This past weekend was the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival, and although we were only able to see a small portion of all the films (there must have been at least a hundred!), we did catch some real winners. Some trailers and links or small blurbs are below.
The first night, on Thursday, we saw a series of British short films, and although 4 of the 5 were really great, the first two particularly stood out to us. They were both about the particular difficulties about adolescence, but approached this issue from such dramatically different perspectives and styles that they complemented each other perfectly (one leaving you shocked and with tears, the other with smiles).
Love Does Grow On Trees
Then, on Friday, we saw a Romanian film, "Police, Adjective," that was billed as the anti-Law-and-Order or any other cop drama on television, in that it showed the tedium of police life, in contrast to the fast-paced, action-packed appearance of police work on television. Read a great New York Times review of the film here
and then watch the trailer:
On Saturday, we got to cinematically travel to Justin's home state of Oklahoma, to learn more about the worst environmental disaster in the country, Tar Creek, and all the awful, unfair, disgusting things that are happening in the attempt to address the human and environmental impacts of this relic of the country's mining past. The thing I liked most about this film was how clear it was that "environmental damage" really comes in the form of human damage--developmental and learning disabilities in children from lead poisoning, collapsed homes, financial ruin, corrupt politicians, and disenfranchisement on all levels...
And then on the last day, I got to see two films that were paired together and gave different glimpses into the American prison system. The first, A Life Taken, about the case of Shawn Drumgold, a man who was wrongly convicted of murder and who spent 15 years in prison before finally being released. And then, Girls On the Wall, one of the most moving films I've seen in a long time, about a drama program at a juvenile detention center for girls. This was a film that made me cry and smile, reaffirmed my convictions about the importance of processing emotion and trauma through creativity, and brought home just how much the cycle of difficult and traumatic lives gets passed down from parent to child and how deeply rooted "criminal" behavior is in psychological turmoil:
Anyone else seen any good films lately?