The ecstasy and the agony, the exhiliration and the exhaustion

Yesterday—Day 4 of the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival—was long, rich, enlightening and tiring as all get-out. From about 8AM on I was running all over town—chatting with folks, ducking in and out of screenings, collecting my thoughts, eating rarely, drinking too much coffee, etc. I’m pleased to present the fruits of my labor of love: my debut article for the Isthmus. Kudos to Kenneth Burns for giving me the opportunity to write for somebody other than myself or the student press.

I should mention that “Still Raining, Still Dreaming,” the program of avant-garde shorts by Phil Solomon and Mark LaPore, curated by UW PhD candidate John Powers, was probably the coolest and most beautiful thing I’ve seen at this year’s festival. As I mentioned in the article, Solomon has taken his former teacher Stan Brakhage’s approach to making astonishingly poetic films without a camera to a completely new, almost unprecedented plateau. If the opportunity to see these films—“Crossroad” (made by Solomon and LaPore in collaboration), Solomon’s eulogistic trilogy of “Rehearsals for Retirement,” “Last Days in a Lonely Place” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming,” and LaPore’s “The Glass System”—ever presents itself, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of it. The friends who accompanied me to the screening can attest to the fact that my jaw dropped during the first film and didn’t come back up until I noticed that everybody was filing out of the Cinematheque at the end.

But what about today (Day 5)? I’m planning to see “The Art of the Steal” at the MMOCA at 1:15, “Seventeen” at the Cinematheque at 4, and “The Train” at the ‘theque at 6:45. Why not go out with a bang, eh?

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One Response to “The ecstasy and the agony, the exhiliration and the exhaustion”

  1. Obligatory end-of-film-festival top 5 list « CineMadison Says:

    […] me. Forgive my failure to elaborate on these picks; my opinions of “Daddy Longlegs” and the Phil Solomon shorts can be found here and in my Isthmus article. Definitely jump at the opportunity to see any of these […]

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