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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kentucky Derby contenders

For anyone who cares deeply about horse racing, The First Saturday in May is not a cryptic calendar reference, but the year’s most anticipated red-letter day. It’s the annual running of the Kentucky Derby, only the first of American racing’s Triple Crown but more storied than any other equine contest. Directors John and Brad Hennegan set out the statistics at the start of their documentary, focused on the 2006 Derby. Of the 40,000 thoroughbred horses in the United States, 23,000 will make it onto a racetrack. Only 20 of them will bolt onto the track . . .
Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Demi Moore thriller

Hitchcock preferred blondes, but in Flawless, the brunette Demi Moore fills the pumps once occupied by Janet Leigh, Kim Novak and Eva Saint Marie. Moore plays Laura Quinn, an unfulfilled American expatriate in London. It’s 1960. She is 38, never married and determined to make a career in a world where few women had careers. Laura sails each morning into the offices of the giant London Diamond consortium like a frigate at full steam, impassive, ready for the challenge of wearing a skirt in an old boy’s club. Through intelligence . . .
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today @ the Humphrey Imax Dome Theater - 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

The Humphrey Imax Dome Theater’s newest presentation, Grand Canyon Adventure, lives up to the promise of the final word in its title: It’s an exhilarating, fast-paced tour of the rivers of the Grand Canyon, complete with fast-paced river-rafting scenes. Of course, there’s educational merit, too: a pair of . . .
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tonight @ the UWM Union Theatre - 7 p.m.

The latest screening in the UWM Union Theatre’s “Modernity and Tradition: Film in Interwar Central Europe” series will be a wake up call for anybody who believes America invented the romantic comedy with stars like Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts. The 1935 Hungarian film Address Unknown is a slight, feel . . .
Monday, April 28, 2008

Tonight @ the Times Cinema - 7 p.m.

Never-before-seen footage of experimental filmmaker Marie Menken was unearthed for the new documentary Notes on Marie Menken, which charts the cult director’s rise from obscurity to underground stardom through the 1940s and 1960s, as well as her influence on directors like Andy Warhol, a longtime friend . . .
Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tonight @ the Times Cinema - midnight

The campy, tongue-in-cheek and frequently hilarious 1986 Frank Oz musical flick Little Shop of Horrors gets the full Rock Horror Picture Show treatment tonight, when a live cast shadowcasts a midnight screening at the Times Cinema, acting it out and leading the audience in sing-alongs.
Friday, April 25, 2008

Tonight @ the Times Cinema - Midnight

The campy, tongue-in-cheek and frequently hilarious 1986 Frank Oz musical flick Little Shop of Horrors gets the full Rock Horror Picture Show treatment tonight, when a live cast shadowcasts a midnight screening at the Times Cinema, acting it out and leading the audience in sing-alongs.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crossroads for MIFF

The Milwaukee International Film Festival (MIFF) finished its fifth season last year with another round of record-breaking ticket sales. Rarely have I ever seen consensus on any issue, but there seems to be a virtually unanimous opinion that the Milwaukee International Film Festival has been a great addition to the city and is an institution that’s here to stay. We certainly hope it’s here to stay. But MIFF is at a crossroads. There are going to be changes that we all hope will help the festival grow and not spin out of control and crash and burn. Here, I want to lay out the history of the festival and then explain the crossroads it is facing.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fear, despair, determination

As a clock ticks off the seconds, the camera stares as a pair of college roommates, Gabita and Otilia, engage in an apparently ordinary conversation. The camera slowly pulls back to reveal a narrow, cramped dorm room at the opening of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and follows Otilia down a dismal hallway to a communal washroom, then to the dorm room of a student running a thriving black market in cigarettes and into another room where she buys hand cream from girls operating a cosmetics bazaar
Thursday, April 17, 2008

George Clooney’s football follies

In the 1920s, college football was just for fun and professional football was a ma-and-pa business. It was a game played by men in scratchy jerseys wearing chin-strap leather helmets that might—with any luck—cushion a blow to the head. Football was still a fast and loose sport. Many fans might have concurred with Dodge Connelly (George Clooney), a member of the Duluth Bulldogs in the period-comedy Leatherheads, when he declares, “Rules will ruin the game.” Along with the influx of corporate money, inflated salaries, stadium-naming rights, luxury sky boxes...

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