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On the Marquee for the week of Sept. 23, 2013
This week one Critic's Choice just wasn't enough.

The 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival kicks off this Thursday! Fifteen days, 241 films, and one sweet opening night party at the lakefront. But there are other events worth checking out this week. And while the 2013 opening weekend of the Milwaukee Film Festival is conspicuously absent in this week’s On The Marquee, rest assured a spectacular MFF 2013 preview is coming your way tomorrow.

Monday, Sept. 23 - Thursday, Sept. 26: Catch the mob comedy The Family starring Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones on the big screen
Check local listings for showtimes and ticket pricing.

Two-time Oscar winner Robert DeNiro and three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer know a thing or two about the colorful world of organized crime. Both have appeared in some of the most acclaimed and popular films that have delved into that well-mined terrain over the past few decades, ranging from The Godfather, Part II (1974) to Scarface (1983) to Married to the Mob (1988) to Goodfellas (1990).

The latter of those aforementioned films gets a spirited onscreen shoutout in The Family, the latest film from French action filmmaker Luc Besson (The Professional and The Fifth Element) which is also serves as a onscreen reunion for DeNiro and Pfeiffer who both appeared in the fantasy film, Stardust, a few years back, not to mention the 2011 ensemble film New Year’s Eve.

In this violent, tonally challenged yet entertaining film, the pair plays a mob kingpin and his hot-tempered wife who are forced to go into the Witness Protection Program with their two older kids in tow. Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones plays their program supervisor.

The film is produced by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese, who famously directed DeNiro in several films over a 22-year time span starting with Mean Streets (1973) and continuing through Casino (1995), and directed Pfeiffer rather brilliantly in The Age of Innocence (1993), his lush and evocative big screen adaptation of Edith Wharton’s spellbinding novel. Pfeiffer, as radiant as ever, pretty much steals The Family and is the main reason to check the film out.

Monday, Sept. 23 - Thursday, Sept. 26: Five local Marcus Theatres screen the 1982 classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Check local listings for showtimes. Tickets ($5).

Screening as part of Marcus Theatre’s alternative film screening series is the 1982 teen sex comedy classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High, directed by Amy Heckerling (Look Who’s Talking and Clueless) and adapted for the screen by Oscar winner Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) from his own novel.

The film features a virtual who’s who of future stars and recognizable faces like three future Oscar winners in Sean Penn (as the one and only Jeff Spicoli, for those of you who don’t know about Spicoli’s supreme awesomeness - Google him), Forest Whitaker, and Nicolas Cage (billed under his birth name Nicolas Coppola); as well as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz, Judge Reinhold and Ray Walston.

The five local Marcus theaters showing the film are the Majestic in Brookfield, the Menomonee Falls in Menomonee Falls, the North Shore in Mequon, the Ridge in New Berlin and the South Shore in Oak Creek.

Monday, Sept. 23 - Thursday, Sept. 26: Catch The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3-D Experience at AMC Mayfair Mall 18
Check local listings for showtimes and ticket pricing.

Starting the festivities a few months shy of 2014 which will mark the 75th anniversary of its original theatrical release in 1939, The Wizard of Oz, an out-of-this-world adventure about a small-town Kansas farm girl named Dorothy (a young Judy Garland) and her pet dog, Toto, who go on a once-in-a-lifetime journey with the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion as they venture off to see the wizard in the land of Oz, has been repackaged as an “IMAX 3D Experience” for the young ­– and the young at heart – to enjoy on the big screen.

Showing exclusively in our area at AMC Mayfair Mall 18 (2500 N. Mayfair Rd.) in Wauwatosa, The Wizard of Oz received five Oscar nominations including Best Picture, and won two in the categories of Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score, and Garland was given a special Oscar for Outstanding Juvenile Performance.

According to the official announcement about the re-issue, the film “was digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of an IMAX 3D Experience with proprietary IMAX DMRA (Digital Re-mastering) technology.”

In short, IMAX’s painstaking work to convert the beloved film into a “3-D Experience” will afford audiences an opportunity – for the first time – to fully immerse themselves into the story in a way they couldn’t before. Instead of having to imagine you’re on the Yellow Brick Road with the gang, you’ll feel like you’re a part of the journey with them.

Tuesday, Sept. 24: Film and Music screens at the Union Theatre as part of the Experimental Tuesdays program
7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (2200 East Kenwood Blvd.) (FREE)

In these tough economic times, who doesn’t appreciate free stuff, especially free film screenings, right?

The generous folks who program the UWM Union Theatre kept that thoughtful sentiment in mind, we’re happy to report. So you all have no excuse not to partake of the theater’s eclectic and Milwaukee Premiere-heavy schedule this fall semester.

The UWM Union Theatre hosts “Experimental Tuesdays,” a weekly screening series that highlights experimental film and video work from around the world.

This week, the theater is hosting the Milwaukee Premiere of Film and Music from Japanese filmmaker Takahiko Iimura, who read about the then-burgeoning American underground film movement while in Tokyo in the 1960s and set out to make his own experimental films. He based his films entirely on what he read since he didn’t have access to the experimental film work being done stateside at the time.

The 89-minute film, containing material shot in the 1960s through present-day, is in Japanese with English subtitles. The presentation will also feature a film performance called Film Concert (1963) that was scored by Yasunao Tone which was performed earlier this year at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Iimura will be in attendance to discuss the film.

Wednesday, Sept. 25: Holiday Inn

7pm @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/$5/free for adults/seniors and students/museum members)

The final Bing has bunged as Charles Allis Art Museum presents its final selection in its Bing Crosby celebration this Wednesday night with Holiday Inn. If you can stomach its use of blackface, there is a reasonably strong movie hiding beneath that layer of initial queasiness. There’s plenty of Irving Berlin numbers to tide you over (including the first usage of “White Christmas” in a film) and the film co-stars one of the few men who could be considered to be as cool as Bing in Fred Astaire, all in service of a story surrounding an inn that only opened during holidays. Consider this the appetizer to the upcoming fifteen day long cinematic buffet you’ll be gorging on immediately thereafter.

Friday, Sept. 27: Don Jon

Opens in wide release, check local listings for showtimes

I’ll have much more to say in my forthcoming review later this week, but I strongly suggest checking out Joseph Gordon Levitt’s directorial debut. It’s funny, smart and has something important to say about the way we all relate to one another in the modern era. Strong supporting turns from Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore help flesh out this character piece. Make sure to set aside some film festival time in order to check this one out!

Friday, Sept. 27 - Sunday, Sept. 29: The Man Who Fell to Earth screens at the Union Theatre
9 p.m. (Fri)/2 p.m. & 9 p.m. (Sat)/2 p.m. & 7 p.m. (Sun) @ UWM Union Theatre (2200 East Kenwood Blvd.) (FREE)

Screening as part of the “Cinema Classics” program, the Union is showing this classic 1976 sci-fi film, directed by Nicolas Roeg, and starring singer-songwriter David Bowie from a newly minted 35 mm!

In the film, Bowie plays an extraterrestrial from a drought-ridden planet that crash lands here on Earth and hopes to find a way to ship water back to his home planet.

The 139-minute film, described as “hauntingly beautiful and surreal,” is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Walter Tevis. For his performance, Bowie won the best actor prize at the 26th annual Berlin International Film Festival in 1976.

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