2012 Wisconsin Film Festival Film Guide

Page 30

Ottawa Signal Films: 5 Short Animations by J.J. Sedelmaier

Documenting Westphal

Seis de Seis

Sleepless Night (Nuit Blanche)

MADISON PREMIERE • documentary • USA, 2011, color, HD projection• 20 MIN DIRECTOR: KURT RAETHER

cinematography: Quinn Hester; editor: Kurt Raether; producer: Kurt Raether

The 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial election was a tight race between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett, but Documenting Westphal shifts the attention to a lesser known candidate: Frederick Westphal, an unforgettable character who gradually becomes more and more enmeshed with the documentary crew profiling him. (JP)

Seven Solos WISCONSIN PREMIERE • documentary • USA, 2011, color, HD projection • 56 MIN DIRECTOR: DOUGLAS ROSENBERG

director of photography: Michael Eckblad; choreographers: Cynthia Adams, Heidi Latsky, Bebe Miller, June Watanabe, Elizabeth Streb, Molissa Fenley, Victoria Marks

Seven Solos is a must-see for dance aficionados, following acclaimed dancer Li Chiao-Ping as she prepares to perform a concert of solos by seven renowned postmodern choreographers. This sensitive portrayal of the creative process also features exquisitely rendered dance sequences. (JP)

Singing Biscotts SEE: Luther Price: Biscuits and Biscotts

Sleep Study SEE: Somebody Up There Likes Me

Sleepless Night (Nuit Blanche) THU, APR 19 • 9:30 PM Sundance Cinema 1

SAT, APR 21 • 9:30 PM Orpheum Theatre WISCONSIN PREMIERE • narrative • France, 2011, color, HD projection • 102 MIN DIRECTOR: FRÉDÉRIC JARDIN

writer: Frédéric Jardin, Nicolas Saada, Olivier Douyère; director of photography: Tom Stern; original music: Nicolas Errera, E DJ Yenn, Ionic Benton, Artaban; producer: Marco Cherqui, Lauranne Bourrachot; cast: Tomer Sisley, Serge Riaboukine, Julien Boisselier, Joey Starr, Laurent Stocker, Birol Unel, Lizzie Brochere, Samy Seghir, Dominique Bettenfeld, Adel Bencherif In French with English subtitles

A thriller with all the boring parts cut out, Sleepless Night is the Ideal Action Movie: a rocking, edge-ofyour-seat chase scene extended to feature length. The perfect antidote to so many yawn-inducing shoot-emups, this whirlwind of escapist mayhem is unencumbered by lame love interests, thudding comic relief, and the rest of the lazy pitfalls that regularly bog down Hollywood blockbusters. Of course, it had to come from the unlikeliest of places: France. Unfolding almost entirely within a

packed Parisian nightclub, this pulsepounding policier charges out of the gate with a drug deal gone wrong, and then Does. Not. Let. Up. It’s 90 minutes of sheer action-movie magic, replete with crooked cops, doublecrossings, kidnappings, and expertly choreographed fights. Working with cinematographer Tom Stern (who has shot every Clint Eastwood film since Blood Work), director Frédéric Jardin keeps both action and plot clearly intelligible and utterly engrossing — no small feat in this era of Bourne-style hypercutting. Remake rights for Sleepless Night were snapped up by Warner Brothers and inevitably handed to serial remaker Roy Lee (producer of many silly Americanized takes on J-horror), so here’s your chance to savor the original, pungent fromage before it becomes Hollywood Velveeta. “Sleepless Night doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but, damn, it demonstrates perfectly how fast the wheel can go when someone who knows what they’re doing is putting the pedal to the metal while they turn the stereo up loud.” — James Rocchi, The Hitlist. “A midnight screening of Sleepless Night woke me up more effectively than any cup of coffee I’ve ever had in my life… if the Oscars added a Best Action Movie category, it would be a shoo-in.” — Matt Singer, IFC. (MK)

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Somebody Up There Likes Me FRI, APR 20 • 10:00 PM Orpheum Theatre 80 MIN + 30 MIN POST-FILM Q&A FILMMAKERS SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Sleep Study narrative • USA, 2011, color, HD projection • 5 MIN DIRECTOR: KERRI LENDO, JOHN MERRIMAN

cast: Kerri Lendo, John Merriman

Sleep Study is a hilarious short film from Austin-based writers and comedians John Merriman and Kerri Lendo that shows what really happens when the lights go out. (JH)

Somebody Up There Likes Me WISCONSIN PREMIERE • narrative • USA, 2012, color, HD projection • 75 MIN DIRECTOR: BOB BYINGTON

screenplay: Bob Byington; music by Chris Baio; cinematography: Sean Price Williams; animation: Bob Sabiston; executive producers: Stuart

Bohart, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos; producers: Nick Offerman, Hans Graffunder; cast: Keith Poulson, Nick Offerman, Jess Weixler, Stephanie Hunt, Kevin Corrigan, Kate Lyn Sheil, Marshall Bell, Jonathan Togo, Megan Mullally, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Alex Ross Perry, Andrew Bujalski, Bob Schneider


Documenting Westphal

Bob Byington, the filmmaker who last brought us the 2010 WFF smash Harmony and Me, returns with another cheerfully sardonic deadpan comedy. Somebody Up There Likes Me tells the everyman saga of Max (Bishop Allen musician and Harmony cast veteran Keith Poulson), who agelessly glides through 35 years of adult life, dealing in his own nonplussed way with marriage, divorce, fatherhood, career successes, and failures, and his ultimate fate. Along for most of the ride are his second wife, Lyla (Jess Weixler) and his short-term-memorychallenged sidekick Sal (Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman, who also served as the film’s producer). Dryly funny, occasionally whimsical, and sometimes enigmatic, Byington’s movie unfolds within a series of 31