The end is nigh. In only two excruciatingly short weeks I’ll be graduating from the Badger state’s finest institution of higher learning, finally earning that elusive descriptor of “real adult”—or more likely just “that depressed guy who drinks at the Union all day and pretends he’s still a student here, drowning his delusions in pint after pint of Spotted Cow.”
By David Cottrell
The movie theater is an odd, unique place if you think about it, a remnant of a bygone era. Not just in the way they get us out of our house to take in a form of entertainment that could be readily consumed in the privacy and comfort of our own abode, but in the way that they are one of the last places where we willingly and voluntarily rest so much of our enjoyment upon the social courtesy of those around us. In the words of Scarlett O’Hara, it’s a matter of relying “upon the kindness of strangers.”
My favorite film from this year’s Wisconsin Film Festival would have to be “Without” from writer/director Mark Jackson.
The 2012 Wisconsin Film Festival is finally here, and featuring more films than ever over five days, from Wednesday through Sunday. The festival is a remarkable opportunity for Madisonians to see a side of the indie film world that usually requires living in L.A. or New York, right here in our own backyard. To get your cinematic tastebuds salivating, I’ve selected the five films from this year’s lineup that have intrigued me the most:
YEAR 2005—so begins this year’s cinematic reimagining of the ’80s TV series “21 Jump Street” that launched the career of Johnny Depp. We open on metal-mouth-clad Jonah Hill donning a pair of those ridiculously, impractically baggy jeans from the turn of the (21st) century that have been all but forgotten in favor of their hipster antithesis, skinny jeans.
Andrew Neel’s “King Kelly” is a scorching, entertaining portrait of the YouTube generation.
This Friday I’ll be trading in the determinedly snowy streets of Madison for the sun-scorched roads of Austin, Texas to attend the 2012 South by Southwest festival with a few of my fellow Cardinal writers. Some call it the ultimate spring break for nerds, others a colossal celebration of all aspects of millennial culture. That includes music, technology and of course, where I will be most concerned, film. Considering that in 2007, SXSW served as the launching pad for the now ubiquitous social networking service Twitter, who knows what world-changing creative properties will debut this year, changing life, and our use of hash tags, as we know it forever.
Awards season for movie releases has come and gone, along with the Oscars themselves. After catching up on the last few intriguing winners that you’ve yet to see, there won’t be much left playing in the theaters with any real draw for awhile. We’ve officially entered that barren cinematic tundra that comes around at the start of every year, that miserable period of arctic chill after all the winter magic has come and gone, leaving us with nothing but dirty snow and foul movies.
Last week at Sundance Cinemas in Madison I witnessed a Norwegian teenage girl engage in a seagull-killing rampage with a heavy machine gun, a neurotic time machine inventor succumb to his OCD and spend a year trying to make one rather unremarkable day in his life perfect, two Irish estranged boyhood best friends reunite after 25 years, a young German couple become embroiled in a secret child-abduction ring after adopting a young Indian boy in Kolkata and a young Irish lad brazenly defy the Catholic church in the name of his one true love-football.
Rooney Mara's turn as Swedish author Stieg Larsson's pierced, tattoo-clad, anti-social Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's American film adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" this past December proved to be thoroughly enthralling-enough even to land her a nomination for Best Actress at the 2012 Academy Awards later this month. While Swedish actress Noomi Rapace got the first crack at the character in the Danish film adaptations of Larsson's Millennium trilogy, Mara managed to do the character better justice in her portrayal by imbuing the ass-kicking, name-taking Salander with the undertone of vulnerability that was missing from Rapace's pure bad ass. Although this thread of humanity that Mara brings to the role certainly complicates the character of Lisbeth Salander, there is no doubt that she qualifies as the archetypal anti-hero, a trope that is becoming more and more common in our culture.