• Madison’s Orpheum Theater, in better weather

At the gracious invitation of former Bank of America Cinema programmer (and my old critical compatriot) Mike King, I’m currently enjoying a visit to Madison as a guest of the Wisconsin Film Festival. I haven’t been here in several years, so I’m trying to take in plenty of local scenery in addition to the movies. Last night I walked down to the Capitol Building after seeing Goodbye First Love (one of my favorites of 2011) at the historic Orpheum Theater. The weather was cold and rainy, so I didn’t stay out too long; thankfully, the rain stopped this morning, so I plan to see more of the city.

Unlike the last few sessions of the Chicago International Film Festival, the screenings here are spread across the downtown area. That’s a pleasure for guests like me, since it provides an excuse to wind my way through town in between films, discovering restaurants, shops, and countless local weed dealers en route. The latter should be out in full force today, as even family-friendly storefronts are advertising their “holiday weekend sales.”