The Milwaukee Short Film Festival is behind us and the debut Milwaukee Film Festival is under our belt, too. But don't think for a minute that the film scene has quieted down here.
No, now it's time for the 22nd annual LBGT Film / Video Festival, which takes places Oct. 15-25 at the UWM Union Theatre, the Oriental Theatre and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Here are some highlights, according to Carl Bogner of the UWM Film Dept. and director of the festival:
"The festival this year has an impressive musical inflection," says Bogner. "I mean, the soundtrack to 'We Are the Mods' is pretty cool and we have a real musical -- a really good musical -- in 'Fruit Fly,' the new film from this really smart, witty, versatile composer H. P. Mendoza. The songs are great, catchy in the best way.
"But of significant note we have two works by the Canadian John Greyson. Music is always really important to him -- he made the AIDS musical 'Zero Patience' -- and his new feature 'Fig Trees' is an opera and a documentary, or a documentary and an opera. About AIDS activism. Greyson is really smart, associative, activist and learned, and music provides both a model as a form but also serves to make the films more accessible, more emotional. 'Fig Trees' is packed with stuff -- the history of global AIDS activism, a discourse on opera -- but it is really moving, quite beautiful I think."
Although Bogner admits he was never really into sports, he says he's impressed by the sports films on this year's slate.
"They emphasize that sports can be a platform for actualization, for self-declaration, for community. There is this great documentary about teen sexuality, for instance, called 'Lady Trojans,' which is about this high school girls' basketball team and how it served as this safe space for young women to explore their sexuality. We also have 'Training Rules,' about homophobia in women's college sports, focusing specifically on the Penn State program where their lionized coach had three 'training rules': No alcohol, no drugs (and) no lesbians. And then one of the best documentaries we have is "Off and Running," about a teenage track star who was adopted by two great women, and how she gets unmoored a bit from the world when she reaches out to her birth mother. The film has remarkable access to her, and it's a great story."
In addition, says Bogner, there will also be some older works in the festival, including six programs of videos by Andy Warhol and his Factory cohorts. The films pair nicely with Milwaukee Art Museum's new Warhol exhibition, currently on view.
"That show is featuring his late paintings, so we -- curator Thomas Schur and myself -- thought we'd present his late media work, namely the experiments and portraits and documents and TV shows that were his video work," says Bogner. "All the work is, to me, pretty fascinating and some are I think truly great pieces of video art. And it will be a great opportunity, a singular opportunity in fact, to see these videos."
Here is a complete schedule for the LGBT Film / Video Festival. All screenings are in the UWM Union Theatre, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., except as noted.
Thursday, Oct. 15
7:30 p.m. -- Patrik, Age 1.5 (at the Oriental Theatre)
Friday, Oct. 16
5 p.m. -- An Englishman In New York
7 p.m. -- Prodigal Sons
9 p.m. -- We Are The Mods
Saturday, Oct. 17
5 p.m. -- Straightlaced
7 p.m. -- Hannah Free
9 p.m. -- Rivers Wash Over Me
Sunday, Oct. 18
2 p.m. -- Andy Warhol Video & TV: The Factory Goes To Hollywood
5 p.m. -- Still Black: A Portrait Of Black Transmen
7 p.m. -- Fig Trees
Monday, Oct. 19
7 p.m. -- Lady Trojans & Training Rules
Tuesday, Oct. 20
7 p.m. -- Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry:
Wednesday, Oct. 21
7 p.m. -- To Die Like A Man (Morrer Como Um Homem)
Thursday, Oct. 22
6:15 p.m. -- Andy Warhol Video & TV (Program II): Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes 1985-1987 (at Milwaukee Art Museum)
9 p.m. -- Fruit Fly
Friday, Oct. 23
7 p.m. -- A Sampling Of Cheeses And Wine: An Evening Of Men's Shorts
9 p.m. -- And Then Came Lola
Saturday, Oct. 24
1 p.m. -- Diagnosing Difference & Kaden Later
3 p.m. -- Travel Queeries & Welcome To My Queer Bookstore
5 p.m. -- Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement
7 p.m. -- An Evening Of Women's Shorts
9 p.m. -- Hollywood, Je T'aime
Sunday, Oct. 25
2 p.m. -- Andy Warhol Video & TV: Factory Diaries Featuring Brigid Polk (Program III)
4 p.m. -- Off And Running: An American Coming Of Age Story
6 p.m. -- Word Is Out
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.