Calendar: March 24-30, 2017

March 24th, 2017

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
KEDI (3/24 on), THE LURE (3/24-3/26, 3/30), OCEAN WAVES (3/25-3/26), JOURNEY TO MY MOTHER’S LAND (3/27, 7 p.m., free), Mountainfilm on Tour 2017 (3/28, 7 p.m.), OUR HEAVENLY BODIES w/live accompaniment by Coupler (3/29, 8:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
CHIPS, KATAMARAYUDU, LIFE, PERSONAL SHOPPER, POWER RANGERS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, GET OUT, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/24 on), FACING DARKNESS (3/30, 7 p.m.), THE BOSS BABY, GHOST IN THE SHELL (3/30)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
SING, MISS SLOANE, ASSASSIN’S CREED, LIVE BY NIGHT, IN DUBOUS BATTLE, ELOISE, THE BROOKLYN BANKER, THE QUIET HOUR, WOLF CREEK (s1), more! (3/21 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
CHIPS, LIFE, POWER RANGERS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, GET OUT, HIDDEN FIGURES, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/24 on), The Metropolitan Opera: Idomeneo (3/25, simulcast; 3/29, recorded), LABYRINTH (3/26, 3/29), MINDGAMERS (3/28, 8 p.m.; feature film w/”cognitive experiment” + live Q&A), FACING DARKNESS (3/30, 7 p.m.)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (3/28, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. MOONLIGHT, Pine Lounge (3/24, 3/25, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: THE GENERAL w/live accompaniment by Mark Gifford (3/25)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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IOW: A Myriad Musical Tour, Pt.3

March 23rd, 2017

Even if we seem a bit out of tune with the ongoing soundtrack of our Champaign-Urbana lives, we find no harm in revisiting cool examples of local music artists set to full-motion visuals! Therefore, we restack the deck of melodious streaming content in an “Images of the Week” that will provide you with an aesthetic range from something old (in historical content) and something new (rendered with charming animation) to something borrowed (in the non-political plundering vein) and something Blue (in both the song’s reason for being and the singer-songwriter herself.) Scroll away and press “play,” dearest listeners!

Unleashed last week by the C-U garage rock combo, The Underwerewolves, this self-produced video for “The Aliens Work for the Evil Boss” finds our heroes performing in a partly shorn cornfield – it is, perhaps, a crop circle? – to warn the world of extraterrestrial invasion. Intercut is black-and-white public domain footage from Japan’s STARMAN featurettes from the late Fifties that depicts bizarrely-costumed space people, wire-hung model rockets, and Earth’s bombardment via exploding miniature sets! This track appears on their upcoming EP-with-comic book, Adventures in Time, which will be released at a Cowboy Monkey show on Saturday, April 8. Acme Principle and Lonely Trailer are set to join Jeremy Pessin, Jay Creek, Will Arnold, and Conner Buenting in downtown Champaign for the cosmic festivities.

Taking its music cue from the “no-collar country” album Bramble Patch Blues by The Fights, released back in October, the following CGI video for “Self Helpless” (despite the onscreen title) relays “a short fable about how things we don’t understand can be beautiful if we only take the time to learn about them,” told with a sleepy brown bear, busy little caterpillars, and a colorful polygon countryside. Florida-based firm 7×6 Design, operated by former C-U music scene contributor Chris Eitel, lovingly crafted the spot and premiered it in late February, while The Fights – Clayton Deering, Nicholas Stine, David Pride, and Cole Rabenort – performed this past Monday night with Rebecca Rego & Eric Fitts and Dewclaw as part of the fifth anniversary Urbana Hootenanny show at the Rose Bowl Tavern in our other downtown.

We pay mind and listen up with our next video, the first of several to accompany the EP Another Angry Woman by Champaign-to-Chicago performer Emily Blue. A stark reminder that sexual assault affects thousands of individuals daily, this minimalist expression produced by Wave Upon Wave alternates between slow-motion “limbo” vignettes of Blue, a survivor who is using the track “No Pain” to call direct attention to a society-wide problem, and anonymous women and men depicting their traumas and defiance on a marker board. Both made their debut in August and attracted nationwide press for their timely messages as well as for Blue donating her proceeds to help Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services (RACES) in Urbana, a vital regional agency only beginning to rebound after losing all its state funding.

Finally, we check in with Urbana filmmaker John Isberg of Swede Films, whose output dominated our last Tour and recent portfolio includes videos for Elsinore, We the Animals, and Sunset. Just returned from South by Southwest in Austin, TX, Isberg will resume work on his massive national-to-local documentary WHERE IT BEGINS: 1977-2000; here, we share a teaser trailer filled to the brim with ephemera and familiar faces that will register with long-term fans of Champaign-Urbana rock history. Veteran talents also taking part include Adrian Belew, Kim Deal, Jon Ginoli, Ian MacKaye, and Steve Albini as interview subjects and The Smashing PumpkinsJeff Schroeder as score composer. An Indiegogo push to afford post-production costs has just been extended to Saturday, April 22, coinciding with the annual Record Store Day.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Not unlike in our review post from last week, we have most likely seen the last of a department as we begin to retool what we do on C-U Blogfidential. “Images of the Week” hasn’t been employed much lately, as it is pretty well understood that a forum about movie media would be illustrated, and we never seemed to build up enough steam to offer it weekly without fail. Maybe it could use a more autonomous voice in a column format similar to what we think might benefit a fresh round of “Flicker of the Week.” We’ll see.

‘Dance’ to be last FOW, FWIW

March 18th, 2017

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We summarily end at one of the locations where we began a year ago to investigate area shows, exhibits, and performances that might fall within our critical tastes and thereby qualify as a “Flicker of the Week.” This preview will not pour over the current installation in question as much as its (digital) analog from the spring of 2016, but we encourage you to spend some time with it at the University of IllinoisKrannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign, IL, so you may contemplate culture, place, ancestry, and the encroachment of world influences. Videos comprise the bulk of “Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?”, a collection of recent creations by the British-Nigerian artist and teacher Zina Saro-Wiwa, which has taken residence in the first floor East Gallery of KAM since November 17. Raised and educated in the United Kingdom and United States, Saro-Wiwa is based in Brooklyn, NY, and regularly returns to her birth country to document regional history and mythology using several media forms including photography, sculpture, audio, and projection. The artist also produces documentaries and short films in the overall drive to “map emotional landscapes.” Her focus here is on the residents of the Niger Delta, a small region in south Nigeria, and Ogoniland, a home within that region to an indigenous people numbering less than two million who have weathered human rights issues for decades, including massive oil-related pollution.

It is clear that Saro-Wiwa observes instead of screams, breathes instead of asphyxiates. The only English language can be found in her artist’s statements and little is vocalized all told, but she wields conversation with precision and the presentation otherwise speaks volumes. There is visual clarity in how she explores the resilience of her homeland’s fabric even though recovery from outside influences is long from over. Motion pieces include: Karikpo Pipeline (2015, 28 min., five-channel), a meditation on local customs, the environment, and pipeline remnants featuring three dancers in ceremonial dress; Prayer Warriors (2014-2015, 33 min., five-channel), an intense experience presented in a darkened room using five monitors hung vertically in which native spiritual leaders deliver impassioned Christian-derived sermons; Kuru’s Children (2015, 9 min., fullscreen), a collage juxtaposing the Ogoni legend of a wise but mischievous tortoise named Kuru and two young girls whose strong presence feminizes the retelling; and Niger Delta: A Documentary (2015, looped, widescreen), a deceptively static landscape of a shoreline, depicted on an enormous monitor, in which a lone and symbolic red plastic lawn chair sits in the foreground while fishermen row past in the distance, casually scooping up industrial waste from the waters instead of anything resembling nourishment for human beings or the delta itself.

Open to the public through a week from today, Saturday, March 25, “Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” is the first solo show by Saro-Wiwa and a co-presentation of KAM and the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas, curated by Amy L. Powell. Turn to the gallery’s official page of the exhibit for more information and look for a high-quality monograph – filled with essays, interviews, and “recipe-stories” reflecting the artist’s interest in food growth and consumption within the Ogoni community – at the show. All that said, “FOW” is now rewarded a rest until we decide if and when our trusty department might return to a Weblog near us. Fin, and we really mean it.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar: March 17-23, 2017

March 17th, 2017

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

3/19: Andrew Gleason (director, HELLO FEAR, Pens to Lens 2016)
3/22: Jonathan Culp (webmaster, Unpopular Arts, Toronto)


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

Psych. Did you really think we’d go back on our word? (Trust us, we’d love to if we could swing it.) Don’t forget about our proposition from last week in which we’re willing to court exuberant souls who may be interested in taking over “FOW” writing duties. Also, watch C-U Blogfidential tomorrow morning for the standalone “FOW” we’ve promised you. Finally, aiding the funding of C-U Confidential #9 with your advertising dollars and cheerily universal support is our primary drive at the moment; booking ends next Mon., 3/20, but we might let that slide a couple of days for those potential clients who express serious interest in doing business with us to keep our esoteric subculture du C-U in print and, more importantly, in the hands of the readers of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond where it belongs! We would be a tad heartbroken if more than “FOW” would become fin by the end of this Calendar year.


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
A UNITED KINGDOM (3/17 on), KEDI (3/17-3/19, 3/21-3/23), TONI ERDMANN (3/18-3/19, 3/23), Black World Film Series: BLADE (3/20, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, BEFORE I FALL, GET OUT, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/17 on)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Pens to Lens Pitches,” Robeson Pavilion Room C (3/21, 7 p.m., free)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
PASSENGERS, COLLATERAL BEAUTY, FENCES, ELLE, SOLACE, AMERICAN VIOLENCE, more! (3/14 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, BEFORE I FALL, GET OUT, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LION, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/17 on), THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (3/17-3/19), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (3/19, 3/22)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. LA LA LAND, Pine Lounge (3/17, 3/18, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Ang Lee: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (3/21, 3/23)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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Cyberfest 20th not quite ver. 2.0

March 13th, 2017

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After a short debate about anointing this event as one of our final “Flicker of the Week” picks, given the historic pedigree shared in Friday’s Calendar that informs its very existence, we decided against it by the technicality that it does not actually involve a film presentation. Yet, given how pervasive the use of computers and other technology is in media production, we suppose the “Cyberfest 20th Anniversary” celebration and talk scheduled for later tonight, Monday, March 13, is worth a highlight. The University of IllinoisNational Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which hosted the original “Cyberfest” in March 1997 and connected it with the January 1997 “Urbana birth date” of the artificial intelligence HAL-9000 as told in the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, also organized this namesake cosponsored by the UI College of Media and Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. Presumably free for the public to attend, Cyberfest 20th will be held in the main auditorium at NCSA, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana; it begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception as well as interactive demonstrations arranged by staff. This will be followed by a panel, “The Impact of Cyberfest on Culture and Society,” moderated by NCSA/Media and Cinema Studies postdoctoral research associate Veronica Paredes; “Ebertfest” stalwarts Chaz Ebert and Nate Kohn will join international technology experts, several of them with present and past UIUC ties, to ponder the Cyberfest legacy and once again theorize how scientific innovation may intersect with the arts and shape our immediate future.

We now lay down a few pertinent links. Click here for the official NCSA announcement detailing Cyberfest 20th, visit this page for a vintage press release breaking down the primary schedule for Cyberfest ’97, and switch data streams to read an article about the longstanding relationship between UIUC and digital computer advancements. (Interestingly, the first Cyberfest is just recent enough that one can easily locate national press and obscure ephemera lingering in various corners of the Internet, originally brought to everyday consumers by the NCSA-developed Mosaic Web browser.) We also excite your senses with key images; above resides a nifty poster by local illustrator Steve Schaberg that depicts the infamous sensor-eye of HAL lording it over Cyberfest ’97 performer Insook Choi, while below is embedded a video that preserves the half-a-world-away meeting between Ebert and Clarke conducted via satellite as part of a “Cyberfest Gala” extravaganza. Of course, everyone loves to wax poetic as to how this fabled conversation along with Ebert’s emcee turn the night before, introducing the film 2001 to an enraptured audience at the Virginia Theatre, directly pointed towards the founding of Ebertfest. Given the latter’s consistency in duration and scope, we can’t help but wonder about the single-evening brevity of this Cyberfest in comparison to the last, which took place over a full week at multiple locations. Even if this does not quite compute – we happen to not be rocket scientists, after all – it should be a rather interesting foray for those who value the positive attributes of science fact and speculation.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Roger Ebert Interviews Arthur C. Clarke from Illinois Public Media on Vimeo.

Calendar: March 10-16, 2017

March 10th, 2017

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

20 Years AgoThursday, March 13, 1997: A marquee attraction of “Cyberfest ’97,” a weeklong symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign exploring the correlation between technology and the arts as well as the place of artificial intelligence in the future of humankind, takes place this evening at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign. A 70mm screening of the visionary Stanley Kubrick production 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), hosted by Chicago Sun-Times film critic and UIUC alumnus Roger Ebert, is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. screening. This will be followed by Ebert’s participation in the “Cyberfest Gala” tomorrow night, Friday, March 14, at the UIUC Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, during which he will interview participants of 2001 including actors Gary Lockwood, slated to attend in person, and Keir Dullea, via prerecorded interview. Legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, whose short story The Sentinel inspired both his expanded full-length novel and the feature film, is expected to converse live with Ebert via satellite from his home in Sri Lanka. The glowing response given to Urbana native Ebert, as well as the theoretical discussions centered on cybernetic “Urbana native” HAL-9000 from the film and novel, would lead to the launch of Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival at the Virginia two years later. Of course, HAL and 2001 would be revisited at “Ebertfest” in 2001 as the opening night presentation.


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

Tune back in to C-U Blogfidential next week for the tentative “FOW” denouement in which we’ll offer first impressions of a multimedia exhibition on display at the UI Krannert Art Museum through Sat., 3/25; this sentence fragment will be linked to the post once our write-up regarding the Zina Saro-Wiwa installation, “Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?”, goes live. In the meantime, what would you highlight if we turned over the “FOW” reins to you for engaging the movie-watchers of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond with sound opinions, tangible wit, and factoid finesse? Hit us up via cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com between now and Sun., 4/9, convincing us creatively in 250 words or less why you are the person for the job! Don’t forget to include links to at least three applicable and previously-published pieces that will sell us on your FOWorthiness. To bring this zippy edition of our once-and-future department to an exciting close, we have a single consideration to impart upon you. KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros.), directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and starting Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, and John C. Reilly, looks like an absolute blast with the liveliness largely missing from GODZILLA. Or, just go see it because it’s King fucking Kong! “FOW” is hereby finished until further notice. Thanks for following along this past year!


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
A UNITED KINGDOM (3/10 on), I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (3/10, 3/16), MOONLIGHT (3/11, 3/15), Black World Film Series: COOLEY HIGH (3/14, 7 p.m.)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL
KONG: SKULL ISLAND, BEFORE I FALL, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, FIST FIGHT, GET OUT, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, LA LA LAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LOGAN, MOONLIGHT, ROCK DOG THE SHACK, TABLE 19 (3/10 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
MOANA, JACKIE, INCARNATE, THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, TRESPASS AGAINST US, NEW LIFE, MAN DOWN, THE AMERICANS (s4), more! (3/7 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LA-LA LAND: Sing-along, THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT, BEFORE I FALL, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, GET OUT, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LION, LOGAN, ROCK DOG, THE SHACK, SPLIT, TABLE 19 (3/10 on), MIDDLE YEARS (3/10-3/12), DIRTY DANCING (3/12, 3/15), The Metropolitan Opera: La Traviata (3/15, recorded), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (3/16)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (3/14, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, Pine Lounge (3/10, 3/11, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ National Center for Supercomputing Applications, UIUC, Urbana, IL
NCSA, College of Media at Illinois, and Roger Ebert’s Film Festival present Cyberfest 20th Anniversary, NCSA Auditorium (3/13, 5:30 p.m. reception and demos, 6:30 p.m. panel discussion)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
AEMS presents AsiaLENS Documentary/Film Series feat. PLAYING WITH FIRE: WOMEN ACTORS OF AFGHANISTAN (3/14, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Ang Lee: LIFE OF PI (3/14, 3/16)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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In My Backyard: Year 10

March 4th, 2017

Apart from a few deep thoughts we strung together for your consideration three and six weeks ago, dearest readers, it has been a long while since we officially addressed the residents of our Champaign-Urbana backyard, the same one in which we work a lot, play some, dream a little, and sporadically fizzle out when no one is looking. Although we last drafted a full “In My Backyard” from scratch back in 2012, there is probably not much use in forcing a massive MFHQ brain dump in 2017 so we can retro-write the missing annual summaries. Just the same, you are more than capable of reviewing C-U Blogfidential at any time for the names, titles, dates, and stories you need to know about our shared cinema culture. Consider this post a creative placeholder that gives us an excuse to revive old and obscure copy from various sources, flesh out past moments in the Confidential history, and lead us numerically towards a brand-new “Year 12” entry with our 11th anniversary in the books as of last Saturday, February 25. Much of this material will appear on CUBlog for the first time, providing alternate takes on certain topics du C-U.

In this third lap ‘round the “Backyard,” we consider what it means to reinvigorate old social movements and their ideals. Your humble editor remembers a time frame preceding the launch of this Web site when he was uncertain of a direction, especially with employment at The Octopus taken away from him and MICRO-FILM duties on the wane. An early component of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, the in-house Production Group, held a key place for him in this era. Bright minds met on weeknights in downtown Urbana, alternating between the IMC space on the 200 block of W. Main St. and Embassy Tavern at 114 S. Race St., to cook up projects along with chewing over current news headlines and technology developments. Although this iteration managed not much apart from a few short citizen-journalist videos and activist film shows, it served as an eye-opening primer spent with individuals who are now highly accomplished in fields of communications, education, and computer sciences. Ye Ed does wonder if Paul, Colleen, Drew, Nikki, davep, and the rest will ever plot again.

With our media avengers disassembled and the Embassy long closed, the IMC itself has marched on through the proverbial thick and thin since being established in 2000, the year after progressive centers began cropping up across the United States in solidarity with coordinated efforts to counter the World Trade Organization conference held in Seattle. It has formally occupied for the last decade much of the Urbana Post Office building at 202 S. Broadway Ave., two blocks from its original storefront, and current leaders have been actively fulfilling its original promise as a highly diversified community center. Long-standing facets remain such as the Books to Prisoners program, Makerspace Urbana collective, WRFU-FM radio station, and Zine Library archive, while recurring and one-off events bring vitality under the “big tent” per incoming program director Brian Dolinar. They include popular education (#PopEd) sessions, “Open Scene” youth activities primarily funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), various social justice workshops, and showcases for political, ethnic, and alternative arts.

A cultural hub like the IMC is powered by its people above all else, but it always reaps the benefits of volunteer energies and supplemental funding. Outside planners can stage special events on the ample IMC main floor, affiliate groups might host regular meetings during the quieter hours, and hands-on creators may rent available rooms or nooks for studio space. As well, experts in our university community should consider venturing off campus to the IMC and teach the underserved of Champaign-Urbana all manner of skills to help them improve their lives and neighborhoods. Here is where we circle back to the Production Group. Does it exist in 2017? If not, would anyone take up that baton? The last time Ye Ed toured the main offices at the IMC, camera equipment and computer editing stations awaited use from those without the means to acquire their own gear. An arguable flaw of our old team, apart from the overall lack of output, was our concentration on creating and choosing media we thought worthwhile for others to see and not better engaging an audience in learning how to seek and produce on their own.

Contributed by yours truly to the Public i, an IMC publication now in its seventeenth year and found across the C-U, our highlighted treatise makes the case that accessible showcases fueled by non-mainstream material can only help to open minds as well as encourage the industrious to add their voices to the video mix. Centered on impressions gleaned from the second IMC Film Festival in Urbana and the first New Art Film Festival in Champaign, both held in 2010, its overall viewpoints and suggestions still apply today. It is worth noting the lack of a fully-equipped public studio for citizens in our twin cities – say, the media equivalent of the University of IllinoisCommunity Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) for dimensional design – although the outlets mentioned at the end of our reprint, along with the UI Media Commons for enrolled students that did not exist when the article first ran, still provide valid starting points for those who wish to try their hand at it. We believe that grassroots efforts with socially relevant views, no matter how low budget or rough, deserve to exist and can serve an audience at the IMC or elsewhere.

With that espoused, it’s time to read on, MacDuff

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar: March 3-9, 2017

March 3rd, 2017

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

3/3: Tariq A. Khan (entertainment commentator, Fox News)
3/9: Jason Lindsey (photojournalist/motion video director)


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

In this, our 54th consecutive “FOW” capsule of viewing recommendations in Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond, we thank you for following along and trust you have discovered and enjoyed some choice cinema and interesting experiences as a result. And in this, our next-to-last “FOW” for the moment as we reallocate resources for C-U Confidential issues and other journalistic needs, we express what it means to let go of this writing exercise that we have found to be nourishing on the whole. As with the self-exiled X-Man embodied by Hugh Jackman at the center of Marvel’s latest preordained blockbuster, LOGAN (20th Century Fox), we feel a bit haggard and shunned as “our kind” really doesn’t exist in the world we inhabit; a future hope appears to he and traveling companion Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in the form of young Lauren (Dafne Keen) who brandishes mutant tendencies quite similar to the former Wolverine. James Mangold returned from the previous Logan feature to direct this lauded follow-up, which opens far and wide today, Fri., 3/3. Sometimes, not unlike the fetching Belle (Josette Day) in Jean Cocteau’s beautiful 1946 adaptation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Janus Films), we work hard out of duty and loyalty with seemingly little to show for our efforts, although we hardly expect to be whisked away by a champion (Jean Marais) in regal attire and cat-man visage; the Normal Theater revives this poetic French fantasy on Tues., 3/7, 7 p.m., in anticipation of the flashy live-action Disney redux. Other times, akin to the slacker anti-hero Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) in the Coen Brothers cult favorite, THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Gramercy Pictures/Focus Features), we follow the beat of our own idiosyncratic drum amidst a sea of upper-crust twits, downmarket vultures, and lovable weirdos to come out the other side of our misadventures in relatively decent shape. John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Peter Stormare, Tara Reid, Sam Elliott, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and David Huddleston also appear in this 1998 cocktail of crime and comedy, mentioned more times in “FOW” than any movie other than MOONLIGHT as far as we can tell, which will be shown during a “Day of the Dude” celebration at the Art Theater Co-op on Mon., 3/6, 7 p.m., sponsored by Triptych Brewing of Savoy; attendees will go home with a collectible beer glass in their hands, two beers in their bellies, and a beer-swilling smile on their faces to justify the $20 cover charge. Be sure to reference the Calendar next Friday for one final shout-out to that which floats our (banana) boat as well as a modest proposal for those dearest reader-writers out there! We also might post a bonus solo suggestion before the pause. “FOW” is hereby fin.


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
THE SALESMAN (3/3-3/6, 3/8-3/9), I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (3/3-3/5, 3/7-3/9), MOONLIGHT (3/3-3/5, 3/8), THE BIG LEBOWSKI (3/6, 7 p.m.), Member Screening: NERUDA (3/7, 7 p.m.)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL
BEFORE I FALL, LOGAN, THE SHACK, TABLE 19, COLLIDE, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, FIST FIGHT, GET OUT, THE GREAT WALL, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, LA LA LAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, MOONLIGHT, ROCK DOG (3/3 on), IS GENESIS HISTORY? (3/7)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
MOONLIGHT, DOCTOR STRANGE, ALLIED, RULES DON’T APPLY, SHUT IN, CHRONIC, BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY, ALL WE HAD, OFFICER DOWNE, THE BRONX BULL, more! (2/28 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BEFORE I FALL, LOGAN, THE SHACK, TABLE 19, A DOG’S PURPOSE, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, FIST FIGHT, GET OUT, THE GREAT WALL, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LION, ROCK DOG, SPLIT (3/3 on), Newsies: The Broadway Musical (3/4, recorded), REAR WINDOW (1954; 3/5, 3/8), KONG: SKULL ISLAND (3/9)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 205 (3/7, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. PASSENGERS, Pine Lounge (3/3, 3/4, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Ang Lee: CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (3/7, 3/9)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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Calendar: Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2017

February 24th, 2017

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

2/26: Troy Michael (publisher, InnocentWords.com)
2/27: Janet Mayson (actress, THE LAST BEAUTIFUL GIRL)
3/28: Julia Megan Sullivan (voice actress, SECRET AGENT SQUIRREL, Pens to Lens 2015)
3/2: Anne Lukeman (director, WANDA AND PICKLES DISCOVER THE EARTH, Pens to Lens 2016)


PASSINGS | You Will Be Missed

2/15: Greg “Stokes” Hill, 66 (actor, THE GARBAGE MAN)
2/21: Ruth L. Ratny, 89 (founder, Screen Magazine, ReelChicago.com)


CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

20 Years AgoTuesday, January 21, 1997: 35 MILES FROM NORMAL, the debut feature written and directed by Mark Schwahn, receives its world premiere as part of the “American Spectrum” leg at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. Produced over a four-week shoot last September and October in Chicago and downstate Pontiac, IL, the comedy-drama is about young adults seeking their niche while a factory strike looms over their small town. Following additional festival play and respectable press notices during the next two years, 35 MILES finally opened commercially on Friday, May 14, 1999, at the GKC Crescent Theaters in Pontiac according to the Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph. Although this was to have launched a self-distribution push by Pontiac native Schwahn and Chicago-based producer James D. Stern for the film, doubling as publicity for eventual home video releases, 35 MILES never found its own niche and is impossible to see despite the notable entertainment credits amassed since then by both men as well as cast members Ethan Supplee and Alan Tudyk. It also stars Gabriel Olds, Jennifer Crystal, Kellie Overbey, G. Riley Mills, and Tracy Walsh.


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

Festivals are best in today’s “FOW” as we take a look at three events livening up campus spaces over the weekend. Of course, when it comes to the 34th annual Insect Fear Film Festival tomorrow, Sat., 2/25, at Foellinger Auditorium on the University of Illinois main quad, “livening up” involves a lot of creeping and crawling! Famed insect expert May Berenbaum and the Entomology Graduate Student Association plan on “scaring the general public with horrific films and horrific filmmaking” once again with a pair from prolific B-film producer Paul Hertzberg, a UI ’71 graduate in business and CEO of the long-running independent distributor CineTel Films. After doors open at 6 p.m. so families can encourage their little ones to bug out with face painting, a children’s art gallery, and dozens of live and preserved specimens, Berenbaum will offer opening remarks at 7 p.m. to be followed at 7:30 p.m. by the unlikely 2016 sequel 2 LAVA 2 LANTULA, starring former POLICE ACADEMY mates Steve Guttenberg and Michael Winslow as reluctant arachnid busters. Then, an on-stage discussion with guest Hertzberg will take place and lead up to CAVED IN, a 2006 underground thriller in which stars Christopher Atkins and Colm Meaney battle oversized beetles. Insect Fear is free to attend as is the 3rd annual Sustainability Shorts Film Festival, set for the main lounge of the UI Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall, 1005 S. Lincoln Ave., at the exact same day and time, 7 p.m. on Sat., 2/25. The schedule for this year’s show, presented by the Sustainability Living-Learning Community and organized by program director Jennifer Bechtel, readily hints at the environmental concerns raised by the selections while providing a more serious angle on how insects, animals, humans, and ecological disaster affect our world. To end, we send a long-distance dedication to those students running the in-progress 39th annual Big Muddy Film Festival, offering contemporary and topical work to audiences at Southern Illinois University and in the Carbondale community. Three days remain in their itinerary – blanket heads for film blocks include “Poetry Films,” “Homelessness Awareness,” “Experimental Structure Films,” and “It Came From Big Muddy” – and will wrap with a 3 p.m. “Best of Fest” program on Sun., 2/26, at the Longbranch Café & Bakery, 100 E. Jackson St., Carbondale. Per our humble estimation, this is the most accomplished perennial film exhibition held in downstate Illinois; their groupings and juror choices always shine with integrity and purpose. “FOW” is hereby fin.


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (2/24 on), PATERSON (2/24-2/27, 3/1-3/2), National Theatre Live presents No Man’s Land feat. Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen (2/25-2/26, 11 a.m., recorded)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL
COLLIDE, GET OUT, ROCK DOG, A CURE FOR WELLNESS, A DOG’S PURPOSE, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, FIST FIGHT, THE GREAT WALL, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, LA LA LAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LION, SPLIT, WHY HIM? (2/24 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, HACKSAW RIDGE, BAD SANTA 2, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE 9TH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX, VIKING LEGACY, FATAL INSTINCT, TOTAL FRAT MOVIE, GRACE AND FRANKIE (s2), more! (2/21 on)

@ Foellinger Auditorium, UIUC, Urbana, IL
34th annual Insect Fear Film Festival feat. 2 LAVA 2 LANTULA, CAVED IN, discussion w/producer Paul Hertzberg (2/25, 7 p.m., free)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
COLLIDE, GET OUT, LION, ROCK DOG, A CURE FOR WELLNESS, A DOG’S PURPOSE, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, FIST FIGHT, THE GREAT WALL, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, LA LA LAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, SPLIT (2/24 on), The Metropolitan Opera: Rusalka (2/25, simulcast; 3/1, recorded), SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (2/26, 3/1), LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/2)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 205 (2/28, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, Pine Lounge (2/24, 2/25, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ Lincoln Avenue Residence Halls, UIUC, Urbana, IL
3rd annual Sustainability Shorts Film Festival (2/25, 7 p.m., free)

@ Quality Beer, Champaign, IL
Champaign Screenwriters mixer (3/2, 8 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Ang Lee: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995; 2/28, 3/2)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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Art no party in drama GREENE

February 22nd, 2017

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Last week, we told you about an upcoming campus film festival that is custom built for student filmmakers at the University of Illinois and other Midwest institutions of higher learning, but not all young media practitioners will be jockeying for short film glory this spring. Current UIUC upperclassman Keenan Dailey, who showed visual promise and projected a strong voice in his New Art Film Festival ’16 entry LABYRINTH, is aiming higher and longer with his new feature-length project called GREENE. Active on multiple fronts to bring this story to fruition, Dailey launched a Kickstarter campaign to amass a little more than $3,000 for a production budget with about three weeks left for supporters to give. He also has begun casting with one leg taking place this past Monday, February 20, and another scheduled for later tonight, Wednesday, February 22, at the UI School of Art + Design; audition blocks will run from 5 to 7 p.m. and have possibly been all filled in advance, so contact Dailey immediately by writing greenemovie [at] gmail [dot] com or messaging his GREENE or personal Facebook pages to offer your performance credentials and demo reel if not secure a remaining slot. (Open roles are listed in the graphic below and include parts for post-college age performers.) Potential collaborators on all fronts are also encouraged to approach him through these same avenues if interested in other positions on the show. His Internet promotion goes on to describe GREENE as “the story of 28-year-old black gallery owner, Marcus Greene, who is struggling to find peace with the fractured remnants of his life. Despite the efforts of his brother-in-law and largely due to Marcus’ depressive state, his gallery has been failing and is now facing foreclosure. This story follows Marcus’ journey as he comes to terms with his past.” Also eyeing a larger thematic canvas, Daily paints his projected film as “a reflection of artistic exposure within the African-American experience” and “one that wishes to exist outside the stereotypical view of African-Americans in mainstream media.” GREENE could turn out to be a touchstone endeavor for the right combination of theater and fine arts candidates coming up through the UI student body ranks due to its bravely ambitious and emotional concept. Among them, Dailey hails from Peoria, IL, and is working towards a graphic design degree at the UI; peripheral activities include a piece that qualified for the 2016 Sundance Ignite “What’s Next?” challenge, DADAISM, and an acting appearance in the recent WILL-TV/Illinois Public Media offering BARNS: AN ILLINOIS STORY directed by Oliver Peng.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar: February 17-23, 2017

February 17th, 2017

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

2/18: Phil Kim (publisher, Famous Monsters of Filmland)
2/21: Eric Benson (co-author, Design to Renourish)


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

While major players and underdogs prepare to go for the gold at the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony next weekend, we suggest you go for the old this weekend instead of dropping cash on new Hollywood releases with seemingly little to offer. The Normal Theater revs up Alex Cox’s lovably ragged cult favorite, REPO MAN (Universal Pictures), for a pair of late shows tonight, Fri., 2/17, and tomorrow, Sat., 2/18, starting at 10 p.m.; this anarchic comedy from 1984 pairs Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton as losers-turned-“repossession agents” in pursuit of a (literally) hot Chevy Malibu with highly valuable junk in its trunk that might just be of extraterrestrial origin. By contrast, the Art Theater Co-op presents on Mon., 2/20, 7 p.m., a fully-restored print of writer/director Julie Dash’s DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (Cohen Media Group), the landmark drama from 1991 chronicling the lives of African-American slave descendants living off the coast of Georgia in the early 1900s; an overt dilemma is faced when an extended family on one island, led by African traditionalist and matriarch Nana (Cora Lee Day), is coerced to relocate to the Northern states as part of the Great Migration. Elsewhere, expression in a longstanding writing form plays a central role in two non-Hollywood features coming to the area for the first time. NERUDA (The Orchard/Participant Media), directed by JACKIE’s Pablo Larraín and starring Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco, and Mercedes Morán, is a partly fictionalized account of how Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda evades authorities after going into exile in 1948 due to his Communist leanings; the Normal will show this acclaimed “anti-biopic” at 7 p.m. on Sun., 2/19. PATERSON (Bleecker Street Media/Amazon Studios), written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, is a low-key charmer with Adam Driver as the title character, a bus driver and prolific closet poet living in Paterson, NJ, and Golshifteh Farahani as his stay-at-home partner who is also a beautiful dreamer. As much an affirmation of appreciating the small things via art as it is an attempt at a “poem for camera” filtered through Jarmusch’s one-of-a-kind lens, PATERSON begins its run at the Art Theater today. “FOW” is hereby fin.


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
PATERSON (2/17 on), The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017: Animation (2/17-2/18, 2/22-2/23), DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST w/discussion (2/20)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL
A CURE FOR WELLNESS, FIST FIGHT, THE GREAT WALL, LION, A DOG’S PURPOSE, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, LA LA LAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, PASSENGERS, RINGS, SPLIT (2/17 on)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “48 Hr Screening,” Robeson Pavilion Room C (2/21, 7 p.m., free)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
ARRIVAL, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, BLEED FOR THIS, CHRISTINE, STAKE LAND II, PRICELESS, more! (2/14 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
A CURE FOR WELLNESS, FIST FIGHT, THE GREAT WALL, A DOG’S PURPOSE, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, THE FOUNDER, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, LA LA LAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, RINGS, SPLIT (2/17 on), Newsies: The Broadway Musical (2/18, 2/22, recorded), Allegiance: The Broadway Musical (2/19, recorded), THE GODFATHER (2/19, 2/22), IS GENESIS HISTORY? (2/23)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 205 (2/21, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, Pine Lounge (2/17, 2/18, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ Lincoln Square Village (starting point), Urbana, IL
Champaign Movie Makers 48 Hour Film Fest 2017 (2/17-2/19)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Spike Lee: MALCOLM X (2/17-2/18)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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Read the rest of this entry »

Illinifest entry window now open

February 13th, 2017

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From February 6, 2017:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THIRD ANNUAL ILLINIFEST STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

CHAMPAIGN, IL (February 6, 2017)Illinifest Student Film Festival, presented by the students of MACS 464 [Media and Cinema Studies] at the College of Media at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, announces its call for submissions of short films in the “Midwest Student” and “World Competition” [categories]. The festival will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Lincoln Hall Theater on the Urbana campus.

The submission period begins Monday, February 6. Film entry is available through http://illinifest.illinois.edu/submit or Film Freeway. Submission to the “Midwest Student” category is open to students and recent graduates of colleges and universities throughout the Midwest. Short films of one to 20 minutes can be submitted into the “Midwest Student” category free of charge before the March 10 entry deadline. Late submissions received by March 20 will be charged a $3 fee. Submission into the “World Competition” is open to everyone for a $5 fee. “Midwest Student” and “World Competition” filmmakers working in all aesthetic disciplines and genres including narrative, documentary, animation, horror, and experimental are welcome. All films must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on March 20.

About Illinifest Student Film Festival

Illinifest Student Film Festival is dedicated to supporting student filmmakers by bringing their work to a campus and community audience for a shared cinema experience. Our mission is to make Illinifest an arena for diverse voices in short filmmaking. The 2016 festival spotlighted short films by student filmmakers in colleges throughout the Midwest while also exposing our audience to the work of filmmakers form around the world. We received 123 submissions from more than 20 countries. Of those, 33 films were selected for inclusion into the 2016 festival program. Films accepted at Illinifest are screened at the festival and nominated for awards in a number of categories including “Grand Jury Prize,” “Best Picture,” “Best Cinematography,” and “Social Impact,” as well as $100 in cash prizes.

For more information, visit http://illinifest.illinois.edu/ as well as our social media at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!


CONTACT

Rahmah Elmassry
relmas2 [at] illinois [dot] edu


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Calendar: February 10-16, 2017

February 10th, 2017

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

2/16: Michael J. Jones (pop artist, epyon5)


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

Quality international cinema comes to town in abbreviated lengths this week as compilations of the 2017 Oscar-Nominated Short Films (ShortsHD/Magnolia Pictures) arrive at the Art Theater Co-op and Normal Theater. Eighteen pieces total will be presented between the showcases – one each for “Live Action,” “Animation,” and “Documentary” at the Normal, four at the Art with the “Documentary” set split in two – including the five in contention for each category and three runners-up added to “Animation.” Plenty of hard information and high-resolution images can be found at this Web page if you would like to take in some background before a viewing. We’ve labeled the distinct groupings for your convenience in the Calendar, but note the Art is rotating them every day from Fri., 2/10, to Thurs., 2/16, while the Normal is offering “Live Action” (Fri., 2/10) and “Documentary” (Sun., 2/12) only once and “Animation” (Sat., 2/11; Thurs., 2/16) twice, all at 7 p.m. Also conjuring interest in our corner is the belated local appearance of THE LOVE WITCH (Oscilloscope Laboratories) at the Normal tonight, Fri., 2/10, and tomorrow, Sat, 2/11, at 10 p.m.; cut from the same lovingly-crafted cloth as Anna Biller’s previous short subjects and debut feature, VIVA, this WITCH echoes with precision a past Hollywood trope – the mid-century Technicolor melodrama – while twisting genre expectations and gender politics to meet its ends. Shot in 35mm, the tale involves practicing witch Elaine (Samantha Robinson) and her attempts to lure with “sex magic” a male companion who might handle her highly particular (and occasionally fatal) wiles. It may be a love letter of sorts to vintage thrillers and potboilers, but outsider stylist Biller seems to understand how to enlist the power and pleasures of techniques past to color her present-day concerns. “FOW” is hereby fin.


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017: Animation (2/10-2/12, 2/15-2/16), Live Action (2/10-2/12, 2/14-2/16), Documentary “A” & “B” (2/12-2/13), PUNCH DRUNK LOVE (2/10-2/11, 2/16), CASABLANCA (2/14)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL
FIFTY SHADES DARKER, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, A DOG’S PURPOSE, HIDDEN FIGURES, LA LA LAND, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER, RINGS, ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, SING, THE SPACE BETWEEN US, SPLIT (2/10 on)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Pens to Lens Screenwriting Workshop, Robeson Pavilion Rooms A & B (2/11, 11 a.m., free)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
TROLLS, ALMOST CHRISTMAS, LOVING, DESIERTO, AMERICAN PASTORAL, THE TAKE, ODDBALL, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, DESIREE, VICE PRINCIPALS (s1), more! (2/7 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
FIFTY SHADES DARKER, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE COMEDIAN, A DOG’S PURPOSE, THE FOUNDER, HIDDEN FIGURES, LA LA LAND, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, MONSTER TRUCKS, RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER, RINGS, SING, THE SPACE BETWEEN US, SPLIT, xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE (2/10 on), IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (2/12, 2/15), Newsies: The Broadway Musical (2/16, recorded)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 205 (2/14, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, Pine Lounge (2/10, 2/11, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ School of Information Sciences, UIUC, Champaign, IL
13th (dir. Ava DuVernay) screening and discussion, Room 126 and East Lobby (2/16, 5 p.m.)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
AEMS presents AsiaLENS Documentary/Film Series feat. PUNCH (2/14, 7 p.m., free), Illinois Public Media presents STEPHEN HAWKING’S FAVORITE PLACES* (2/16, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Spike Lee: SCHOOL DAZE (2/13-2/14), CLOCKERS (2/15-2/16)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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Read the rest of this entry »

It’s déjà CUZine all over again

February 9th, 2017

Not unlike yesterday’s article, in which we talked about picking up on an archival compilation project for C-U Blogfidential that we had wanted to launch a long while back, we profess our serious intent to follow through with additional old business in the printed form of C-U Confidential issue 9. Unlike our musty filmography concept and the several years it will take to coalesce, we want to press the next CUZine into your palms as soon as possible! This edition is beginning to suffer the throes of inconsistent progress as did issue 8; since that number turned out well enough after a two-and-a-half year slog, we hope you will not feel too inconvenienced if issue 9 hits only six months later than we had once planned. There is no excuse for us to overshoot the spring when we have several cool stories in store for you – we investigate the return of Pens to Lens, the loss of That’s Rentertainment, the film writing legacy of the late Springfield poet Vachel Lindsay, and more – on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of CUZine itself! Therefore, we will solicit advertisements for the second time beginning on Monday, February 13, and close the book by Monday, March 13. We need to fill 12 pages in our 48-page publication, including three full-color covers, and can offer a special 20% discount on the final invoice for clients that place and pay for ads in both CUZine #9 and #10 (targeted for September release) by Friday, March 17. Fans who may not have reason to promote can send donations to cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com via PayPal; no amount is too small but please keep in mind it is not tax deductible. Your payments go directly towards furnishing an ongoing record of the movies of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond to our communities FOR FREE. How can you not contribute to this unique independent movement, dearest friends?

~ Jason Pankoke

[Updated 2/18/17, 3:15 p.m. CST]

This announcement will remain at the head of C-U Blogfidential until further notice.

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