What’s Playing, Madison?

Check out Madison filmmaker Ben Wydeven's time travel movie "Quantum of Vengeance" this Sunday

See Madison filmmaker Ben Wydeven’s “Quantum of Vengeance” this Sunday at the High Noon Saloon


RAW: natural born artists present “Kaleidoscope” (6:45p — High Noon Saloon)

Interested in a hefty sampling of independent artists? What about dressing up in business casual cocktail attire? International arts organization RAW: natural born artists present a series of theatrical, musical and miscellaneous arts programs in “Kaleidoscope” tonight at the High Noon Saloon. The event is 21 and over, and tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. If this sounds like too much variety to get press on a film site, there’s a screening of the short film “Flowers” somewhere in all the action. So there.

Clips Beer & Film Tour (7:30p — Olin Park)

Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company stops by Madison on its annual Clips Beer & Film Tour. Featuring 16 different New Belgium brews, the event also promises 20 selected short films which begin screening at dusk. Proceeds from beer purchases will go toward the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, and smelly food and smelly family members are encouraged to attend. Bring an I.D. if you plan on tasting the beer though, because only admission is free; justice comes at a price.


Rooftop Cinema: Animated shorts from the National Film Board of Canada (9:30p — MMoCA’s Rooftop Garden)

This week, MMoCA features a decades-spanning sampling of animated shorts from the National Film Board of Canada. The seven selections range from 1955 to 2013 and draw from the organization’s 70+ years of contributions to cinema. Check out MMoCA’s Facebook page for a thorough rundown of what to expect. Tickets are $7 to non-MMoCA members, and should it rain, Rooftop Cinema will move to MMoCA’s lecture hall. They stay weather conscious in Canada too, ya know.

All freakin’ weekend

The Bling Ring (Sundance, AMC Star, Point, Eastgate)

Based on the widely-publicized “Bling Ring” string of teenage burglaries in the Hollywood Hills, Sofia Coppola’s new film finally makes its way to Madison theaters. In addition to cameos from Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton (w00t!), look for Emma Watson to continue her transfiguration spell from wizard know-it-all to disaffected California misanthrope.

The East (Sundance)

Sound of My Voice director Zal Batmanglij’s new political thriller The East also graces Sundance this weekend. The film follows an intelligence operative as she infiltrates anarchist collective, “The East,” and finds her loyalties compromised. I hate it when that happens.

Much Ado About Nothing (Sundance)

“Joss Whedon threw a party and a Shakespeare movie broke out.” At least that’s how Rob Thomas describes the God of the Nerds’ black-and-white adaptation of the Bard’s tale. Following its Madison debut as an are-you-kidding-me-there’s-no-way-you’re-getting-rush-tickets-to-this finale to the 2013 Wisconsin Film Festival, Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing returns this weekend.

World War Z (Point, AMC Star, Eastgate, Sundance)

Breathe a sigh of relief now that Brad Pitt’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie-pocalypse oral history has finally arrived, if only because it’s an end to the deluge of production hell stories plaguing the project since day one. Matt Mueller of OnMilwaukee.com seems to think World War Z is a near guaranteed flop, even in its varying degrees of two- and three-dimensionality.

Monsters University (Point, AMC Star, Eastgate)

Get your “Sully and Mike Wazowski make a beer bong” jokes in now; Pixar surely won’t do it for you when their Monsters, Inc. prequel, Monsters University, drags millions of families to theaters this weekend. Or, you could make the drive out to Jefferson and the Highway 18 Drive-In for a double feature of Monsters University and Oz: The Great and Powerful, which screen back-to-back at dusk June 20 – 27. Personally, I plan on forgetting to set my alarm and missing a Saturday matinee of this, only to frantically fabricate an email to my friends about a last-minute health emergency and regain their trust completely — That’s true collegiate fashion!


Quantum of Vengeance Release Party (1:00p — High Noon Saloon)

This is going to sound crazy but I know exactly what your plans are this Sunday afternoon: You’re coming to the release party of Quantum of Vengeancea new film from local filmmaker and (Film Reels co-creator) Ben Wydeven. Shot on location around Madison and Sun Prairie, the film stars Film Reels alum Alissa Kulinski who ignores the dangers of an iffy time travel device to stop the murder of her father (Tim Towne). In addition to a post-screening Q&A, festivities at the High Noon Saloon also feature a performance by local band Stereo Side Effect and a sneak preview of Wasau’s Jarrod Crooks’ new film, Dispatched. There is a $5 cover charge and copies of the film will be available for purchase.


Alien (9:00p — Memorial Union Terrace)

In Lake Mendota, no one can hear you scream. Then again, you should only be screaming for joy. WUD Film continues its Lakeside Cinema series with Ridley Scott’s science-fiction classic Alien. 34 years and (at least) two dumb sequels later, this unflinching ode to the callousness of science and the objectivity of discovery remains the strongest entry in the franchise. Scream for Ridley Scott’s cold direction and H.R. Giger’s iconic production design. Or scream for the strong effects work and O’Bannon and Shusett’s smart, economical script. I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream. Actually, the Union sells that, too.


Sundance Classics: Schindler’s List (1:05p, 6:55p — Sundance)

I like to think Ralph Fiennes’ road to Voldemort started all the way back in 1993, as the ruthless Schutzstaffel officer Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List. What a jerk that guy was.