“Mood Indigo” (9:15 p.m. Friday, Union South Marquee, fREE) — I’ve stuck with Michel Gondry even in times when I probably shouldn’t have (“Be Kind Rewind”), because the French music video director turned filmmaker brings such sheer playfulness to his films, even if (maybe especially if) the subjects underneath are pretty serious. So I’m excited to hear that his new film, “Mood Indigo,” is something of a return to form for him, starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris as a love-dappled French couple whose life turns darker when it’s discovered she has a disease. But it’s Gondry, so the disease is caused by a flower growing in her chest. “Mood Indigo” is getting its Wisconsin premiere as part of the WUD Film Mini Indie Film Festival, which seems like a big get.
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” (2 p.m. Saturday, Union South Marquee, FREE) — Another highlight of the Mini Indie festival is this Oscar-nominated Belgian film, in which married country singers are dealing with their daughter’s cancer diagnosis. Jumping back and forth chronologically and filled wall to wall with old country classics, this film sounds incredible.
“The Invisible Woman” (Sundance, all week) — My full review is here. Ralph Fiennes brings the same attention to detail as a director that he does as an actor in this delicately observed biopic of Charles Dickens, and in particular the 13-year affair he carried on clandestinely with a young actress (Felicity Jones). It’s a slow-moving costume drama to be sure but Fiennes and Jones find the beating hearts underneath those costumes, the emotions all the more fierce because they have to be repressed.
“Robocop” (7 p.m. Monday, Union South Marquee) — I didn’t hate the “Robocop” remake exactly — it did feint at a political subtext early on, and I liked how the film was full of villains who had no idea they were actually villains, such as Michael Keaton’s CEO. But the film certainly pulled its punches, which you cannot say about Paul Verhoeven’s bloody, funny 1987 original, in which cop Peter Weller is reassembled and forced to do the bidding of the corporate-law enforcement complex. It’s being presented for free by the UW-Cinematheque at Union South at the Marquee, so, no, you don’t need to buy that for a dollar.
“Who is Dayani Crystal?” (7 p.m., Wednesday, Union South Marquee) — As part of the UW Havens Center series of documentaries at the Marquee, Madison is getting a very early look at this documentary hybrid, which is just opening today in New York and Los Angeles. The film looks at an undocumented immigrant who died while trying to cross into America, and Gael Garcia Bernal (“Y Tu Mama Tambien”) retraces his footsteps back home to see what kind of life he led. FREE!
I didn’t get a chance to comment last week about the possible format change from all films to 5 (or so) you need to see each week. It is something we’re struggling with at the Madison Film Forum as well: It is pretty labor intensive to assemble everything, especially when people might already be using Flixer or Fandango to find out (almost) everything playing.
So I like your proposed format change because a) it helps the reader focus on a few titles worth considering that week and b) curating a list will allow your voice to come through more clearly, rather than just feeling obligated to be complete.
In other words, I like when I get to read what you’re interested in and excited to see, or eager to share with your readers. I think that’s a pretty good starting point each week for improving Madison’s film culture.
Thanks Jim. I appreciate it. This was driven in part by the crazy month I’ve had, and how much work it is, but it did make me wonder how useful such a list is in the age of Flixster. Would I use it? Maybe not. Anyway, I’m having more fun now with this format, although I’m certainly open to rethinking it.