SMO knows the Left Coast outré

March 21st, 2015

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

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

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

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Calendar du C-U: March 20-26

March 20th, 2015

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

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

MILESTONES

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


NOW PLAYING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Article du C-U: Ebertfest ’14, pt.5

March 19th, 2015

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

by Samantha Ducey

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

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

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

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EIU Feminist Fest starts March 23

March 17th, 2015

From March 11, 2015:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Calendar du C-U: March 13-19

March 14th, 2015

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

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

MILESTONES

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


NOW PLAYING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Lack of NAFF no reason to slack

March 10th, 2015

At any given point in Champaign-Urbana, industrious groups and individuals spend their hard-earned hours launching businesses, events, cooperatives, and movements. Within all that bustle, you most likely will find something of interest whether as observer or participant, including worthwhile expressions of film culture absent the familiar “C-U Confidential” branding. So, on behalf of the soon-to-be-rescheduled New Art Film Festival, we highly encourage our fellow cinema mavens to seek out alternative routes for showing their work this spring within the friendly confines of east central Illinois!

To start, we revisit the indie-minded Buttered Corn on the Cob Film Festival that had been set for the same day as the NAFF last April, only to be postponed at the 11th hour. Considering its Facebook is out-of-date and Web site vanished, we have no indication Buttered Corn will return at all let alone at the venue formerly set as host, the Fluid Event Center in far west Champaign. Here in 2015, Fluid Events has opted to enlist art collective The Common Mind for organizing an extravaganza during the comparable weekend, Friday, April 10, and Saturday, April 11, called the “Super Mega Awesome Big Fun Art Show!” All manner of creativity from Champaign County residents is encouraged in the media, performing, and fine arts; deadline to submit work or proposals is Sunday, March 22. We point out this gig partly because it is tied to this year’s Boneyard Arts Festival, and hopefully some filmmakers can take advantage of it to receive exposure for their work! Write boneyardatfluidevents [at] gmail [dot] com or Common Mind video guru Matt HarsH at harshpro [at] gmail [dot] com with any questions!

We also have a pair of University of Illinois-based showcases on the horizon, one consistent in its aims and the other changing form before our very eyes! Thanks to an on-line shout from our friend AJ Christensen, we’re reminded Rachel Storm and the Women’s Resources Center (WRC) are accepting entries to the sixth UIUC Feminist Film Festival that will take place at the end of spring semester. According to this Web page, entries are “due in late March” and should be “student-made films between five and 15 minutes in length exploring social justice, social identity, and feminism(s).” Feel free to contact WRC assistant director Storm at rstorm2 [at] Illinois [dot] edu or (217) 333-3137, and read this C-U Blogfidential piece by Lauren Laws about last year’s edition at the Art Theater Co-op to learn more about the program.

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Calendar du C-U: March 6-12

March 7th, 2015

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

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
3/6/15-3/12/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, March 7: Johnny Robinson (cinematographer, HOUSE OF THADDEUS) … Monday, March 9: Meredith Dumyahn (volunteer, Route 66 International Film Festival) … Tuesday, March 10: Danielle Cloutier (writer/model, MICRO-FILM) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (3/6 on), Essential Cinema 009: ALPHAVILLE (3/6, 3/7, 10 p.m.; 3/10, 7:30 p.m.; 3/12, 10 p.m.), Late Night: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (3/11, 10 p.m., free), closed for private rental (3/9, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. LIFE ITSELF* (3/6, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Urbana Free Library, Urbana, IL: “Comics and Comix and Graphic Novels & Damian Duffy” event (3/7, 4 p.m., free)

@ The Urbana Free Library, Urbana, IL: “Animating Epics: An Evening with Nina Paley” event (3/9, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “March Movie Madness: Western Week” feat. RIO BRAVO (3/10, 7 p.m.), RED RIVER (3/11, 7 p.m.), ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (3/12, 7 p.m.)

@ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, UIUC, Urbana, IL: “Beyond Zero: 1914-1918” performed by the Kronos Quartet feat. Bill Morrison film collage (3/10, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (3/12, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: FOXCATCHER, THE CAPTIVE, TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS, THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD, THE HUMBLING, LIFE PARTNERS, THE BETTER ANGELS, LONGMIRE (s3), more! (3/3 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, BIG EYES (3/6 on), STILL ALICE (3/6-3/11), A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (3/6, 3/7, 8 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: ANNIE (1982; 3/5-3/8, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: CHAPPIE, MCFARLAND, USA, BIRDMAN, FOCUS, THE LAZARUS EFFECT (3/6 on), ANNIE (2014; 3/7, 3/8, 12:45 p.m.), CINDERELLA (2015; 3/12, 7:15 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (3/6-3/8, 3/11)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (3-D & 2-D) (3/6-3/8)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1 (3/6-3/8)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: CHAPPIE, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, AMERICAN SNIPER, THE DUFF, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FOCUS, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, MCFARLAND, USA, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (3/6 on), CINDERELLA (2015; 3/12, 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: CHAPPIE, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, AMERICAN SNIPER, BIRDMAN, THE DUFF, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FOCUS, THE IMITATION GAME, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, MCFARLAND, USA, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, STILL ALICE (3/6 on), DOLPHIN TALE 2 (3/7, 3/7, 9 & 10 a.m.), THE BAREFOOT BANDIT DOCUMENTARY (3/8, 5 & 7 p.m.)

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

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

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

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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: A Myriad Musical Tour, Pt.1

March 6th, 2015

Urgh! Has it really been this long since we’ve cobbled together a “video jukebox” offering for your eyes and ears to enjoy in unison? We’d love to feign surprise and blush on cue but, considering that we already incriminated ourselves in the refreshed quest to round up Champaign-Urbana’s creative output from the past few months, we simply can’t be surprised about missing the boat. So, dearest local music fans, here is the first entry of a handful expressing the variety in today’s scene on both sides of the camera lens! Expect the brand new and slightly viewed to appear side by side…

Withershins – “Aquamarine” from @TWOBRAINZ on Vimeo.

First is a “day after the party” scenario set to “Aquamarine,” a track by Champaign quintet Withershins from their album Mt. Fuji in Blue released last August by Heirship Records/Mud Records. A slightly disheveled young woman (Ashley Haley) wakes up in the apartment loft aftermath of said party and makes a mad dash downstairs to her getaway vehicle without those all-important keys. On her round trip to reclaim said keys, she flashes back to the festivities including a live set by the group – Isaac Arms, Luke Bergkoetter, Bryce Robert Hays, Colin Larson, and Neil Yeager – before she can exhale a sigh of relief. (We’re presuming some or all of this was shot at The Velvet Elvis, Arms’ short-lived guerilla concert space in downtown Champaign. And, no, we’re still not giving out the location on a public forum.) Immediate and uncertain as is our protagonist, buzzing with a hangover and spurned by a phone conversation gone sour, AQUAMARINE the video was produced by C-U videographer Chris Smith of TwoBrainz Photography with an assist from the fellows behind Urbana Basement Sessions.

6. lowlove (Prod. by Rokmore) 01:55 from @TWOBRAINZ on Vimeo.

Wandering virtually through both the TwoBrainz Web site and Vimeo account, we encountered external links to the prolific hip-hop collective TheGr8Thinkaz, members of which include Smith and fellow video wizard Michael Williams, Jr., a.k.a. FlyShotzFresh, performers Jay Moses, JEFFdaMC, and Sky, and producers Rokmore and H.Kal-El. Another member of the family, charismatic rapper Klevah “Ninja” Knox, recently dropped her sophomore full-length album Golden and has followed it with a steady stream of related videos. Two recent ones we share here: LOST LOVE, a concise piece filmed by TwoBrainz with music production by Rokmore, and BASTARDS, an iPhone collage assembled by Animol Filmz with Eric Surreal providing the audio mix. Certainly a case of contrasting aesthetics on super-low budgets, the slick in-studio feel of LOST LOVE and weathered C-U exteriors in BASTARDS equally compliment their respective sound tracks, a constant being the straight-up presence of Klevah and her lyrical flow.

Students of media can have equal fun comparing the portable device vs. DSLR production values of BASTARDS and AQUAMARINE and how each uses editing and verité-style camera work to reflect the women at their center. As you analyze, dissect, or merely view this trio, we’ll be on the lookout for more!

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s.A film company of hundreds of film makers in Champaign, IL.” Way to dream big, Animol Filmz!

Calendar du C-U: Feb. 27-Mar. 5

February 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.

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
2/27/15-3/5/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toFriday, February 27: Bradley Ledbetter, Larry Bent (cast/crew, WEREWOLF CEMETERY), Janet Mayson (creator, LIBBY GIRL film shorts) … Saturday, February 28: Julia Megan Sullivan (actress, HOUSE OF THADDEUS) … Monday, March 2: Anne Lukeman (director, THE RUNNER, Pens to Lens 2014), Kelly White (executive director, 40 North 88 West) … Wednesday, March 4: Jonathan Ward (music video producer, Young Club & Young Boogie) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: STILL ALICE (2/27 on), TIMBUKTU (2/27-3/1, 3/2 w/discussion, 3/ 4-3/5), A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (2/27-3/1, 3/ 4-3/5), Carle Cancer Center benefit screening feat. AWAKEN THE DRAGON (3/3, 7 p.m., free)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. ONE CHANCE (2/27, 7 p.m., free)

@ Foellinger Auditorium, UIUC, Urbana, IL: UI Entomology Graduate Student Association presents 32nd annual Insect Fear Film Festival feat. MANSQUITO, shorts (2/28, 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. films, free)

@ Robeson Pavilion Rooms A & B, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL: The Art Theater Co-op’s third annual MOO-VIE membership meeting (3/1, 2:30 p.m.)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (3/5, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: BIG HERO 6, HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, WHIPLASH, BEYOND THE LIGHTS, SONS OF ANARCHY (s7), OLIVE KITTERIDGE (cs), more! (2/24 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, STILL ALICE, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (2/27 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: FORCE MAJEURE (2/26-3/1, 7 p.m.), TAD THE LOST EXPLORER (2/28, 1 p.m., free)

@ LRS Theater, Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield, IL: Sangamon Valley Civic Orchestra and Central Illinois Film Commission present “Night at the Movies” concert (3/1, 4 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. THE LIBERATOR (3/1, 1 & 4 p.m.; 3/3, 7 p.m.)

@ SIU Student Center, etc., Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL: 37th annual Big Muddy Film Festival (through 3/1) Program

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: FOCUS, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (3-D & 2-D) (2/27 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: MCFARLAND, USA (2/27 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: AMERICAN SNIPER (2/27-3/1), THE BOOK OF LIFE (2/28, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. BIG HERO 6 (2/27-3/1)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: BIRDMAN, FOCUS, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, AMERICAN SNIPER, THE DUFF, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, MCFARLAND, USA, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (2/27 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: FOCUS, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, AMERICAN SNIPER, BIRDMAN, BLACK OR WHITE, THE DUFF, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2, THE IMITATION GAME, JUPITER ASCENDING, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, MCFARLAND, USA, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, STILL ALICE (2/27 on), THE BOXTROLLS (2/28, 3/1, 9 & 10 a.m.), THE KILL TEAM (3/2, 5 & 7 p.m.), THE DROP BOX (3/3-3/5, 7 p.m.)

@ Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, Chicago, IL: Midwest Independent Film Festival presents DIG TWO GRAVES w/filmmakers (3/3, 6 p.m.)

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

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

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

<><><><><>

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

Read the rest of this entry »

IOW: Plenty of pre-HOLLY activity

February 27th, 2015

A few weeks ago in this catch-all post, we mentioned an upcoming low-budget action drama titled HOLLY being prepped by HD Productions of Champaign for a late spring shoot. We thought it might be worth our dearest readers’ while to learn about the endeavors of the ambitious young man behind HOLLY, Danny Hill, as well as the production roles he still may need to fill. Ready to roll? Let’s go!

In today’s article we’ve embedded three videos to help illustrate Hill’s output that has appeared since INFECTION, a survival tale-with-zombies for which the Parkland College graduate organized a premiere at the Art Theater Co-op in 2013. First up is a comedic Web series called DOWNTOWN that went live in September and October, covering the misadventures of best friends and college students Ralph (Pierre Devon Stephens), Eme (Miles Springer), and Michael (Hill) as they room together in a rental house near downtown Champaign. We’ve shared the “blooper reel” Episode Six because it features clips and other characters from the run so far.

Next is a non-fiction series we’re happy to see Hill make, ALMOST INTIMATE, in which he interviews other area twentysomethings who are demonstrating talent and drive in their respective pursuits. The dozen episodes that have gone live since January 2014 include comedian Larry Smith, Jr., painter Davon L. Goodlove, pageant competitor Samantha Molina, boxer Kofi Bazzell-Smith, video producer Adrian “AL” Dorsey, and hip-hop musicians Young Club, Young Boogie, and Tae the God; Hill even pays Champaign mayor Don Gerard a visit at the city building to talk shop. Below we offer the most recent installment in which Hill discusses the student-run photography service 50 Diamonds with University of Illinois undergraduates Elijah Okpogie and Nick Yi.

Our last video is one of several miscellaneous pieces mixed in with the ALMOST INTMATE and DOWNTOWN entries on the HD YouTube channel, a music video for local rap artist Kayo and his song “Lost Boys” commenting on the polarizing strife between African-American youth and law enforcement. Mixing public domain and Internet footage of real-life scuffles with a staged altercation between actors BJ Foote and Wes Melton, LOST BOYS is short, tight, and modestly cinematic. It is possibly the best indication so far of the shape HOLLY might take.

So, what will that be? And how can you help? Hill has been soliciting for crew members on Craigslist and other Web sites in anticipation of an April start date – he is already rehearsing with lead actors Sawyer Harris, Tarek Nabulsi, Laquan Grein, Eric Klein, and William Rose II – but we’re not certain which roles have been filled. If you’re interested in working on HOLLY, you should contact Hill immediately through the Facebook page or by writing HollyMovie [dot] HD [at] gmail [dot] com. Positions listed in Hill’s self-promotion are director of photography, make-up/hair, production assistant, location audio, gaffer/grip, and script supervisor.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Did we mention Hill also has his own photography business, The Photography Wing?

p.s.2 As a friendly public service announcement, we’ll note the tech aspects of various moments in DOWNTOWN and ALMOST INTIMATE are a bit rough, particularly with low sound levels in the latter. Make sure you have headphones and/or a quiet space at your disposal, dearest viewers, so you can turn it up to 11 and better hear what our young people have to say!

Love is a hop, skip, JUMP IN away

February 25th, 2015

Chilly salutations to you, dearest readers in the frozen Midwest tundra! We’re still chasing around a minor flurry of cinema efforts that has been falling on Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond since the fall season, for who are we to not give the gift of local film gab with so much tingling on the tips of our tongues? (Those with short-term movie memory can refresh beginning with this. Here’s another. And, another still. If you don’t get the idea by now, we’re simply not sure what to do about you.) We now resume catching up on all relevant stories to tell, beginning with the oldest example in the bunch that we should have relayed when it was timely…

Yet, why not make the case that Kimberly Conner’s feature JUMP IN is equally as noteworthy today? Shot on a shoestring in Springfield and Chicago nearly two years ago by this tireless lady and her collaborators, the film received a DVD berth from genre indie distributor Maverick Entertainment Group back on Tuesday, September 23, and is available at all the expected on-line markets. Sheree Bynum, Dingazi Beza, Karen Malina White, Michael Higginbottom, Thea Camara, and Kevin Craig West star in a low-key exploration of relationships among contemporary African-American adults, every thread revolving around the efforts of law student Troy Alexander (Bynum) to power through school, a broken marriage, and a breast cancer diagnosis in order to find happiness and accomplishment.

We are so behind in the progress of Conner and her Predestined Arts & Entertainment company, in fact, that we have barely talked about the follow-up to JUMP IN. Filmed late summer of last year in the general Springfield area and currently in postproduction, BEFORE ‘I DO’ features actors Jensen Atwood and Omar Gooding as small town firefighters with the former’s character “Caleb” facing a midlife crossroads after being stood up at the altar. Andrea Kelly, Danielle Ward, Kathleen Turner, Michael Pittman, Joel Patrick King, and Camara also appear as various friends, allies, and romantic interests. Since a spring 2015 premiere has already been hinted by Conner, such as the one held in the capital city for JUMP IN last March, we have no doubt an announcement on that front is forthcoming.

You can hear a bit more about BEFORE ‘I DO’ from Conner, Atwood, Gooding, and Kelly in the news segment below. Please watch this space for more things Predestined!

~ Jason Pankoke


Calendar du C-U: February 20-26

February 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.

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
2/20/15-2/26/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, February 21: Eric Benson (co-host, Damian Duffy Hates Everything podcast) … Thursday, February 26: Troy Michael (publisher, Innocent Words magazine) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: STILL ALICE (2/20 on), Essential Cinema 008: HAROLD AND MAUDE (2/20, 2/21, 2/26, 10 p.m.), Krannert Art Museum presents HAIRY WHO & THE CHICAGO IMAGISTS w/writer John Corbett and artist Karl Wirsum (2/23, 7:30 p.m.), Sola Gratia Farm and Eastern Illinois Food Bank present A PLACE AT THE TABLE (2/24, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1 (2/20, 7 p.m., free)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: PASS THE LIGHT (2/22, 1:30 & 4:30 p.m.; 2/24, 2/26, 1 & 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (2/23, 5 & 7 p.m.)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (2/26, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: LIFE ITSELF*, BIRDMAN, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, ST. VINCENT, THE INTERVIEW, DUMB AND DUMBER TO, THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, THE HOMESMAN, DYING OF THE LIGHT, V/H/S: VIRAL, GAME OF THRONES (s4), more! (2/17 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: STILL ALICE, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2/20 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Documentary (2/19, 7 p.m.), Live Action (2/20, 7 p.m.), Animated (2/21, 2/22, 7 p.m.), Bike BloNo fundraiser feat. PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE (2/21, 1 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. FORCE MAJEURE (2/22, 1 & 4 p.m.; 2/24, 7 p.m.)

@ SIU Student Center, etc., Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL: 37th annual Big Muddy Film Festival (2/24-3/1) Program

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE IMITATION GAME, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (3-D & 2-D) (2/20 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: MCFARLAND, USA (2/20 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: TAKEN 3, PADDINGTON (2/20-2/22)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. DUMB AND DUMBER TO (2/20-2/22)

@ ABC-TV: 87th annual Academy Awards presentation (2/22, 6 p.m. CST)

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

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

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

<><><><><>

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar du C-U: February 13-19

February 13th, 2015

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

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
2/13/15-2/19/15

LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

LIFE ITSELF * U.S. DVD release: Tuesday, 2/17, via Magnolia Home Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA/Kartemquin Films, Chicago, IL


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: STILL ALICE (2/13 on), Education Justice Project presents MIDDLE OF NOWHERE w/discussion (2/15, 7:30 p.m., free), Essential Cinema 007: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962; 2/16, 7:30 p.m.), Transnational Solidarity Initiative presents CONCERNING VIOLENCE w/discussion (2/17, 7:30 p.m., free), The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Animation (2/18-2/19, 10 p.m.), Valentine’s Day Late Night: DIRTY DANCING (2/13, 2/14, 10 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 (2/13, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “Date Night Series” feat. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2/13, 7 p.m.), The News-Gazette Film Series presents THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (2/14, 1 & 7 p.m.)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW (2/14 on), PASS THE LIGHT (2/14, 4:30 p.m.; 2/15, 1:30 & 4:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON (2/16, 5 & 7 p.m.)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “BYOG: Camera Movement” (2/17, 7 p.m., free)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (2/19, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: NIGHTCRAWLER, ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY, FORCE MAJEURE, ROSEWATER, KILL THE MESSENGER, ADDICTED, LAGGIES, NURSE JACKIE (s6), more! (2/10 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (3-D & 2-D) (2/13 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: CASABLANCA (2/12-2/15, 7 p.m.), HOOVEY (2/14, 1 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. THE SKELETON TWINS (2/15, 1 & 4 p.m.; 2/17, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, JUPITER ASCENDING (3-D & 2-D), THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (3-D & 2-D) (2/13 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (2/13 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: INTO THE WOODS (2/13-2/15), 101 DALMATIONS (1961; 2/14, 11 a.m.)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. 101 DALMATIONS (1961; 2/13-2/15) to benefit Hoopeston Animal Shelter (cash or pet items accepted)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: Closed for the season!

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

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: Closed for the season!

<><><><><>

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: February 6-12

February 6th, 2015

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

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
2/6/15-2/12/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, February 7: Laura Cynkar (crew, UP THE CREEK) … Sunday, February 8: Robin Christian (writer/director, LOWLIFES) … Tuesday, February 10: Abigail Graham (creator, THE ABIGAIL SHOW) … celebrate!


LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

@ Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL: Sleepy Creek Gong Show feat. UP THE CREEK (2/7, 6:15 p.m. UTC episodes, 7 p.m. live show w/UTC cast members as judges, $5)


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: FOXCATCHER (2/6 on), The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Animation (2/6-2/7, 2/11-2/12), Live Action (2/6-2/8, 2/11-2/12), CITIZENFOUR (2/7-2/9, 2/11), ACLU of Champaign County presents OVERCRIMINALIZED w/discussion (2/10, 7:30 p.m., free)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. BEYOND THE LIGHTS (2/6, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “Date Night Series” feat. MOONSTRUCK (2/9, 2/10, 7 p.m.), ANNIE HALL (2/11, 2/12, 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: THE OVERNIGHTERS (2/9, 5 & 7 p.m.)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (2/12, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: DRACULA UNTOLD, JOHN WICK, THE BEST OF ME, OUIJA, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY, WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC, FOOD CHAIN$, NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC, VIDEO GAMES: THE MOVIE, TRICKED, more! (2/3 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: SELMA, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, AMERICAN SNIPER (2/6 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: HOOVEY (2/5, 7 p.m., sold out, benefits Advocate BroMenn; 2/6, 7p.m., sold out, benefits Fellowship of Christian Athletes), FOXCATCHER (2/7-2/8, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. FORCE MAJEURE (2/8, 1 & 4 p.m.; 2/10, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: JUPITER ASCENDING (3-D & 2-D), THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (3-D & 2-D), PROJECT ALMANAC, AMERICAN SNIPER (2/6 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (2/6 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: UNBROKEN (2/6-2/8), ANNIE (2/7-2/8)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation screenings feat. GOD’S NOT DEAD (2/6, 2/8), CAMP HARLOW (2/7), HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (2/7) to benefit Grant Township Food Pantry (cash or non-perishable foods accepted)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: Closed for the season!

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

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: Closed for the season!

<><><><><>

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 »