It may be hard for a movie fan in Madison to think past the Wisconsin Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday and brings over 150 movies to town. But the festival will end eventually, and the trick is to keep your hunger for offbeat and interesting films going after it does.
Luckily, there will be plenty of chances to do so — the Union South Marquee Theater will jump into its Mini Indie Film Festival in late April. And Sundance Cinemas will kick off its next Screening Room calendar on Friday, April 19, the day after the Wisconsin Film Festival ends.
I’m especially excited about the new Screening Room schedule, as I’ll be doing a pair of post-show chats about a couple of the films in Sundance’s new Overflow Bar, located on the first floor where the gift shop used to be. And the first one should be a doozy. Visit sundancecinemas.com for more information.
“Upstream Color” (opens April 19) — Nine years ago, writer-director-star Shane Carruth made one of the best time-travel movies ever, “Primer,” on a budget of just $7,000. Now he returns with a beautiful and just as confounding sci-fi tale involving true love, an ageless organism, and pigs. I’m doing a post-show chat after the Monday, April 22 early evening show — I’ll post more details closer to the event.
“Room 237” (April 26) — If you miss Rodney Ascher’s engrossing documentary about the various arcane film theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” it’s coming back.
“The Angel’s Share” (May 3) — Acclaimed director Ken Loach returns with another tale of working-class life in the United Kingdom, in this case a comedy about four young Scotsmen and a cask of rare whisky.
“Koch” and “West of Memphis” (May 10) — A double dose of documentaries. “Koch” has nothing to do with the notorious Koch brothers, but instead follows the career of former New York Mayor Ed Koch. “West of Memphis” is a follow-up look at the lives of the West Memphis 3, three teenagers wrongfully convicted of murder, and the case that remains unsolved.
“Lore” (May 17) — Another film festival sellout, this drama follows a group of children, left alone after their SS parents are arrested after World War II, who must traverse Germany, and see the results of their parents’ legacy along the way. I’ll be doing a post-show cat after the early evening show on Monday, May 20.
“The Reluctant Fundamentalist” (May 24) — A Pakistani immigrant working on Wall Street has his allegiances tested after 9/11 in this film from director Mira Nair.