The five movies you need to see in Madison: Aug. 8-14, 2014

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Boyhood” (all week, Sundance) — My full review is here. The long-awaited new film from Richard Linklater is finally here, and its a masterpiece of everyday life, following a boy as he grows from 6 to 18, Linklater and his actors filming a few scenes each year. As we see Mason and his parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) grow older, becoming the sum of their choices, Linklater strings ordinary events together like Christmas lights to make an entrancing portrait of an extraordinary, average life. See it this weekend, or wait until Tuesday when the Mad Film Forum will host a special meetup for the 8 p.m. show, preceded by drinks and music from DJ The Real Jaguar up on the Rooftop at 6 p.m.

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The five movies you have to see in Madison: Aug. 1-6, 2014

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1. “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” (7 p.m. Friday, Union South Marquee) – The UW-Cinematheque summer season is a great way to keep abreast of classic cinema, and that’s certainly true of this screening of Russ Meyer’s 1965 camp classic about three supervixens taking revenge on the leering men around them. Hey, audience? My eyes are up here.

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The five movies you have to see in Madison: July 25-31, 2014

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A Most Wanted Man” (all week, Point and Star Cinema) — Months after his death from a heroin overdose, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances are reaching theaters. This looks like the best of them, as Hoffman plays a disgraced German intelligence agent trying to topple a possible terrorist cell in Hamburg. It’s based on a John Le Carre novel, so expect lots of gray areas, and it’s directed by Anton Corbijn (“Control”), so expect some beautifully-framed shots.

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The five movies you have to see in Madison: July 18-24, 2014

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American Movie” (7 p.m. Friday, Union South Marquee) — What could have been a sneering look at Mark Borchardt, a suburban Milwaukee man trying to make what will assuredly be a terrible horror movie, instead becomes wildly funny, oddly poignant, and in the end kind of inspiring. That Borchardt refuses to give up on his dream despite his dire circumstances underscores that, as the old man says, “It’s all right, it’s okay, there’s something to live for!” FREE!

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The five movies you need to see in Madison: July 11-17, 2014

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (all week, Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema , Sundance) — In the subgenre of “reboots that are better than they have any reason to be,” the last two “Apes” movies stand alongside the “jump Street” movies. The word on this sequel, set 10 years after the events in “Rise” after a simian virus has decimated the human population, apes and humans find themselves in an  uneasy and easily breakable truce.

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The five movies you need to see in Madison: July 4-10, 2014

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Godzilla: The Original Japanese Version” (Friday, July 4, 7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — There’s something a little . . . perverse . . . about showing the original 1950 Japanese “Godzilla” on Independence Day, given that the big green lizard’s swath of destruction is a metaphor for the devastation Japan suffered five years early at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And, well, that was us. If you’ve only seen the campy color sequels on Saturday afternoon TV or “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” you should check out this haunting version. FREE!

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The five movies you need to see in Madison: June 27-July 3, 2014

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Breaking Away” (Thursday, July 3, 7 p.m, Chazen Museum of Art) — I just read in the New Yorker that “Breaking Away” was one of Darren Aronofsky’s favorite films growing up, which is something of a surprise given the dark places that the “Black Swan” and “Requiem for a Dream” director goes. But “Breaking Away” is a lot of people’s favorite films, in part because it mixes a redemptive sports story with a naturalistic look at working-class teens living in a college town. FREE!

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