Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Looking at the bemused faces of those leaving the theatres sponsoring yet another exercise in desperation known as the "Milwaukee Film Festival" brings to mind lots of humorous thoughts.

A little podunk town trying to look big in the eyes of the world by holding a movie festival (can't call it a "film festival" because they don't show films anymore, just videos), featuring the type of junk you wouldn't walk across the street to see and in fact fewer and fewer people even do see.  The lineup of titles offered at the festival is a stark reminder that Amateur Night is still the operative phrase to describe modern screen offerings. Boring, obscure and shoddily-made they elicit "Bravos" from the attendees and organizers who have for a long time forgotten what a good movie is supposed to look like. But selecting such awful stuff and inflicting it on a dazed and jaded public is "the thing to do". The lengths local city boosters will go to to try to make themselves look important is not only pitiful but extremely funny.

But this is not surprising since Milwaukee is very good at self-delusion.  Some years back they re-named their airport from the perfectly fine and appropriate "Mitchell Field" (named after Billy Mitchell) to the more grandiose "Mitchell International Airport"!  This is especially interesting since there are no international flights to or from Milwaukee - but I suppose you can check your luggage through to London when you fly from Milwaukee to a real international airport, like O'Hare in Chicago.

Are all Midwestern towns like this?

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