In Movies & TV

You can still go to the movies (kind of) with the help of Milwaukee Film's Sofa Cinema.

Now showing at MKE Film's Sofa Cinema

The Oriental Theatre may be closed, but Milwaukee Film has still found a way to bring excellent new movies to you during this strange time: Sofa Cinema.

Found at Milwaukee Film's website, Sofa Cinema is a virtual theater, offering a number of indie gems to stream on your screens at home while their screens at the Oriental are temporarily dark. Best of all, your digital rentals not only provide you with quality cinema but also provide support for Milwaukee Film during these unusual and strained times, as each purchase splits a significant percentage of the proceeds with the Brew City cinephile nonprofit.

So the next time you're looking for an escape from the news and quarantine life, and you've already binge-watched that sitcom 17 times from beginning to end, try one of the following Sofa Cinema options. It's some good entertainment that helps fund an even better local cause – and right now, it's one of the closest things we've got to going to the movies.

"The Fight"

Politics: kind of a big topic this year! And here's a documentary that takes you inside some of the biggest battles in Washington over the past several years, putting the viewer alongside the lawyers of the American Civil Liberties Union as they fight in court against injustices across several aspects of American life. Plus, "The Fight" comes from co-directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, who also helmed maybe the best political documentary ever made in "Weiner." So be sure to check out this doc. And also vote; voting is an important thing you should do too. (A rental costs $12, with 50 percent going toward Milwaukee Film.)

"Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets"

You may not be able to go to your local neighborhood bar right now, but there's at least one that'll be open and safe: the Roaring '20s, a fan favorite Las Vegas dive and the star of the documentary "Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets." Throughout the doc, the dive celebrates its history as a modest, kinda kitschy but always fun hangout that's unfortunately closing out its final tab during the film – but going out in loud, brash and probably well-sauced style. A hearty cheers to your favorite neighborhood tap, even during a time when you can't visit as you normally would. (A rental costs $10, with 50 percent of proceeds going toward Milwaukee Film.)

"In My Blood It Runs"

In this intimately crafted documentary, a young Aboriginal boy attempts to balance the thoughtful and well-rounded education he received from his mother and grandmother, giving him skills, leadership abilities and confidence, with the new western education that threatens to cast him aside as a failure and a malcontent for not fitting within the system. An excellent – and excellently timed – portrait of where systemic racism, both overt or subtle, puts value and how it impacts so many children, straining their promising futures. (A three-day rental costs $10, with 50 percent of proceeds going toward Milwaukee Film.)

"John Lewis: Good Trouble"

The civil rights movement may be a part of history but it is by no means past – just ask John Lewis, who's spent most of his 80 years on this planet fighting for freedom and justice for all Americans whether standing beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the '60s to fighting for legislative action as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1987. "Good Trouble" follows his march through political history, talking with the man himself about what it was like being on the frontlines of progress then and now. (And be sure to stay through the credits for a short conversation between Rep. Lewis and Oprah Winfrey!)

"Fantastic Fungi"

Last we saw mushrooms on the big screen, they were serving as an unusual relationship aid in "Phantom Thread." In this hit documentary, though, we see this fascinating fungi fully take the spotlight in its natural habitat as experts (and narrator Brie Larson of "Captain Marvel" fame and "Room" acclaim) teach us about these remarkable organisms, their complicated place in the ecosystem, their incredible medicinal qualities and their unique, gorgeously shot beauty. So make room for 'shrooms – the cinematic kind, I mean, not the psychedelic – in your schedule this week!


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