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The Daily


Wisconsin Film Festival 2014: Shooter and Whitley director Laura A. Stewart discusses modern-day motorcycle culture

Despite the ongoing conversion to digital media in almost all forms of filmmaking, Laura A. Stewart is still inspired to use 16 mm film. Last year she received her MFA in film, video and new media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was awarded the William Merchant R. French Fellowship for outstanding MFA thesis. I chatted with Stewart about her thesis film, Shooter and Whitley, a hybrid documentary about motorcycle-club culture in Green Bay. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2014: Dostoevsky Behind Bars director Marc Kornblatt discusses learning grace in prison

Dostoevsky Behind Bars, a Wisconsin's Own selection at the Wisconsin Film Festival is that rare film that informs through osmosis. Screening Saturday, April 5, it does not preach, it does not judge, nor does it pretend to be anything more than it is: a marvelous and very assured documentary about university graduate students who volunteer to discuss literature and writing with inmates at the Oakhill Correctional Institution, a minimum-security prison in Oregon, Wis. >More
 Twelve hot tickets at the 2014 Wisconsin Film Festival

It's here! The official guide to the 2014 Wisconsin Film Festival is hot off the presses, nestled inside the issue of Isthmus that hits newsstands today. Though the fest takes place April 3-10, tickets sales begin Sat., March 8. Seats for many of the films will go fast, so here's a shortlist of titles you'll want to read up on right away. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival announces 2013 audience awards

The organizers of the Wisconsin Film Festival revealed the winners of this year's Steep & Brew audience awards on Thursday, April 25. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2013: Everybody in Our Family is a funny but uncomfortable tale of interpersonal conflict in Romania

As the meaty, sleeping figure of Marius Vizereanu (Serban Pavlu) is forced awake by his phone, the image of a hibernating bear comes to mind. Marius' tiny studio certainly has the air of a den: It's dark, strewn with beer cans and hundreds of outdated CDs. There's a bed that has likely never been made. His obligations to his ex-wife and 5-year-old daughter, Sofia, do eventually get him out of bed. But once he's outside his comfort zone, he fails to adapt. >More
 Anatomy of the 2013 Wisconsin Film Festival trailer (video)

Turns out the cows were extremely cooperative, interested in me and willing to follow me wherever I ran. So I would set my camera on a tripod and then run away from it, the cows would follow me, out of frame, and then I would run back to the camera and the cows would follow again, walking back into frame. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2013: Citizen Koch provides perspective on the Capitol protests of 2011

So of course I had to get tickets to Citizen Koch, a film that attempts to elucidate the relationships between the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the influence of businessmen Charles and David Koch, Americans for Prosperity, the tea party, and the epic (and I mean epic in more than just the current, debased version of the term) protests that took place in Madison in February and March of 2011 after Gov. Scott Walker introduced his "budget repair bill" that ultimately stripped public employee unions of much of their power. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2013: Only the Young gets remarkably close to three California teens

Only the Young plays like an ode to teenage uncertainty. In their documentary at the Wisconsin Film Festival, directors Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet chronicle the lives of three teenagers in Southern California. Kevin and Garrison, best friends, spend their time skateboarding and wandering around the dilapidated city of Santa Clarita. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2013: Street Pulse documents a Madison couple's struggle to overcome homelessness

Street Pulse, a movie the Wisconsin Film Festival screened at the UW Elvehjem Building on Saturday, isn't one of those dramas about easy-to-root-for underdogs. It's a documentary about real people trying to get by in Madison, despite some deep-rooted problems. In addition to introducing us to some of our community's least visible members, director Marc Kornblatt shows what it's like to live on the margins, where being ignored is an everyday occurrence. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2013: The Unspeakable Act is a fascinating character study that feels like a short story

At times, watching Dan Sallitt's new feature, The Unspeakable Act, feels like reading a short story. This stems, in part, from the detailed voiceovers of Jackie, the story's teenage protagonist (the charismatic Tallie Medel). It also comes from Sallitt's rich, nuanced depiction of her attachment to her brother Matthew (Sky Hirschkron), which traverses taboo territory with courage and sensitivity. The Wisconsin Film Festival screened this film at the UW Elvehjem Building on Friday night. >More
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