Jon Liedtke’s Top WIFF Picks

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Now in its thirteenth year, the Windsor International Film Festival is one of the region’s premier and signature events. When WIFF Guides hit the streets, Windsorites grab them and eagerly start flipping corners and writing on pages indicating which films must be seen.

With over 20,000 attendants last year, our mayor is correct in stating in guide that “breaking attendance records is now the norm for WIFF”. Congratulations must be paid to WIFF for not only bringing the world to Windsor, but also bringing Windsor to the world.

With 97 feature films and documentaries running over a period of seven days at both the Capitol and Chrysler Theatres respectively, 2017 festival goers have opportunities to see productions from 20 countries; there’s even eight virtual reality experiences too!

In no specific order, here are the top nine movies I want to check out at WIFF 2017!

I AM EVIDENCE (NOV 1 5:30PM PENTASTAR; NOV 2 3:20PM PENTASTAR)

I AM EVIDENCE
I AM EVIDENCE

Exposing the story of the large number of untested rape kits sitting in police evidence storage rooms across the United States, this film examines how the criminal justice system has historically treated sexual assault victims and contrasts that treatment with that of their perpetrators, who often are never held accountable for their crimes.

It is specifically relevant for Windsorites because there are 11,300 untested rape kits in the possession of Detroit Police, and yes, the perpetrators are in most cases still free.

MARJORIE PRIME
(NOV 4 1:00PM PENTASTAR)

MARJORIE PRIME
MARJORIE PRIME

A film about a futuristic service which lets people resurrect their friends and family via holograms and it explores the notions of memory and relationships. While “primes” can be recreated at any age, they require programming and daily conversations to fill in their backstory, which is all well and good so long as you remember your own backstory…

It interests me most because it it touches on my both my love of the wonder of technology and where it can bring us as a species, and my gripping fear of death and the unknown.

 

12TH AND CLAIRMOUNT
(NOV 5 10:50AM CHRYSLER)

12th and Clairmount
12th and Clairmount

Living in Windsor most of us have a family member or friend who grew up during the Detroit Uprising or know someone who does. In my case, it’s my mother who has an amazing story about flying from Windsor to Detroit in a small ten-seat propeller plane as a young girl and watching the building burn below.

This documentary uses home movie footage donated by Detroiters to look at the Detroit uprising from an on-the-ground perspective and if you don’t know much about the stories of the Detroit uprising, this is an excellent opportunity to hear the voices of survivors and law enforcement officials who were there at the time.

 

BRIGSBY BEAR
(OCT 31 10:15PM PENTASTAR; NOV 3 10:05PM PENTASTAR)

BRIGSBY BEAR
BRIGSBY BEAR


I’ve followed the career of Kyle Mooney since he debuted in online sketches in the comedy trio “Good Neighbour Stuff” which was a hilarious series of increasingly outlandish videos which required an aquired taste.

When I heard he was performing in this film about a secluded man-child obsessed with a cancelled children’s television program called Brigsby Bear, I knew I had so see the movie regardless of the core plot; I was especially pleased when flipping through the WIFF Guide to see it in Windsor.

 

CITIZEN JANE
(NOV 4 5:30PM KELLY; NOV 5 10:45AM KELLY)

CITIZEN JANE
CITIZEN JANE

Jane Jacobs disrupted both the architecture and planning worlds when she released her 1960 classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities which examined the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfiguration of cities.

Citizen Jane is the story of a battle between urban activist (urbanist) Jane Jacobs against “Master Building” Robert Moses.

Especially in Windsor where our city council sometimes, often, – cough – dare I say, acts against the principles of urban planning, it’s essential for citizens to learn more about urbanization and Jacobs is recognized as the greatest champion of the city we’ve seen to date.

 

THE LITTLE HOURS
(NOV 1 10:25PM CHRYSLER; NOV 4 3:30PM CHRYSLER)

THE LITTLE HOURS
THE LITTLE HOURS

It’s 1347 and Massetto has fled his job after he was caught sleeping with the bosses wife. He meets up with Father Tommasso who is in need of a groundskeeper and handyman at his convent. Naturally Massetto must take a vow of silence and act as a deaf mute to avoid communicating with the nuns.

Enter Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, and Aubrey Plaza…

Massetto finds it’s increasingly difficult for him to maintain his vow of silence – and cover – when the three women fail to suppress their sexual urges in this comedy.

Who wouldn’t want to see this movie?

 

MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE
(OCT 30 8:20PM CHRYSLER; NOV 3 7:55PM CHRYSLER; NOV 4 7:40PM CHRYSLER)

MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE
MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE


Mark Felt is the FBI agent known as Deepthroat who was the source for Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein during the Watergate scandal during the Nixon Administration.

In our own era of scandal and Washington – of course I’m referring to the shit show that is the Trump Administration stateside – we should all brush up on what used to be the most significant Washington scandal and how it demonstrated just how necessary and important a role both whistleblowers and a free press play in a functioning democracy.


 

FUN MENTIONS:

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
(OCT 31 10:20PM CHRYSLER)

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

A cult classic, ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is the story of two sweethearts who get a flat tire during your typical spooky storm and end up at the castle of Tim Curry who plays transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

It’s a rock-and-roll musical featuring crazy dance numbers and a wild cast including Susan Sarandon and Meat Loaf!

If you’ve already seen the movie, you know what you’re in for and should make the right decision. If you haven’t seen it, there’s no better opportunity than with hundreds of other people during a film festival on Halloween; what else are you going to do?

 

ATTACK OF THE LEDERHOSEN ZOMBIES
(OCT 31 8:30PM PENTASTAR; NOV 4 11:59PM PENTASTAR)

Image result for attack of the lederhosen zombies full movie

Lederhosen Zombies…what more is there to say?

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ROOM
(NOV 4 11:59PM KELLY)

THE ROOM
THE ROOM (Oh Hi Mark!)

If you haven’t seen the movie The Room yet, just go see it. It’s one of those films that shouldn’t have been made, but it was, and it’s terrible in all the right ways. I’m not going to try to convince you to see it beyond telling you to go see it. Go see it, especially with the new James Franco & Seth Rogan movie coming out chronicling the production of it.

 

 

 


GREASE: SING-A-LONG
(NOV 4 1:00PM CHRYSLER)

GREASE SING-A-LONG
GREASE SING-A-LONG

Who doesn’t love a sing-a-long to the GREASE movie? Maybe it’s not your cup of tea, but that movie soundtrack kicks ass.

 

 

 

 

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Jon Liedtke is a writer, newspaper guy, trumpet player, lover of democracy, bagels and lox, & cannabis.