The five films you need to see in Madison; June 13-19, 2014


They Live” (7 p.m., Thursday, Chazen Museum of Art) — “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum.” As John Moe pointed out on Twitter, why would anyone need to go to a special place to chew bubblegum? And, having gone there, why would they forget to stock up on gum? It just seems like poor planning. That detail aside, John Carpenter’s 1988 cult classic is both a kick-ass sci-fi action movie (including a hilariously long Keith David-Roddy Piper fight scene) and a sly political satire, where the aliens enslave us not with laser guns, but by taking over as the one-percenters. It’s a highly entertaining film, maybe Carpenter’s last great film, and a fitting kickoff to the summer Cinematheque series, which will run Thursday through Saturdays this summer at the Chazen and Union South Marquee. FREE; see the full schedule at 

22 Jump Street” (All week, Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller like to turn bad ideas into great movies, and what could be worse than the sequel to a reboot of an ’80s TV show? But “21” was surprisingly great, and the reviews say “22” (they move across Jump Street to a new HQ) continues the trend with a wry look at the creative banruptcy of sequels, as well as the unlikely genius of pairing Channing Tatum and Jonah Hil.

Citizen Koch” (All week, Sundance) — My full review is here. Are you ready for your close-up, Madison? The documentary about the infusion of big-money donors in politics — and how that flood of money led to the 2011 Wisconsin protests, finally makes it back to Madison after public television backed out of funding the film. Co-director Tia Lessin will be at the 7 p.m. shows Friday through Sunday to talk about the film.

Words and Pictures” (All week, Point and Star Cinema) — My full review is here.  Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche make a smart, feisty couple in this romantic dramedy about an art teacher and an English teacher who spar at a tony private school. It makes some dumb missteps, but they are forgivable because of a clever script and the chemistry of the leads.

Rooftop Cinema: The Animated Poetry of Caroline Leaf” (9 p.m. Friday, MMOCA Rooftop) — The wonderful MMOCA Rooftop Cinema is all-animation this year, and Friday will celebrate the work of Canadian animator Leaf, influential for her innovative “live” animation. $7 for the general public, FREE for members.

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