film

starwars.com / Lucasfilm/Disney

It’s been a month since Star Wars: The Force Awakes first arrived on movie screens around the world, and it has been a force, indeed. 

The movie earned more than $500 million at the box office in its first weekend alone, and its earnings are now over a billion dollars, making it the highest-grossing Disney film ever. It has also surpassed the record once held by the James Cameron film Avatar for the highest grossing film of all time.

spotlightthefilm.com

If you have lived in Milwaukee over the past 20 years, you most likely remember the uncovering of the sex abuse controversy and scandal within the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese. Milwaukee is unfortunately just one of many cities in the United States where widespread abuse, and the cover ups, have been discovered.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 / facebook.com

More than 25 years ago, Wisconsin native Joel Hodgson and a handful of other funny people launched a TV show on a UHF station in the Twin Cities. Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured Hodgson as the good natured Joel Robinson, who was sent into space by two mad scientists and sentenced to watch bad movies.

wickerwood, fotolia

Two of the most popular movie out now could not be more different. The animated Peanuts movie is becoming a family favorite just in time for the holidays and on the other end of the spectrum is Spectre - the latest entry in a long line of James Bond films.

Film contributor Dave Luhrssen say where the Bond franchise has been and where it’s going makes this film an especially noteworthy addition.

Cinema Management Group

It’s a milestone year for Milwaukee’s LGBT Film Festival - 30 years.  The festival, presented by UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts, opened last week and runs through Sunday.

Carl Bogner, the festival’s director, says one of the major changes in its existence is just how many more choices now exist in finding quality films to present.

Rory Marinich / Flickr

If a movie passes the Bechdel test, it features at least two women talking to each other about a subject besides a man. There are more of those films than there used to be, but they’re still not a given in Hollywood.

However there are signs of a significant shift of sorts to more older women playing key roles. It’s a trend that our film contributor Dave Luhrssen has taken note of.

Uncle John Movie via Facebook

The Milwaukee Film Festival continues at various theaters across the city this week, and if you are looking for a thriller with a Midwest sensibility, Uncle John will keep you on your toes throughout.

Some of you may remember actor John Ashton for his character roles in the Beverly Hills Cop or Midnight Run films, but in this independent film Ashton becomes the focus of attention as a quiet Wisconsin carpenter…and murderer.

yooperadoc.com

In the last few years, two of the most contentious debates in Wisconsin have been over a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin and over the future of organized labor across the state. 

It’s a century-old story involving mining and labor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that is the focal point of a documentary by Milwaukee filmmaker Suzanne Jurva called Yoopera!  But there’s a twist – her film centers on an effort to produce an opera about this often-forgotten piece of history. 

lasthouseproductions.com

One of the many features of this year's Milwaukee Film Festival is the Cream City Cinema series, which features films by and/or about Milwaukeeans. 

Peace it Together . / Flickr

The 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival opens tomorrow evening at several locations around town. 303 total films will be shown between opening night and October 8.

There will be more than 100 special guests participating in panel discussions, talk back and the annual keynote address. Chicago Tribune film critic, and Kenosha and Racine native, Michael Phillips will be delivering the keynote address on the state of cinema today.

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