One of the characteristics of this time of the year, besides the clustered holidays, is the plethora of new movie releases. The presumption is that the public has the time and motivation to see a movie, in large part, because of those clustered holidays.
Even if you aren't one to go to the physical cinema, there's always the rental route. And since movie watching is such a favored activity during this period, editor Dean Robbins thought it might be nice to catalogue the films in which Madison is pictured. He gives us a list of theatrical releases (The War At Home documentary doesn't qualify) that have portrayed our fair city and gives us a critical rundown to boot. Suffice it to say that in Robbins' estimation, Madison will never be known as a breeding ground for Oscars.
"Madison in the Movies" is a fun read, though. I just have a couple of personal footnotes to add. It is mentioned that I was asked permission to exhibit Isthmus in the film For Keeps. I remember that, but I never saw the movie. Make no mistake; I would have hired Molly Ringwald. I did like the part of the article that says I was played by "a hunk."
Also, Starman is listed as being set, in part, in Madison but not actually filmed here. Too bad. Of the films mentioned this is my favorite. Jeff Bridges crafts a convincing portrayal of a stranded alien out of little more than a quirky delivery, but he is the best alien ever.
Since we are extolling the editing class, let me point your attention to our Opinion column, penned this week by former Isthmus editor Marc Eisen, who now dispenses his wisdom on a freelance basis. Speaking of bad movies, in his piece "Big Dreams, Small Tent," Eisen critiques the current production of the Wisconsin Republican Party, whose actions are typical of Republican organizations throughout the country. They believe they are going to ride the pendulum back into power, and they're making sure only the ideologically pure are on board. There's a problem with that, says Eisen.