It’s been a long few years since the Milwaukee Film Festival was held in person. The 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival returns from April 21 to May 5 in hybrid fashion with virtual and in person events, albeit in slightly slimmed down form with only three venues, the Oriental Theatre, the Avalon theater, and the Times Cinema. No attendance records will be set this year, but it’s a step back towards normality.
Milwaukee Film has released their program book virtually and it’s stuffed with highlights. The Milwaukee Film Festival may not be the film festival to catch big premieres at, but it delivers year after year a fine cross-section of highly anticipated films and under the radar gems. All at consumer friendly prices. If you just want to see a fine selection of films from all over the world, the Milwaukee Film Festival comes through. Presented in some great historic theaters representing the character of Milwaukee. Let’s look at some highlights.
The Big Names
A Wisconsin screening of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s MEMORIA is going to be one of those must see events.
Sundance favorites CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH and 892 will get some of their first showings in the midwest.
Celine Sciamma’s critically acclaimed followup to PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, PETITE MAMAN will close the festival.
A special 40th anniversary screening of THE THING (1982) in 35 mm will surely be a ton of fun. One can only hope this is an opening movie of a program celebrating the Summer of 1982 from Milwaukee Film.
NAVALNY, a documentary on Russia’s most famous dissident, takes on added importance in light of current events and this represents one of the few chances to see it on the big screen.
Javier Bardem features in Spain’s THE GOOD BOSS which won a slew of Goya awards.
BELLE made some waves with critics, albeit less waves at the box office near the peak of the Omicron wave. Screenings during the festival represent an opportunity to rectify that oversight.
The film festival apparently couldn’t get STOP MAKING SENSE due to availability, but were able to substitute with DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA which will surely be a dance party.
The film festival is always a great place for discovering lesser known films. Perhaps before they are discovered later in the year. A few guesses as to what we may be discussing in a few weeks.
THE PEZ OUTLAW is the opening night film and is a documentary about the shadowy world of smuggling of limited edition Pez dispensers. Really.
Friend of the website Jim Laczkowski of the Directors Club Podcast recommends YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER strongly.
BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES is an extremely clever and fun time paradox movie all done in one take.
THE AUTOMAT is a nostalgic look back at the Automat featuring a host of famous celebrities and Mel Brooks contributing a song in reverence to the lost institution.
The Still Watching the Skies podcast has its eyes set on NEPTUNE FROST, described in the program book as “a visually striking Afro-futurist, sci-fi musical…” Music to our ears.
BUDDY GUY: CHASE THE BLUES AWAY and CHARLI XCX: ALONE TOGETHER promise to take two different looks at popular music, one history and one current, which promise exciting music if nothing else.
South Korea, source of some of the most exciting cinema of the 21st century, is represented with A DISTANT PLACE and ALONERS.
Sure we all like watching cat videos, but if you can’t get enough of them and want some perspective on man’s relationship with our feline furbabies, CAT DADDIES promises to scratch just that itch.
Local MESSWOOD promises to shed some light on current day Milwaukee as it tells the story of predominantly black Messmer High School and predominantly white Shorewood High School having to combine their football programs in order to field a team.
ZERO GRAVITY is a documentary in the tradition of SCIENCE FAIR and SPELLBOUND that’s sure to appeal to the STEM inclined.
If you like SHORTS there are a ton of shorts programs for all tastes.
Undoubtedly there will be unexpected discoveries. That’s one of the points of a film festival, isn’t it? Keep your eyes on social media to discover along with the rest of us.
Tickets go on sale to the general public to the 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival today. You can buy tickets at mkefilm.org and via the following link.
See you at the movies.