Calendar du C-U: June 26-July 2

June 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
6/26/15-7/2/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, June 26: Joe Sherlock (filmmaker, BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN), Eric Spudic (filmmaker, KILLERS BY NATURE) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (6/26-6/30), ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (7/1 on), Secret Screening 002: [You must attend to understand the logic] (6/26, 10 p.m.), WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE (English dubbed: 6/27, 11:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.; Japanese w/subtitles: 6/28, 2:30 p.m.; 6/29, 6/30, 7:30 p.m.), MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (6/27, 6/28, 7/1, 7/2, 10 p.m.), Essential Cinema 013: REAR WINDOW (1954; 6/28, 11:30 a.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: TIMBUKTU, THE FORGER, MARFA GIRL, SURVIVOR, IF YOU BUILD IT, more! (6/16 on), store inventory sale ongoing, $14.95/video (6/15 on) Sale terms

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D) (6/26 on), FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD (6/26-6/29), TERMINATOR GENISYS (3-D & 2-D) (6/30 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: Beyond Normal Films presents TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (6/25-6/28, 7 p.m.), WJBC presents KING KONG (1933; 7/2, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: JURASSIC WORLD, SAN ANDREAS, INSIDE OUT, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (6/26 on)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: TED 2, INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), SPY (6/19 on), NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (6/27, 6/30, 10 a.m.), MAGIC MIKE XXL (6/30 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: INSIDE OUT (6/26 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: SAN ANDREAS (6/26-6/28), STRANGE MAGIC (6/27, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. STRANGE MAGIC (6/26-6/28)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: INSIDE OUT, TED 2 (6/26-7/1), Throwback Thursday: THE GOONIES, INSIDE OUT (Screen 1), THE TERMINATOR, TERMINATOR GENISYS (Screen 2) (7/2)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: INSIDE OUT, PITCH PERFECT 2 (6/26-6/28), INSIDE OUT, second feature TBA (6/30, 7/2)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: MAX, TED 2, DOPE, INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), LOVE & MERCY, SAN ANDREAS, SPY (6/26 on), MAGIC MIKE XXL, TERMINATOR GENISYS (3-D & 2-D) (6/30 on), Carmike Classic Cinema presents RAGING BULL (6/30, 7 p.m.), Carmike Opera Series presents Der Fliegende Hollander (7/1, 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: MAX, TED 2, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, DOPE, INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), SAN ANDREAS, SPY (6/26 on), THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS (6/29-7/1, 10 a.m.), FAITH OF OUR FATHERS, MAGIC MIKE XXL, TERMINATOR GENISYS (3-D & 2-D) (6/30 on)

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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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IOW: Two-and-a-half vids to-day!

June 26th, 2015

The maize sun! The blue sky! The pleasant temps! It sure feels a lot more like C-U Bloom-fidential around here lately, does it not? That’s quite appropriate, dearest readers, since the creators of current movies bearing a distinct Midwest flavor and pinches of that ol’ Champaign-Urbana spice have been flashing signs of life lately to the world at large. We have early sightings on three such items to share with you, although one you will have to visit off-site as we’ll explain…

Introduced with a companion Web site by upstart distributor A24 Films (EX MACHINA) on Tuesday, May 26, the first trailer for THE END OF THE TOUR gives a taste of the conversations and understandings formed between the late novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segal) and Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg), as dramatized by director James Ponsoldt (THE SPECTACULAR NOW, also from A24) and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies (Dinner with Friends). Based on Lipsky’s belated transcriptions of those dialogues with Wallace, published in 2010 as Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, the film is a series of introspective moments between the two in 1996 as Wallace finishes his commitments to promote the release of his lauded work, Infinite Jest.

Although Wallace grew up in Champaign and had been teaching English courses at Illinois State University in Normal during the time TOUR is set, the filmmakers chose to shoot on location in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ponsoldt and producer Louise Lovegrove did visit Bloomington-Normal in advance to research the writer’s local history as well as the central Illinois winter Lipsky flew into for the chance to meet the reclusive literary star. Of course, the musing voiced by both men is shaded in viewers’ minds by the suicide of Wallace in 2008 at age 46, an eventuality all but avoided by Ponsoldt and Margulies to preserve focus. A24 will release THE END OF THE TOUR to theaters nationwide on Friday, July 31.

Elsewhere, Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones of Mister Lister Films released a clip of their upcoming thriller CONSUMED exclusively through The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, June 9, to promote its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival the following Monday, June 15. This is the initial footage to be released of the project, described in the official production notes as “arguably the first narrative feature film (not a documentary) to truly tackle the complex and controversial world of GMOs [genetically modified organisms] in a substantial way,” after the production wrapped a year ago in Champaign County with a key assist from Shatterglass Studios of Champaign. The couple discusses the development and filming of CONSUMED in this interview with Stephen Saito of The Moveable Fest, while Justin Lowe of THR gives the feature a warm, if not glowing, recommendation in this review.

We’ll certainly be awaiting the news for when it will debut in the C-U as Mister Lister seeks out more festival play and distribution; since we are not able to embed that clip, being “exclusive” and all, we’ll instead shine the spotlight on a different Shatterglass collaboration. Shot in Chicago, THE ORIGINS OF WIT & HUMOR spins the yarn of poor Les (Joe Hursley), a comedy writer who believes a magic potion will make him “irresistibly funny” and attractive to the ladies after suffering a bad break-up. Producing team Christian Gridelli and Hunter Norris of Dimestore Films are also hoping to attract play dates and studio interest in the coming months, as WIT & HUMOR had its own world premiere at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival on April 23.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Our post title is not accidental. We just learned that Tolono native Mark Roberts, a television perennial like Lister-Jones and Segal with extensive producing and writing credits on MIKE & MOLLY, THE BIG BANG THEORY, and TWO AND A HALF MEN, will be in town August 15 to host a comedy event that will benefit the Greg Chew Theatre Scholarship. We approve wholeheartedly the nod being given to the late Urbana High School teacher, a nice man and late-blooming friend of CUBlog.

p.s.2 At the same time, we can’t name-drop Roberts without title-dropping WELCOME TO TOLONO, another low-budget filmmaking effort “brought to town” and filmed in its namesake city to the south of the C-U. TOLONO premiered at Foellinger Auditorium almost eight years ago to the day – June 30, 2007 – and has not really been seen since. With all the original plays and acting gigs and television work, Mr. Roberts, you’ve been busy and we understand its absence. Or do we? Probably not. Show biz, hrm.

p.s.3 Why, yes, your humble editor did get a shave and a haircut today. (Well, technically, it occurred yesterday, but close enough to qualify…) Thanks for the compliment!

Calendar du C-U: June 19-25

June 21st, 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
6/19/15-6/25/15

NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (6/19 on), Essential Cinema 013: REAR WINDOW (1954; 6/19, 6/20, 6/25, 10 p.m.), National Theatre Live presents Man and Superman starring Ralph Fiennes (6/21, 2:30 p.m.; 6/24, 1 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: The News-Gazette Film Series presents ON THE TOWN (6/20, 1 & 7 p.m.)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Movie Music” (6/23, 7 p.m., free)

@ Anniversary Plaza, Main Quad, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Summer Quad Cinema Series” feat. JURASSIC PARK (6/25, 7 p.m., free)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: RUN ALL NIGHT, CHAPPIE, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, BEYOND THE REACH, WILD TALES, WELCOME TO ME, THE NEWSROOM (s3), more! (6/16 on), store inventory sale ongoing, $19.95/video (6/15 on) Sale terms

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), SPY (6/19 on), “Overlooked Films” classes with Skip Huston (Thursdays, 6/11-7/30, 6:30 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: WBNQ presents THE GOONIES (6/18, 7 p.m.), IT MIGHT GET LOUD (6/19, 7 p.m.; 6/20, 2 p.m.; 6/21, 7 p.m.), Grupo Rimel: A Make Music Normal Concert Event (6/20, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: JURASSIC WORLD, SAN ANDREAS, INSIDE OUT, CINDERELLA (6/19 on), INCIDENT AT KICKAPOO CREEK*, THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Screen 2) (6/25, 9:40 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), SPY (6/19 on), PADDINGTON (6/20, 6/23, 10 a.m.), TED 2 (6/25, 8 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: INSIDE OUT (6/19 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: TOMORROWLAND (6/19-6/21)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. DO YOU BELIEVE? (6/19-6/20)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: INSIDE OUT, JURASSIC WORLD (6/19-6/24), Harvest Moon’s Kids Carnival benefitting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (6/21, 5-8:30 p.m.) Throwback Thursday: FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (6/25)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: JURASSIC WORLD, SAN ANDREAS (6/19-6/21, 6/23, 6/25)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: DOPE, INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), LOVE & MERCY, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, SAN ANDREAS, SPY (6/19 on), Turner Classic Movies presents JAWS 40th Anniversary (6/21, 2 p.m.; 6/24, 7 p.m.), Carmike Classic Cinema presents THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962; 6/23, 7 p.m.), Park Circus and MGM present THE TERMINATOR (6/24, 7 p.m.), THE CROODS (6/25, 10 a.m.), Abramorama presents The Winter’s Tale performed by the Royal Ballet (6/25, 7 p.m.), TED 2 (6/25, 8 & 10:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: DOPE, INSIDE OUT (3-D & 2-D), AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ENTOURAGE, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), PITCH PERFECT 2, SAN ANDREAS, SPY (6/19 on), MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (6/19-6/23), Turner Classic Movies presents JAWS 40th Anniversary (6/21, 6/24, 2 & 7 p.m.), Fathom Events and Omniverse Vision present A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed by the Theatre for a New Audience, Brooklyn, NY (6/22, 7 p.m.), SMURFS 2 (6/22-6/24, 10 a.m.), National Theatre Live presents The Audience starring Helen Mirren (6/25, 7 p.m.), TED 2 (6/25, 8 & 10:35 p.m.)

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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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Veritable vault of video to vanish

June 17th, 2015

It seems like only a few yesterdays ago when we happily noted on C-U Blogfidential the perseverance of Geoff Merritt in running his video rental oasis, That’s Rentertainment. We began to build editorial around obscure releases tucked away in their massive collection as well as former Champaign-Urbana residents doing interesting movie projects inspired in part by their patronage of the store. Other news avenues like the Daily Illini had been regularly checking in with the folks behind the counter at 516 E. John St., Champaign, to get a sense of how Rentertainment stemmed the tide financially, offering a commodity roundly doomed in the national press for the past decade if not longer. Did Merritt, also proprietor of the Parasol music labels in Urbana, simply get lucky in this location? Do the culture consumers du C-U provide just enough support to help keep his doors open?

The answer must have been “yes” on both counts until recently for on June 1, the 30th anniversary of the store’s opening, Merritt announced Rentertainment would soon vacate the northwest corner of John and Sixth streets. As of this Monday, June 15, much of the store’s inventory is on sale to customers wishing to give their favorite cinematic moments a new home, although those who do not want to accumulate physical media can rent whatever remains on their shelves for the next few weeks. This FAQ tab on the Rentertainment Web site as well as the weekly e-mail blasts will keep customers appraised on how the sale progresses, including gradual price reductions as with their Japanese animation sale from the winter. We hope Rentertainment friends will pay their respects in person, at the least to honor their longevity and thank them for contributing to our community.

Local coverage of the closing, including this DI follow-up piece from last week, imply several groups (of whom?) are working with Merritt to keep certain materials in the C-U and available to all residents. This is a fine idea, especially once one accepts the inevitability that more than 40,000 programs on Blu-ray, DVD, and VHS will be split up, rendering the collection’s worth in breadth a moot point. One such effort, spearheaded by University of Illinois documentation specialist Dena Strong, aims to place important and hard-to-find cinema in the UI holdings as identified by staff from the Cinema Studies and Library departments. So far, more than $4,000 of Strong’s proposed $5,000 expenditure has been raised through a GoFundMe campaign; her intent is to purchase titles at various pricing levels throughout the sale to maximize the funds. Feel free to contribute right here!

It will be very easy to wax nostalgic about Rentertainment regarding the film history it harbored – a decent percentage of that content can be accessed in some way on-line, however decentralized – but what might be irreplaceable is its value as a gathering place that fostered personal exchanges and a tactile selection process. The UI “Campustown,” radically altered by recent construction and an influx of suburbanite brand name stores, will most likely enter a new era in August with not a single retail façade occupied by a merchant trading primarily in cultural experience or products. The arguable exception of tattoo parlors aside, an artist’s hard labors – cinema, literature, poetry, theater, painting, et cetera – will have no commercial or substantial presence on Green Street or its cross roads, existing solely in the backpacks, purses, or back pockets of individuals. As they say, out of sight…

…or, held right in front of one’s nose, which your humble editor witnessed while sitting along Wright Street on Saturday. Not five minutes after pausing to reflect on what he might rent from That’s Rentertainment for his final hurrah, a college student walked by as if on cue, watching an itsy bitsy video on her smart phone. That’s bad luck to a cinephile like a black cat is to the average person, yes? To temper our melodramatic fears – we will always be concerned about the future of film presentation, dearest readers – we share below the jump Merritt’s first public words on the closing and Mr. JaPan’s vintage thoughts on the store’s massive VHS sale from 10 years ago. The latter first appeared in issue 19 of Greg Woods’ journal, The Eclectic Screening Room, in 2007; we revive and annotate it with the blessing of our fellow editor in Toronto, whose words will appear in C-U Confidential #8.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar du C-U: June 12-18

June 12th, 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
6/12/15-6/18/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday to Thursday, June 18: Perry C. Morris (board member, The Art Theater Co-op) … celebrate!


LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

@ Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, Los Angeles, CA: World Premiere of CONSUMED* during 21st annual Los Angeles Film Festival, w/filmmaker panel (6/15, 8:50 p.m.) First clip


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (6/12 on), 6th annual Reel it UP! LGBT Film Festival presents THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE (6/14, 5:30 p.m.), SOUTHERN BAPTIST ISSUES (6/14, 7:30 p.m.), WE ARE STILL HERE (6/12, 6/13, 6/17, 6/18, 10 p.m.)

@ 129 N. Race St., Urbana, IL (north of Courier Café): Neutral Cycle, etc., present “Urbanalove Summer Movie Night Series” feat. THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (6/13, sunset, free)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE DUFF, PROJECT ALMANAC, SERENA, FREE THE NIPPLE, COFFY (Olive Blu), F/X (Kino Lorber Blu), more! (6/9 on), store inventory sale begins 6/15, 11 a.m., $19.95/video (6/15 on) Sale terms

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), SPY (6/12 on), “Overlooked Films” classes with Skip Huston (Thursdays, 6/11-7/30, 6:30 p.m.), INSIDE OUT (6/18, 7 p.m.)

@ Sliderz, Decatur, IL: Dead in Decatur Horror Film Festival (6/12-6/13) Schedule

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: Beyond Normal Films presents STILL ALICE (6/11-6/14, 7 p.m.), WBNQ presents THE GOONIES (6/18, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: JURASSIC WORLD, SAN ANDREAS (Screen 1), HOME, JURASSIC WORLD (Screen 2) (6/12 on)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, SPY (6/12 on), THE BOXTROLLS (6/13, 6/16, 10 a.m.), INSIDE OUT (3-D) (6/18, 7:30 & 9:40 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: SAN ANDREAS (6/12-6/14, 6/17)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: PITCH PERFECT 2 (6/12-6/14), THE ARISTOCATS (6/13, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. THE DUFF (6/12-6/14), REVELATION ROAD 2 (6/14)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: JURASSIC WORLD, SPY, SAN ANDREAS (6/12-6/17), Throwback Thursday: THE BLUES BROTHERS, BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (6/18)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: JURASSIC WORLD, PITCH PERFECT 2 (6/12-6/14, 6/16, 6/18)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ENTOURAGE, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, SAN ANDREAS, SPY, TOMORROWLAND (6/12 on), Carmike Classic Cinema presents GANGS OF NEW YORK (6/16, 7 p.m.), Abramorama presents “Andrea Chenier” at the Royal Opera House (6/17, 7 p.m.), MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (6/18, 10 a.m.), INSIDE OUT (6/18, 7 & 9:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D), ALOHA, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, BEYOND THE MASK*, ENTOURAGE, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, SAN ANDREAS, SPY, TOMORROWLAND (6/12 on), CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 (6/15-6/18, 10 a.m.), Fathom Events presents “Insider Access to INSIDE OUT” (6/16, 6 p.m.), Fathom Events presents “Drum Corps International Tour Premiere” (6/17, 7:30 p.m., live simulcast), INSIDE OUT (6/18, 7 & 9:25 p.m.)

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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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Knocking on KICKAPOO’s door

June 5th, 2015

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“Pledging Allegiance to the Kickapoo Nation”
Rumors, half-truths, lies, and amber waves of haze have obscured the history of the Incident at Kickapoo Creek. R.C. Raycraft attempts to pull back some – but not all – the layers in his documentary.

by Jason Pankoke

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Is there such a thing as an independent film production, regardless of content or scope, being aged to perfection in this era of lightning-quick work flow, highly fickle market trends, and unpredictable consumer taste? We only have to look one twin college town over for a legitimate example in INCIDENT AT KICKAPOO CREEK, a true labor of love for Normal, Illinois, native R.C. Raycraft that is finally primed to rock far and wide after more than 20 years in progress. Fortunately, local audiences and regional fans will receive several immediate chances to view the 75-minute, new-look INCIDENT before it goes on tour.

Raycraft will unveil INCIDENT at the Normal Theater, 209 North St., Normal, for four weekend shows beginning tonight, Friday, June 5, when doors open at 6:15 p.m., a bonus screening under the stars on Saturday, June 13, in nearby Heyworth which is close to where the namesake event took place Memorial Day weekend of 1970, and a presentation on Thursday, June 18, at the Route 66 Twin Drive-in, 1700 Recreation Dr., Springfield, with a special co-feature to be announced. Those enamored with the intrigue of what may or may not have happened during the Incident at Kickapoo Creek, apart from the plethora of acts like Canned Heat, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Amboy Dukes, Country Joe and the Fish, and B.B. King who played that magical, muddy, three-day marathon, will certainly dig this film. Those who think they’ve seen INCIDENT before – the filmmaker has teased aplenty, playing it publicly every few years since starting up the project in 1994-1995 – have not yet seen this INCIDENT.

We make that claim with authority since Raycraft gave C-U Blogfidential an exclusive peek at the first 10 minutes of INCIDENT during the winter; calling the prior assemblies of the documentary “plain” compared to this 2015 cut is a vast understatement. “I started from scratch, re-digitizing all the original interviews and rebuilding all the [vintage] clips with high-definition film transfers,” explains Raycraft, who has shouldered INCIDENT the entire way when not attending to either his primary career – a reality television pioneer, he has provided many hours of original footage for police “ride-along” programs since the 1990s – or the family business –staffing the 3rd Sunday Market in Bloomington, operated by his parents Don and Carol. “Prior to now [I had to] shoot the film on the wall with the best video camera I had,” he continues. “For this version, I had telecines done of the original films frame-by-frame,” an involved process that forced INCIDENT to go incognito these past few years.

Raycraft became intrigued with the rock show, an early precursor a la Woodstock to the outdoor festivals that dot entertainment calendars across the United States today such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and the just-wrapped Summer Camp in northern Illinois, after his parents gave him an original Incident poster as a child. Eventually dubbing the Incident “the most successful rock festival you’ve never heard of,” Raycraft picked up on bits and pieces of the purported history over time – the music acts from national to local booked by a young Irving Azoff, the enigmatic “gentleman farmer” L. David Lewis who staged the concert on his mother’s property outside of Heyworth, the motorcycle gang hired to patrol the premises and police officers sent in undercover to do the same, the nearly quarter-million dollars’ gross that went missing – until deciding to produce a documentary about it in his mid-twenties.

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Calendar du C-U: June 5-11

June 5th, 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
6/5/15-6/11/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, June 6: Timothy S. Lawyer (cast/crew, WEREWOLF CEMETERY) … Wednesday, June 10: Allen Richards (founder, B-Independent.com) … celebrate!

Next WeekThursday, June 11, 2015: Post no. 1,000 will appear on C-U Blogfidential!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD (6/5 on), IRIS (6/5-6/6, 6/8, 6/10-6/11), 6th annual Reel it UP! LGBT Film Festival presents OUT IN THE NIGHT (6/7, 5:30 p.m.), BOY MEETS GIRL (6/7, 7:30 p.m.), C-U Public Health Department presents LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX w/discussion (6/9, 6 p.m., free), THE SHINING (1980; 6/5, 6/6, 6/10, 6/11, 10 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE, FOCUS, MCFARLAND, USA, JUPITER ASCENDING, THE TAKING OF TIGER MOUNTAIN, CAMP X-RAY, SPRING, PARKS AND RECREATION (s7), JUSTIFIED (s6), FALLING SKIES (s4), more! (6/2 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: SPY, SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D) (6/5 on), TOMORROWLAND (6/5-6/10), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D) (6/11, 7 p.m.), “Overlooked Films” classes with Skip Huston (weekly, 6/11-7/30, 6:30 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: WJBC presents INCEPTION (6/4, 7 p.m.), the Normal and R.C. Raycraft present INCIDENT AT KICKAPOO CREEK* (6/5, 7 p.m., $15 w/community panel; 6/6, 7 & 9 p.m., $7 w/filmmaker talkback; 6/7, 7 p.m., $7 w/B.B. King short film premiere)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: SAN ANDREAS, POLTERGEIST, PITCH PERFECT 2, FURIOUS 7 (6/5 on)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, SPY, SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D), TOMORROWLAND (6/5 on), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D) (6/11, 7:05 & 9:35 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: PITCH PERFECT 2 (6/5 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: HOT PURSUIT (6/5-6/7)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (6/5-6/7)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: SPY, SAN ANDREAS (6/5-6/6, 6/8-6/10), Throwback Thursday: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SIXTEEN CANDLES (6/11)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: SAN ANDREAS, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (6/5-6/7)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: DIL DHADAKNE DO, ENTOURAGE, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, SPY, ALOHA, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, POLTERGEIST, SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D), TOMORROWLAND (6/5 on), Carmike Classic Cinema presents DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (6/9, 7 p.m.), Fathom Events presents “One Night for ONE DROP Imagined by Cirque du Soleil” (6/10, 7:30 p.m.), HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (6/11, 10 a.m.), The Royal Ballet performs Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (6/11, 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: BEYOND THE MASK*, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, SPY, ALOHA, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, HOME, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, POLTERGEIST, SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D), TOMORROWLAND (6/5 on), Fathom Events presents “One Night for ONE DROP Imagined by Cirque du Soleil” (6/10, 7:30 p.m.), JURASSIC WORLD (3-D & 2-D) (6/11, 7 & 9:50 p.m.)

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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 »

IOW: GHOST musters Kucha nod

May 30th, 2015

It is rewarding for C-U Blogfidential to take notice of friends and neighbors gradually finding their footing in the movie-making ranks. Currently we have on our radar Urbana resident John Isberg, a special education teacher by trade who has a long history playing in Chicago and Champaign-Urbana groups such as The Firebird Band, Evil Tents, and Tigerbeat, for his name has appeared several times on recent media projects. Along with interning for the independent feature drama CONSUMED and volunteering on last year’s Pens to Lens offerings, Isberg has begun producing his own efforts under the name Swede Films. These include music videos for Motes and Rebecca Rego & the Trainmen as well as a six-minute profile of Exile on Main Street and owner Jeff Brandt released concurrently with last month’s Record Store Day. In progress is his largest D.I.Y. undertaking yet, the full-length documentary THE GHOST COWBOY, anchored by the story of stroke survivor and Champaign-Urbana Paranormal Society founder and investigator Bob Davies.

Profile: “Exile on Main Street” Records from Swede Films on Vimeo.

Isberg will share his observations in COWBOY wrangling later tonight when he participates in the 18th local edition of “PechaKucha Night,” presented by the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization (CUDO) and based on the appealing presentation format of “20 slides X 20 seconds” originated in Japan. The roster also includes Karen Carney, Mac Condill, Mamie Hobbs and Sophie Roney, Jack Marck, Terry Welker, fellow filmmaker Ed Glaser (PRESS START) on the surreal Italian re-edit of the original GODZILLA, and Eric Benson and Megan Diddie on experimenting with plant fiber use at their University of Illinois research lab, Fresh Press. The doors will open at 7:45 p.m. for the free event at the UI Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign, with speakers stepping up to the podium starting at 8:20 p.m.; sports reporter Drew Wilder of WCIA-TV is emcee. You can read further about the show in this buzz magazine article, complete with quotes from Damian Duffy Hates Everything co-host Benson.

Since the early COWBOY trailer we’ve seen is as fleeting on-line as the apparitions that Davies and his team seek in the real world, we instead share the Exile on Main Street vignette above. Watch later this summer for our interview with the affable Isberg about his documentary and what drives him to pursue “beautiful” experiences in the motion picture realm!

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. The Aurora native explained to CUBlog that Swede Films is named so in honor of his grandfather and heritage as well as a nod to Michel Gondry’s offbeat comedy BE KIND REWIND (2008) in which Jack Black and Mos Def “swede” or recreate famous movies on pocket change budgets. It will be clear Isberg is not faking his love for cinema when our article goes live. As far as faking other peoples’ movies, we don’t think he has that in mind either but, if he ever wants to put together a GHOSTBUSTERS swede du C-U, consider us so there.

p.s.2 We didn’t have an official reason to name-drop Damian Duffy himself in this story until now. Please, DD, don’t hate us.


Calendar du C-U: May 29-June 4

May 29th, 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
5/29/15-6/4/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toTuesday, June 2: Danny Hill (filmmaker, HOLLY) … Wednesday, June 3: Amanda Baker (programs and events coordinator, 40 North 88 West), Eleanore Stasheff (founder, Sine Fine Films) … celebrate!

PassingsTuesday, May 26: Dave Benton, 52 (news anchor, WCIA-TV 3 (CBS), Champaign) … you will be missed.

30 Years AgoSaturday, June 1, 1985: Geoff Merritt opened the Campustown media rental store, That’s Rentertainment, in Johnstowne Center. After bouncing around that building for their first decade, Rentertainment moved a half block east to their current location at 512 E. John St., Champaign. History


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD (5/29 on), WELCOME TO ME (5/29, 5/30, 6/4, 10 p.m.), Women on Top series: BORN IN FLAMES (6/3, 9 p.m.)

@ 129 N. Race St., Urbana, IL (north of Courier Café): Neutral Cycle, etc., present “Urbanalove Summer Movie Night Series” feat. THE BICYCLE THIEF (5/29, sunset, free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: The News-Gazette Film Series presents HIS GIRL FRIDAY (5/30, 1 & 7 p.m.)

@ Krannert Art Museum, UIUC, Champaign, IL: Champaign-Urbana Design Organization presents PechaKucha Night Champaign-Urbana Vol. 18 feat. Ed Glaser (DEJA VIEW), John Isberg (THE GHOST COWBOY) (5/30, 8:20 p.m., free)

@ Anniversary Plaza, Main Quad, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Summer Quad Cinema Series” feat. CINDERELLA (6/4, 7 p.m., free)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: SEVENTH SON, THE LOFT, BALLET 422, MAGICIAN: THE ASTONISHING LIFE & WORK OF ORSON WELLES, THE CONFESSION (Criterion), THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS (Criterion), MAJOR CRIMES (s3), RAY DONOVAN (s2), more! (5/26 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D), TOMORROWLAND (5/29 on), PITCH PERFECT 2 (5/29-6/3), SPY (6/4, 7 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: Beyond Normal Films presents LEVIATHAN (2014; 5/28-5/31, 7 p.m.), WJBC presents INCEPTION (6/4, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: PITCH PERFECT 2, FURIOUS 7, TOMORROWLAND, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (5/29 on)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D), TOMORROWLAND, POLTERGEIST (3-D & 2-D), PITCH PERFECT 2 (5/29 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: TOMORROWLAND (5/29 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (5/28-5/31)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. REVELATION ROAD (5/29-5/31)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: SAN ANDREAS, TOMORROWLAND (5/29-6/3), Throwback Thursday: SPACEBALLS, THE KARATE KID (6/4)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: TOMORROWLAND, HOT PURSUIT (5/29-5/31)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: ALOHA, SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D), AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (3-D & 2-D), MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (3-D & 2-D), PITCH PERFECT 2, POLTERGEIST (3-D & 2-D), TOMORROWLAND (5/29 on), ENTOURAGE (6/2 on), Carmike Classic Cinema presents THE ENGLISH PATIENT (6/2, 7 p.m.), The Royal Opera House presents L’elisir D’amore (6/3, 7 p.m.), SPY (6/4, 5 & 8 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: ALOHA, SAN ANDREAS (3-D & 2-D), AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, HOME, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, POLTERGEIST, TOMORROWLAND, WHERE HOPE GROWS (5/29 on)

@ Landmark’s Century Centre Cinemas, Chicago, IL: Midwest Independent Film Festival presents 2015 Female Filmmakers Night (6/2, 6 p.m.)

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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 »

VALIANT ode to Marine veterans

May 27th, 2015

While he may have chronicled the rock-and-roll lifestyles of old-guard musicians in a previous project, independent filmmaker Bob Zimmerman of R.A.Z. Films more recently engaged veterans of another stripe to help account for an episode in their lives when key doses of discipline, timing, and pure luck determined their very survival if not just success. Having fought in the intense Battle of Okinawa during mid-1945, six surviving members of the fabled Sixth Marine Division shared their memories with Zimmerman for his new documentary RISE OF THE VALIANT, available through Parasol Records, That’s Rentertainment, Exile on Main Street, and Amazon. The video combines these candid discussions with archival visuals to dramatize the soldiers’ experience in the last major United States military action of World War II prior to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan that August.

The filmmaker attended a ceremony on Saturday, April 25, at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, to receive the Major Norman Hatch Award given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, the goal of which is “to recognize exemplary examples of creative art depicting Marine Corps culture and history.” Zimmerman was one of 18 honorees that day. “Getting an award that really is on a national level like this means a lot to me,” he told C-U Blogfidential in an e-mail exchange. “It is nice to be recognized for the film by the Marine Corps. To be on stage and presented the award with the top brass is really an honor.” Attendees included the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., currently a nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

RISE OF THE VALIANT is the Tuscola native’s first military-themed video. “I decided to make [VALIANT] after I found some letters my dad wrote home from the war. It really inspired me to tell this story,” explained Zimmerman; his father also served in the Marine Corps at Okinawa during WWII. “The Battle of Okinawa [ranging across several small islands off the southern tip of Japan] that claimed the lives of 250,000 [soldiers and civilians] in 82 days is [a story] not often told … I started in March of 2014 and by October the film was completed.” The director and his wife Brenda traveled 6,000 miles to five states in order to meet the veterans – Dick Whitaker, Jim White, Bill Pierce, Junior Montgomery, Roy Wilkes, and Fred Westphal – as well as author Bill Sloan, who wrote the Okinawa history The Ultimate Battle.

ROTVTrailer7 from Bob Zimmerman on Vimeo.

A long-time member of the on-line media production forum DVXuser, Zimmerman recruited fellow poster Erik Wikström to provide original music while distinctive Champaign voice talent Eric Sizemore recorded narration. You can hear the former but not the latter in the trailer above, otherwise featuring material the filmmaker located through sources such as the USMC History Division and the National Archives. “It has been a real pleasure meeting so many great people making this film,” said Zimmerman, “and to talk with the WWII Marines was such an amazing experience. There are not many of these guys left. If you meet one, shake their hand and listen to what they have to say. You won’t be wasting your time.”

Zimmerman will continue to find avenues for showing RISE OF THE VALIANT and sharing the Okinawa legacy with audiences in the immediate future. A previous article appeared Memorial Day in the Champaign News-Gazette and the Decatur Herald & Review ran a comprehensive piece on Sunday, complete with quotes from Sloan and certain veterans.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. You can purchase OUT OF NOWHERE, Zimmerman’s Champaign-Urbana rock doc, at the same merchants mentioned earlier.


Calendar du C-U: May 22-28

May 22nd, 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
5/22/15-5/28/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSunday, May 24: Stephanie Swearingen (music performer, REVOLTING), Dennis Belogorsky (alumnus, Illini Film & Video) … Monday, May 25: David Gracon (host, Hallways Microcinema) … Wednesday, May 27: Kevin DiNovis (director, SURRENDER DOROTHY, cover story of MICRO-FILM 2) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD (5/22 on), Secret Screening 001: [You must attend to learn the truth!] (5/22, 10 p.m.), EX MACHINA (5/23, 5/28, 10 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents WILD TALES (5/26-5/28, 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: AMERICAN SNIPER, STRANGE MAGIC, BEFORE I DISAPPEAR, THE BLUE ROOM, LEVIATHAN, THE ROSE (Criterion), ANGEL BABY (Kino), HOOP DREAMS* (Criterion Blu), CALL THE MIDWIFE (s4), ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (s2), more! (5/19 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: TOMORROWLAND, PITCH PERFECT 2, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (3-D & 2-D) (5/22 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: CADDYSHACK (5/21-5/24, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: TOMORROWLAND, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, HOT PURSUIT (5/22 on)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: TOMORROWLAND, POLTERGEIST (3-D & 2-D), MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (3-D & 2-D), PITCH PERFECT 2 (5/22 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: TOMORROWLAND (5/22 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: THE AGE OF ADALINE (5/22-5/24), PADDINGTON (5/23, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. AMERICAN SNIPER (5/22-5/24)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: TOMORROWLAND, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, PITCH PERFECT 2, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (5/22-5/24)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: TOMORROWLAND, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, HOT PURSUIT (5/22-5/24)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: POLTERGEIST, TOMORROWLAND, THE AGE OF ADALINE, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, FURIOUS 7, HOT PURSUIT, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2 (5/22 on), Carmike Classic Cinema presents BLUE VELVET (5/26, 7 p.m.), The Royal Ballet performs Manon (5/28, 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: POLTERGEIST, TOMORROWLAND, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, EX MACHINA, HOME, HOT PURSUIT, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, WHERE HOPE GROWS, WOMAN IN GOLD (5/22 on), UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier (5/23, 9 p.m., live simulcast), SAN ANDREAS (5/28, 7 & 9:45 p.m.)

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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 »

Calendar du C-U: May 15-21

May 15th, 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
5/15/15-5/21/15

NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: EX MACHINA (5/15-5/18, 5/20-5/21), STARSHIP TROOPERS (5/16, 5/17, 5/21, 10 p.m.), MALCOLM X (5/19, 7 p.m. w/introduction)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Lenses” (5/19, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents AMERICAN SNIPER (5/19-5/21, 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, STILL ALICE, BLACKHAT, MORTDECAI, THE COBBLER, THE SLEEPWALKER, MAGICAL UNIVERSE, A YEAR IN CHAMPAGNE, MY WINNIPEG (Criterion), MURDER IN THE FIRST (s1), more! (5/12 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (3-D & 2-D), THE WATER DIVINER, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (5/15 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: Beyond Normal Films presents MR. TURNER (5/14-5/17, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: MONKEY KINGDOM, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, HOT PURSUIT (5/15-5/16)

@ Highland Room, Hilton Hotel, Springfield, IL: Central Illinois Film Commission meeting (5/21, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (3-D & 2-D), PITCH PERFECT 2, HOT PURSUIT, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (3-D & 2-D) (5/15 on), POLTERGEIST (3-D) (5/21, 8 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (5/15-5/17)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: FURIOUS 7 (5/14-5/16)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. STILL ALICE (5/15-5/17)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: PITCH PERFECT 2, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, HOT PURSUIT (5/15-5/17)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, FURIOUS 7 (5/15-5/16), AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (5/17)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: BOMBAY VELVET, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, THE AGE OF ADALINE, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, EX MACHINA, FURIOUS 7, HOME, HOT PURSUIT, PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 (5/15 on), Carmike Classic Cinema presents 12 ANGRY MEN (5/19, 7 p.m.), POLTERGEIST (5/21, 8 & 10:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, PITCH PERFECT 2, WHERE HOPE GROWS, THE AGE OF ADALINE, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, EX MACHINA, HOME, HOT PURSUIT, WOMAN IN GOLD (5/15 on), Fathom Events and BY Experience present Antony and Cleopatra at the Stratford Festival (5/21, 7 p.m.), TOMORROWLAND (IMAX) (5/21, 7 & 9:50 p.m.)

@ The Logan Theatre, Chicago, IL: 22nd annual Chicago Underground Film Festival (through 5/17)

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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 »

CUFF link to indie present, past

May 12th, 2015

These days, we at the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters have precious little contact with our culture comrades up north in the Windy City, but it is not a confession that we pay no attention to what goes on well beyond Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. In fact, we regularly skim teasers and read stories posted to the likes of Reel Chicago, Hollywood Chicago, CINE-FILE, the Chicago Reader, Newcity Film, the Tribune, and the Sun-Times for clues on cinema making waves along the Lake Michigan shoreline. There is one particular event we always look forward to spying on from afar, we’ll admit, although it’s been too damn long since we’ve checked it out in person…

Now operating under the watch of IFP/Chicago, but primed since 1994 to unleash rambunctious non-mainstream filmmaking on their audiences, the Chicago Underground Film Festival will invade the Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave., between tomorrow, Wednesday, May 13, and Sunday, May 17, with their 22nd collection. To the ongoing credit of long-time artistic director Bryan Wendorf and his merry movie brethren, the titles and primary creators in the CUFF line-up are not immediately recognizable to the general viewer with average taste, all but guaranteeing an element of intrigue or discovery. The full program and related asides such as 90-minute “bar talks” with visiting and local indie producers in the Logan’s lounge, a novel “prop art” exhibit of film ephemera at the next-door I Am Logan Square Gallery, and the prerequisite parties-come-bonding experiences are detailed on their official Web site. Same-old, same-old narrative cinema is not the CUFF stock in trade, suffice it to say.

Adventurous souls will get the most out of CUFF fare, of course, but we’ll encourage all of you to sample the wilds of low- to no-budget film expression if you happen to be in Chicago during the rest of this week. All the same, we are consistently puzzled as to why the C-U has never managed to sustain a modern-day equivalent to either CUFF or the beloved Freaky Film Festival of yore; we certainly can’t look to our own New Art Film Festival for a transgressive fix since, with all due respect, most submissions we receive would be classified as “sane” and “safe.” Some CUFF/Freaky style pieces of a social issue persuasion might appear in local events playing to that strength, and the fall Freeky Creek Short Film Festival books the horrific and darkly comic as a rule, but it’s really – and we mean, really – difficult to publicly view material in bulk that is effortlessly out there – and we mean, out there.

Can us prairie folk muster the skills or conjure the desire to sow seeds for a new underground rooted in our own backyard? Or, has personal on-line streaming and a diminished taste for the outré forever doomed its future presence du C-U?!?

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Fortunate as we are to have perennial events catering to various wavelengths in the filmmaking spectrum, their combined appeal and scope is understandably limited compared to the stacked calendar of a metropolis like Chicago. Here is a starter list courtesy the Chicago Film Office; creative word play in Google searches will probably reward you with links to many more subsets within the niche, particularly those based in the suburbs.

p.s.2 Bryan Wendorf has possibly addressed our questions well in advance, if this five-year-old video interview between him and prolific film journalist Ray Pride shared by the Underground Film Journal is any indication. Listen and learn, friends and neighbors…

p.s.3 Did we fail to mention we’ve reprinted the primary CUFF 2015 press release after the jump? We’re just in time, then. Jump!

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Calendar du C-U: May 8-14

May 8th, 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
5/8/15-5/14/15

NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: THE SALT OF THE EARTH (5/8 on), ROAR (5/8, 5/9, 5/13, 5/14, 10 p.m.), GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE ANSALEM (5/9, 5/10, 5/11 w/discussion, 5/13)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents SELMA (5/12-5/14, 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: SELMA, BLACK OR WHITE, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, MR. TURNER, BLACK SEA, MISS JULIE, LOST RIVER, CONCERNING VIOLENCE, AMIRA & SAM, WHITE COLLAR (s6), BROADCHURCH (s2), HALT AND CATCH FIRE (s1), more! (5/5 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: THE WATER DIVINER, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (3-D & 2-D), THE AGE OF ADALINE (5/8 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS (5/7-5/8, 7 p.m.), THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS (5/9-5/10, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, HOT PURSUIT, GET HARD (5/8-5/9)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: HOT PURSUIT, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (3-D & 2-D), THE AGE OF ADALINE (5/8 on), PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 (5/9-5/10), PITCH PERFECT 2 (5/14, 7:15 p.m.), MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (3-D) (5/14, 8 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (5/8 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: THE LONGEST RIDE (5/8-5/10), PUSS IN BOOTS (5/9, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. BLACK OR WHITE (5/8-5/9)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, HOT PURSUIT (5/8-5/10)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, CINDERELLA (5/8-5/10)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: THE D TRAIN, HOT PURSUIT, THE AGE OF ADALINE, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, EX MACHINA, FURIOUS 7, GET HARD, HOME, THE LONGEST RIDE, PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2, UNFRIENDED (5/8 on), PITCH PERFECT 2 (5/14, 7 & 9:45 p.m.), Fathom Events and Broadway Near You present Driving Miss Daisy: On Stage (5/14, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: THE D TRAIN, HOT PURSUIT, THE AGE OF ADALINE, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, EX MACHINA, FURIOUS 7, HOME, PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2, UNFRIENDED, WOMAN IN GOLD (5/8 on), RiffTrax Live! feat. THE ROOM (5/12, 7:30 p.m.), Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of (5/13, 7 p.m.), PITCH PERFECT 2 (5/14, 7 & 9:35 p.m.), Fathom Events and Broadway Near You present Driving Miss Daisy: On Stage (5/14, 7:30 p.m.)

@ The Logan Theatre, Chicago, IL: 22nd annual Chicago Underground Film Festival (5/13-5/17)

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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 »