Help pad CUZine #10 with your ad!

November 29th, 2018

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We’re parking this bonus reminder up top at C-U Blogfidential to make sure there is no confusion about how we’re gathering funds to print C-U Confidential #10. In parallel with our GoFundMe effort, we will still accept a limited amount of advertising to temper the costs and, right now, we have two pages’ worth to honor from our attempts to book CUZine earlier this year. We’d like to fill three or four pages with your messages by Friday, December 21, in addition to what is already scheduled; most of our real estate on the full-color covers is still available for those who want to make a splash. Please contact us immediately by writing cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com. If we do max out on our projected ad space and exceed our GoFundMe goals, we will not turn advertisers away. Our square-inch space is your place, business-minded friends and philanthropic supporters! We’ll be shoring up the editorial for CUZine as this process continues because we’re more than ready to resume the story of the movies of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond in digest form for all of you to digest at your leisure. Commit if you can, film culture fans!

~ Jason Pankoke

GoFundMe is “Go!” for CUZine #10

November 26th, 2018

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It’s that time in our timeline of existence for you, dearest readers, to unite with us in the effort to spread Confidential joy! We have launched a drive to raise half our printing costs for C-U Confidential issue 10 using GoFundMe. Your humble editor decided to go this route because he believes that GoFundMe is the commonly-used platform that is best designed to stress the human aspect of what can be accomplished with a campaign and, trust us, he’s making this one personal. We’ve already explained our plans here and rationalized our need to put ink to paper here, but you should definitely visit our GoFundMe page to take in our modest proposal all told and decide if it is worth your while to participate. We will park this reminder at the head of C-U Blogfidential until we pass our self-imposed deadline of Sunday, December 30, or exceed our $1,100 fundraising goal, whichever transpires first. If all goes well, we hope to see you on the flip side of the New Year with a freshly-minted lot of CUZine in hand just for you! Cheers!

~ Jason Pankoke

Calendar: December 7-13, 2018

December 8th, 2018

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!

12/8: David B. Busboom (author, Nightbird)
12/10: Sidney Taiko (publisher, Storm Cellar)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
MIRAI (12/7 on), WILDLIFE (12/7-12/9), SUSPIRIA (12/7-12/9, 12/12-12/13), “CatVideoFest” (12/8-12/9, 12 p.m.), BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (12/10, 7:30 p.m.), Member Screening: A BREAD FACTORY, PART ONE w/filmmaker Skype Q&A (12/11, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, A COOL FISH, CREED II, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, THE GRINCH, INSTANT FAMILY, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE, 2.0, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, ROBIN HOOD, A STAR IS BORN, WIDOWS (12/7 on), MIRAI (12/8, 12:55 p.m.), ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL (12/11 on), MORTAL ENGINES, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (12/13 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, THE NUN, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, OPERATION FINALE, GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, I AM PAUL WALKER, WESTWORLD (s2), THE HANDMAID’S TALE (s2), YELLOWSTONE (s1), more! (12/4 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
SCHINDLER’S LIST (re-release), THE WIFE, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, BOY ERASED, CREED II, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, GREEN BOOK, THE GRINCH, INSTANT FAMILY, THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, ROBIN HOOD, A STAR IS BORN, WIDOWS (12/7 on), BUTTONS w/GENE KELLY: THE LEGACY (12/8, 12:55 p.m.), ELF (12/9, 12/12), “Jim Henson’s Holiday Special” feat. EMMET OTTER’S JUG BAND CHRISTMAS, THE BELLS OF FRAGGLE ROCK (12/10, 7 p.m.), Allegiance: The Broadway Musical (12/11, 7:30 p.m.), NEVER ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI (12/13, 7:30 p.m.), SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (12/13 on)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, Pine Lounge (12/7-12/8, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ University Galleries, ISU, Normal, IL
“To Hypnotize Them With Forgetfulness” exhibit feat. film work by Basim Magdy (through 12/16)

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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Calendar: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2018

December 1st, 2018

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!

12/2: Greg Woods (publisher, The Eclectic Screening Room)
12/2: Bryan Wendorf (programmer/artistic director, Chicago Underground Film Festival)
12/6: Andy Due (filmmaker, YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE, OR, HOW TO SLEEP)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
WILDLIFE (11/30 on), ALTERNATE ENDINGS, ACTIVIST RISINGS w/discussion (12/1, 12 p.m., free), Late Night: HEREDITARY (11/30-12/1, 10 p.m.; 12/5-12/6, 9:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
A COOL FISH, THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE, 2.0, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, CREED II, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, THE GRINCH, INSTANT FAMILY, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, ROBIN HOOD, A STAR IS BORN, WIDOWS (11/30 on), GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAPPY HALLOWEEN (11/30 on, limited shows), POKEMON THE MOVIE: THE POWER OF US (12/1, 12:55 p.m.), MIRAI (12/5, 7 p.m.)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
SEARCHING, LITTLE ITALY, KEVIN SMITH: SILENT BUT DEADLY, THE LITTLE STRANGER, SHARP OBJECTS (cs), more! (11/27 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE, BEAUTIFUL BOY, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, BOY ERASED, CREED II, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, THE FRONT RUNNER, GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAPPY HALLOWEEN, GREEN BOOK, THE GRINCH, INSTANT FAMILY, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, ROBIN HOOD, WIDOWS (11/30 on), The Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute (12/1, 12:55 p.m., recorded), POKEMON THE MOVIE: THE POWER OF US (12/1, 12:55 p.m.), Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury boxing match (12/1, 8 p.m., simulcast), MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947; 12/2, 12/5), BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN (12/2, 3 p.m.), “Allegiance to Broadway” (12/4, 7:30 p.m.), MIRAI (12/5, 7 p.m.), National Theatre Live: Antony & Cleopatra w/Ralph Fiennes (12/6, 7 p.m., recorded)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, Pine Lounge (11/29-11/30, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Rewind 92.5 Movie Series: HOME ALONE (12/2, 2 p.m.)

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: November 23-29, 2018

November 24th, 2018

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!

11/24: Shauna Miller (actress, WRITER’S BLOCK, Pens to Lens 2017)
11/28: Ryan Mitchelle (editor, THE LAST SHARKNADO)

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

45 Years AgoFriday, November 16, 1973: Television and movie actor Ross Hagen makes a personal appearance at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Champaign at 7 p.m. to promote the regional opening of his newest picture, BAD CHARLESTON CHARLIE. Based loosely on the life of 1920s coal miner and bootlegger Charlie Birger, whose gang battled rival groups as well as politicians and the Ku Klux Klan in southern Illinois before he was arrested, tried, and hanged, the period comedy was partly filmed in Champaign County three years ago this month but held up for some time from general release. Problematic investors and the resulting nonpayment of wages for many actors and technical crew members by local outfit Studio 9 Productions, which partnered with Hagen’s Triforum Inc. company to make CHARLIE, attracted a lawsuit that was detailed in the May 12, 1971, edition of the Daily Illini as well as the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., last year. With the air cleared, the feature has been in distribution since June through International Cinema Corporation and is now playing at 17 area cinemas, according to a report on p.19 of today’s Urbana Courier. Hagen advises writer Jim Hopwood in an interview that the state of Illinois “is a beautiful place to shoot movies and you people around here should look into encouraging more of it.” Much of Hagen’s core team on CHARLIE – himself, director Ivan Nagy, producer Martin D. Wright of Studio 9, actors Kelly Thordsen, Hoke Howell, and Eric Lidberg, and cinematographer Michael Neyman – have another gang-on-a-crime-spree caper in the wings called PUSHING UP DAISIES, this one coming from the Cannon Group.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers* meeting, “Acting for Film Panel,” Robeson Pavilion Room B (11/26, 7 p.m., free)

@ Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
14th annual Embarras Valley Film Festival*, “Student Films,” Lumpkin Hall Auditorium (11/28, 3-7 p.m., free)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (11/23 on), New York International Children’s Film Festival “Kid Flicks One” (11/24, 2 p.m., free), Member Screening: MONROVIA, INDIANA (11/26, 7 p.m.), “CatVideoFest” (11/27, 7 p.m.), THE EXORCIST director’s cut (11/23-11/24, 10 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
CREED II, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, ROBIN HOOD, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, THE GRINCH, INSTANT FAMILY, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, OVERLORD, A STAR IS BORN, WIDOWS (11/23 on), POKEMON THE MOVIE: THE POWER OF US (11/24, 12:55 p.m.; 11/26, 11/28, 7 p.m.), 2.0 (11/28, 6:30 p.m.; 11/29, 2:30 & 6 p.m.), MIRAI (11/29, 7 & 8 p.m.)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
CRAZY RICH ASIANS, BLINDSPOTTING, DOG DAYS, THE DOMESTICS, KIN, BEYOND THE SKY, more! (11/20 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BOY ERASED, CREED II, THE FRONT RUNNER, GREEN BOOK, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, ROBIN HOOD, BEAUTIFUL BOY, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, THE GRINCH, INSTANT FAMILY, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, WIDOWS (11/23 on), A CHRISTMAS STORY (11/25, 11/28), POKEMON THE MOVIE: THE POWER OF US (11/26, 11/28, 7 p.m.), MIRAI (11/29, 7 p.m.), MEOW WOLF: ORIGIN STORY (11/29, 7:30 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
FIRST MAN (11/23, 7 p.m.; 11/24, 1 & 7 p.m.; 11/25, 1 p.m.)

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: November 16-22, 2018

November 17th, 2018

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!

11/16: Kymberly Harris (filmmaker, FAITH)
11/16: Scott Jenkins (owner/sculptor, Evil Jinx Studios)
11/17: Eric Stanze (filmmaker, IN MEMORY OF)
11/19: Carolyn Baxley (owner, Cinema Gallery)
11/21: Melissa Merli (freelance journalist, The News-Gazette)

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

105 Years AgoWednesday, November 12, 1913: Two comedy shorts, one Civil War drama, and an educational piece on milk production enthrall the standing-room-only crowds on opening day of the Park Theatre, the first dedicated movie house constructed in Champaign, Illinois, as chronicled in The Art Theater: Playing Movies for 100 Years by Perry Morris, et al. A natural progression from the nickelodeons and opera houses that had first introduced films to the residents of Champaign and neighboring Urbana, this business venture between B.H. Cooper and Isaac Kuhn complements its showmanship with modern amenities and crucial safety features to provide its audience with the best viewing experience. That includes contributions from Chicago professionals such as projectionist John Meyer and architect Lewis E. Russell, the latter of whom drew up plans based on ideas by Cooper himself. Earlier this year, the trade magazine The Movie Picture World reported on the specifications for the space: “The contract for the new theater in Champaign, which will be operated by [Cooper], has been let. The building of which it will form a part will cost $40,000. The front will be of rough mat brick trimmed with cream-colored terra cotta. Steel and concrete will be used in the construction of the theater, which has a round space of 44 x 132 [feet]. It will seat 600 persons. For the ventilating system, two-horsepower fans will force air from the rear of the theater, down through ducts that pass under the aisles. At each row of seats, steel six-inch tubes branch from these concrete ducts and open under the seats. This air will be cooled in the summer and heated in the winter. The decoration will consist of seven handsome panels on each side of the auditorium.” (Vol. 17 No. 5, August 2, 1913, p.541) Additional flourishes that would debut at the theater in 1914 include a pipe organ and console by the screen and an impressive light fixture spelling out “Park” to hang from the façade over the sidewalk on Church Street. Management also would secure the Champaign County rights to show movies from Paramount Pictures, home to silent stars like Mary Pickford, in the new year.

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (11/16 on), THE GATE: DAWN OF THE BAHÁ’I FAITH (11/20, 7 p.m., free w/pre-registration, discussion w/executive producer Steve Sarowitz), Late Night: VELVET GOLDMINE (11/16-11/17, 10 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, INSTANT FAMILY, WIDOWS, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, THE GRINCH, THE HATE U GIVE, NOBODY’S FOOL, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, OVERLORD, A STAR IS BORN (11/16 on), CREED II, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (11/20 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
THE MEG, MILE 22, ALPHA, FINAL SCORE, JULIET NAKED, LOOK AWAY, AMERICAN DRESSER, ALRIGHT NOW, NARCOS (s3), STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (s1), more! (11/13 on)

@ Garden Hotel, Urbana, IL
4th Dark History & Horror Convention feat. Film Festival (11/16-11/18)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD, INSTANT FAMILY, A PRIVATE WAR, WIDOWS, BEAUTIFUL BOY, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, THE GRINCH, NOBODY’S FOOL, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, OVERLORD, A STAR IS BORN, VENOM (11/16 on), HOME ALONE (11/18, 11/21), Studio Ghibli Fest: CASTLE IN THE SKY (11/18-11/19), CREED II, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, ROBIN HOOD (11/20 on)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
FIRST MAN (11/19-11/21, 11/23, 7 p.m.; 11/24, 1 & 7 p.m.; 11/25, 1 p.m.)

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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CUZine drive starts Cyber Monday

November 15th, 2018

Due to the holiday stretch that is almost upon us and your humble editor’s desire to design our campaign as effectively as possible, we’ve decided to take advantage of the Small Business Saturday-to-Cyber Monday window for launching our effort to fund C-U Confidential issue 10. The GoFundMe drive will last from Monday, November 26, through Sunday, December 30, with the intent to place our mag around Champaign-Urbana for the browsing by the time spring semester begins at the University of Illinois. We’ll be asking for $1,000 or more from our dearest readers, colleagues, and friends to match an expected $1,000 in advertising sales so we can afford our printing budget. We’ll post once again when it’s live, don’t you worry! Until then, we’ll have two or three articles to share, Calendars that will come bearing knowledge gifts in the form of Almanac entries, and good tidings for all in the hopes that as a community, nation, and world we can start to turn around some of the idiocy and ills that plague us. Cheers!

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar: November 9-15, 2018

November 10th, 2018

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!

11/9: Andrew Nygard (director, I’M NOT EVIL, Pens to Lens 2018)
11/9: Andrew Stengele (director, THE CONTEST, Pens to Lens 2018)
11/9: Adam D. Jameson (author, I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing: ‘Star Wars’ and the Triumph of Geek Culture)
11/11: William J. Wright (contributor, Exploitation Nation/Videoscope)

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

5 Years AgoTuesday, November 12, 2013: Local historian Perry C. Morris of Urbana unveils his long-in-the-works book, The Art Theater: Playing Movies for 100 Years, during the centennial celebration of the title venue in downtown Champaign, Illinois. Researched and co-authored with Joseph Muskin and Audrey Wells, the softcover volume is the first to be released under Morris’ Champaign-Urbana Theater History imprint and one of the only publications of its kind devoted to the legacy and cultural impact of a single movie house in the region. It traces the origin of the Art from before its first day of business as the Park Theatre on November 12, 1913, to its current iteration as a cooperative funded by community members. C-U Blogfidential editor Jason Pankoke served as the layout designer for the book through his position at Adept Content Solutions in Urbana and contributed an afterword. Morris plans to move forward on additional entries keyed in to the upcoming anniversaries of the Orpheum Theater, opened in October 1914, and Virginia Theatre, opened in December 1921, based on the positive support given to The Art Theater. As reported on 11/12/13, 11/15/13 at CUBlog.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (11/12, 7 p.m.)

@ Wyndham City Centre Hotel, Springfield, IL
Central Illinois Film Commission* meeting, “‘Taco Bell Ad Campaign’ with guest speaker Ron ‘RT’ McDonald,” Grill Breakfast Room (11/15, 7 p.m., free)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
THE GUILTY (11/9-11/11, 11/15), THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (11/9-11/12), FREE SOLO (11/10-11/11, 11/14), STUDIO 54 (11/10-11/11, 11/13, 11/15), Art Theater 105th anniversary show feat. SAVING BRINTON w/filmmaker Tommy Haines and subject Michael Zahs (11/12, 7 p.m.), GREEN BOOK preview (11/13, 8 p.m., free), BEFORE THE FLOOD (11/14, 7:30 p.m., free), Late Night: THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (11/9-11/10, 11/15, 9:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, THE GRINCH, OVERLORD, THUGS OF HINDOSTAN, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, HALLOWEEN, THE HATE U GIVE, NIGHT SCHOOL, NOBODY’S FOOL, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, A STAR IS BORN, VENOM (11/9 on), FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD (11/15 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
INCREDIBLES 2, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, BLACKkKLANSMAN, DESTINATION WEDDING, PAPILLON, AN INTERVIEW WITH GOD, MARA, LOVING PABLO, more! (11/6 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BEAUTIFUL BOY, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, THE GRINCH, OVERLORD, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, FIRST MAN, HALLOWEEN, THE HATE U GIVE, HUNTER KILLER, JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN, NOBODY’S FOOL, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, SMALLFOOT, A STAR IS BORN, VENOM (11/9 on), The Metropolitan Opera: Marnie (11/10, 11:55 a.m., simulcast; 11/14, 6:30 p.m., recorded), PATTON (11/11, 11/14), BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM 25th Anniversary (11/12, 7 p.m.), Cirque du Soleil Cinema presents “KURIOS: Cabinet of Curiosities” (11/13, 7 p.m.), RESTORING TOMORROW (11/13, 7 p.m.), FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDENWALD (11/13, 7 p.m.; 11/15 on)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. CRAZY RICH ASIANS, Pine Lounge (11/9-11/10, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ McKinley Foundation, UIUC, Champaign, IL
“Movies at McKinley” feat. GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK w/discussion, Foundation Living Room (11/14, 7 p.m.)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music presents “Exploring the Unspoken Silences that Define Us through Silent Film and Music” feat. Reneé Baker of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, Knight Auditorium (11/14, 5 p.m., free)

@ Unit One/Allen Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU screening feat. writer/director Boots Riley (11/12, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (11/3, 1 & 7 p.m.)

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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…So we will rock you with CUZine

November 8th, 2018

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Hrmn. Since we have recognized the fact that our own film festival felt like a bust and our presence at a local art show was inconsequential, let’s go for the self-depreciating three-peat as we dare to revisit the elephant in the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters! You might have noticed that C-U Confidential has not come out lately. We’ve had material edited and visual assets collected for the oft-promised issue 10 for many months and, after two efforts in the past year to book advertisements fell on mostly deaf ears, we have not felt a great desire to get right back to it. Of course, we’d also hate to waste the total effort.

This is due in large part to the unusually strong showing CUZine received from guest contributors. They include David Gracon, a professor at Eastern Illinois University who talks about Hallways Microcinema wherein he presented alternative media programs in his home, along with James Hall, a University of Illinois junior in cinema studies who reports on the former UI undergraduate film journal MacGuffin, and Troy Michael, the publisher of Innocent Words Magazine who theorizes on what keeps him going in the lively world of independent journalism and fandom. Your humble editor also planned to present a “lost” (yet relatively recent) interview with Skip Huston, discussing the success of the Avon Theater in downtown Decatur, in addition to his scene-specific miscellanea that fills out every issue.

We know it would be easy to post this material on C-U Blogfidential and be done. It also would make us feel like heels since we intended for a tactile reading experience. Much more so than when we launched CUZine in 2007, the editorial appearing in its pages is drafted and designed to work in print. The same holds true for the aforementioned pieces and everything else we still need to finish for issue 10. We’d prefer to stick with our program, so we’re prepared to make a proposal to our Champaign-Urbana community that is not limited to the immediate purveyors of our film culture.

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And another NAFF bites the dust…

November 6th, 2018

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Welp. It should go without saying that we had fun while the ninth annual New Art Film Festival lasted on Monday, October 29, at the Art Theater in ghostly downtown Champaign. Unfortunately, it was “ghostly” less in terms of Halloween flavor than the relatively dead air of the blocks surrounding 126 W. Church Street, save for a handful of semi-populated bars. For those who checked out the NAFF and staffed the Art and helped us prepare for show time, we express our gratitude to you like always. It’s too bad that so few of our friends and neighbors cared to stop in and share the local cinema with us.

So, what happened with NAFF IX? Did it not appear on your activity radar, were you not in the mood for it leading up to today’s elections, would you have gone if it wasn’t on a Monday night and/or right after your boozy costume parties, was it simply not whetting your appetite? This year felt subpar even to our sixth year in 2015 when the NAFF moved from the spring to the fall season. We expected that one to dip in attendance, though, and rolled with it in the effort to reestablish our presence at the Art outside the Boneyard Arts Festival. Compared to that outing, which otherwise ran smoothly like the one we just wrapped, NAFF VII in 2016 was a smash hit and NAFF VIII in 2017 provided the goods even if braving a slight drop-off in your attentions. Here in 2018, we counted relatively few heads from the back row and felt a low ebb of energy throughout the evening. Everyone acted cordial and content. Is that enough?

We had debated about skipping this year due to seeming NAFF fatigue and your humble program director’s personal needs keeping him far, far away from the C-U. Of course, we had also debated about taking 2017 off yet decided the show must go on and we’re glad it did. That said, we’re not sure how to feel about the present outcome even if there were a hundred legitimate reasons for folks to stay away.

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