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Wednesday at the 2011 Wisconsin Film Festival: Samurai and smugglers
<i>13 Assassins</i> is an "old-school slice-and-dice" samurai epic.
13 Assassins is an "old-school slice-and-dice" samurai epic.

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.

Today's highlight
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

13 Assassins - Orpheum Main, 6:00

Square Grouper: Godfathers of Ganja - Bartell Theater, 6:00

The Woodmans - Wisconsin Union, 6:15

A Somewhat Gentle Man - Stage Door Theater, 6:15

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff - MMoCA Museum, 6:15

How to Start Your Own Country - Monona Terace, 6:30

Poetry - Wisconsin Union, 8:15

The Evil Dead - MMoCA Museum, 8:15

!Women Art Revolution - Bartell Theater, 8:15

Slightly Unsettling Shorts - Monona Terrace, 8:15

Pink Saris - Play Circle Theater, 8:30

If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle - Stage Door Theater, 8:45


The Robber - Orpheum Main, 9:00

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