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On the Marquee for June 24
The Milwaukee film scene cranks into high gear this first full week of summer.

Marcus Theatres and American Family Insurance team up again to present affordable, select screenings of family-friendly fare. The best of Milwaukee’s 2013 48-Hour Film Project competition get the encore treatment. Screen siren Lana Turner and TV domestic goddess Donna Reed are sisters vying for the same man circa 1840. Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch’s work is exhibited on the big screen. The latest music video from local musician and filmmaker WC Tank is set to debut. Secret Service wannabe Channing Tatum and U.S. President Jamie Foxx team up to kick some terrorist butt. Meanwhile, Helen Mirren holds court once more as Queen Elizabeth II and invites us to be a part of the audience.

Tuesday, June 25: Marcus Theatres and American Family Insurance present the Kids Dream Summer Film Series
10 a.m. @ Marcus Theatres (Majestic, Menomonee Falls, North Shore, the Ridge & South Shore) Tickets are $2.

Marcus Theatres and American Family Insurance have teamed up again to present the Kids Dream Summer Film Series which makes going to the movies affordable for the entire family especially if money is tight. Having kicked off last week on the 18th and running through August 15th, family friendly fare will play at 10 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at participating Marcus Theatres throughout the greater-Milwaukee area. Admission is $2. You can also purchase popcorn (46 oz.) and a drink (14 oz.) for $2 each as well.

You can also swing by any participating American Family Insurance location and pick up two free tickets to see your choice of this year’s featured films.

This week’s film is Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The week of July 9-11, it’s Disney Nature’s African Cats. The week of July 16-18, Escape From Planet Earth. The week of July 23-25, it’s Disney Nature’s Oceans. And the week of August 6-8, Disney Nature’s Chimpanzee screens. Film titles have yet to be confirmed for the weeks of July 30-Aug. 1 and Aug. 13-15, check the summer film series’ official website for updates.

Tuesday, June 25: 48-Hour Film Project Milwaukee “Best of” screening at the Downer
7 p.m. - 9p.m. @ Downer Theatre (2589 N. Downer Ave.) Tickets are $10 (cash only at the door, online ticket sales close an hour before the event).

The weekend before last (June 14- June 16), 29 filmmaking teams of 400 artists from around the greater-Milwaukee area all took on a seemingly impossible assignment: Each team was given exactly two days (or 48 hours) to produce a short film that ran no fewer than four minutes and no longer than seven minutes, from start to finish. All these teams pre-registered in order to take part in the 2013 48-Hour Film Project Milwaukee. Milwaukee is one of dozens of cities around the world that take part in the annual 48-Hour Film Project, and this year there were a record number of teams that took part.

Each team was randomly assigned a film genre to adhere to, and they had to include a few “required elements” as designated by this year’s local producer, Jared Stepp. As the film project’s Facebook page proudly states, “Every film did not exist 48 hours prior to the event!” All of the films screened at the Oriental Theatre last Thursday during the 2013 48-Hour Film Project Milwaukee Premiere screening.

I served as a judge for this year’s competition, and the 12 films scheduled to play the “Best of” screening this Tuesday were judged to be the best of the lot. Jury and Audience Awards will be presented at the event.

In alphabetical order, the list of award-winning local teams and films:

Ai Wisconsin Team 1 - Hells Intentions
BIGMPG - Crosswalk
Blackbox Visual - Foreclosure
Director's Cut - tangent
DUXX - nailed It
Electric Crayon Studio - Ballad of the Carpenter
Gross and Difficult Productions - Friendcraft
Guyshouse - Time Bros.
Hoo Hoo Productions - Olivia
Moleskin Production - Blood Be Spotted
Monkey Eye Productions - NeverQuest
Nice Melons Films - Hard Kneecaps

Wednesday, June 26: Green Dolphin Street, starring a young Lana Turner plays at Charles Allis
7:30 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum (1801 N. Prospect Ave.) Tickets are $7 for adults; $5 for seniors and students.

Based on the Elizabeth Goudge novel, this 1947 release casts popular screen siren Lana Turner and then-future TV domestic goddess Donna Reed as sisters in the 1840s who fall in love with the same man, played by Richard Hart. While intoxicated, he writes their father (Van Heflin) a letter proposing marriage to one of them, but things don’t go quite as planned as he addresses the marriage proposal to the wrong sister. Sounds like soapy fun. The film runs 141 minutes.

Thursday, June 27: Exhibition: Munch 150 shows at Marcus in a one-time showing
7:30 p.m. @ Marcus Theatres (Menomonee Falls & the Ridge) Tickets are $12.50.

The artwork of Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch gets the big screen treatment in a special one-night event Thursday, June 27. The 80-minute Exhibition: Munch 150 will showcase Munch’s work which is displayed at the Munch Museum & National Museum in Oslo. The year 2013 celebrates what would be Munch’s 150th birthday.

Thursday, June 27: Demigodz (of Tha Law), the latest music video/short film from local musician and filmmaker WC Tank debuts online
12 p.m. @ honeycombproductions.com

Local filmmaker Kurt Raether and frequent collaborator WC Tank (a musician and filmmaker in his own right) have teamed up again on Tank’s latest music video/short film, “Demigodz (of Tha Law).” Directed and edited by Raether and Tank, the project was shot at the Charles Allis Museum, the Port of Milwaukee and the Lyden Sculpture Garden.

The music video/short film follows Tank “as he joins a band of Aggrevatuers oppressed by the Demigodz of Tha Law. He takes the Demigodz head on, and realizes his fate.”

This marks the second music video/short film Raether and Tank have collaborated on. They also teamed up with four other local filmmakers earlier in the year for the film installation, Spectacle! At the North End.

Friday, June 28: White House Down, the second White House under siege action film of 2013 opens.
Check local listings for showtimes and ticket pricing.

Can Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx give Gerard Butler a run for his money? Butler’s Olympus Has Fallen mined very similar terrain when it was released in theatres this past March – a Secret Service agent is called into action when the White House is taken under siege by a group of terrorists who kidnap the President. In White House Down, Tatum plays a policeman interviewing to join the Secret Service who springs into action to save the President (Foxx) from a group of heavily armed terrorists who commandeer the White House. If I were a betting man, this PG-13-rated take on the scenario will likely outpace its R-rated predecessor at the box office 2:1, maybe even 3:1. One thing is certain, the box office drawing power of Tatum and Foxx is undeniable, especially where rising star Tatum is concerned.

Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30: Helen Mirren captivates once more as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience
11:00 a.m. @ Oriental Theatre. Check with the theater’s box office for ticket prices.

In 2006, Helen Mirren deservedly won every acting prize around, including the Oscar for best actress, for her breathtaking performance as Queen Elizabeth II in the days following Princess Diana’s untimely death in director Stephen Frears’ The Queen. Earlier this year, she reprised her award-winning role in the eagerly anticipated and rapturously-received West End production of The Audience, the new play by Peter Morgan, who also wrote The Queen. The play imagines a series of meetings between prime ministers and the Queen, meetings that continued in private for 60 years.

Recorded and broadcast as part of National Theatre Live in England, The Audience reunites Mirren and Morgan, under the direction of Stephen Daldry (Billy ElliotThe HoursThe Reader). This spring, Mirren won her latest Olivier Award (England’s Tony-equivalent) for her performance. And it’s already been confirmed that the play will come to Broadway with Mirren reprising her role. Is a film version in the works? Nothing’s been confirmed, but it’s a strong possibility given the caliber of talent involved both on-stage and behind-the-scenes.

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