IOW: Our cup once Freaketh over

April 19th, 2015

To complete our week of connecting dots between the present day and our primordial motion picture past, when the Paper Opteryx had barely evolved from the Champaign-Urbana mire, we share this house ad from page 31 in the October 2000 program of the final Freaky Film Festival designed by our pal Ted Veatch. Shrouded in a darkness that can only be affected by dense ink on newsprint, the trophy pictured here never had a chance to become universally iconic like the Academy Award statuette or uniquely referential as is the “Golden Thumb” given to guests of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. However, in our minds and hearts, mad props have always gone out to ace artisan Michael Schwegmann for creating the hand built, one-of-a-kind tokens given to that last set of winning FFF filmmakers. The craftsmanship typifying Schwegmann’s work today is certainly leaps and bounds classier than his crazy vessels with FFF co-founder Eric Fisher’s “Film Guy” poking its cartoony mug out the side, but we know those recipients absolutely loved inheriting works of art instead of assembly-line mantle fillers.

Of all things local since the FFF folded after that year, the super-awesome custom cakes designed by MeMe’s Treat Boutique of St. Joseph for that other freakin’ event, the Freeky Creek Short Film Festival, are the closest descendants. We don’t know what exactly Joe Taylor and Bill Kephart bestow upon the Freeky Creek entrants who win their event’s various audience awards but maybe, just maybe, MeMe owners Eric and Patty Woller could transfer their three-dimensional ghoulies from an edible to displayable form in the previous Schwegmann mold. If we’re dreaming big in the weirdest way possible right now, please give us at least that pleasure on a dreary, drippy, post-“Ebertfest” afternoon.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar du C-U: April 17-23

April 18th, 2015

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
4/17/15-4/23/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, April 18: Mike Trippiedi (director, GUYS GO GREEN, Pens to Lens 2014) … Monday, April 20: Brandon Baranowski (production assistant, TRIAD) … Tuesday, April 21: Brian Paris (contributor, C-U Blogfidential), William Kephart (director, THE TIME WILL COME, Pens to Lens 2014), Dan Drake (animator/director, THE BRAIN STORM, Pens to Lens 2014) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: WHILE WE’RE YOUNG (4/17 on), DUNE (4/17, 4/18, 4/23, 10 p.m.), A ROYAL HANGOVER (4/20, 7:30 p.m., $10), The Prompting Theater presents WHO STOLE MY HOO-TO FOO-TO BOO-TO BAH?* premiere w/filmmakers (4/21, 7:30 p.m., $10 suggested donation)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: UIUC College of Media presents 17th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (through 4/19) Schedule

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. THE WEDDING RINGER (2014; 4/17, 7 p.m., free)

@ Exile on Main Street, Champaign, IL/Error Records, Urbana, IL: Record Store Day 2015 (4/18-4/19)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Working with Kids” (4/21, 7 p.m., free)

@ Allen Hall/Unit One, UIUC, Urbana, IL: UI Women’s Resources Center presents THE MASK YOU LIVE IN (4/23, 7 p.m., free)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE BABADOOK, BIG EYES, THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2, GOD HELP THE GIRL, YOU’RE NOT YOU, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, KIDNAPPING MR. HEINEKEN, THE IMMIGRANT, THE VOICES, THE KING OF MASKS, MAD AS HELL, Pens to Lens* 2014 shorts collection, THAT MAN FROM RIO/UP TO HIS EARS (Cohen Media), KING OF THE HILL (s9/10), MANH(A)TTAN (s1), more! (4/14 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, WOMAN IN GOLD, THE LONGEST RIDE (4/17 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (4/16-4/19, 7 p.m.)

NOW OPEN! @ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2, HOME, FURIOUS 7, DUMB AND DUMBER TO (4/17-4/18)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2, WOMAN IN GOLD, THE LONGEST RIDE, FURIOUS 7 (4/17 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: FURIOUS 7 (4/17-4/19)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: CINDERELLA (4/17-4/19)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. INTO THE WOODS (4/17-4/19)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2, FURIOUS 7 (4/17-4/19)

NOW OPEN! @ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, FURIOUS 7 (4/17-4/18)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: DisneyNature: MONKEY KINGDOM, PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2, UNFRIENDED, CINDERELLA, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, FURIOUS 7, GET HARD, HOME, IT FOLLOWS, THE LONGEST RIDE, WOMAN IN GOLD (4/17 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: DisneyNature: MONKEY KINGDOM, PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2, TRUE STORY, UNFRIENDED, WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, CINDERELLA, DANNY COLLINS, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, FURIOUS 7, GET HARD, HOME, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE LONGEST RIDE, WOMAN IN GOLD (4/17 on), PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (4/17, 4/18, 9 & 10 a.m.), Turner Classic Movies presents THE SOUND OF MUSIC 50th Anniversary (4/19, 4/22, 2 & 7 p.m.), FRIDAY 20th Anniversary Director’s Cut (4/20, 7:30 p.m.)

@ various venues, Chicago, IL: Lake FX Summit + Expo (through 4/19)

@ Cinemark Palace on the Plaza, Kansas City, MO: 19th annual Kansas City FilmFest (through 4/19)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

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Stout HONOR still among thieves

April 15th, 2015

Making mention in our last post of our friend and former Urbana indie short filmmaker John May, we remind ourselves of a pre-Millennium era sans C-U Blogfidential and MICRO-FILM when locally-based movie projects of significance appeared relatively far apart. Very few efforts in the unofficial Champaign-Urbana canon from then or now have sustained as much notoriety as IN WHOSE HONOR?, the Jay Rosenstein documentary from 1997 about Spokane Indian activist Charlene Teters and her (somewhat fulfilled) quest to see the University of Illinois sports mascot “Chief Illiniwek” removed from the fields of play and related merchandising. It still has resonance today as when it aired on the PBS showcase program P.O.V. nearly 20 years ago, but for reasons the open minded would call frustrating.

Among many qualities etched into United States sports culture is a bullheaded resistance to proactive change, washing over its organizers, athletes, and fan base with narrow attitudes and suspect agenda. This includes the retirement of team identities that arguably trade on real-life or embellished Native American history for the sake of superficial “entertainment value.” Emblems falling in this niche, along with trademarks referencing other non-white ethnicities, have been very slow in disappearing from grade school, high school, and club teams. At the same time, various colleges and big-ticket franchises such as the Washington NFL organization have not responded kindly to mounting criticism that such iconography might register as outdated, vulgar, or racist to the surviving Indian tribes and their allies.

In Whose Honor? – open from Jay Rosenstein on Vimeo.

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NAFF VI to pick no bones Oct. 4

April 12th, 2015

If all had gone expectedly, the sixth New Art Film Festival would have kicked off right around now at the Art Theater Co-op as part of this weekend’s Boneyard Arts Festival. Our decision to postpone the event, an ongoing survey of indigenous cinema-making in the loose radius centered by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, came about because of two main factors: our lag in launching the planning process, and the need of your humble editor-slash-programmer-slash-fellow human being to simply take a break after six straight spring seasons of putting together film shows primarily on his own. With that now said and already done, we are happy to announce a make-up date of Sunday, October 4, 2015, for the NAFF at the Art; whether it moves forward as a fall event or reverts back to a Boneyard Arts staple remains to be seen.

With the NAFF temporarily out of the picture, dearest readers, we invite you to instead attend several alternate events coming up during the next few weeks. We’ve already touched upon the student-run Illinifest (Sunday, May 3 @ UIUC Lincoln Hall Theater) and the UI Feminist Film Festival (Thursday, May 7 @ Art Co-op) but two additional special events have since come to light. The May Day Sustainability Shorts Film Festival on Friday, May 1, 7 p.m., at Bevier Hall, has been organized as a function of the UI Sustainability Living-Learning Community by program coordinator Jennifer Bechtel (SCARY NORMAL). As well, the Dr. Seuss-inspired WHO STOLE MY HOO-TO FOO-TO BOO-TO BAH? will premiere on Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., at the Art; directed by Thomas Nicol (HEARTSHOT) and coordinated by Brian Hagy, the hour-long fantasia was co-produced by a troupe of disabled individuals who make up The Prompting Theater, based at Developmental Services Center in Champaign. If we learn of more eleventh-hour opportunities, they will appear on the Calendar post haste!

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Calendar du C-U: April 10-16

April 11th, 2015

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
4/10/15-4/16/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toFriday, April 10: Kristen Johns (videographer, Champaign Underground channel @ YouTube) … Monday, April 13: Damon Foster (creator/editor, Oriental Cinema magazine) … Thursday, April 16: Tim Meyers (cinematographer, WILL-TV), Joe Taylor (co-owner, Sleepy Creek Studios) … celebrate!


LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

@ SoDo Theatre, Champaign, IL: “Acting for camera” workshop (4/11, 9-10 a.m., free, all ages)

@ SoDo Theatre, Champaign, IL: Pens to Lens short film* auditions (4/11, by appointment only)


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: MR. TURNER (4/10-4/12, 4/15-4/16), KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER (4/10-4/14, 4/16), BEYOND THE MASK* (4/11, 2:30 p.m.), Essential Cinema: GREY GARDENS (1978; 4/13, 7:30 p.m., 4/15, 4 & 9:30 p.m.), International Water Resources Association-Student Chapter presents COWSPIRACY (4/14, 7:30 p.m., free)

@ various venues, Champaign-Urbana, IL: 40 North | 88 West presents the Boneyard Arts Festival (4/9-4/12) Schedule

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. ANNIE (2014; 4/10, 7 p.m., free)

@ Room 212, Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Volunteer orientation for the Virginia Theatre incl. “Ebertfest” 2015 (4/12, 2 p.m.)

@ Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL: AEMS/AsiaLENS presents PICTURES FROM A HIROSHIMA SCHOOLYARD (4/14, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: 17th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (4/15-4/19) Schedule

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: INTERSTELLAR, THE IMITATION GAME, WILD, 3 NIGHTS IN THE DESERT, ALICE’S RESTAURANT (Olive Blu), WITHOUT A CLUE (Olive Blu), HOW TO BEAT THE HIGH COST OF LIVING (Olive Blu), VEEP (s3), SILICON VALLEY (s1), more! (4/7 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: WOMAN IN GOLD, THE LONGEST RIDE, HOME (4/10 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: Asian Film Festival 2015 feat. SHADOW MAGIC (4/9, 7 p.m.), SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER … AND SPRING (4/10, 7 p.m.), THE LUNCHBOX (4/11, 7 p.m.), THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA (4/12, 7 p.m.)

NOW OPEN! @ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: HOME, TAKEN 3, FURIOUS 7, SEVENTH SON (4/10-4/11)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE LONGEST RIDE, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, FURIOUS 7, HOME (4/10 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: FURIOUS 7 (4/10 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (4/10-4/12), WRECK-IT RALPH (4/11, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. INTERSTELLAR (4/10-4/12)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: FURIOUS 7, HOME (4/10-4/12)

NOW OPEN! @ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: FURIOUS 7, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT (4/10-4/11)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: THE LONGEST RIDE, WOMAN IN GOLD, CINDERELLA, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, FURIOUS 7, GET HARD, HOME, IT FOLLOWS, LET’S GET MARRIED (4/10 on), SON OF SATAMURTHY (4/10, 9 p.m.; 4/11, 3:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: DANNY COLLINS, THE LONGEST RIDE, WOMAN IN GOLD, CINDERELLA, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, FURIOUS 7, GET HARD, HOME, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (4/10 on), DisneyNature: MONKEY KINGDOM (4/11-4/12), HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (4/11, 4/12, 9 & 10 a.m.)

@ various venues, Chicago, IL: Lake FX Summit + Expo (4/16-4/19)

@ various venues, Madison, WI: 17th annual Wisconsin Film Festival (through 4/16)

@ Cinemark Palace on the Plaza, Kansas City, MO: 19th annual Kansas City FilmFest (4/15-4/19)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

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Calendar du C-U: April 3-9

April 4th, 2015

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
4/3/15-4/9/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, April 4: Trevor Taylor (camera department, ACT YOUR AGE) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: IT FOLLOWS (4/3 on), FULL METAL JACKET (4/3, 4/4, 4/9, 10 p.m.), UIUC Land Conservation Foundation, Program in Law and Philosophy, and Women and Gender in Global Perspective Program present TAPPED w/discussion (4/6, 7:30 p.m., free), A LEADING MAN w/filmmaker Steven J. Kung (4/8, 7:30 p.m., free)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. BLACKHAT (4/3, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: The News-Gazette Film Series presents GILDA (4/4, 1 & 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: INTERSTELLAR, THE IMITATION GAME, WILD, 3 NIGHTS IN THE DESERT, ALICE’S RESTAURANT (Olive Blu), WITHOUT A CLUE (Olive Blu), HOW TO BEAT THE HIGH COST OF LIVING (Olive Blu), VEEP (s3), SILICON VALLEY (s1), more! (3/31 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: SERENA, HOME, CINDERELLA (4/3-4/4, 4/6 on), THE LONGEST RIDE (4/9, 8 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (4/2-4/5, 7 p.m.), Connexiones Latinas presents SPEAKING IN TONGUES (4/6, 7 p.m., free), DOCUMENTED (4/8, 7 p.m.)

NOW OPEN! @ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: CINDERELLA, MCFARLAND, USA, FURIOUS 7, SEVENTH SON (4/3-4/4)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: FURIOUS 7, GET HARD, HOME (3-D & 2-D) (4/3 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: HOME (4/3 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (4/2-4/4)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. TINKERBELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NETHERBEAST (4/3-4/5)

NOW OPEN! @ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: FURIOUS 7, HOME (4/3-4/5)

NOW OPEN! @ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: FURIOUS 7, SEVENTH SON (4/3-4/4)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: FURIOUS 7, LET’S GET MARRIED, CINDERELLA, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, GET HARD, HOME, IT FOLLOWS (4/3 on), THE LONGEST RIDE (4/9, 8 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: FURIOUS 7, CINDERELLA, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, DO YOU BELIEVE?, GET HARD, HOME, IT FOLLOWS, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (4/3 on), MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (4/4, 4/5, 9 & 10 a.m.), Beyond the World of INTERSTELLAR (4/7, 7 p.m.), Stratford Festival performs King John (4/8, 7 p.m.), FOUR BLOOD MOONS (4/9, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Landmark’s Century Centre Cinemas, Chicago, IL: Midwest Independent Film Festival presents ALMOST THERE w/filmmakers (4/7, 6 p.m.)

@ various venues, Madison, WI: 17th annual Wisconsin Film Festival (4/9-4/16)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

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Article du C-U: Ebertfest ’14, pt.6

April 1st, 2015

“Second Intermission: A SIMPLE LIFE, CAPOTE, and all else in between”
After sending a battery of Confidential agents into the Ebertfest fold last April, we present their findings

by Jason Pankoke

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By the time this entry in our coverage of the 2014 Roger Ebert’s Film Festival appears, we most likely will have eclipsed it with the schedule announcement for “Ebertfest” 2015. So much for making the run “relevant, complete, and worthy of being dubbed an ‘Ebertfest epic’” in a timely manner, then, but we’re forging ahead anyway to plug the gaping plot holes in our series and account for the remainder of the films, albeit briefly. (Additional feature-length essays failed to materialize, much to our collective chagrin.) Using the prompt towards the end of this post, you can backtrack to read our recent Patton Oswalt/YOUNG ADULT observances courtesy of Samantha Ducey along with prior installments regarding WADJDA, MUSEUM HOURS, SHORT TERM 12, and LIFE ITSELF, to which we will soon add your humble editor’s thoughts on viewing GOODBYE SOLO at the Virginia Theatre. With all that on the table, dearest readers, we hope you will follow along until we hit our conclusion, in and of itself an achievement compared to our inadvertent cliffhanger last time out. Cheers!

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According to an essay in the Ebertfest 2014 program by journalist and silent film aficionado Thomas Gladysz, HE WHO GETS SLAPPED is a “singular and even profound work,” establishing a high water mark for both the legendary actor Lon Chaney, Sr., and the Swedish filmmaker Victor Sjöström. In the production, Chaney plays a scientist who responds to heartbreak and career thievery by joining the circus as a clown. A hit when released during the holiday season of 1924, SLAPPED was not only the first in-house production from the newly-merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio but also featured the debut of the now-famous Leo the Lion as their emblem.

HE WHO GETS SLAPPED played the sixteenth annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival on Friday, April 25, 2014, 1 p.m. The Alloy Orchestra accompanied the film with their music score.

HE WHO GETS SLAPPED is a production of and distributed theatrically (U.S.) by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and on home video (U.S.) by Warner Archive Collection/Warner Home Video. It was written, produced, and directed by Victor Sjöström, and stars Lon Chaney, Sr., Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, and Tully Marshall. 1924, 35mm, B&W, 80 minutes

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In his 2005 review of CAPOTE, reprinted in the program, Roger Ebert stated that “what makes [the film] so powerful is that it looks with merciless perception at [Truman] Capote’s moral disintegration.” This feature directed by Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (FOXCATCHER) dramatizes a six-year period in the life of literary giant Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) when he befriended – and arguably betrayed – the two Kansas murderers whose story he would retell in the book, In Cold Blood. “The film,” posed Ebert, “focuses on the way a writer works on a story and the story works on him.” The late Hoffman won an Oscar for his performance.

CAPOTE played the sixteenth annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival on Friday, April 25, 2014, 4 p.m. Director Bennett Miller appeared as a festival guest.

CAPOTE is a co-production of A-Line Pictures, Cooper’s Town Productions, and Infinity Media distributed theatrically (U.S.) by United Artists and Sony Pictures Classics, on home video (U.S.) by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and on VOD by MGM. It was directed by Bennett Miller, written by Dan Futterman, and produced by Carolyn Baron, William Vince, and Michael Ohoven, and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins, Jr., Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood, Bob Balaban, and Amy Ryan. 2005, 35mm, Color, 114 minutes

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Ebertfest 2015 films revealed

March 30th, 2015

On Thursday, March 26, the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced the movies to be showcased at the seventeenth annual edition of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival taking place on April 15-19, 2015:

Wednesday, April 15
7:00 p.m. GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (2014, 70 min., 3-D projection, D: Jean-Luc Godard)
9:30 p.m. A tribute to Harold Ramis

Thursday, April 16
1:00 p.m. A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE (2014, 100 min., D: Roy Andersson)
4:00 p.m. MOVING MIDWAY (2008, 98 min., D: Godfrey Cheshire)
8:30 p.m. THE END OF THE TOUR (2015, 106 min., D: James Ponsoldt)

Friday, April 17
1:00 p.m. GIRLHOOD (2014, 112 min., D: Céline Sciamma)
4:00 p.m. SON OF THE SHEIK (1926, 68 min., D: George Fitzmaurice)
Accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra
8:30 p.m. A BRONX TALE (1993, 122 min., D: Robert De Niro)

Saturday, April 18
11:00 a.m. WILD TALES (2014, 122 min., D: Damián Szifron)
2:00 p.m. IDA (2014, 80 min., D: Pawel Pawlikowski)
5:00 p.m. THE MOTEL LIFE (2013, 85 min., D: Alan Polsky & Gabriel Polsky)
9:00 p.m. 99 HOMES (2015, 112 min., D: Ramin Bahrani)

Sunday, April 19
11:00 p.m. SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION (2015, 81 min., D: Ethan Hawke)

Key festival guests this year include Godfrey Cheshire (MOVING MIDWAY), Jason Segal and James Ponsoldt (THE END OF THE TOUR), Chazz Palminteri (A BRONX TALE), Ramin Bahrani (99 HOMES), and Seymour Bernstein (SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION).

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival will take place at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign, IL. The UIUC News Bureau has posted the official press release of the schedule. The Ebertfest” Web site also features individual reviews and details of signings and panel discussions. Tickets for individual shows will go on sale Wednesday, April 1, 2015, while a small number of festival passes are still available.

~ Jason Pankoke

Calendar du C-U: Mar. 27-Apr. 2

March 27th, 2015

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
3/27/15-4/2/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSunday, March 29: Christopher Sotelo (music video producer, Elsinore), Jason Cox (editor, SHEEBA) … Wednesday, April 1: Michael “Guido” Esteves (song producer, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE 1970s) … Thursday, April 2: Mike White (publisher, Cashiers du Cinemart magazine), Will “The Thrill” Viharo (movie contributor, Bachelor Pad Magazine) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: WILD TALES (3/27 on), MR. TURNER (3/27-3/29, 4/1-4/2), WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (3/27-3/28, 4/2), THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY (3/29, 4/1), UIUC School of Social Work Alumni Association presents THE HOMESTRETCH (3/30, 7:30 p.m., free, w/discussion), Champaign Surplus presents 18th annual Mountainfilm on Tour (3/31, 7 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. THE IMITATION GAME (3/27, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “March Movie Madness: Robin Williams Week” feat GOOD WILL HUNTING (3/27, 7 p.m.), The News-Gazette Film Series presents STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (3/28, 1 & 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, INTO THE WOODS, TOP FIVE, UNBROKEN, SONG OF THE SEA, LISTEN UP PHILIP, KABBALAH ME, ANOTHER GIRL ANOTHER PLANET, LES BLANK: ALWAYS FOR PLEASURE (Criterion), more! (3/24 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: HOME (3-D & 2-D), THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, CINDERELLA (3/27 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: WHIPLASH (3/26, 3/27, 7 p.m.; 3/28, 1 p.m.; 3/29, 7 p.m.), The Honey Chasers w/Dan Troyer live bluegrass concert (3/28, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: GET HARD, HOME (3-D & 2-D), THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT (3-D & 2-D), CINDERELLA (3/27 on), FURIOUS 7 (4/2, 7:30 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: HOME (3/27 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: FOCUS (3/26-3/29), PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (3/28, 11 a.m., free)

NOW OPEN! @ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, CINDERELLA (3/27-3/29)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: GET HARD, HOME, IT FOLLOWS, CINDERELLA, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, DO YOU BELIEVE?, FOCUS, THE GUNMAN, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, MCFARLAND, USA, RUN ALL NIGHT (3/27 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: GET HARD, HOME, IT FOLLOWS, CINDERELLA, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, DO YOU BELIEVE?, THE GUNMAN, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, MCFARLAND, USA (3/27 on), RIO 2 (3/28, 3/29, 9 & 10 a.m.), Classic Music Series: Led Zeppelin (3/30, 7:30 p.m.), THE BREAKFAST CLUB 30th Anniversary Celebration (3/31, 7:30 p.m.), FURIOUS 7 (4/2, 7 & 10 p.m., standard & IMAX)

@ The Michigan Theater, etc., Ann Arbor, MI: 53rd annual Ann Arbor Film Festival (through 3/29)

@ Indiana University Cinema, IU, Bloomington, IN: “Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” film series (through 3/28)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Closed for the week!

UPDATE! @ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: Season begins April 3!

UPDATE! @ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: Season begins April 3!

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

SMO knows the Left Coast outré

March 21st, 2015

We take it some of you caught this feature, run by The Daily Illini on Tuesday, February 24, about the venerable Campustown institution That’s Rentertainment and their continuing mission to keep the faith with physical media. While such pieces appear almost like clockwork in the local press – if you run a theater, drive-in, perennial film event, or persistent last-of-its-kind like a video store, you will get covered frequently in Champaign-Urbana – we’re always happy to see Geoff Merritt and his staff of “Rentertarians” receive a friendly nod. Given the incessant reshaping and homogenizing of real estate adjacent to the University of Illinois this past decade, we need to pay lip service to the local business folk over the invasive national chains and congestive rental properties every chance we get.

The themes of embracing “old school” goods and services in the DI article remind us of our promise to develop C-U Blogfidential material regarding film culture that is ignored if not simply unheralded. We hit on the idea back in January when introducing you to the Austin, Texas, micro-label Bleeding Skull! Video, founded last year by Joe Ziemba and Zack Carlson in cahoots with the Alamo Drafthouse’s Mondo Video. (A third collaborator, Annie Choi, joins them in writing the Bleeding Skull! Weblog.) We still plan to chat them up in regards to their budding catalog of VHS wonders, which also includes the discovered-in-a-car-trunk (!) action opus RUN COYOTE RUN (1987) and the trash horror experience HEAVY METAL MASSACRE (1989), but this post will focus on another individual we had mentioned previously.

Born and raised in Champaign, freelance videographer Samuel M. Oldham moved to California in the Seventies to pursue filmmaking, taking classes and accepting jobs to shore up his skills. Respectable tenures have included positions as an instructor at the Sherwood Oaks Film School in Hollywood and director/writer on television specials produced by Global Science Productions of Beverly Hills, but the offerings at his personal YouTube channel paint a radically different picture. Oldham is an individualistic thinker and dreamer whose heart lies equally with classic cinema and what he calls “psychotronia;” how else does one explain a playlist littered with custom footage captured at horror conventions, martial arts demonstrations, wrestling matches, and female bodybuilding competitions?

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Calendar du C-U: March 20-26

March 20th, 2015

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
3/20/15-3/26/15

MILESTONES

PassingsTuesday, March 10: Charles “Hugh” Moore, 67 (host, The Flyover Zone, WQNA-FM, Springfield/board member, Route 66 International Film Festival) … you will be missed.


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: WILD TALES (3/20 on), WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (3/20, 3/21, 10 p.m.; 3/23, 7:30 p.m.; 3/25, 3/26, 10 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (3/20, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “March Movie Madness: Robin Williams Week” feat THE BIRDCAGE (3/23, 7 p.m.), GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM (3/24, 7 p.m.), THE FISHER KING (3/25, 7 p.m.), DEAD POETS SOCIETY (3/26, 7 p.m.), GOOD WILL HUNTING (3/27, 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, TOP FIVE, ANNIE, PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, VICE, R100, TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES (s1), more! (3/17 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, CINDERELLA, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (3/20 on)

@ Room 1255, Coleman Hall Auditorium, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL: 8th annual Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival* (3/23-3/25, free)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: WAYNE’S WORLD (3/19, 7 p.m.), BRAVEHEART (3/20, 7 p.m.), PITCH PERFECT (3/21, 7 p.m.), MEAN GIRLS (3/22, 7 p.m.)

@ Hansen Student Center, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL: AMIGO w/filmmakers John Sayles and Maggie Renzi (3/26, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT (3-D & 2-D), SELMA, CINDERELLA (3/20 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: CINDERELLA (3/20 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: STRANGE MAGIC (3/20-3/22)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (3/20-3/22)

NOW OPEN! @ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, CINDERELLA (3/20-3/22)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, DO YOU BELIEVE?, THE GUNMAN, CHAPPIE, CINDERELLA, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FOCUS, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, MCFARLAND, USA, RUN ALL NIGHT (3/20 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, DO YOU BELIEVE?, THE GUNMAN, CINDERELLA, FOCUS, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, MCFARLAND, USA, RUN ALL NIGHT, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (3/20 on), THE BOOK OF LIFE (3/21, 3/22, 9 & 10 a.m.), Turner Classic Movies presents REAR WINDOW (3/22, 3/25, 1:30 & 6:30 p.m.), FOUR BLOOD MOONS (3/23, 7:30 p.m.), THE BREAKFAST CLUB 30th Anniversary Celebration (3/26, 7:30 p.m.), GET HARD (3/26, 7 & 9:20 p.m.)

@ various venues, Austin, TX: 22nd annual SXSW Film Festival (through 3/21)

@ The Michigan Theater, etc., Ann Arbor, MI: 53rd annual Ann Arbor Film Festival (3/24-3/29)

@ Indiana University Cinema, IU, Bloomington, IN: “Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” film series (3/24-3/28)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: Closed for the season!

UPDATE! @ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: Season begins March 27!

<><><><><>

Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

Article du C-U: Ebertfest ’14, pt.5

March 19th, 2015

“Letting It Rip: On YOUNG ADULT”
After sending a battery of Confidential agents into the Ebertfest fold last April, we present their findings

by Samantha Ducey

~~~~~

As I walked into the historic Virginia Theatre for the first time in a decade, I was taken aback. Ornate and magical, the theater itself has an otherworldly charm. I had long forgotten what architectural beauty lay in the heart of my hometown Champaign. But, I was further surprised when I panned the audience to see that, somehow, they looked as aged as their recently restored surroundings. A wave of gray and white hair provided shocking contrast to the deep red velvety chairs. I thought for a moment I had mistaken the time or day of the film I wanted to see, YOUNG ADULT, instead walking into some sort of real-time COCOON experience. I glanced down at my pass. Indeed, I had the right place at the right time.

Arriving close to an hour early in hopes of procuring a decent view, most seats on the ground floor were open but saved to my dismay. Meaning, someone had placed a festival program, umbrella, scarf, sweater, or t-shirt over one or more chairs to reserve them while they wandered about. I thought I would be forced to sit in the balcony but, luckily, I found a suitable seat in the lower level next to a group of elderly folks. I settled in and patiently waited for the start of YOUNG ADULT.

An usher walked by and asked if I wanted my own program. I happily took it and began sifting through. While reading the reviews for the films playing Roger Ebert’s Film Festival this year, I found a few grammatical mistakes and decided to make a game of it. “How many mistakes can I find?” I was interrupted (after finding three!) by the gentleman sitting next to me.

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EIU Feminist Fest starts March 23

March 17th, 2015

From March 11, 2015:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CENTRAL ILLINOIS FEMINIST FILM FESTIVAL AT EIU CELEBRATES COMING-OF-AGE FILMS

CHARLESTON, IL (March 11, 2015) – The Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival (CIFFF) returns to the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston, IL, on March 23-25, 2015. Keeping with this year’s theme of “Coming of Age and Sexuality,” the schedule includes screenings of two compelling coming-of-age films and an afternoon devoted to films submitted by aspiring feminist directors and filmmakers.

All of the film screenings and festival events will be held in Coleman Hall Auditorium, Room 1255, and are free to attend and open to the public.

The festival kicks off Monday, March 23, 3 p.m., with the screening of FISH TANK directed by Andrea Arnold. The 2009 film centers on a British working-class family who live in a housing project in Essex, east of London. When her alcoholic mother brings home a new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender), life turns from bad to worse for the film’s 15-year-old protagonist, Mia (Kate Jarvis). Already failing at school and without many friends, sexual tensions soon grow between Connor and Mia.

FISH TANK won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the 2010 British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for “Best British Film.”

The festival continues Tuesday, March 24, 3:30 p.m., with screenings of short films submitted by aspiring feminist filmmakers and directors from around the world. This year’s call for submissions brought in more than 800 fictional and documentary films from 77 countries. The top three or four winning films from each category will be announced and screened for the audience. Award-winning films directed by students will also be screened.

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Calendar du C-U: March 13-19

March 14th, 2015

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
3/13/15-3/19/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toThursday, March 12: Rich Koz (television personality, SVENGOOLIE) … Wednesday, March 18: Jim Mefford (cast/crew, WEREWOLF CEMETERY) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (3/13 on), MAPS TO THE STARS (3/13, 3/14, 3/19, 10 p.m.), Essential Cinema 010: HIROSHIMA, MON AMOUR (3/16, 7:30 p.m. w/discussion; 3/17, 7:30 p.m.; 3/18, 1:45 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. INTO THE WOODS (3/13, 7 p.m., free)

@ Wyndam Garden Hotel, Urbana, IL: Twin Cities Comic Book Convention (3/15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free admission)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Pens to Lens!” (3/17, 7 p.m., free)

@ I-Rooms, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents Lecture Series feat. Marvel Comics creative director Bill Rosemann (3/17, 7 p.m., free)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (3/19, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB, LIFE OF RILEY, WHITE HAIRED WITCH, more! (3/10 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: CINDERELLA, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, INTO THE WOODS (3/13 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: TO CATCH A THIEF (3/12-3/15, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: CINDERELLA, THE DUFF, CHAPPIE, MCFARLAND, USA (3/13 on), THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT (3-D) (3/19, 8 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: CINDERELLA (3/13 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (3/13-3/15), BIG HERO 6 (3/14, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (3/13-3/15)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: CINDERELLA, RUN ALL NIGHT, AMERICAN SNIPER, CHAPPIE, THE DUFF, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FOCUS, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, MCFARLAND, USA, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, UNFINISHED BUSINESS (3/13 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: CINDERELLA, RUN ALL NIGHT, AMERICAN SNIPER, BIRDMAN, CHAPPIE, THE DUFF, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FOCUS, THE IMITATION GAME, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, MCFARLAND, USA, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, UNFINISHED BUSINESS (3/13 on), EARTH TO ECHO (3/14, 3/15, 9 & 10 a.m.), WHERE WAS GOD? (3/16, 5 & 7 p.m.), THE DROP BOX (3/16, 7 p.m.), DO YOU BELIEVE? (3/19, 7 & 9:45 p.m.), THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT (3/19, 8 & 10:40 p.m.), The Metropolitan Opera: La Donna del Lago (3/14, 11:55 a.m., live simulcast; 3/18, encore presentation), Drake’s Homecoming: The Lost Footage (3/19, 7:30 p.m.)

@ various venues, Austin, TX: 22nd annual SXSW Film Festival (3/13-3/21)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: Season begins March 20!

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: Closed for the season!

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: Season begins March 20!

<><><><><>

Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »