Madison Sourdough’s latest confection? Free arthouse movies.

(Photo credit: Neue Now)

Despite a new patisserie this past February and a cold stone mill on the way, Madison Sourdough isn’t quite finished with the upgrades. The communal bakery is branching out into more interesting territory, too: movies.

Beginning in Jul and running sporadically through early Oct, Madison Sourdough will play host to “Patio Movie Nights,” a new free film series. The program kicks off this Fri with a French-themed double bill of Vivre sa vie and, appropriately, The Bakery Girl of Monceau.

Believe it or not, the roots for showing movies at a bakery are there. Series programmer and Sourdough employee Jason Fuhrman also programs “Cinesthesia,” the Madison Public Library’s series dedicated to contemporary arthouse and classic movies. “[The owner of Madison Sourdough] heard about my series at the library and asked for my assistance with the programming,” Fuhrman wrote to me via email. “Naturally, I could not refuse as I am always looking for opportunities to exhibit alternative movies, especially at unique or unusual venues.”

Spanning four months, “Patio Movie Nights” will also screen Wong Kar-wai’s melancholy romance In the Mood for Love (Jul 31), Wild Strawberries (Aug 7), Still Walking (Aug 21), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Sep 4), and Babette’s Feast (Sep 25), wrapping in the fall with The Secret of the Grain (Oct 9).

With films by Luis Buñuel and Hirokazu kore-eda, Fuhrman sees “Patio Movie Nights” as an “extension” of his library project. “The selection will adhere to the same criteria and aesthetic quality, but with a shift in focus.” There is room for variety, though. “Cinesthesia tends to highlight more controversial, transgressive and edgy films while exploring the relationship between literature and cinema,” Fuhrman said. “Albeit provocative, the MSCo Patisserie series is perhaps more palatable and, with a couple of exceptions, emphasizes the general theme of food on film.”

Sourdough’s film connections don’t stop with Fuhrman either. Co-worker Emily Hegland is also one of the many talented filmmakers working on Frank, a short film project based out of UW’s Communication Arts department. Small world, eh?

  • Madison Sourdough’s “Patio Movie Nights” begin on Fri, Jul 17, wrap on Fri, Oct 9. All films are FREE and begin at sundown. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and extra chairs, and all are welcome to purchase Sourdough’s baked goods, sweets, and alcoholic beverages for concessions.