Oscar nominated UI alumni gone

September 24th, 2018

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For the past year in Champaign-Urbana, we have been regularly prodded with public relations reminders that the University of Illinois is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1867 as a land grant university, the Illinois Industrial University. We congratulate them for their commitment to preparing the civil servants, leaders, and visionaries of the next generation, but it is also a cue for us to think about all the former UIUC students who have grown up and left their marks in entertainment and the arts since leaving these here Twin Cities. What this leads us to acknowledge is how many of them we’ve never received an opportunity to know. As an example, we skimmed through this on-line collection hosted by the News-Gazette of salutes from UIUC “famous formers” and – little surprise – recognized very few of the names or faces tagged in the “Media” and “Arts” categories. The same goes for this informal survey posted to the UIUC Web site last winter that concentrates on graduates working in film and television. We’ll presume that many more individuals partake in “the biz” than are accounted for here.

Two alumni neglected in those sources have left us during the summer months, previously carving out disparate careers that dealt with the act of creatively shaping the written word for the screen. More recently, The Hollywood Reporter noted the death of screenplay author, instructor, and workshop mentor Thomas Rickman on Sunday, September 9, at the age of 78. Raised with few modern comforts in Kentucky among a distinctive culture in the South that would heavily inform his storytelling, Rickman attended UIUC as an English graduate student in the late Sixties and co-founded the Depot, an experimental theatrical space in downtown Urbana’s former train station that now houses the Celebration Company. Subsequent enrollment in the fledgling American Film Institute of California helped encourage him to take up professional scriptwriting after making a couple of well-received student film shorts. He would peak a decade later with the smash Burt Reynolds vehicle HOOPER (1978) and the biographical COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER (1980) starring Sissy Spacek as country music legend Loretta Lynn.

Rickman’s work on the latter brought him an Academy Award nomination in early 1981 for best adapted screenplay, while fellow UIUC alumnus Richard Alan Greenberg earned his own Oscar nomination in 1988 for his contributions to the science-fiction action film PREDATOR (1987) with superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger. Greenberg, a Chicago native who passed away on Saturday, June 16, at age 71, became famous in the industry after finishing his graduate school and teaching years at UIUC and UI-Chicago to join business-minded brother Robert in New York City. Following a handful of underwhelming commercial assignments, as told to The Art of the Title in a wide-ranging interview, the siblings formed R/Greenberg Associates and lucked into the challenge of designing dynamic titles for the opening crawl of SUPERMAN THE MOVIE (1978), pulling off a bold and memorable sequence. This led directly to the game-changing motion title work of ALIEN (1979) and cemented their path for the next 20 years, a run that ended in the late Nineties after Richard stepped away from an R/GA satellite office in Los Angeles and Robert shifted the company focus towards new media and digital branding.

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Calendar: September 21-27, 2018

September 22nd, 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!

9/21: Lisa Cerezo (webmaster, New Art Film Festival)
9/23: Austin McCann (former general manager, The Art Theater)
9/27: Robert Hubbard (contributor, MICRO-FILM)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
THE WIFE (9/21 on), Art House Theater Day: FOREIGN BODY (9/23, 7 p.m.), Member Screening: SUMMER OF 1993 (9/25, 7:30 p.m.), Introduction of Art Theater executive director Dr. Porché R. Garner feat. HOLIDAY HEART (9/26, 7:30 p.m.), Late Night: DEEP RED (9/21-9/22, 10 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
FAHRENHEIT 11/9, THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, LIFE ITSELF, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (re-release), CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THE NUN, PEPPERMINT, THE PREDATOR, SEARCHING, A SIMPLE FAVOR, UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION, WHITE BOY RICK (9/21 on), THE TRANSFORMERS event (1986; 9/27, 7 p.m.)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM, DAMSEL, HEARTS BEAT LOUD, BILLIONARE BOYS CLUB, SIBERIA, LOST CHILD, FAHRENHEIT 451 (TVM), AMERICAN HORROR STORY (s7), THE LOOMING TOWER (s1), more! (9/18 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
ASSASSINATION NATION, FAHRENHEIT 11/9, THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, LIFE ITSELF, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THE MEG, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, THE NUN, PEPPERMINT, THE PREDATOR, SEARCHING, A SIMPLE FAVOR, UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION, WHITE BOY RICK (9/21 on), PETER RABBIT (9/21-9/23, 10 a.m.), LABYRINTH (9/23, 9/26), National Theater Live: King Lear starring Ian McKellen (9/27, 7 p.m., simulcast)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. INCREDIBLES 2, Pine Lounge (9/21-9/22, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, IL
“Vachel Lindsay: Poet, Artist, Visionary” exhibit, M.G. Nelson Family Gallery (through 9/29)

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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BAD in good company at Redbox

September 18th, 2018

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While putting together our SHOT report from a few weeks ago, we happened upon a Facebook announcement from Robin Christian of Dreamscape Cinema in Champaign that BAD COMPANY, his company’s bioterrorism action film that was originally produced in Piatt County in July and August of 2013, would street on the same day as the vintage student adventure – Tuesday, August 28. This included placement in Family Video locations across North America and additional exposure in Redbox kiosks nationwide thanks to the connections of MTI Home Video, the long-running genre label that picked up the rights to BAD COMPANY from sales agent Artist View Entertainment. Other than securing international distribution for the project, previously called LOWLIFES, this clears the deck for Dreamscape as all the studio’s completed features are now in commercial release with most available via Amazon streaming. You can access the older catalog – SHEEBA, DISCONNECT, ACT YOUR AGE, MY DOG THE SPACE TRAVELER, and the VOD-only DISPOSABLE – at this Amazon search result.

Starring up-and-coming talents like Booboo Stewart (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST), Giselle Bonilla (FREEDOM WRITERS), Kyle Massey (THAT’S SO RAVEN), Madelyn Deutch (THE YEAR OF SPECTACULAR MEN), and Quinton Aaron (THE BLIND SIDE) as well as veteran actors like William Atherton (DIE HARD), Christopher Judge (STARGATE SG-1), Tzi Ma (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE), and Mark Derwin (THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER), the film follows a group of teenagers that is enrolled in a disciplinary boot camp and becomes isolated when a rogue militia invades the immediate countryside. Troop members who survive an early search-and-destroy sweep by the invaders must put aside their pasts and band together in order to thwart a scheme to disable the nearby nuclear plant. Other than aiming to produce a yarn that is exciting and colorful, Christian took inspiration from the Lincoln’s Challenge Academy in Rantoul and their serious mission to help wayward youth turn around their lives so they may be productive or even heroic in the face of adversity.

The disc reproduces the film adequately – we can’t help but be impressed by the look of sequences involving woodlands and farm country, lushly captured by veteran cinematographer Bruce Logan (TRON, JACKSON COUNTY JAIL) – yet is barren of extras other than removable subtitles and trailers for MTI fare. (A similar fate befell this year’s other commercial releases of locally filmed features, CONSUMED and BEFORE ‘I DO’, although SHOT benefited from landing at a collector’s label that regularly supplements its titles with bonus content.) You can segue to the official Facebook page for a closer look behind the scenes or locate any fan site devoted to buff TWILIGHT star Stewart for a peek at the actor in character and then, maybe, something else BAD COMPANY. Christian’s current ensemble has recently wrapped the next Dreamscape production, a bull shark-in-the-Midwest-river saga called BELOW, and is now filming pickup shots in Illinois and Missouri. We’ll talk about that a bit more in an upcoming post. Until then, be alert when the cornfields surround you…

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. William Kephart, we hardly knew ye in this movie and it’s not because you went uncredited in your cameo. Snif.

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Calendar: September 14-20, 2018

September 14th, 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!

9/14: Tanino Minneci (actor, DUSTY RUSTY, Pens to Lens 2018)
9/14: Kimberly Conner (producer, Predestined Arts & Entertainment)
9/14: Jason Huls (producer, Ten Wing Media)
9/19: Paul A. Brooks (producer, Into the Night Motion Pictures)
9/19: Eric Pankoke (webmaster, C-U Blogfidential)

 

PASSINGS | You Will Be Missed

9/3: Thomas Rickman, 78 (screenwriter, COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER/TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE)

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

80 Years AgoSaturday, September 10, 1938: After assuming ownership of several movie theaters in the Champaign-Urbana market including the Park, Colonial, and Princess, the largest local project for the La Salle, IL-based Alger Brothers chain comes to fruition in partnership with A.J. Balaban of Chicago. The Co-Ed Theater, located on Green Street within easy walking distance of the University of Illinois and an underserved campus population, opens its doors this afternoon to host a full house for its grand opening show that includes news reels, a Betty Boop cartoon, and the comedic First National/Warner Bros. feature WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT starring Kay Francis and Pat O’Brien. This venue differs from the existing Alger properties in that it is their first theater built from the ground up, despite incorporating basic infrastructure that was already present on the north side of the block between Sixth and Wright streets, and it will premiere the best in first-run fare while the others bring back second-run attractions “at popular prices,” as described in The Art Theater by Perry Morris, et al. Chicago architectural firm Monberg & Wagner drew up the plans to accommodate 900 seats in an Art Moderne setting, accented by UI-inspired plaques and an orange-and-blue lighting scheme, while the William C.F. Kuhne Company of Rantoul erected the structure as detailed in numerous reports by the News-Gazette and Courier newspapers. The Co-Ed would briefly close between 1958 and 1959 after Edward and Howard Alger decided to leave the exhibition business, selling it to Kerasotes Theatres along with most of their other locations.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Campbell Hall for Public Telecommunication, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Champaign Movie Makers* meeting, “Lighting Recreation,” WILL-TV studio (9/17, 7 p.m., free)

@ Wyndham City Centre Hotel, Springfield, IL
Central Illinois Film Commission* meeting, “Cinematic Success Series: Bishop Stevens,” Grill Breakfast Room (9/20, 7 p.m., free)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (9/14-9/17, 9/19-9/20), MADELINE’S MADELINE (9/14, 9/16, 9/18), MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS (9/14-9/16, 9/20), SKATE KITCHEN (9/15, 9/19-9/20), Bergman in Three Acts: FANNY & ALEXANDER (9/17, 7:30 p.m., theatrical cut), DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES: 1963 YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! (9/18, 7:15 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017, re-release), THE PREDATOR, A SIMPLE FAVOR, UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION, WHITE BOY RICK, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, THE MEG, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, THE NUN, PEPPERMINT, SEARCHING (9/14 on)

@ Clark Park, Champaign, IL
Clark Park movie night and camp out feat. MOANA (9/15, 7 p.m.)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
OCEAN’S 8, SUPERFLY (2018), DISTORTED, GOLDSTONE, INNER DEMON, HOUSE OF PURGATORY, THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS (2017), THIS IS US (s2), more! (9/11 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE PREDATOR, A SIMPLE FAVOR, UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION, WHITE BOY RICK, ALPHA, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, THE MEG, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, THE NUN, OPERATION FINALE, PEPPERMINT, SEARCHING (9/14 on), SHERLOCK GNOMES (9/14-9/16, 10 a.m.), Sight & Sound Theatre presents Moses (9/15, 12:55 p.m., recorded), Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin boxing rematch (9/15, 7 p.m., simulcast), STEEL MAGNOLIAS (9/16, 9/19), DRAGONBALL Z: BROLY THE LEGENDARY SUPER SAIYAN (9/17, 7 p.m.), THE DAWN WALL (9/19, 7 p.m.), DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: FUTURE (9/20, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. JURASSIC PARK: FALLEN KINGDOM, Pine Lounge (9/14-9/15, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, IL
“Vachel Lindsay: Poet, Artist, Visionary” exhibit, M.G. Nelson Family Gallery (through 9/29)

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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IFV offers UI students filming fun

September 11th, 2018

We like to mark the occasion when the Illini Film & Video (IFV) student club at the University of Illinois gets underway each academic year in the hopes that young people will feel compelled to join in. It is a resource for budding media-makers whose tastes lean towards the comedy and drama of storytelling – that does not mean documentary, diary, nonlinear, or industrial are off limits – at a flagship university that, once again and always, has no film production track. UIUC undergraduates are the target audience for this organization, which met for the first time during the 2018-2019 frame last night, Monday, September 10, at 7 p.m. in Room 1022 of Lincoln Hall, and their organizing peers will give members room to practice with the process and express their ideas and problem-solving. It is usually not the only RSO of its kind on campus but it is the long-standing one; IFV will begin its third decade of activity in the near future.

Students with little to no filmmaking under their belts are just as welcome to attend the weekly meetings as are graduate students with thesis projects in the works and campus employees with professional gigs on their plate. This year’s officers, Saloni Nahar (president), Prashanth Vemuri (vice president), Kevin Konrath (secretary), Yanyi Xie (marketing director), Zhi Luo (outreach), Alex Gong (treasurer), John Carlson (equipment manager), and Deborah Agoye (web manager) can help in pointing out opportunities within and outside of IFV. That said, the club always attempts to provide a mix of events to encourage participation that may include hands-on workshops, guest speakers, challenges like the annual 48 hour contest, club fundraisers such as on-site taping at Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, student film showcases like the new Golden Corn Movie Festival, and C-U excursions to see movies and such.

We don’t need to pitch the virtues and ever-brewing potential of IFV as their officers are capable of the same. What we can do is reiterate how amazing it is for this club to persist for nearly 20 years. We know from research that groups invested in cinema creation have run their course at UIUC from time to time. Two examples are Cinemaguild, whose B-film SHOT (1973) received a surprise Blu-ray release last month, and the Illini Photo Players, a drama club whose filmed “school spirit” film PRO PATRIA (1916) not only combined the efforts of students, faculty, and administrators but stands as the oldest (albeit lost) narrative Champaign-Urbana film that we know about. Their output provides us with time capsules today but the groups themselves only existed for brief periods during their prime. In comparison, IFV’s prolific tenure is a singular achievement that we hope will never be taken for granted by the university or alumni.

Those interested in Illini Film & Video or mentoring should write illinifilmandvideo [at] gmail [dot] com to be added to their mailing list. One can also like the Page or join the Group on Facebook, although your familiarity with current club members  would be wise for the latter. If you simply want to enjoy their output, visit the IFV YouTube channel at any time. We have embedded one recent example here, the clever sci-fi thriller LIFESAVER (2018) directed and written by Dushan Ranasinghe, executive produced by Alexandria Willis, and starring the winning Katherine Bokenkamp.

~ Jason Pankoke

Calendar: September 7-13, 2018

September 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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CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

70 Years AgoFriday, September 3, 1948: The first drive-in to be established in Champaign County, the Twin City Drive-in Theatre, opens for business with the Yvonne De Carlo/Rod Cameron color Western adventure, FRONTIER GAL, directed by Charles Lamont and released by Universal Pictures. It is located on North Market Street in the far north reaches of Champaign, roughly where the Salvation Army Family Store and Great Value Storage are sitting today. Owner and manager John Barr installed 600 car speakers and several benches on the lot to allow for a good-sized crowd, according to several reports published in the Champaign-Urbana Courier as construction took place, but would add square footage to the screen and more than 100 additional parking spaces in the months following the Twin City’s debut to meet popular demand. In line with the eventual decline of the drive-in industry thanks to multiplexes, television, home video, unattractive programming choices, and in this case, corporate indifference – Kerasotes Theatres, the large Midwest chain founded in Springfield, IL, took over operation of the venue in 1960 – the Twin City went dark for good in late 1981.



LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (9/10, 7 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
BLINDSPOTTING (9/7-9/9, 9/11-9/13), THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ (9/7, 9/9, 9/12), GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI (9/8, 9/10-9/11), Late Night: SUMMER OF 84 (9/7-9/8, 9/13, 9:45 p.m.), Bergman in Three Acts: PERSONA (9/10, 7:30 p.m.), 8th annual CU Pride and Parade kick-off: THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST w/discussion (9/13, 7:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, THE NUN, PEPPERMINT, ALPHA, BLACKkKLANSMAN, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, KIN, THE MEG, MILE 22, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, SEARCHING (9/7 on), UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION (9/13 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, HEREDITARY, ADRIFT, GHOST STORIES, IDEAL HOME, DAMASCUS COVER, UFO, THOUSAND YARD STARE, BEAST, more! (9/4 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, THE NUN, PEPPERMINT, ALPHA, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, BLACKkKLANSMAN, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, KIN, THE MEG, MILE 22, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, OPERATION FINALE, SEARCHING (9/7 on), FERDINAND (9/7, 10 a.m.), THE KING AND I (1956; 9/9, 9/12), PERFECT BLUE (9/10, 7 p.m.), Sight & Sound Theatre presents Moses (9/13, 6:30 p.m., recorded)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, Pine Lounge (9/7-9/8, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, IL
“Vachel Lindsay: Poet, Artist, Visionary” exhibit, M.G. Nelson Family Gallery (9/7-9/29)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
AEMS presents AsiaLENS Documentary/Film Series feat. FORGIVE – DON’T FORGET (9/13, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Rewind 92.5 Film Series: GHOSTBUSTERS (1984; 9/8, 7 p.m.), Reel Deals: THE SHAPE OF WATER (9/11, 9/13, 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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Calendar: Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2018

August 31st, 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!

9/1: Matt Wiley (poster designer, Pens to Lens 2018)
9/1: Anthony “Ace” Cabral (first assistant director, THE LAST LAUGH)

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

10 Years AgoThursday, August 28, 2008: In a fresh effort to provide timely film news in a portable format in between their regular C-U Confidential issues, Paper Opteryx of Champaign introduces The CineMicroGraph, a copy-shop title named after the act of filming life through a microscope. Numerous topics are touched upon in its 12 pages including the beginnings of both Champaign Movie Makers and Shatterglass Studios. After a shorter second issue, designed to double as a bulletin to be posted around town on message boards, CMG would be cancelled due to costs and a lack of community response. As reported on 8/23/08 at CUBlog.

20 Years AgoWeek of August 24, 1998: University of Illinois alumna Melissa Fanella, a double major in English literature and rhetoric/creative writing, opens Caffe Paradiso at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Nevada Street in Urbana during the first week of fall semester at her alma mater. Intimate and artistically decorated to affect a European feel, her shop sells an array of coffee and specialty drinks as well as pastries, soups, and sandwiches. The space is shared with a new satellite location of That’s Rentertainment, which eventually moves one storefront over to allow the popular hangout and study spot to triple its seating capacity. Named after CINEMA PARADISO, the famous Italian coming-of-age drama, this Paradiso becomes a go-to location for nascent self-publisher Jason Pankoke to pour over content for the long-gestating debut issue of MICRO-FILM magazine.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
New Art Film Festival* call for entries, deadline: September 7 | Full Information

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (8/31-9/1, 9/4), RGB (8/31-9/2, 9/5), THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (8/31-9/2, 9/4-9/6), Late Night: A QUIET PLACE (8/31-9/2, 9/6), Bergman in Three Acts: TRESPASSING BERGMAN (9/3, 5 p.m.) and SUMMER WITH MONIKA (9/3, 7:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
KIN, SEARCHING, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, A-X-L, ALPHA, BLACKkKLANSMAN, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THE EQUALIZER 2, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, INCREDIBLES 2, THE MEG, MILE 22, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT (8/31 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
TAG, BOOK CLUB, UPGRADE, ACTION POINT, AMERICAN ANIMALS, WOMAN WALKS AHEAD, BAD COMPANY*, THE LITTLE VAMPIRE, PATERNO, THE FLASH (s4), more! (8/28 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
KIN, OPERATION FINALE, SEARCHING, A-X-L, ALPHA, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN, BLACKkKLANSMAN, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, INCREDIBLES 2, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, THE MEG, MILE 22, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, PAPILLON, SLENDER MAN (8/31 on), AMERIAN GRAFFITI (9/2, 9/5), PERFECT BLUE (9/6, 7 p.m.), Marvel Studios 10th anniversary IMAX marathon: THE INCREDIBLE HULK, IRON MAN, IRON MAN 2, THOR (8/30, 2:45 p.m. on), CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, THE AVENGERS, IRON MAN 3, THOR: THE DARK WORLD (8/31, 11:15 a.m. on), CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ANT-MAN (9/1, 11:15 a.m. on), CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, DOCTOR STRANGE, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (9/2, 11:15 a.m. on), THOR: RAGNAROK, BLACK PANTHER, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (9/3, 11:15 a.m. on), IRON MAN, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, BLACK PANTHER, DOCTOR STRANGE (9/4, 11:15 a.m. on), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, THE AVENGERS, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (9/5, 11:15 a.m. on), IRON MAN, THE AVENGERS (9/6, 11:15 a.m. on)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. OCEAN’S 8, Pine Lounge (8/31-9/1, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
5th annual Flatlands Dance Film Festival: IF A DANCER DANCES Midwest premiere w/short (8/31, 7 p.m.) and shorts program (9/1, 7 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News Gazette Film Series: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (9/1, 1 & 7 p.m.), LADY BIRD (9/4, 9/6, 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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Final week to gift NAFF the goods

August 30th, 2018

We follow up our longest post in many moons with the shortest and quickest paragraph we can muster to let you know we’ve extended the submission deadline for the 2018 New Art Film Festival to next week Friday, September 7, 5 p.m. Except for a few usual suspects who put in the good word on their films right away, we were getting kind of worried for a few weeks that y’all had forgotten about us due to the end of summer, beginning of school, exhaustion from Pens to Lens, and so on. Good news is we’ve seen an uptick in e-mails so we’re heading in the right direction. Reference this for directions and get that info deposited in our in-box pronto at newartfilmfestivalcu [at] gmail [dot] com. Grazie!

~ Jason Pankoke

SHOT BD provides thud-filled rush

August 29th, 2018

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El Dynamito! SHOT has burst from its VHS grave thanks to the restorative efforts of collector’s label Vinegar Syndrome and the agreeability of its writer/director, Mitch Brown, and producer, Nate Kohn, who could have easily buried their student magnum opus for good. It is by no means a stellar example of cinema or an important note in the history of movies, but SHOT has always registered with us at C-U Blogfidential as a particular blip on the local timeline that signified a little something ahead of its time. While viewing the new Blu-ray release derived from a 2K scan, we can marvel at not only its miraculous existence but also its ambition, given that it is an amateur production filled with plentiful action set pieces and cheeky spins on then-common Hollywood tropes and trends.

The film doesn’t really have a direct correlation to anything that came after it in Champaign-Urbana or at the University of Illinois, even with Kohn’s later participation in Cyberfest and Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, but it is a fascinating piece of feature-length storytelling rendered on Champaign County soil well before all the comparable efforts produced here in the last 20 years. A much younger Brown and Kohn and their peers took SHOT seriously enough to acquire props and gags, purchase and repaint stunt cars, secure locations, cast age-appropriate actors, hire both an experienced cinematographer and sound recordist, and draft a shooting script with unabashed market salability, in this case the “flawed cop/corrupt system” angle hitting its peak with the likes of DIRTY HARRY and THE FRENCH CONNECTION.

Even if they did crib mercilessly from the genre box-office hits of the day, the crew behind SHOT took advantage of the Champaign-Urbana surrounding them. Country roads, rail yards, community parks, and the Champaign County Fairgrounds provide a weathered Midwest expanse in which the drama can play out, while college-friendly businesses no longer serving C-U like Mr. Quick and Chicken Unlimited make fun appearances. Nothing distinct on the UIUC campus is visible or identifiable except for the easily accessible like an odd façade or parking garage; we’re certain much was avoided on purpose to affect a “bigger city” atmosphere. Location selection plays a big part in making SHOT feel much more grandiose than its $15,000 budget might have otherwise allowed.

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Calendar: August 24-30, 2018

August 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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LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

BAD COMPANY* U.S. DVD Release: Tuesday, 8/28, Nationwide via MTI Home Video, Miami, FL/Dreamscape Cinema, Champaign, IL

SHOT* U.S. Blu-ray/DVD Release: Tuesday, 8/28, Limited via Vinegar Syndrome, Bridgeport, CT/Cinemaguild, Urbana, IL

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
New Art Film Festival* call for entries, deadline: August 31 | Full Information

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
BLACKkKLANSMAN (8/24 on), HOT SUMMER NIGHTS (8/24-8/25, 8/30, 10 p.m.), Summer Screams: MORE BLOOD! (8/29, 7 p.m., free)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
A-X-L, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, ALPHA, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, BLACKkKLANSMAN, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THE EQUALIZER 2, THE MEG, MILE 22, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, SLENDER MAN, THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME (8/24 on),

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
DEADPOOL 2, FIRST REFORMED, GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN DARKNESS, SHOW DOGS, BLEEDING STEEL, THE ESCAPE, THE WALKING DEAD (s8), GOTHAM (s4), ASH VS. EVIL DEAD (s3), THE TERROR (s1), more! (8/21 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (re-release, IMAX), A-X-L, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, PAPILLON, ALPHA, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, BLACKkKLANSMAN, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, EIGHTH GRADE, INCREDIBLES 2, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, THE MEG, MILE 22, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, SLENDER MAN, THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME (8/24 on), THE SANDLOT (8/26, 8/29), “Making THE FIVE HEARTBEATS” (8/27, 7 p.m.), Marvel Studios 10th anniversary IMAX marathon: THE INCREDIBLE HULK, IRON MAN, IRON MAN 2, THOR (8/30, 2:45 p.m. on)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (8/24, 7 p.m.; 8/25, 1 & 7 p.m.; 8/25, 1 p.m.; 70mm), MARY POPPINS (8/28, 8/30, 6:30 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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