Free UW Mini Indie Film Festival kicks off with “In a World . . .” and “A Field in England”

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Now that everyone’s had a couple of weeks to rest their eyeballs after the Wisconsin Film Festival, the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Film Committee gets us back in our seats with the sixth annual Mini Indie Film Festival.

The festival runs Thursday through Sunday in the Marquee Theatre at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St. This year has a very strong lineup of new independent cinema, most of which hasn’t played in Madison before, including the new film by Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), Ben Wheatley (“Kill List”) and the Madison premiere of the Oscar-nominated foreign film “The Broken Circle Breakdown.” All the films are free (yes, FREE) and open to the public, but there’s no ticketing — just make sure you show up early enough to get a seat.

Here’s what’s on tap for Thursday:

“In A World . . .” (7 p.m.) — My full review is here. Lake Bell’s debut as writer and director (as well as star) initially seems like a laugh-out-loud romcom set in the world of Hollywood voiceover artists, and it’s certainly that, and very funny. But there’s a smart and subtle feminist message woven in there as well, as Bell’s character navigates a male-dominated industry where women use baby-girl voices to get noticed. So, yeah, she falls in love and all that, but the film’s really about women finding their authentic, non-baby-doll voice.

A Field in England” (9:30 p.m) — Ben Wheatley’s films seem to delight in packing one genre inside another — “Down Terrace” hid a crime drama underneath its miserablist family comedy, “Kill List” nestled a cult horror film within a hitman thriller, and “Sightseers” gave us a mild, schlubby character who also happened to be a serial killer. “A Field in England” may be his strangest mash-up yet, a 17th-century war film that plays like “Waiting for Godot” on magic mushrooms — because the characters spend a good chunk of the film on magic mushrooms.

 

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