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On the Marquee for the week of June 17, 2013
A fantastic local film festival and one of the best animated films ever made highlight this week’s offerings.

Tuesday, June 18th: Stoker on DVD/Blu-Ray
Available at all finer media retailers (check specific stores for pricing/availability) 

Lost in the shuffle of the early 2013 film calendar, Stoker is one of the best movies to have come out this year. A gorgeously evocative American debut for Korean film genius Chan-Wook Park (Oldboy, Thirst), the film follows the relationship between young India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) and her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) when he moves in and starts an ambiguous relationship with her mother (Nicole Kidman) in the aftermath of her father’s passing. Their nascent relationship reveals dark secrets that bind them together in ways unforeseen. Park is in full control here, utilizing his singular vision to create one of the most hypnotic cinematic experiences to come out so far this year. Don’t believe me? See what this obviously talented film critic had to say about the film.

Tuesday, June 18th: Safety Last! On DVD/Blu-Ray
Available at all finer media retailers (check specific stores for pricing/availability) 

The silent film comedian debate has always been established as a binary Chaplin vs. Keaton (vs. Predator) argument, but Harold Lloyd has always deserved a spot at the table in this conversation. Although he slipped into anonymity (and nude 3-D photography) in the years following his box office successes, he deserves a critical and popular reappraisal, and Criterion releasing his most well-known comedy might be a step in that direction. Even those without knowledge of Lloyd’s career probably have seen him through the iconic image at the header of this article, taken from Safety Last, what many consider his masterpiece. Lloyd plays a young country boy who’s come to the city to make his mark and the publicity stunt gone wrong that sets up the film’s madcap finale. So, so highly recommended.

Thursday, June 20th: The 48 Hour Film Project: Milwaukee
Group A @ 7pm and Group B @ 9 p.m. @ The Oriental Theatre ($10 admission to both programs)
See 48hourfilm.com/en/milwaukee for more details

A tribute to ingenuity and exhaustion, the 48 Hour Film festival is a great chance to see the filmmaking talent in Milwaukee on full display every year. Filmmakers are given the titular 48 hours (Nick Nolte not included) to complete a short film having been given both a genre to work in and a few required elements that tie all of the films together (this year: a carpenter character by the name of McDugan, a clipboard, and the line “Your guess is as good as mine”). While the results can feel understandably rushed, there’s something of the old “get your friends together during the weekend and goof around with your family’s camera” spirit on display here. The time crunch results in genuinely creative efforts and an experience for both the audience and filmmakers that won’t soon be forgotten. If you haven’t treated yourself to the experience of attending the screenings yet, make sure to head to the Oriental this Thursday and give it a shot.

Friday, June 21st: Much Ado About Nothing
The summer release calendar is heating up this weekend with Pixar’s 2013 effort (as far as prequels can constitute effort) Monsters University and Brad Pitt’s globe-trotting zombie thriller World War Z, but I’ll suggest something to you altogether different: Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. Made in the short break Whedon was given while making the mega-blockbuster Marvel’s The Avengers (and shot at his palatial estate in Los Angeles) Whedon deploys a deft hand and teases out the farce and comedy of Much Ado with much success. And if you’re as big of a Whedon nut as I am, his casting of Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof (Fred and Wesley from Angel, respectively) as Beatrice and Benedick is a small gift upon itself for long-suffering fans of his television work. It’s an effervescent delight and a great change-of-pace option at the movies if you’d like to take a chance on something made for less than the catering costs on World War Z.

Saturday and Sunday, June 22nd/23rd: The Iron Giant
10:30 AM @ The Times Cinema ($4)

The Times is reliably giving you the chance to see amazing films every weekend for a pittance, and this weekend’s offering is easily one of their best so far. Unfairly ignored upon initial release, The Iron Giant heralded the arrival of Brad Bird as a filmmaking talent not to be ignored and also provides a beautiful parable for our contentious times. The relationship between young Hogarth and the robotic colossus he befriends is one of the best cinema has offered in the past twenty-five years and if you’re not fighting back tears by the film’s end you’re a monster, plain and simple.

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