Aisle Seat Musings

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full week since the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival came to a close. It’s taken this long for exhausted film writers and avid moviegoers to recoup. Was this year’s fest worth the momentary sleep deprivation and insomnia?   Abso-freakin’-lutely!   Sure, it’s totally cliché to proclaim the most recent edition of a still-relatively new and growing enterprise such as film festival (in its sixth year) the best thus far. More than likely, it’s a trend that will continue for the next decade or so as the good folks at Milwaukee Film continue to…

MFF2014 Closing Night Film

As fast-paced and sleep-deprived as the last two weeks have been, it’s nonetheless sad to report that the end of the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival is just mere hours away. After 15 miraculous days that offered up 276 films (119 features and 157 shorts), playing at four local theaters – the Oriental, the Downer, the Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and the Times – the sixth year of the city’s ever-growing film festival is sliding into home plate.   However, it ain’t over until it’s over!   Fellow moviegoers, as of 11:15 a.m. you’ll have 8 hours and 45 minutes to choose among…

The Black the Bold and the Beautifully Versatile

The entertainment industry has long had its fair share of multi-hyphenates – artists who write, direct, produce and/or act.  Some that instantly come to mind are the likes of Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Spike Lee, Ben Affleck, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Tyler Perry, George Clooney, Tim Robbins and Kevin Costner, to name a few. This year, the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival is screening the feature directorial debut of a multi-hyphenate with decades of industry experience under his belt, and whose name more than deserves to be mentioned in the same trailblazing company of all the aforementioned filmmakers: Robert Townsend. With…

Coping Mechanisms and Everyday Life

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival is honoring Oscar-nominated filmmaker Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) with a tribute to her body of work this Saturday, Sept. 27, following the 7:15 p.m. screening of her latest effort, Stray Dog at the historic Oriental Theatre (2230 N. Farwell Ave.). The film, which marks Granik’s first foray into documentary filmmaking, screens one additional time during the run of the festival on Monday, Sept. 29 at 4:15 p.m. at the Times Cinema (5906 W. Vliet St.). Also screening during this year’s festival is Granik’s critically-lauded, sophomore directorial effort, the aforementioned Winter’s Bone, starring Oscar winner Jennifer…

Moviegoers Unite- MFF2014 kicks off with “1971”

Photo by Vallen Alexander Gillett  This year’s autumnal equinox, more commonly referred to as the fall season, officially kicked off at 9:29 p.m. here in the city of Milwaukee just this past Monday. So with that little bit of meteorological trivia in mind: What better way to celebrate the first days of the beautiful fall season than to attend a screening or two during the opening weekend of the 2014 Annual Milwaukee Film Festival? Starting this Thursday, Sept. 25 and continuing through Thursday, Oct. 9, the festival (celebrating its 6th year) will showcase 119 feature-length films and 157 short films…

A Tangible Reality- “Letters to Ashleigh”

In May 2013, Moviegoers’ staff blogger Mack Bates wrote about the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign thrown by South Milwaukee native and award-winning filmmaker Kyle Olson and the family of Ashleigh Love (a local teenager whose still-unsolved murder made local and national headlines in the fall of 2009), to film an anti-violence documentary short with the working title Letters to Ashleigh. In the film, family members, friends, and strangers would read letters (to Ashleigh) that they had written to her following her death. The goal was to raise at least $3,000 of the film’s proposed $3,500 production budget by the end of…