The Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival uncorks its “2nd Annual 25th Anniversary Edition” Oct. 18-21 “with the very best and newest in films and videos by and about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The festival promises to draw film lovers of all persuasions,” says Festival Director Carl Bogner. And this year, the festival is part of the Peck School’s Year of the Arts lineup.
Bogner describes the four days as “just packed,” with over 15 programs featuring an international and eclectic mix of films featuring “really strong documentaries as well as some of the most powerful dramas we have ever presented.” He also promises “some great, goofy comedy as well as some cinematic artifacts and oddities.”
Bogner, also senior lecturer in the Film Department, praises the work of alumnus Timothy Sienko (BA Film). Working with a committee of UWM students, Sienko curated a trio of programs of short films. “Those shorts programs are going to be the smartest events in the festival,” says Bogner.
2nd Annual 25th Anniversary Edition?
Why the quirky title for this year’s festival? The 2012 festival marks the 27th edition of one of Milwaukee’s longest-running film festivals. “We are labeling it as ‘the 2nd Annual 25th Anniversary Edition’ because we needed to correct our numbering,” says Bogner. “We had it wrong! The festival has passed through the hands of a number of different and dedicated community and campus organizations, but we now have our math correct.”
Bogner credits Michael Doylen, assistant director of the UWM Libraries and head of the Archives Department, with “the spirited research and marshaling of artifacts that rendered the festival’s history more precise.”
Tickets and Passes
Tickets and passes include a Festival Pass for $95. In addition to festival admission, the $95 pass includes admission to the festival’s monthly screening series.
The Fiver Pass, $35/general, $25/students and seniors, offers five shows for the price of four and can be used individually or as a group. This pass is good for any five shows at the Union Theatre during the October festival.
Opening Night tickets are $15/general, $10/students and seniors, and include a post-screening reception at Beans & Barley, 1901 E. North Ave.
Unless otherwise noted (some screenings are free), Union Theatre screenings are $9/general, $7/students, seniors and members of the UWM community.
Advance purchase of all tickets and passes is available through the Peck School of the Arts Box Office at the Zelazo Center, 414-229-4308. Single tickets may also be purchased at the Union Theatre Box Office 30 minutes prior to the screening. New this year: Advance ticket purchases can be made online. See the festival website for details: arts.uwm.edu/lgbtfilm.
Outwords Books, 2710 N. Murray Ave., is selling Opening Night tickets and passes (Festival and Fiver). The Oriental Theatre will only be selling Opening Night tickets.
All screenings are in the UWM Union Theatre, unless otherwise indicated.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
7 p.m.: “GIRLS AND BOYS BUT MOSTLY GIRLS”
Two films that wonder about the queerness of girlhood. To screen: “Palaces of Pity (Palácios de Pena)” (Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes, USA/Portugal, Portuguese with English subtitles, 58 min., 2011) and “A Girl’s Own Story” (Jane Campion, Australia, 16mm, B&W/sound, 27 min., 1986). FREE.
Opening Night at the Oriental Theatre
Thursday, Oct. 18
7:30 p.m.: “CLOUDBURST”
(Thom Fitzgerald, Canada, 94 min., 2011)
A touching romantic comedy with Oscar winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as Stella and Dot, partners for 31 years…and now on the lam. Stella, stubborn and willful and desperately in love, busts Dot out of a nursing home, and the two hightail it to Canada – for the distance from Dot’s meddling and phobic daughter, and also for the promise of matrimony, a legal sanctuary in itself.
Friday, Oct. 19
5 p.m.: “OCEAN”
(Charles Atlas, 100 min., 2011)
In a marriage of cinema and dance, acclaimed video artist Charles Atlas presents his documentation of the 2008 staging of Merce Cunningham’s 1994 piece “Ocean” – a tribute to John Cage and James Joyce – that was staged at the bottom of the Rainbow Granite Quarry in Minnesota. FREE.
7 p.m.: “‘THIS GODDAMN CRAPHOLE’: An Evening of Men’s Shorts”
Tonight’s menagerie of international, award-winning and perhaps peppery shorts offers portraits and stories of men (mostly gay, some straight) learning to live where they are, or maybe longing to leave, and/or choosing to celebrate their sexuality at home.
9 p.m.: “SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: An Evening of Women’s Shorts”
A collection, funny and sharp, of the finest short films and videos on the festival circuit. Tonight’s playful anthology testifies to the maxim that relationships are work. (As with one such scenario: How do you find a partner who doesn’t own a cursed cat?)
Saturday, Oct. 20
11 a.m.: “SOMETHING SPECIAL”
(Paul Schneider, USA, 35mm, 90 min., 1986)
From the vaults! A Hollywood teen transgender comedy from 1986 about a girl who gets to be a boy. Briefly released, “Something Special” quickly disappeared from view and has been virtually unseen since. Print courtesy of Jenni Olson and the UCLA Film/Television Archive. FREE.
1 p.m.: “CALL ME KUCHU”
(Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall, USA, 87 min., 2011)
A harrowing documentary about the struggle for LGBT rights in the lethally homophobic Uganda, this award-winning film is also – tragically – the last portrait of slain civil rights leader David Kato (1964-2011), that country’s first openly gay man who was a valiant and steadfast crusader for LGBT peoples.
3 p.m.: “UNITED IN ANGER: A HISTORY OF ACT UP”
(Jim Hubbard, USA, 93 min., 2012)
A smartly made, quite edifying and stirring showcase of the energies, strategies and diverse personalities that formed the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), the landmark grassroots activist organization that forced the U.S. government and mainstream media to deal with the AIDS crisis.
5 p.m.: “FACING MIRRORS”
(Negar Azarbayjani, Iran/Germany, Farsi with English subtitles, 102 min., 2011)
The first narrative film from Iran to feature a transgender main character, this award-winning work is a story of an unexpected friendship, one that defies class, oppressive social norms and religious beliefs.
7 p.m.: “MOSQUITA Y MARI”
(Aurora Guerrero, USA, English and Spanish with
English subtitles, 85 min., 2011)
A most sensitive and sharply observant portrait of two Chicana high school girls and their developing friendship, seen in the context of their friends, their high school, their families and their different social classes.
9 p.m.: “KEEP THE LIGHTS ON”
(Ira Sachs, USA, 101 min., 2012)
A chronicle of a decade-long relationship between two
men, a pairing founded on chance (promiscuous; intense) and foundered by addiction.
11 p.m.: “SPARKLE’S TAVERN”
(Curt McDowell, USA, 120 min., 1985)
A rare screening of the last film from legendary and
outrageous underground filmmaker Curt McDowell. An entrepreneurial brother and sister try to keep their bordello a secret from their conservative mother. George Kuchar stars as the magical Mr. Pupik, who convinces their mother to lighten up.
Sunday, Oct. 21
11 a.m: “THE INVISIBLE MEN”
(Yariv Mozer, Israel, in Arabic, Hebrew and English with English subtitles, 69 min., 2011)
A powerful and moving documentary about Palestinian men – gay, out and outed – who flee the homophobia of their homeland, hiding illegally in Tel Aviv hoping for sanctuary.
“TOMORROW EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT”
(Akram Zaatari, Lebanon, 7 min., 2010)
A late-night online chat between two men who haven’t seen each other since the turn of the millennium leads to their reunion after 10 years of separation.
1 p.m.: “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”
(Mikael Buch, France, in French with English subtitles,
86 min., 2012)
A mélange of gay romance, Jewish family drama and French bedroom farce, Mikael Buch’s exuberantly silly and invitingly stylized comedy follows the travails and daydreams of the lovelorn Reuben, a French-Jewish gay mailman living in fairytale Finland (where he got his M.A. in “Comparative Sauna Cultures”). Just before Passover, a series of mishaps and a lovers’ quarrel banish the heartbroken Reuben back to Paris, where his family is already unglued by romantic imbroglios of their own.
3 p.m.: “MY BEST DAY”
(Erin Greenwell, USA, 75 min., 2012)
A broken refrigerator helps thaw the relationships between the lovelorn and the clumsily smitten in this smartly observed – and very funny — small-town, lesbian comedy.
5 p.m.: “AT LAST: AN EVENING OF TRANS* SHORTS”
A program of short works that explore and celebrate the struggles and joys of a diverse group of Trans* people.
7 p.m.: “MY BROTHER THE DEVIL”
(Sally El Hosaini, UK, 111 min., 2011)
Two Arab brothers, joined by devotion and hero worship, find their loyalties tested in this gripping British drama about masculinity, the lure of gangs and the bravest of declarations.
Tuesday, Oct. 23
7 p.m.: J.J. Murphy presents Andy Warhol’s “Hedy.”
Filmmaker and UW-Madison Professor J.J. Murphy presents his new book, The Black Hole of the Camera: The Films of Andy Warhol, and will share Warhol’s film “Hedy” (67 min., 1966). Drag artist Mario Montez stars as Hollywood icon Hedy Lamarr. Co-sponsored by the UWM Film Department.
The festival is presented by the UWM Peck School of the Arts Department of Film and made possible thanks to festival sponsors Joseph R. Pabst, Cream City Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Eldon E. Murray Foundation Fund and Bronze Optical. The festival also acknowledges the essential support provided by UWM Union Programming and the UWM Union Theatre, UWM Women’s Resource Center and UWM LGBT Resource Center. In addition, the Festival thanks the UWM LGBT Studies Certificate Program; UWM Libraries; UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; the UWM Center for International Education; the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at UWM; the UWM Festival of Films in French, and generous individuals, businesses, and campus and community organizations.