August 20, 2017

Missed Madison Film Festival

Missed Madison post

An annual weeklong virtual festival from Madison Film Forum, LakeFrontRow, and Four Star Video Coop.

2017 Missed Madison Film Festival: January 23 through January 27

Follow the links below to discover the films discussed during the Missed Madison Film Festival each year. This “virtual festival” guides you to local and streaming resources to catch up with what you missed last year.


2017 Missed Madison Film Festival

The second Missed Madison Film Festival will take place January 23 through January 27. Click here to find links to 20 reviews at Madison Film Forum and LakeFrontRow (posted through the week), as well as a list of titles on display at Four Star Video Cooperative.

2016 Missed Madison Film Festival

The inaugural Missed Madison Film Festival took place January 11 through January 15, 2016. Click here to find links to all 30 films discussed by fourteen writers and podcasaters. Note: this first Festival included reviews posted at WUD Film Presents, which are no longer available.

Read 2016 MMFF coverage by Jay Rath at Isthmus, and by Rob Thomas on his Madison Movie blog.

Go to the WORT-FM archives to listen to the “Wages of Cinema” segment of the January 12 episode of Fire Worship! (cue to 1:34:40). Host JoAnne Powers moderated a discussion of the MMFF with Madison Film Forums James Kreul, Four Star’s Lewis Peterson, and LakeFrontRows Grant Phipps.

What is the Missed Madison Film Festival (MMFF)?

The Missed Madison Film Festival, a collaboration between Four Star Video Coop (449 State Street) and local cinema websites Madison Film Forum and LakeFrontRow showcases films that were released in the previous calendar year, but never played in Madison theaters.

MMFF is a virtual festival without any physical screenings, highlighting the fact that Madison filmgoers have to seek out these titles on their own.

Four Star Video Coop will devote an in-store 20-title showcase display for selected titles currently in their catalog..

Local film programmers and critics will contribute reviews and podcasts on participating websites for one week in January of each year.

Reviews and podcasts will include links to the Four Star and Madison Public Library catalogs, as well as VOD and streaming resources (Netflix, Fandor, etc.).

What films will be showcased in the Missed Madison Film Festival?

Part of the fun of the Festival will be the daily revelation of titles for film fans to find at Four Star Video Coop, Madison Public Library, or on VOD and other streaming services. Most titles will fall into the following categories:

Films that have appeared on “Best of” lists / critics’ polls.
Films from the international and independent film festival circuits.
Under-the-radar genre pictures and “B-films.”
Films by major filmmakers that simple did not secure a theatrical run in the previous year..

Specific examples from 2016: Madison Film Forum’s James Kreul examined Aleksey German’s Hard to Be a God, a Russian sci-fi art film that has appeared on many Best of 2015 lists and critics’ polls. Lewis Peterson and the Four Star Video Podcast discussed Black Coal, Thin Ice, a taut Chinese crime film that won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. And Jason Fuhrman previewed David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, starring Julianne Moore and Robert Patterson, before finally screening it in Madison at his Cinesthesia series at the Madison Public Library Central Branch.

Why is the Missed Madison Film Festival necessary?

“I approached Lewis at Four Star and began organizing local writers and curators after I posted a Madison Film Forum entry which addressed the lack of week-long engagements for the top foreign language films of 2015,” explains Missed Madison Film Festival organizer James Kreul, “Despite the range of films available for one-off campus screenings, the marketplace for non-mainstream films in Madison theaters has deteriorated.”

“Local theaters don’t seem to believe that films like The Assassin or Tangerine would succeed in a full-week run–and they might be right,” Kreul suggested, “One way to begin to improve Madison’s film market is to increase the number of international and independent films that Madison film viewers see, whether they see them in the theaters or at home. Then hopefully people will understand the importance of local screenings of films like The Assassin, which only played once locally.”

“The Missed Madison idea really goes hand in hand with our main function of having a collection of great films from both past and present that’s impossible to find all in one place otherwise,” explains Four Star Video Cooperative’s Lewis Peterson. “If you weren’t already seeking these films, it’s entirely possible that you would never be aware of these films until you saw them on a shelf, which is both a disservice to yourself and the films.”

“Each of the films we’re covering has a great deal of ambition,” Peterson insists. “The fact that a film like Black Coal, Thin Ice never got a chance to have its neon-noir colors pop on the big screen highlights a lack of confidence the industry has in viewers.”

“This is a festival of ideas as much as it is a festival of films,” Kreul suggests, “I hope that this collaboration will lead to new ways to think about and discuss Madison’s film culture. And I hope it will lead to similar collaborations between these organizations in the future.”