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Film Fest Freakout

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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Ducatista » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:41 am

rrnate wrote:we all know (except I guess for kurt w) what a shitshow that's been...

You mean the Orpheum legal/financial shitshow, right? I think that was more of a contributor than its shoddiness.

Kurt_w, the theater side of Memorial Union is undergoing a massive renovation. I expect MU will be back in the lineup once that's done... which last I heard may not be in time for WFF 2014.

I was disappointed when the Fest stopped booking Majestic. Dunno if Majestic promoter contracts didn't allow it, or if the Fest didn't want to (or couldn't) cough up the cash required to reserve a popular venue. Either way, a big loss in my book.

I'm beyond disappointed they dropped the other downtown venues this year. Bartell was great (I'm with you, Zoti Bamba—Bartell was godawful in the early years, a deal-killer for me, but crossed over into scale-tipper after they fixed it up). MMoCA was pleasant enough, and I remember seeing at least one screening in the Capitol Theater in Overture, though that was a few years back. They used Monona Terrace for a couple/few years, I think, but that made less sense once Majestic was out of the picture.

I'm not boycotting Fest Lite, just doing what I can to concentrate the experience back to full strength. Going to Film Fest at Sundance is really just Seeing a Movie at Sundance. Nothing wrong with that—unless, like me, you care as much about the Fest as about the Film.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby green union terrace chair » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:41 am

kurt_w wrote:
jjoyce wrote:They just couldn't rely on certain venues, right? Definite no on Memorial Union and probably not on Orpheum. That's four screens.


Just curious what you mean by that. They certainly used MU and Orpheum in the past. So how did they become unreliable?

Sorry if I'm missing something that everyone in Madison knows ... the category of "stuff that happened in Madison after Kurt left but he never heard about" somehow keeps expanding.

Memorial Union's venues are under construction, unless you want to sit outside and watch a film projected onto a pile of bricks or a broken up wall.

The Orpheum is currently being managed by Frank Productions. WFF probably chose their venues before Frank took over when the Orpheum's future was even less than uncertain.

And yeah, I love the Orpheum but it SUCKS as a movie venue because of the sound more than anything else. It's always muddy and dialogue can be difficult if not impossible to understand at times. It's probably a combination of the sound system and the fact that it was not originally built as a movie theater.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby kurt_w » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:49 am

green union terrace chair wrote:Memorial Union's venues are under construction, unless you want to sit outside and watch a film projected onto a pile of bricks or a broken up wall.

:oops:

Obviously I never should have posted in this thread. Thanks for the replies and carry on with what you were doing before I jumped in to ask what turned out to be a hilariously dumb question.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Athena » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:54 pm

According to the article on the front page, the lack of downtown theaters was more due to the lack of digital projectors rather than a desire to move out of downtown. It's really difficult to get films that are actually on film anymore so I can understand the shift. I do like Sundance as a venue - it's comfortable and has food which is huge since scheduling dinner breaks doesn't always work well.

I thought the reduction in venues and longer schedule would help to see more movies, but they picked too many good movies this year and it's impossible to see all of them. I'm one of those people who try to see as many movies as I can during the festival so this year is extra hard since I'm going to be seeing more and I don't want to burn out on it early. Top picks for me are The Painting since I love animation, Much Ado About Nothing since I love both Shakespeare and Joss Whedon, and Cheap Thrills since I like Pat Healy.

So, um, what did happen with Meg? I love her and I've definitely missed her. I do think that Jim Healy has been doing a great job though and I appreciate his taste in films. I haven't had trouble any year finding more interesting films than is possible to see.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Ducatista » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:24 pm

That article was misleading, I'm guessing intentionally so.

All the downtown venues can project digital formats. What they apparently can't accommodate is "Digital Cinema Package (DCP), the preferred digital format of commercial exhibitors, including Sundance."

As for "More and more titles are being offered exclusively in this format," exclusively doesn't ring true. First of all, DCP is a pricey format to generate, out of the reach of some filmmakers. Second, submitters will supply what the Festival requires. If WFF were interested in using the popular downtown venues, they could specify that DCP submissions be accompanied by non-DCP format.

I understand why the Fest would want to soothe disgruntled attendees, but I'm not keen on the pixelwashing.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Logjam » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:08 am

I'll echo missing the Bartell and MMOCA, two of my favorite venues in recent years.

I haven't been to Chazen for WFF but I'm looking at some options there this year. The Elvehjem's seating is simply not compatible with my legs and gets crossed off by default.

Sundance is a great theater and I'll make the trek for at least two screenings but overall I'll probably buy less tickets than in the past, despite the additional days.

It's getting a little late in the morning to not have my list figured out.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Athena » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:22 am

I'm at 17 movies. There's a very small chance we might drop one or two more but it looks like 17 is the magic number this year.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Zoti Bemba » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:14 pm

It looks like I'm down to 7 this year -- 8 if I can figure out a way to see M. I'll be missing opening night due to a prior commitment, and not taking Friday off as I have the past few years in order to squeeze one or two more films in, so costs are within budget for a change. Considered Radio Unnameable as an alternate to M but the thought of watching it in the Chazen made my ears and neck hurt. I might try a same day/voucher strategy for M; haven't really decided yet.

The good news is three(!) shorts programs in addition to Leviathan, Consuming Spirits and Tiger Tail in Blue (my token indie narrative), so it may feel like 16 by the end of the weekend. Plenty of experimental but it looks like everything is either USA or WI, which makes it an odd year for me. Usually I try to have at least one film that's not in English, if only to see what's happening these days out in the wide world of movie making.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Ducatista » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:32 pm

We ended up with our customary 13, all on campus:

I Am Divine
Source Tags and Codes
In the House
Leviathan
The World Before Her
Lunarcy!
The End of Time
Consuming Spirits
Citizen Koch
The Final Member
Computer Chess
This is Martin Bonner
Kon-Tiki

Heavy on the documentaries this year, and not an Asian or Eastern European in the bunch, which makes me sad.

Eh, if dilution is the way WFF is heading, we'll make the most of what it is and be glad for what it was. Hard to believe it's been a dozen years since we attended our first Fest...
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Zoti Bemba » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:01 pm

Well it looks like I've solved my M problem -- Duck Soup Cinema is showing Girl Shy the Saturday of the Film Festival. Checked with my friend who refuses to do the Film Festival any more -- looks like I'll be taking a small break this year from lining up early and jostling for a seat. And then... Myth Labs! :shock:

It's a little sad (and, perhaps, telling) that WFF/Cinematheque and Duck Soup/The Overture Center can't manage to coordinate with each other, even though it seems to have worked out for me this time. My friend and I went to see Faust at the Overture about a month ago. Totally amazing and, sadly, underattended. An announcement or e-mailing may not have helped but it certainly wouldn't have hurt.
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Re: Film Fest Freakout

Postby Zoti Bemba » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:07 pm

Looks like it's 7 again this year for me:

Manakamana
Shooter and Whitley
Short Films from Wisconsin's Own
Crimes Against Humanity
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Black Jack
The Congress

Avoided Sundance again entirely and also planned to avoid the Chazen until I realized that a small, uncomfortable, awkward box is probably the perfect place to watch a documentary shot in a small, uncomfortable, awkward box. A perfect pairing of film and venue. And since Leviathan was pretty much the highlight of my festival last year, I have some hope for Manakamana.

I noticed a sad shortage of shorts programs this year, am once again deficient in the foreign language foreign film department (unless Black Jack and The Congress count?), and have been forced into the risky strategy of getting my avant garde fix in dangerous longer format doses. I can sit through anything! I hope.

Not particularly happy with the thought that I will be paying $9.00 a pop to do so, though. That really cut down my interest in the earnest documentaries that will probably show up on WPT in 6-12 months, as well as anything that is outside my usual comfort zone, or just not worth a $9.00 bet.
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