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.
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 Ago … Tuesday, 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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