Cream City, the Mexican Drug War, Racial Satire, Nick Cave, and Butts

Five Milwaukee Film Festival Must Sees

By Holly Wallace

As soon as I get my hands on a copy of the Milwaukee Film Festival program every year, I turn each page, not delicately, but with a frenzied force as I attempt to take in the over two hundred films screening from around the world. I rate each film as “don’t need to see (but still would see, because, let’s be honest, they’re all fantastic),” “want to see” and “must see.” Below are five of my “must-sees” for 2014’s lineup.

Dear MKE: Described as “a love letter to the city that our festival calls home,” Dear MKE is part of the festival’s annual tribute to the newest and latest from Milwaukee filmmakers. Dear MKE tells the story of our city.

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Heli: A part of this year’s passport series from Mexico, Heli has already won several awards, including Best Director. Heli violently and realistically captures a family’s attempt to escape Mexico’s drug industry.

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Hollywood Shuffle: In the lineup for the Black Lens film series, Hollywood Shuffle is a satirical comedy about the racial stereotypes of black people in the film industry. Through comedic sketches, co-writer, director and star Robert Townsend fantasizes being the lead actor in a variety of film genres.

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20,000 Days on Earth: The highlight, in my opinion, of this year’s Sound Vision series, is a staged day in the life of the mysterious poet and musician Nick Cave. The film features documentary footage, a fictional therapy session and live performance.

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The Best Damn F*#@ing Midnight Program Ever. Sh*t.: The Shorter is Better series is like opening up a gigantic Christmas present and discovering 10 different presents inside. The title of this midnight program says it all. According to Milwaukee Film, “There will be swearing, there will be blood, there will be butts—but if you’re into that sort of thing, there will also be a great time had by all.”

These are just five of my “must-sees.” The Milwaukee Film Festival features over 275 films from around the world.

What are your “must-sees?” We want to know. Share your top five on our Facebook page.