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Wednesday, September 26th 2007

11:00 PM

It's Happiness: a polka documentary

Another beautiful night out - a full harvest moon  -  50 F.

Last week's hard copy of the Isthmus listed  "It's Happiness:  a polka documentary"    as showing for 1 night at the Orpheum in Madison.

From Upper Midwest Cultures     csumc.wisc.edu/news/index.htm


After premiering to a sold out audience at the Wisconsin Film Festival, “It’s Happiness: A Polka Documentary” is returning to Madison for one more night of screenings! Swing on by the Orpheum Theatre, Wednesday, September 26th 7pm & 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:30pm with music by the Downhome Dairyland Band. Q & A with filmmakers to follow both screenings and an after party at the Essen Haus!

“It’s Happiness” approaches the genre of polka with a fresh eye, untainted by popular culture’s disdain for the music. With guides such as John Pinter, President of the WI Polka Boosters, and Art Altenburg, owner of the last polka bar in Milwaukee, the film crew- whose combined age sometimes rivaled the dancers’- were given a behind the scenes tour of this dwindling yet vibrant American subculture.

The film also manages to get an interview with Willie Nelson, who oddly enough started his career in his uncle’s polka band.

A must-see for any Wisconsin native!

Kelly Mellott of Venus Magazine says, “It is this unique and at many times, hilarious, angle that will draw you in and keep you there until the very end when you’ll undoubtedly sit back in complete disbelief that you just spent the last 90 minutes of your life learning about polka — and loving every oompah of it.”

View the trailer at http://www.polkamovie.com and prepare to be happy!

Monday I emailed local Wisconsinites on my email list about this event.  Rhode, a polka dancer from Madison joined me for the movie, even though he had already bought the movie - He loves polka music and is in the movie a couple of times.  Many of the places and faces were familiar.  But first - the Downhome Dairyland Band (4 piece - accordion, snare drum, banjo and tuba) played for 30 minutes in the front of the theater.  Rhode and I danced a few polkas and a waltz.  John * Pinter (main person in the movie)  and his girlfriend from Milwaukee also later danced.   Over half the audience in the smaller Back Stage Theater of the Orpheum were UW students.  And they were a polite crowd.  The movie was entertaining and funny!  I can't remember ever laughing through an entire movie.  Yes, the parts about drinking and forgetfulness were over exaggerated - but it was done tongue in check and played up a few stereotypes.  It also showed how polka dancing and music skipped a generation - my generation.  The younger people are taking it up where their grandparents enjoy it.   The DVD was for sale after the movie and I had to buy a copy - one of those movies I can watch numerous times.   Willie Nelson is also in the movie as he started with his uncle's polka band.  This is a light hearted, fun movie.  Afterward there was a question and answer session with the makers of the movie and John and a few others were introduced - I think most of the audience was surprised to know people in the movie were also in the audience.  What a fun night !!!   The movie also focused on Art's Concertina Bar in Milwaukee

The movie's site:  stun-productions.com/polkasite

5 Comment(s).

Posted by Claire Andrews:

PS There are some cycle tracks away from traffic in the city, so I'm planning on using those
Monday, October 1st 2007 @ 7:04 AM

Posted by Claire Andrews:

I'll let you know how the flamenco goes.

Facebook isn't a blog, more of a social networking thing, although there are also applications you can add to your profile such as games etc, which means you can end up with a lot of time wasting...
Monday, October 1st 2007 @ 6:56 AM

Posted by Claire Andrews:

Sounds good - I'm also starting folk dancing classes, but in my case it will be flamenco (still need a long wide skirt though)
Saturday, September 29th 2007 @ 7:05 PM

Posted by Moni Smith:

Growing up in North St.Louis, I thought all bands played polkas and that all bands had accordions. Thanks Connie for all your sweet words. BTW, we watched the Harvest Moon rise last night too. :)
Friday, September 28th 2007 @ 4:01 PM

Posted by Robin's Place:

hi connie . we hope you are having a happy fall . mom says thank you for the birthday wishes
Thursday, September 27th 2007 @ 11:05 AM

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