Calendar: January 17-23, 2020

January 18th, 2020

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!

1/18: Michelle Kaffko Ebner (owner, Organic Headshots, Chicago, IL)
1/20: Thomas Polk (video production specialist, Office of Public Affairs, UIUC, Champaign, IL)
1/23: Ashlea Thomsen (production manager, L37 Creative, Chicago, IL)

 

MFHQ MEMO | From Chambana Mendota with Love

Since we fell short of composing all the pieces that we had intended to post last year, we’re going to make good on the better ideas in the first half of this year. The effort will include the historic capsules for the Confidential Almanac, of course, so don’t be weirded out if the timing of their belated appearances seem off. It’s by design at this point. We’ll be happy to scratch them out for your continuing film education du C-U so we can cross them off the list. Our one-of-a-kind composite version will also be updated in the near future; its scope will become much more apparent once it’s at full strength. Keep reading!

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

55 Years AgoSaturday, December 19, 1964: The Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington, Illinois, delights the children of the community with a special premiere of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND HER FRIENDS attended by one of the stars, Stinky the Skunk, and its distributor, K. Gordon Murray. An English-language version of CAPERUCITA Y SUS TRES AMIGOS, the second of three similar movies from Mexico about Red’s adventures in faraway lands with various fantasy companions, this “kiddie matinee” is typical of the product imported and released by Murray’s eponymous K. Gordon Murray Productions, Inc., of Miami, Florida. Between the colorful marketing materials, easily catching the eyes of young theater goers, and the cheery ballyhoo at locations like the Castle, creating excitement for low-budget fairy tales wild with imagination, it is clear that Bloomington native Murray has successfully applied the entrepreneurial lessons he learned while growing up adjacent to a world of carnivals, fairs, and circuses. For today’s event, Robert Powers wears the replica skunk outfit in a more benign twist on the shambling horror costumes and gnarly props foisted on unsuspecting audiences by the likes of William Castle. Rafael Aldrete, known as “El Enano Santanón,” played the diminutive Stinky in the film series as well as Puss n’ Boots in a standalone Murray offering, all directed and produced by Roberto Rodríguez between 1960 and 1962 at the famous Churubusco-Azteca Studios in Mexico City.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (1/22, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, WEATHERING WITH YOU, 1917, FROZEN II, THE GRUDGE, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LIKE A BOSS, LITTLE WOMEN, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNDERWATER (1/17 on), THE GENTLEMEN, THE TURNING (1/23 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL, GEMINI MAN, JEXI, BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE, MINE 9, BEYOND THE LAW, THE DEATH & LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN, GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR, more! (1/14 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, 1917, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BOMBSHELL, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, JOJO RABBIT, JOKER, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LIKE A BOSS, LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNCUT GEMS, UNDERWATER (1/17 on), ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (1/17-1/18, 1/20-1/21), HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (1/19, 1/22), BLIND EYES OPENED (1/23, 7 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Reel Deals: HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (1/21, 1/23, 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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Our resolution will be CUBlogged

January 14th, 2020

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Crap to the max, dearest readers, where do we even begin? I think that illustrating our predicament in a cinematic way might help to ease us into conversations that will be instigated as the New Year wears on.

See the knocker above? It’s mounted on the door that I should be opening every day to venture out into Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, so that I can work, live, enjoy, volunteer, discover, breathe, and rail against the machine when the occasion strikes in the county I’ve called home for nearly 30 years. See the television set below? It resides behind the same doorway for the purpose of opening an electronic window to stories, views, and worlds if they’re not easy to access on the internet, partly through the indigenous media that we tell you all about on C-U Blogfidential. They come from a video I made at the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters in the fall to remind myself of the state of the place since, for the most part, I’m never there. Not on Halloween, not on Christmas, not on New Year’s Day, not even on my birthday two Mondays ago. I get to do little more every four to eight weeks than squat my own pad, a sore sight to see if you’d watch that video, in Champaign’s oldest neighborhood.

In recent times, I have been in an alternately contemplative, defeated, sour, and aggravated head space, luckily not during every waking hour of the life I now lead. Those few who know what has been happening with me behind the scenes and away from our Twin Cities understand that I’m in a no-win situation. My remote existence in northern Illinois is mainly concerned with daily care for a parent, peripheral care for a stepparent, housework and yardwork and paperwork that relates to them both, and a moderate effort to eke out billable work hours from my Urbana employer when I can sit long enough at attention to deliver. Everything else, despite my bullish attempts to shoehorn any strands of my Champaign life into this one, is secondary. Even though I’ve known this small town and the immediate area for 30 years on the dot, I did not grow up here or live here for any length of time longer than a college summer break until now. The reality is frustrating and constricting. As I write to you from MFHQ Remote, I glaze over a bit. Sorry…

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I wish I had festive or inspiring things to share about how my 2019 (or 2018, or 2017) has gone other than to say, “It’s been something.” The year 2020 promises to be a hoot as well. Within the month, I will hit the three-year anniversary of effectively removing myself from the C-U as a full-time resident, despite the fact that I have clung to MFHQ Proper as an escape and my job as a financial crutch in the hopes that fortunes would ultimately be reversed and I could go home again. Within the next few months, though, I may be forced to decide if letting go is the better option to hanging on and then act decisively. Champaign would cease to be my beat soon after that. Maturity and familial responsibility win.

What happens to the Confidential project, then? I certainly will not quit on Champaign-Urbana in the absolute sense if my geography shifts permanently to the north – the people, places, and history will always mean a great deal in my soul – but I really wonder if carrying on long distance might result in a bit of a heartbreak no matter how the continued effort turns out. As it is, the stillborn distribution of last year’s C-U Confidential issue and the imposed cancellation of last year’s New Art Film Festival are minor casualties that feel worse than they should. Why? Because the overall public lack of concern for any of this has been a real big drag to acknowledge. I won’t spell out any evidence from my observations at this point. Please trust me when I say I believe that I could probably move on without fanfare with ease.

But, sigh, I’m not reading our last rites just yet. The adage says that it often has to get worse before it gets better. That may have to be the case with every major aspect of my being. All I can do is plan ahead and take on the rest as it comes. How it ultimately affects my role in the movies of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond remains to be seen. You might have to deal with dips in productivity and reckon with lapses into melancholy here on CUBlog, but I will try to resume writing with a string of short posts, using ideas left over from 2019, and a handful of articles, partly hashed out and not yet completed. It all depends on how industrious I feel when I’m not busied or overwhelmed with the other factors at play.

Good luck to you in 2020 on your lives and endeavors, friends in film, as we offer a toast to those who are attempting to climb out of their respective pitfalls and back into the swing of things. We shall endure.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Much of my family matters in this tenuous time will be kept private, so please don’t ask or expect to be “filled in” on what is happening with us. I’m picking carefully what will be shared for context.

p.s.2 The doorway below opens up to MFHQ Proper. I once loved to spend time in this space, devoting entire weeknights and chunks of weekends to hammering out the latest projects on the till. Its current condition is not something to brag about. I can only shake my head whenever I have to root around in there. I don’t even want to know how I’ll handle it if I have to clean it out on short notice in the near future.

p.s.3 Yes, we know the pot leaf is there. No, we have yet to watch it. Is the shit any good?

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Calendar: January 10-16, 2020

January 12th, 2020

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!

1/12: Damian Duffy (author, Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, Abrams, New York, NY)

 

PASSINGS | You Will Be Missed

1/1: Kevin Netherton, 59 (CCO/sales executive, Premier Print Group, Champaign, IL)

 

MFHQ MEMO | From Chambana Mendota Ottawa Mendota with Love

Quiet rules tonight at MFHQ Remote. Ma JaPan is resting comfortably in bed after a rough dinner time that put an exclamation point on a trying week. She has continued to struggle with inconsistency in the three weeks she has been home after spending seven weeks at a clinic in Ottawa for physical rehabilitation between Halloween and Christmas. It’s what can happen to older individuals if they contract an infection that zaps their energy and functionality, once the hospital stabilizes them. She seemed to improve at a fair rate over the course of her stay, while my 60-mile round trips and multi-hour visits on most of those days took their toll. With my rhythm off by a long shot, I was hardly inspired to take better advantage of the “freedom” this afforded me for self-care activity. I couldn’t even convince myself to steal away for a movie in a theater. Then again, I haven’t been able to justify stealing away for a movie in a theater or any number of “fun” and “exciting” things with Ma under this roof. Static existence has been our unfortunate norm in the two-and-a-half years that I have roomed in the house on the edge of an American small town and it’s wearing on us both. All the wonderful ideas Ma has for traveling, crafting, and cooking with yours truly are for naught if her health doesn’t improve in several respects and my costly split residency isn’t resolved. I won’t even bother to bring up anything Confidential because I haven’t been in much of a charitable mood to work on it for you, dearest readers. You have no idea how hard it’s been to dig deep and type out this update or the post that will follow, let alone the standard atypical fare that has filled up this forum for nearly 14 years. C-U Blogfidential is still important to me but I can’t make it a priority when all the mounting life maintenance comes into play. I also can’t pretend that the kitchen table in the bay window of Ma’s place is a true substitute for our work environments in Champaign. It’s clear as mud what’s at stake. Our legit MFHQ days may be numbered. Sadly, I even question in my most sullen moments if this project should continue. The quiet is now deafening.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers* meeting, “Brainstorming” (1/13, 7 p.m., free)

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (1/15, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
1917, IP MAN 4, JUST MERCY, LIKE A BOSS, UNDERWATER, FROZEN II, THE GRUDGE, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNCUT GEMS (1/10 on), WEATHERING WITH YOU (1/15 on), BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE (1/16 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
JOKER, THE LIGHTHOUSE, A MILLION LITTLE PIECES, TRESPASSERS, PARADISE HILLS, WRINKLES THE CLOWN, BULLETPROOF 2, DARK LIGHT, BIG LITTLE LIES (s2), more! (1/7 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
1917, JUST MERCY, LIKE A BOSS, UNDERWATER, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BOMBSHELL, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, THE GRUDGE, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNCUT GEMS (1/10 on), The Metropolitan Opera: Wozzeck (1/11, 11:55 a.m., simulcast; 1/15, 6:30 p.m., recorded), BLADE RUNNER “The Final Cut” (1/12, 1/15), WEATHERING WITH YOU (1/15, 7 p.m., dubbed; 1/16, 7 p.m., subtitled)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: 12 ANGRY MEN (1/11, 1 & 7 p.m.), Rewind 92.5 Film Series: BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1/13, 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: January 3-9, 2020

January 4th, 2020

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!

1/7: Steve Christopher (actor, STORY OF THE YEAR, Silver Compass Studios, Decatur, IL)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
THE GRUDGE, BOMBSHELL, CATS, FROZEN II, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, QUEEN & SLIM, RICHARD JEWELL, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNCUT GEMS (1/3 on), 1917, JUST MERCY, LIKE A BOSS (1/9 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
PRIMAL, THE KILL TEAM, THE GALLOWS ACT II, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, TRICK, more! (12/31 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE GRUDGE, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BOMBSHELL, CATS, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, RICHARD JEWELL, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNCUT GEMS (1/3 on), ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS (Special Edition) (1/5, 1/8), DOCTOR WHO Episodes 12.1, 12.2 w/live interviews (1/5, 1 p.m.), MYSTIFY: MICHAEL HUTCHENCE (1/7, 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: Dec. 27 ’19-Jan. 2 ‘20

December 28th, 2019

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!

12/29: Patricia Pankoke Pellow (matron saint to our arts, C-U Confidential, Champaign, IL)
12/30: Jason Pankoke (editor/publisher, C-U Blogfidential, Champaign, IL)
12/30: Paul Benson (director/writer, OFFICE TRAP, Workshop Films Collective, Champaign, IL)
12/31: Leigh Kaiser (producer, Looming Castle Productions, Champaign, IL)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE, UNCUT GEMS, BOMBSHELL, CATS, FROZEN II, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, RICHARD JEWELL, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (12/27 on), THE GRUDGE (1/2 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
JUDY, THE FANATIC, BADLAND, JUNKIE, BLACK SPRUCE, THE RELIANT, BERNIE THE DOLPHIN 2, more! (12/24 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE, UNCUT GEMS, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BLACK CHRISTMAS, BOMBSHELL, CATS, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, RICHARD JEWELL, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (12/27 on)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Rewind 92.5 Film Series: SPACEBALLS (12/30, 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: December 20-26, 2019

December 23rd, 2019

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!

12/25: Shea Contúirt Kelly (director, GET REEL, Thousand Yard Stare Productions, Decatur, IL)

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Analog Wine Library, Urbana, IL
JIMMY IN SAIGON* preview and fundraiser w/director Peter McDowell (12/22, 4 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BOMBSHELL, CATS, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, BLACK CHRISTMAS, FROZEN II, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, QUEEN & SLIM, RICHARD JEWELL (12/20 on), UNCUT GEMS (12/24 on), LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE (12/25 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
AD ASTRA, DOWNTON ABBEY, ABOMINABLE, RAMBO: LAST BLOOD, OVERCOMER, ACCELERATION, THE PARTS YOU LOSE, ABDUCTION 101, DOSED, more! (12/17 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BOMBSHELL, CATS, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BLACK CHRISTMAS, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, RICHARD JEWELL (12/20 on), IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (12/22, 12/24), LITTLE WOMEN (12/25 on)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (12/20, 7 p.m.; 12/21, 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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Calendar: December 13-19, 2019

December 16th, 2019

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

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers* meeting, “Secret Santa Critique,” Robeson Pavilion, Room A (12/16, 7 p.m., free)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BLACK CHRISTMAS, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, RICHARD JEWELL, 21 BRIDGES, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, DARK WATERS, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, HARRIET, KNIVES OUT, MIDWAY, QUEEN & SLIM (12/13 on), THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD (12/17, 7 p.m.; 12/18, 4 & 7 p.m.; 3-D), BOMBSHELL, CATS, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (12/19 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
IT: CHAPTER TWO, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, HUSTLERS, LUCKY DAY, FREAKS, ALONG CAME THE DEVIL II, SEMPER FI, BADLAND, THE ORVILLE (s2), THE LOUDEST VOICE (cs), more! (12/10 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BLACK CHRISTMAS, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, NO SAFE SPACES, RICHARD JEWELL, 21 BRIDGES, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, DARK WATERS, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, HONEY BOY, KNIVES OUT, MIDWAY, PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE, QUEEN & SLIM (12/13 on), NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (12/15, 12/18), Studio Ghibli Fest: THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA (12/16, 12/18, 7 p.m.), THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD (12/17, 7 p.m.; 12/18, 4 p.m.), STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (12/19 on)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (12/16, 7 p.m.), MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947; 12/17, 7 p.m.), WHITE CHRISTMAS (12/18, 7 p.m.), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951; 12/19, 7 p.m.), IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (12/20, 7 p.m.; 12/21, 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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Calendar: December 6-12, 2019

December 6th, 2019

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!

12/6: Andy Due (producer, THE ANDY DUE SHOW, Charleston, IL)
12/8: CJay Wallace (producer/writer, Red Lens Productions, Champaign, IL)
12/8: David B. Busboom (author, Nightbird, Champaign, IL)
12/10: Sidney Taiko (publisher, Storm Cellar, San Diego, CA)
12/11: Jackie Tice (executive producer, THE PAINTING HOUSE, Gibson City, IL)

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
C-U Cinefile* meeting, Room 219 (12/6, 4 p.m.)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (12/9, 7 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
DARK WATERS, PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE, THE WHISTLEBLOWER, 21 BRIDGES, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, CHARLIE’S ANGELS, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, HARRIET, KNIVES OUT, MIDWAY, PLAYING WITH FIRE, QUEEN & SLIM (12/6 on), THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD (12/7, 4 & 7 p.m., 3-D), PROMARE (REDUX) (12/8, 12:55 p.m.; 12/10, 7 p.m.; subtitled), BLACK CHRISTMAS, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (12/12 on)

@ Armory Building, UIUC, Champaign, IL
“For Art’s Sake” cinema screenings, Armory 101, 7 p.m., free: THE WAGES OF FEAR (12/6)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
READY OR NOT, THE GOLDFINCH, KILLERMAN, BOAR, PORTALS, 2ND CHANCE FOR CHRISTMAS, OUT OF LIBERTY, BUTTONS: A CHRISTMAS TALE, GAME OF THRONES (s8), CITY ON A HILL (s1), more! (12/3 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
DARK WATERS, HONEY BOY, PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE, WAVES, KNIVES OUT, QUEEN & SLIM, 21 BRIDGES, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, THE GOOD LIAR, JOKER, LAST CHRISTMAS, MIDWAY, PARASITE, PLAYING WITH FIRE (12/6 on), WHITE CHRISTMAS (12/8, 12/11), INXS: LIVE BABY LIVE (12/9, 7 p.m.), LOVE AND MERCY: FAUSTINA (12/10, 7 p.m.), JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (12/12 on)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. IT: CHAPTER TWO, Pine Lounge (12/6, 7 p.m.; 12/7, 7 & 10 p.m.; free w/i-card)

@ School of Information Sciences, UIUC, Champaign IL
ISchool Students of Color presents ILLEGAL ROSE screening and discussion, Room 126 (12/6, 6:30 p.m., free)

@ SoDo Theatre, Champaign, IL
Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival* (12/7, 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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KNFFF to freak us good on Dec. 7

December 5th, 2019

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Just in time to warm the cockles of everyone’s hearts, the Krampusnacht Freaky Film Festival (KNFFF) will delight our inner misfits and counter the standard Xmas pageantry when it overtakes SoDo Theatre, 111 S. Walnut St., Champaign, IL, for its debut on Saturday, December 7, starting at 7 p.m. A set of 24 shorts culled from more than 200 international entries sent to festival director Thomas Nicol will play the show, named after the annual event in European folklore when the devilish Krampus emerges late on December 5 to punish the naughty children who are not in line to receive good tidings the following morning from St. Nicholas. That said, the shorts to be projected on the screen with care at KNFFF are not necessarily yuletide horrors, as is apparent from the illustrated descriptions on their website, and three of them hail from C-U filmmakers Andrew Nygard, Clint Andrae, and Jeff Kacmarynski.

“I’d advise folks to plan on getting [to SoDo] a bit early,” suggests Nicol in a brief discussion with C-U Blogfidential. “This isn’t a red carpet event, but there will be some fun, thematically appropriate photo [opportunities] when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.” Given the best-known depiction of the Krampus in contemporary cultures – ironically, the throwback “Krampus run” staged in several countries where packs of creatures roam city streets that are lined with families – Nicol’s comments may or may not hint at its physical presence at the KNFFF. “While the event is deeply inspired by the spirit of Freeky Creek [Short Film Festival, a former local event involving costumed actors and puppets] it is going to be its own unique entity and have a distinct framing device for the films.” Are you grimacing with joy, kiddies?

Nicol, a software professional who has figured in a number of Champaign-Urbana film efforts including Pens to Lens and the SUPERZUZAA internet series, admits he is testing the frozen waters with KNFFF. “As a first-year fest, I’m not starting too ambitiously with the extra show elements. My goal for this inaugural event is to establish a solid foundation.” Although he is downplaying what may still look ambitious to attendees, Nicol typically has a good sense for how to achieve quality with modest means. “The foundation of a great film festival is made of two things: good movies and an engaged audience,” he states. “We have the first part; this collection of shorts is full of gems, most of which have never screened in Illinois before. The second part is up to the community. Let’s make this a night to remember!”

One way that audience members can fulfill the goal other than enjoying the “creepy, darkly funny, and macabre” offerings of KNFFF is to vote for awards while on the scene including “Naughty” and “Nice” nods as well as “Best of the Fest.” According to the website, several films have already been nominated for technical citations – “Best Direction,” “Best Acting,” and so on – with their winners to be announced alongside the rest at the show. Admission is $8 per ticket if purchased in advance through FilmFreeway or $10 at the SoDo door. We have confidence that Krampus and company will provide everyone a good time at the Krampusnacht Freaky Film Festival. We’re also interested to see how this one flourishes in parallel with the other regional genre festivals that have emerged to haunt the later months in our year.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. We now want a collectible t-shirt with a Krampus head exclaiming “Knfff!” in the spirit of the legendary horror host of Cleveland, Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson).

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Calendar: Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2019

December 1st, 2019

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!

12/3: Greg Woods (publisher, The Eclectic Screening Room, Toronto, Canada)
12/3: Bryan Wendorf (programmer/artistic director, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago, IL)

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
C-U Cinefile* meeting, Room 219 (12/6, 4 p.m.)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (12/2, 7 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
KNIVES OUT, QUEEN & SLIM, 21 BRIDGES, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, CHARLIE’S ANGELS, DOCTOR SLEEP, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, THE GOOD LIAR, HARRIET, JOKER, LAST CHRISTMAS, MIDWAY, PLAYING WITH FIRE (11/29 on), DARK WATERS, PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE (12/5 on)

@ Armory Building, UIUC, Champaign, IL
“For Art’s Sake” cinema screenings, Armory 101, 7 p.m., free: THE WAGES OF FEAR (12/6)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
ANGEL HAS FALLEN, WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE, DON’T LET GO, OFFICIAL SECRETS, MARY, PRETENDERS, THE DRIVER, REIGO: KING OF THE SEA MONSTERS, THE DWELLING, more! (11/26 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
KNIVES OUT, QUEEN & SLIM, 21 BRIDGES, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, CHARLIE’S ANGELS, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, THE GOOD LIAR, JOJO RABBIT, JOKER, LAST CHRISTMAS, MIDWAY, PARASITE, PLAYING WITH FIRE (11/29 on), HOME ALONE (12/1, 12/4), LOVE AND MERCY: FAUSTINA (12/2, 7 p.m.), The Metropolitan Opera: Philip Glass’ Akhnaten (12/4, 6:30 p.m., recorded),, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: CHAR’S COUNTERATTACK 40th Anniversary (12/5, 7 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, Pine Lounge (11/29, 7 p.m.; 11/30, 7 & 10 p.m.; free w/i-card), “Throwback Films at the Union” feat. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Courtyard Café (12/5, 8:30 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
“Holiday in Whoville 2019” feat. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (1966; 12/1, 1, 2, 3 & 4 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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