UWM French film festival prompts cultural dialogue

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 31 January 2015 12:50

Director Jean-Pierre Thorn. — Photo: Courtesy Fabienne Bullot

Fabienne Bullot knew she had found a city of kindred spirits when she left the 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival screening of Earth. The visiting assistant professor of French at UWM had been pleased, shortly after her arrival in Milwaukee, to learn Milwaukee Film would be screening Ukrainian film director Alexander Dovzhenko’s silent Soviet-era film about the process of collectivism, with live musical accompaniment by postrock band Group of the Altos. But she was more pleased when the film received a thunderous standing ovation.

Academy Awards nominees, the list

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 15 January 2015 09:47

The Academy Awards will be held Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland Center, and broadcast live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET.

The nominees, announced on Jan. 15, include:

Queen Latifah takes long road to 'Bessie' film

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 09 January 2015 07:57

When Queen Latifah was approached 20 years ago to play Bessie Smith, she had to do some research.

Review: Anchored by strong performances, 'The Interview' earns three stars out of four

Written by Jake Coyle,
AP Film writer
Sunday, 28 December 2014 09:18

James Franco and Seth Rogen in 'The Interview'

The Interview is already assured of cinematic infamy. It will go down in history as the satire that provoked an authoritarian dictatorship, roiled Sony Pictures in a massive hacking attack and prompted new questions of cyber warfare, corporate risk-tasking and comedic audacity.

New documentary a powerful portrait of Nina Simone

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 26 January 2015 09:43

Through archival footage and interviews with her family, closest confidants and collaborators, Nina Simone comes to life again — still enigmatic but more easily understood — in the new documentary "What Happened, Miss Simone?" which premiered Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival.

A classically trained pianist, accidental singer, passionate activist and often-lost soul, Nina Simone's many facets are illuminated in the film by director Liz Garbus, whose first film played at Sundance 16 years ago.

Nominees for the worst films of the year are …

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 14 January 2015 12:04

The nominations are out for the 35th annual Razzie awards to the worst films of the year.

The nominees include…

Review: In ‘A Most Violent Year,’ the capitalist as gangster

Written by The AP Friday, 02 January 2015 07:43

In his exciting first three films, writer-director J.C. Chandor, the son of a Merrill Lynch investment banker, has proven to be a canny, clear-eyed studier of capitalism, sensitive to its strivers and alert to its ethical storms.

His debut, “Margin Call,” plunged into the board rooms of a Wall Street firm in crisis. He followed that with “All Is Lost,” a metaphorical survival film about a man (Robert Redford) literally wrecked by the global economy.

'Selma' is a historic film that throbs with today

Written by Jake Coyle,
AP film writer
Thursday, 25 December 2014 11:19

To say Ava DuVernay’s Selma feels relevant is a mammoth understatement. It’s altogether animated, propelled and enlivened by its contemporary urgency. Selma is a history lesson that throbs with today.

Welles centennial celebrated in Madison, Kenosha

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Friday, 16 January 2015 04:17

Orson Welles. — Photo: UW-Madison Cinematheque

A century ago, on May 6, 1915, Kenosha found itself the birthplace of one of the greatest film directors of all time: Orson Welles.

‘Wicked’ headed to the big screen

Written by WiG Saturday, 10 January 2015 18:10

Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the Broadway production of 'Wicked.'

Hollywood publications are reporting that director Stephen Daldry, who directed Billy Elliot on film and stage, will direct a movie adaptation of the smash hit musical play Wicked.

The AP’s top 10 movies of the year

AP writers
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 08:49

The top 10 films of 2014, according to AP Film Writer Jake Coyle:

1. “Ida” — Where did this perfect little gem come from? Its director, Pawel Pawlikowski, wasn’t previously a major name in international cinema. Yet at a time when most filmmakers can’t keep their movies under two hours, Pawlikowksi plunges into Polish history and back again in less than 90 minutes. Yes, an austere, black-and-white Polish film doesn’t sound like the most appetizing stuff. But it’s a hauntingly beautiful film, and thanks to the tremendous Agata Kulesza, there’s humor here, too.


Written by Jake Coyle,
AP film writer
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 11:20

To say Ava DuVernay's "Selma" feels relevant is a mammoth understatement. It's altogether animated, propelled and enlivened by its contemporary urgency. "Selma" is a history lesson that throbs with today.

DuVernay, a former publicist with two low-budget dramas to her name, dramatizes the events around the 1965 Civil Rights march through Alabama, from Selma to Montgomery, with a straightness of purpose befitting the famous protest's direct path.