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Thursday, July 10, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 66.0° F  Fair
The Daily

MOVIES

Infomercials sell silly at the September screening for Wis-Kino

The theme for September was "infomercial," an optional element that was picked up by about half of the movies submitted for screening. Also featured was a special reel from a recent film festival in Trouville, a seaside town in the heart of Normandy, that included a trio of shorts created by Wis-Kino contributors. >More
 Honeymoon from Hell

In The Heartbreak Kid, Ben Stiller takes another ride through the poop-splattered Tunnel of Love, and if you thought there was something about Mary, you should see Lila. >More
 The Jane Austen Book Club

Having plowed through the novels, filmmakers are now scrambling around for a way to keep Jane Austen up there on the silver screen. Hence, Becoming Jane, which imagined that Austen's own life was a Jane Austen novel. >More
 How to stop the terrorists

When an Islamic-terrorist leader masterminds a shooting spree and well-timed bomb in a Saudi Arabian housing compound where American oil-company employees live with their families, Foxx's Fleury ignores the wishes of the State Department and the White House and lands in Riyadh with his explosives guy (Chris Cooper), his intelligence guy (Jason Bateman) and his forensics gal (Jennifer Garner). They're going to find the bad guys and do a Dirty Dozen number on their asses. >More
 August means animation at Wis-Kino

The audience gathered in the large back room at Escape Java Joint on Willy Street once again that Sunday evening, taking a few moments after each short to discuss what they had just seen. The optional theme for the month was "animation," something featured every year by the group. All films at the screening was animated, a rare occurrence but not an unexpected one given the popularity of the format. >More
 Mourning in America

Tommy Lee Jones puts his beef-jerky face to good use in Paul Haggis' In the Valley of Elah. He plays a retired Army sergeant who tries to figure out what happened to his son, an infantryman back from Iraq whose charred, mutilated, multiply-stabbed body was found in a field. Some fathers would break down and cry. Jones' Hank Deerfield, a former MP, pours his grief into the murder investigation, the saddlebags under his eyes too dried up to hold tears. >More
 Zombie at work

From Dawn of the Dead to Shaun of the Dead, it's "never say die" when it comes to zombie movies, but Fido may be the last nail in the coffin, and I mean that in a good way. >More
 Vocal opponent

At 88, Pete Seeger's fought the good fight longer than anybody, singing his heart out since the Dust Bowl days of Woody Guthrie. In fact, Guthrie taught him how to ride freight trains, and since then Seeger has been crisscrossing the country, singing his songs, sticking it to The Man -- Johnny Appleseed with a banjo on his knee. >More
 Killing babies with Rob Matsushita

I'm happy to announce that principle photography for Massacre (The Musical) wrapped in August, and we are now more than halfway through the editing process. Hopefully, come late October, when we premiere the film in Madison, audience members will enjoy watching the finished product as much as the cast and crew enjoyed making it. This assumes, of course, everyone had a good time and weren't lying to me when I asked them about it. >More
 Old style, new twist

"The past isn't dead," William Faulkner famously wrote in Requiem for a Nun, "it isn't even past." And perhaps no filmmaker has taken that idea and run farther with it than Guy Maddin, whom I'd describe as the bastard son of David Lynch, John Waters and - oh, I don't know G.W. Pabst. You may not recall Pabst, but he directed the classic silent film Pandora's Box, where Louise Brooks unleashed a torrent of flapper-girl sexuality. >More
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