Letter jacket-clad teens are replaced on downtown streets this weekend by queues of bleary-eyed film lovers clutching tickets and to-go lattes. Indeed, the 2011 Wisconsin Film Festival has arrived with the first screenings scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.
We'll be doing what we can here on TDP to chronicle the proceedings by previewing each day's highlights, running live blogs and capturing your tweets (you can join the fun by using the #wifilmfest and #wff11 hashtags).
Opening night at the Orpheum is always a blast, and tonight's screening of 13 Assassins, a sword-rattling samurai epic that Twitch calls "the best samurai film to emerge in the last decade. Simply put, it is a masterpiece."
Documentary fans will enjoy Square Grouper: Godfathers of Ganja from Billy Corben, a frequent chronicler of crime in Florida. In it, he illustrates the culture of '70s marijuana smuggling by looking at three pot-loving South Florida subcultures. Find news and reviews for 13 Assassins, Square Grouper and other films screening today below.
Weather: While it might be sunny and in the mid-40s when you line up for the 6 pm screening, temps will drop sharply into the 20s tonight, so stick a hat in your pocket and don't be ashamed to stick with the polar fleece for at least another couple days.
Wisconsin Union Theater, Wednesday, March 30, 8:15 pm
Bartell Theatre, Friday, April 1, 1:15 pm
The teenage grandson she's raising is a monster, the disabled man she looks after is making unwelcome advances, and she's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Mija (Jeong-hie Yun) has problems, and she seeks consolation in learning how to write poetry. The triumph of this quiet South Korean melodrama is Yun's brave performance, somehow lighthearted and fierce at the same time. - Kenneth Burns
Armadillo - Play Circle Theater, 6:00
- The Guardian: Armadillo: the Afghanistan war documentary that shocked Denmark
- The Film Stage: [Tiff Review] Armadillo
- Rotten Tomatoes: Review of Armadillo
- Digital Spy: 'Armadillo' wins critics 'Gran Prix'
- Screen Daily: Danish doc Armadillo stirs controversy
13 Assassins - Orpheum Main, 6:00
- Indiewire: Magnet takes Takashi Miike's samuri film '13 Assassins'
- Twitch Film: SXSW 2011: 13 Assassins Review
- The Criterion Cast: Joshua Reviews Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins
- Cinema Strikes Back: Takashi Miike masters the samuri film
Square Grouper: Godfathers of Ganja - Bartell Theater, 6:00
- IFC: "Square Grouper" Reviewed
- The Film Stage: [SXSW Review] Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja
- The Austin Chronical: Square Grouper preview
- Variety: Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja
- Gordon and the Whale: Magnolia aquires marijuana documentary Square Grouper
The Woodmans - Wisconsin Union, 6:15
- The Woodmans: Official Website
- AV Club: The Woodmans
- AMC Film Critic: The Woodmans review
- New York Times T Magazine: Now Screening: The Woodmans
- Chicago Sun Times: Art House Films: "The Woodmans" and others
A Somewhat Gentle Man - Stage Door Theater, 6:15
- Hulu: "A Somewhat Gentle Man" trailer
- NY Times: Review - 'A Somewhat Gentle Man'
- Salon: "A Somewhat Gentle Man": Hilarious darkness from the frozen north
- LA Times: A killer with a good heart in "A Somewhat Gentle Man"
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: "A Somewhat Gentle Man" reviewed
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff - MMoCA Museum, 6:15
- Jack Cardiff.com: Subject's website
- Film Ireland: Report on 'Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff"
- The Telegraph: Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, review
- Obsessed with Film: "Camerman" DVD review
- The Hollywood Reporter: "Camerman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff"
How to Start Your Own Country - Monona Terace, 6:30
- Monsters and Critics: Jody Shapiro Talks "How to Start Your Own Country"
- National Post: Jody Shapiro will teach you "How to Start Your Own Country"
- Mother Jones: How to start your own country: A primer
- Miami Internationa Film Festival: Trailer and Synopsis
- Twitch Films: TIFF 2010: How to Start Your Own Country
Poetry - Wisconsin Union, 8:15
- The Korea Times: "Poetry" of Korea wins best screenplay award at Cannes
- Indie Wire: Kino Acquires Cannes Winner "Poetry"
- The Tufts Daily: "Lee Chang-dong's 'Poetry' is, well, poetic
- Slant Magazine: Poetry film review
- NY Times: 'Poetry' - Consider an apple, consider the world
The Evil Dead - MMoCA Museum, 8:15
- Evil Dead News: News and Fan Website
- The Guardian: Sam Raimi set to resurrect The Evil Dead for modern remake
- Empire: Synopsis and Review of The Evil Dead
- Reelviews: The Evil Dead
- Chicago Reader: The Evil Dead
!Women Art Revolution - Bartell Theater, 8:15
- !Woman Art Revolution: Official website and trailer for the film
- Sundance Film Festival: !Women Art Revolution synopsis
- Huffington Post: !Women Art Revolution at MoMA
- Stanford University Digital Collection: !Women Art Revolution
- Film Threat: !Women Art Revolution - A secret history
Slightly Unsettling Shorts - Monona Terrace, 8:15
- 2011 Wisconsin Film Fest: Slightly Unsettling Shorts
Pink Saris - Play Circle Theater, 8:30
- Toronto International Film Festival: 2010 Films: Pink Saris Synopsis and Trailer
- BBC News: South Asia's "pink" vigilante women
- Abu Dhabi Film Festival: Pink Saris to celebrate International Women's Day
- Women Make Movies: Pink Saris
- Eye for Film: Pink Saris movie review
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle - Stage Door Theater, 8:45
- NY Times: "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle": Freedom no guarantee for a happily ever after
- Wall Street Journal: Telluride Festival capsule reviews
- Village Voice: Romania goes to Juvie in "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle"
- Salon: "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle": Romania continues its cinematic resurgence
- The Hollywood Reporter: "If I want to Whistle, I Whistle" - Film review
The Robber - Orpheum Main, 9:00
- Quiet Earth: Berlinale 2010: Trailer for Benjamin Heisenberg's "The Robber"
- Indiewire: The Robber synopsis
- Village Voice: "The Robber" takes off
- Twitch Film: Reviews: NYFF 2010: The Robber
- The Hollywood Reporter: The Robber - Film Review