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Daily Picks for the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival – Part 1

Posted on Sep 13, 2017 by | 0 comments


Tickets for the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival go on sale to the general public on Thursday. With that in mind, I decided to offer some daily ideas of films to see during the 15 days of the film festival which runs from September 28, 2017 to October 12, 2017. Especially as tickets go fast.

So, let’s begin.



There’s only one film on opening night, so this is an easy pick. However, STUMPED promises to leave not a single dry eye in the house by telling the story of quadruple amputee Will Lautzenheiser, film professor, stand up comedian, and participant in an experimental double arm transplant surgery. If that’s not all, you’ll also get to attend the after party at the Good City Brewing Company. The opening night of the festival is always a time of celebration. The combination of film and party makes it one of the must attend events of the festival.



On day two, the film festival proper begins with a full slate of films. I’m going to recommend getting the day started early with director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s AFTER THE STORM. You’ll not see a more sensitive, thoughtful, character based drama this year. It’s a film by adults for adults.

Backup: AMERICAN FABLE promises to be a Wisconsin based companion to PAN’S LABYRINTH. That’s so ambitious a comparison that it has to be worth checking out.


A US premiere of a film about a world famous bartender / cocktail guide author visiting and discussing bars around the world? It’s a film that seems to have been commissioned strictly for the Milwaukee Film Festival. Positioned on a late Saturday afternoon, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit Von Trier’s afterwards before it’s turned into a generic modern cocktail bar.

Backup: TAMPOPO is a great film about food and this may be your only chance to see it on a big screen with an appreciative audience. If it wasn’t already out on a snazzy Blu Ray from Criterion, it would be the pick of the day.


Portrait of an artist as a ??? LOVE AND SAUCERS is a documentary about an artist who uses painting and writing to describe his relationship with his alien mistress. It could be a portrait of how we process the world, or it could be a hoot. Either way, it promises not to be a boring, paint by numbers documentary. As a bonus, Mark Borchardt’s THE DUNDEE PROJECT short film is playing before the feature. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Backup: If you want a sure bet, we have SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY. Will it cut deep? Probably not, but it’s sure to pair up some of your favorite images and music on the big screen while talking to some of the people responsible for your favorite film moments.


Cate Blanchett is playing thirteen parts. That has to be an acting tour de force. Do you really need a reason beyond that? How about that each of those performances will be about espousing some artistic manifesto? Sure, some segments will likely be stronger than others, but this seems to be aiming big. And, aiming big is part of the reason you see films at a film festival.

Backup: LEMON has the reputation as the feel bad comedy of the fall festival circuit. If you want challenging, LEMON promises to be as sour as its title.



Coming Soon: Days Six to Ten


The 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival runs from September 28, 2017 to October 12, 2017. The general public can purchase tickets at the Milwaukee Film Festival website starting on Thursday, September 14, 2017.

Robert Reineke
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