seeing it. It looks to be an intense psychological thriller.
2. The Sessions- Another movie from Sundance. This one is already getting Oscar buzz. The movie is about a 38-year-old guy (John Hawkes) who has had polio since childhood and now must stay in an iron lung most of the day. He finally decides to loose his virginity and with the help of his priest (William H. Macy) hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt). With a great cast and a quirky plot sounds like it will be a real fun movie.
3. Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God- This is a documentary by award winner Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side). The movie is about the sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church. A portion of the movie talks about the abuse at the St. Francis School for the Deaf. Also, the director and some of the subjects of the movie will be in attendance. And if that is not enough, this will be the first time it is shown in the United States, only having its world premiere earlier in the month at the Toronto Film Festival. Bound to be controversial, with a local connection, and director in attendance this is definitely a must see.
4. V/H/S - This is a movie that is not for everyone but one I am excited for. It is one of the most talked about horror movies to come out of Sundance since The Blair Witch Project. Rumors are that people were passing out and getting sick. And if that is not enough to get you excited to see this movie then this movie is not for you.
5. The Milwaukee Show- This is a collection of short films by local filmmakers. It is always nice to see the kind of local talent that is here in Milwaukee. Every year Milwaukee Film holds a screenwriting workshop for high school students and the best screenplay gets made into a film. This year the film is The Vampire Formally Known as Dracula written by Ian Walls, a freshman at Milwaukee High School for the Arts.
As mentioned earlier it is hard to just do five. Here are three more events that are worth checking out. Alfred Hitchcock's 1929 silent film Blackmail with live music supplied by Alloy Orchestra is always a cool experience. Also, 1975's The Giant Spider Invasion, which was filmed in Wisconsin, will be presented by Milwaukee's own Mark Borchardt (American Movie) and director Bill Rebane. For the children, Brewers pitcher and movie fan John Axford will be presenting 1987's The Princess Bride.
Head over to Milwaukee Film for dates and times of all the movies.