Outdoor cinema continues, and Mad Lit DJ Block Party lights up State Street

Plus more events we recommend checking out in Madison, August 22 through 28 edition.
Film projection illustration by Shaysa Sidebottom.
Film projection illustration by Shaysa Sidebottom.

Plus more events we recommend checking out in Madison, August 22 through 28 edition.

We’re partnering with the wonderful independent email newsletter Madison Minutes to bring you event recommendations every week. As of this summer, we’re dipping our toe back in with a few actual write-ups, some of which will appear in Madison Minutes‘ weekly event email, and all of which will appear here.

A few notes: This events roundup is, as before, selective and not comprehensive. Each week, we’ll focus on a handful of things our editors and writers find compelling, and that’s it. We’ll write up a few of them, and just list a few more. It’ll take us a while to get back to full strength with this part of our coverage, because we’ve had so many other exciting, demanding things to work on lately. Please reach out to us with suggestions—and info about your event, as long as you’re able to get it to us a few weeks in advance—at [email protected].


Mariupolis at Leopold’s Books Bar Caffè patio (following Ukrainian fundraiser dinner). Dinner at 5 p.m., film screening at 8 p.m.

Excerpt from Grant Phipps’ recent article about Sam Brown’s outdoor movie series at Leopold’s: Apart from the Herzog-Kinski features, Brown has also been hosting fundraising events that include monthly Ukrainian dinners that benefit the international nonprofit World Central Kitchen. The next one, on Monday, August 22, at 5 p.m., is coupled with a patio screening of the documentary Mariupolis (2016) by director Mantas Kvedaravičius. The Lithuanian-born Kvedaravičius was killed this past April during the Russian siege of Mariupol shortly before the Cannes premiere of companion film Mariupolis 2. Brown cites the efforts of producer Anna Palenchuk, founder of the Kyiv-based 435 Films, for helping make the 8 p.m. screening possible.



Ratatouille at Aldo Leopold Park. 6 p.m. Free


Mills Folly Microcinema presents Stephen Broomer’s Potamkin at Arts + Literature Laboratory. Doors at 7:30 p.m., screening at 8 p.m. $5


Rooftop Cinema: The Village Detective: A Song Cycle at Madison Museum Of Contemporary Art. Doors at 7:30 p.m., screening at 8 p.m. $7

Excerpt from Maxwell Courtright’s review: As any nonfiction filmmaker who’s working with celluloid material must acknowledge, distinctions between truth and fiction are fraught in the Russian film archive. The Village Detective: A Song Cycle director Bill Morrison notes how staged footage from the third anniversary of 1917’s October Revolution is sometimes treated as footage of the original event; earlier, Morrison details how the 1917 American film about the death of Rasputin, The Fall Of The Romanoffs, co-starred and was guided by Rasputin’s real-life rival Iliodor. This may give a clue as to why Morrison focuses even more than usual on the imperfections of this source material (the original, recovered 1969 film The Village Detective), with several stretches of his film almost Brakhage-like in their splashes of rusty waves that obscure all identifiable figures for minutes on end. This is unvarnished, a more true” presentation of a film that Morrison belatedly acknowledges exists in other, cleaner formats; history sits inescapably on the image’s surface.


Orton Park Festival at Orton Park. Free

Orton Park Fest reliably brings some rock ‘n’ roll kick to the East Side summer festival season. This time around, that aspect of Orton includes a chance to see Disq (Friday, 7 p.m.) as the band ramps up toward the October release of its latest album, Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet. Right now Disq’s next Madison show on the books is in December, so take advantage. But also come back for the multi-faceted pop charms of The Periodicals (Saturday, 5 p.m.), the bittersweet jangle of Proud Parents (Sunday, 1:30 p.m.), and plenty more sounds from Madison and beyond. —Scott Gordon


Mad Lit DJ Block Party at 100 block of State Street. 8 p.m. Free

Last year, the inaugural Mad Lit series set aside a night to celebrate the DJs in particular—always a solid plan for a series that showcases the many elements of hip-hop. This year Mad Lit is doing it again, so hopefully the DJ Block Party will become an annual staple. For this installment, DJ Dee Franko and DJ Spade will join one of Madison’s true homegrown hip-hop heroes, multi-platinum producer DJ Pain 1. The dancers of Madison’s Hitterz Collective will be on hand to make sure the movement is just as varied and enthralling as the music. —Scott Gordon


Def Sonic, Uncle JIM, Heavy Looks at BarleyPop Live. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $5

Following the releases of “Get Away From Me” and recent single “Big Boi,” Heavy Looks will be releasing a digital version of Apathy on September 25. This show will likely serve as some sort of soft release party for the power-pop mainstays, while folk-pop act Uncle JIM and Def Sonic—who has delivered enormously impressive live sets as of late—will round out the lineup. Together, the three acts constitute a remarkably balanced bill that’s not beholden to a genre or aesthetic, making it an incredibly enticing live prospect. Sometimes the fastest way to live it up is to mix it up, and this presents an opportunity worth seizing. —Steven Spoerl


Devin Drobka Trio at Arts + Literature Laboratory. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. $10 advance, $15 doors

Monica Martin, Jake Sherman at High Noon Saloon. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $17 advance, $20 doors

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