'Carlos' is a charismatic leader, a womanizer, a cold-blooded murderer.
On Friday the Wisconsin Film Festival nearly hits its stride, with 35 programs in eight venues, starting at 1 p.m. It's a breathtaking mix.
You want documentaries? They got documentaries. There's the one about the orangutan (Nénette), the one about pranksters in North Korean (The Red Chapel), the one about burro racing (Haulin' Ass), the one about a pipeline that threatens a way of life in Ireland (The Pipe), and the one about the guy who builds a model World War II town (Marwencol). Among others.
You want world cinema? Check out selections from places like France (Mozart's Sister), Iran (The White Meadows), China (Bodyguards and Assassins) and Russia (How I Ended This Summer). Among others.
How about classic films by master directors? You got your Michelangelo Antonioni (Le Amiche), and then you got your Ernst Lubitsch (Cluny Brown).
How about a mockumentary about a troll hunter? Consider The Troll Hunter.
And so much more. The mustn't-miss film is Carlos, Olivier Assayas' epic biography of the international terrorist Carlos the Jackal. Sure, it starts at 1 p.m. on a Friday and is five and a half hours long, but that's why God made sick days. Find news and reviews for The Troll Hunter, Marwencol and other films screening today below.
Wisconsin Union Theater, Friday, April 1, 1 pm
Made as a television miniseries by Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep), this stunning film biography of the international terrorist Carlos the Jackal is a tour de force for the Venezuelan actor Édgar Ramírez. Carlos is a charismatic leader, a womanizer, a cold-blooded murderer, and the film traces his violent career over decades. It begins amid the political ferment of the early 1970s and concludes after the end of the Cold War renders his brand of revolution irrelevant. A 140-minute theatrical cut exists, but do yourself the favor of luxuriating in this sprawling 5-1/2-hour version. - Kenneth Burns
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Friday (8 pm) & Sunday (3:45 pm), April 1 & 3
A three-hour movie about a mass murderer in which nothing happens? You must be talking about the Romanian New Wave. I exaggerate. Stuff does happen in the fascinating Aurora, which was written and directed by Cristi Puiu, whose The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) is a defining work in Romanian cinema's remarkable flowering. It's just that American moviegoers aren't used to seeing violent sociopaths portrayed this way. Viorel (Puiu) calmly drives around. He goes shopping. He squabbles with his stepfather. He talks with the neighbors about his home-improvement projects. Here and there, he kills people. Puiu creates lengthy, aching silences in which viewers can ruminate on what all this means. I found myself contemplating the traumas of the Ceausescu era. - Kenneth Burns
Orpheum main theater, Friday, April 1, 8:15 pm
Franois Ozon (Under the Sand, 8 Women) adapted and directed this comedy, which is set in the 1970s and stars Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu. And what a pleasure it is to see them together! The pair, who first costarred in Truffaut's The Last Metro, play former young lovers. Now middle aged, they live in enemy camps. He's a jaded labor leader, and she's the trophy wife of a craven, philandering industrialist (Fabrice Luchini). When her husband leaves the country, she takes over the factory and introduces some compassion to management's dealings with the staff.
Deneuve is regal and funny, and her chemistry with Depardieu is marvelous. Fate has brought their characters to opposite sides of the bargaining table, but they're gentle with each other. If Deneuve and Depardieu were handling Wisconsin's labor disputes, we'd all be better off. - Kenneth Burns
Carlos - Wisconsin Union Theater, 1:00
Mozart's Sister - MMoCA, 1:00
- Independent Magazine: Mozart's Sister
The Red Chapel - Play Circle Theatre, 1:30
- New York Times: A Fake Danish Comedy Troupe Goes To North Korea, With Strange Results
- Village Voice: The Red Chapel Crashes North Korea
Le Amiche - UW Cinematheque, 1:45
- New York Times: Mid-'50s Melodrama, via Antonioni
- Village Voice: Antonioni's Lessons Learned in Le Amiche
Nénette - Play Circle Theatre, 3:30
- A.V. Club: Nénette
- New York Times: A Meditation on Captivity, Featuring an Orangutan
- Independent: Ready for your close-up, Nénette?
The White Meadows - MMoCA, 3:30 pm
- Film Threat: The White Meadows
Cluny Brown - UW Cinematheque, 4:00
- Huffington Post: Cinematic Enchantment
How I Ended This Summer - Orpheum Stage Door, 5:00
- Salon.com: How I Ended This Summer: A thriller from the Russian Arctic
- New York Times: Standoff in a Frigid Circle of Hell
- Sidney Morning Herald: A disquieting kind of silence
Bodyguards and Assassins - Orpheum main theater, 5:15
- IFC.com: Bodyguards and Assassins: The revolution will be verbalized
- Taipei Times: Bodyguards fail to save the day
The Pipe - Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm
- Pop Matters: The Pipe: We Mean Business
Aurora - MMoCA, 8:00
Potiche - Orpheum main theater, 8:15
Marwencol - Bartell Theatre, 10:30
The Troll Hunter - Orpheum Main, 10:45