We've been attending the Madison festival for a number of years, and we always have fun, even when the weather doesn't cooperate. This year the festival sponsored two hundred films in ten locations within walking distance of the University of Wisconsin. The festival lasts four days, which must be exhausting for the volunteers who run it, but we just saw six films in two days and were plenty satisfied. I suppose a person could see, say, five films a day for a total of twenty, but we have learned our limits when it comes to sitting and watching. My eyeballs and backside can just tolerate so much.
My husband and I have always watched movies, lots of movies. When we were students at UW Whitewater (http://www.uww.edu) we went for movie dates downtown, and on campus. When he was doing his grad work at Madison we went to movies all over campus that the film societies sponsored (all before home videos or DVDs). The thing about this film festival is the packed theaters, the enthusiastic and mostly considerate audience, and the fact that we can usually get tickets for films where the director is there to answer audience questions. What more can avid movie-goers want?
This year we emphasized documentaries. There was a fun collection of award-winning British television ads, many of which were visually creative and funny. This great clip is an example:
I liked the combination of science and art in the documentary Between the Folds, which looks at several artists and scientists pushing the art of origami to amazing new levels. THere are wonderful examples of origami work here:
Another film with an artistic emphasis was about the photographer Julius Shulman, famous for his elegant photography of modern architecture. This one, Visual Acoustics, narrated in part by Dustin Hoffman, gave me a new appreciation for design.
Finally, the most entertaining one of all for me, was called Paper or Plastic? This documentary told the story of eight participants in a national grocery bagging competition. It is nothing short of an ode to the working person, and a celebration of people who will accept nothing but their best.
So that's it for 2009. Back to watching DVDs at home and the occasional matinee screen at the multiplex. We'll be waiting to see what goodies the WFF will bring next spring.