Year five, day two of the Weyauwega International Film Festival is underway.
The day began with breakfast at the B &B with English Documentary filmmakers Jacob Hesmondhalgh and Marie Josephine Hobson. Their film ‘The Family and The Animals’ was filmed in Zimbabwe.
The we went super market shopping so they could by snacks and enjoy local flare, Wisconsin cheese and more.
It is now 1pm and the Gerold Opera Hostel is bustling. This afternoon starts off with a presentation from film historian Dr. Jack Rhodes. He presents the 1959 movie ‘Compulsion’ starring Orson Welles, Diana Varsi, Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman.
Directed by Richard Fleischer, Compulsion is set in 1924 Chicago and is based on the historic Leopold and Loeb murder trial. I saw it as a child and many times since. I am looking forward to the presentation.
Lot’s of food, snacks, drinks, popcorn and candy sold as film fans and filmmakers make their way into the theater.
Dr Rhodes stated he wanted to include this movie showing because his area of expertise in film is from the 20-60s. Edgy, different, studio releases from the classics period. Plus, it is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kenosha, Wisconsin native Orson Welles.
Cannes Film Festival divided best actor among the three, Welles, Stockwell and Dillman. Welles appears at about 67 minutes into the film and has one of the longest uninterrupted courtroom speeches in film history.
Similar to television series, Law and Order the first half of the film is about the crime, ‘the crime of the century’; the second half ‘the trial of the century’ the trial. Film also includes recently passed Martin Milner as a featured character in the movie. Other notables include E.G Marshall and Richard Anderson and Gavin McLeod.
Made during the era of the production code filmmakers had to find alternative ways to let audience know that the criminal partners were life partners.
Watch for the oval cupids in background during the staircase scene, or the dutch angels meaning tilted, and in one scene one literally exists the closet, meaning coming out of the closet. Dialogue, ‘are you ditching me for some girl?’ ‘Well, I couldn’t find you for three days.’
Daryl F. Zanuck producer chose black and white purposefully and recreated old world Chicago. Checkout the Art Direction and Production Design.
The Art Director, Lyle Wheeler, won 5 Academy Awards out of 24 nominations. These were, ‘Gone with the Wind’, Anna And the Kind of Siam’, ‘The Robe’, ‘The King and I’, and ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.
Willian C Mellor, Academy Winner, for Place in the Sun and Anne Frank. Check the credits for all the notable filmmakers who made this film. Among his notable credits is George Steven’s ‘Giant’.
Knock yourself out looking everyone up on IMDB.com Then, make sure you check out the film. A wonderful introduction by Dr Jack Rhodes.
Dr Rhodes conducted a fun post movie Q & A with other great tirvia coming forth. Welles, admits at his age he could not remember all the dialogue so he used a teleprompter. The difficulty keeping the prompter off camera. Proudly, Welles, asserts, ‘I did it in one take!’
That plus much more made it a fun afternoon of vintage movie watching. Short program begins in a bit!
Just met Milwaukee area author, director Ron Faiola and his producer John Prudlow prior to the screening of their short ‘Tilt-A-Whirls, Cowbells and Beer’ an exploration of Milwaukee area church festivals.
Slogan seems to be ‘Drinking for Jesus!’ This is Wisconsin and no one needs a reason to drink OR any reason will do. But ‘drinking for Jesus’ will now remain close to my heart.
Faiola is also known for ‘Wisconsin Supper Clubs’ film and the book and ‘Fish Fry Night Milwaukee’. Ron has become known as the filmmaker chronicling Wisconsin and unique Wisconsin happenings and rituals.
Ron and Jack fielded questions after the shorts segment. They discussed topics in the film; cost of festivals, weather, safety, dwindling numbers of festivals as a result, drinking, feeding, gaming. and more.
Wisconsin has it’s own way of entertaining itself. 10 years ago there were over 200 festivals. Today, that number is down around 120. What is next?
The USA/Australian Documentary feature ‘Polyfaces’ features one of the world’s best farms in action. Workers from the farm answered questions during the Q & A. Great discussion on nutrition and sustainable farming practices.
These people now have relocated to a new farm in Princeton, Wisconsin. They have a much smaller farm and follow the tenants of Polyfaces. They cater special events and weddings with healthy food.
Today represented the 2nd US showing of Polyfaces. It is the first showing since it’s premiere and they chose Weyauwega. It is a fascinating film and following discussion about how we could be eating healthier more often if more farms had conscientious healthy practices.
Shorts followed. Director Nathan Deming was in attendance answering questions about his short ‘Dog Days’. The film was his thesis project for the London Film School, in England. Crew working on Dog Days came from Wisconsin, California, Norway, Spain and Lebanon.
Deming, graduated the film school and is now working on his first narrative feature about a young man caught up inn a religious organization.
Closing the evening will be the documentary feature ‘Peace Officer’ about the increasingly militarized state of American police, as told by former sheriff Dub Lawrence.
Lawrence established and trained his rural state’s first SWAT team who later shot and killed his son-in-law 30 years later. A sad, disturbing film on the use or misuse of deadly force.
The film ends. Conversation ensues as people make their way out of the Gerold which ends day 2. My English companions Jacob and Marie and I make our way back to the B & B. Turns out Nathan is staying there as well. Perhaps, all four of us will have breakfast tomorrow. I’ll report day 3 tomorrow, similarly as I have today.
Tomorrow, Friday the 13th brings out the Spooky movies at Weyauwega International Film Festival and begins the weekend.
Come and join the rest of us filmmakers and fans if you can!
I’LL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY SO CHECK BACK IF YOU’D LIKE TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH SOME OF THE HAPPENINGS HERE.