IOW: Go BTS in local ART series

January 23rd, 2015

Confidential practitioners! This week is a very good week for us to let our newest “Image of the Week” do the talking on behalf of our film and video brethren. (Don’t worry, your humble editor will throw down pontifications aplenty beginning next week in regards to C-U Confdential #8 and #9, the New Art Film Festival, and other choice topics.) WILL-TV at the University of Illinois has just released a new artist profile series called ART: BEHIND THE SCENES, produced by Tim Meyers with photography and editing assistance from Issac Musgrave, which is now available on YouTube and set to appear on the PBS affiliate. Running approximately three minutes each, the slickly-produced vignettes introduce viewers to individuals who create significant work as Champaign County residents. Three of these first eight are devoted to very familiar faces: Nina Paley, the alternative cartoonist and SITA SINGS THE BLUES filmmaker, Thomas Nicol, the stop-motion animator and Champaign Movie Makers director, and Deke Weaver, a UIUC associate professor in the School of Art and Design and the performance artist behind the “Unreliable Bestiary” multimedia experiences.

Season One of ART/BTS, also including musicians Ryan Groff and T.R.U.T.H., fiber artist Ann Coddington Rast, painter Langston Allston, and tattoo artist Ainslie Heilich, was produced by WILL/Illinois Public Media in partnership with 40 North 88 West and is partially supported by an Illinois Arts Council grant. This project seems to be a successor to the “Artists at Work Video Series” made last year by 40 North’s programs and events coordinator, Amanda Baker.

~ Jason Pankoke


Calendar du C-U: January 23-29

January 23rd, 2015

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

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/23/15-1/29/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toFriday, January 23: Ashlea Thomsen (former vice president, Illini Film & Video) … Monday, January 26: Mike Watt (contributor, MICRO-FILM) … celebrate!


LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

@ CNN (Comcast Channel 43 in C-U): Broadcast encore: LIFE ITSELF* (1/25, 7 CST)


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: SELMA (1/23 on; 1/26, 7 p.m., w/discussion panel), MEET THE MORMONS (1/27, 7 p.m.), Late Night: BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (1/23, 1/24, 1/29, 10 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. BIG HERO 6 (1/23, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: The News-Gazette Film Series presents WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1/24, 1 & 7 p.m.), Reel Deals presents “Cold Weather Comedy” feat. BEETLEJUICE (1/26, 1/27, 7 p.m.), CADDYSHACK (1/28, 1/29, 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: FOLLOWING THE NINTH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BEETHOVEN’S FINAL SYMPHONY (1/26, 5 & 7 p.m.)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (1/29, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: LUCY, ANNABELLE, THE DROP, RUDDERLESS, THE ZERO THEOREM, WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, COHERENCE, more! (1/20 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: WHIPLASH, AMERICAN SNIPER, THE IMITATION GAME (1/23 on), “More of the Best of Hitchcock” film classes (Thursdays, 1/29-3/19, register @ the Avon)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1/22-1/25, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. THE LIBERATOR (1/25, 1 & 4 p.m.; 1/27, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: STRANGE MAGIC, WILD, AMERICAN SNIPER, PADDINGTON (1/23 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: PADDINGTON (1/23-1/25, 1/28)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (1/23-1/25), THE BOXTROLLS (1/24, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. THE BOXTROLLS (1/23-1/25)

@ Gene Siskel Film Center/Columbia College, Chicago, IL: 26th annual Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival (1/28-2/1)

@ various venues, Park City, UT: 31st annual Sundance Film Festival (through 2/1)

@ Treasure Mountain Inn, etc., Park City, UT: 21st annual Slamdance Film Festival (1/23-1/29)

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

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

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

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

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2001 was quite HALarious, too…

January 18th, 2015

Confidential space cases! We’ve been struggling to finish C-U Confidential #8 but our new hope is to nail the outstanding elements in the next week en route to hitting those presses and jump-starting the spring issue. Luckily, we have just the intergalactic divergence to keep you entertained if the Stanley Kubrick/Arthur C. Clarke masterwork 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is your style!

A few days ago, our friend Luke Boyce of Shatterglass Studios in Champaign made the discovery that Hollywood workaholic Steven Soderbergh had released a “fan edit” of 2001 this past Wednesday, January 14, tucked away on his boutique Web site Extension 765 and credited to the nom de plume “W. de Rijk.” Within the same evening, University of Illinois alumnus and scholar in robotics ethics Dr. Peter Asaro pointed out this 2001 homage in the form of wallpapers and Flash backgrounds, a work-in-progress designed by Mike Dillinger of OVNI Armada that has possibly been hiding deep inside an Internet crater for a few years now. Finally, your humble editor attempted to locate The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 edited by Jerome Agel (Signet Books/NAL, 1970) that he remembered appearing on several genre pages two years ago. No such luck for him, as copyright infringement notices now stand in for the digital facsimile, so enthusiasts will have to dredge up physical copies on their own or instead read 2001: Filming the Future by Piers Bizony (Aurum Press, 1994) at the Urbana Free Library or merely salivate over the sold out, limited edition, four-volume expansion by Bizony and Parisian design house M/M, The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey, released by Taschen last summer.

Chances are pretty good none of you dearest readers would’ve had 1,000 bones to toss away for the pleasure of caressing that monolithic marvel. Don’t lie. HAL is watching you.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Regarding the Agel title, a 350-page compendium of miscellanea including several Kubrick and Clarke interviews, media coverage and criticism of the time, numerous stills, myriad fact sheets, and the Clarke short story “The Sentinel” that inspired 2001we can confirm a young Roger Ebert is excerpted quite enigmatically on page 239.

p.s.2 The fictional relationship between Urbana, the University of Illinois, and the HAL-9000 computer, as dramatized in both the filmed and novelized 2001, is what justifies an occasional mention here on C-U Blogfidential. Nonetheless, it begot a one-shot campus event in 1997 called Cyberfest, which indirectly begot Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival in 1999, which directly begot the inevitable “Ebertfest” screening of 2001 in 2001 … because, 2001.

p.s.3 Of course we’d find another HAL-9000 simulator while fact-checking this post. We do it all for you, cyberfriends!

Q&A du C-U: Jessie Seitz

January 17th, 2015

“Alt Film is Alive”
A short interview with the Art Co-op’s Jessie Seitz about her film, FIVE

by Jason Pankoke

Every now and then, a past participant in MICRO-FILM era movie culture connects with our fair twin cities, often sharing their work or knowledge accumulated in the world at large with our friends and neighbors. We at C-U Blogfidential get a kick out of witnessing these individuals cross paths. As a timely example, who could foresee that a former member of a Midwest production company with long-term MF ties would be screening her own film publicly, for the very first time, in Champaign? Here comes that déjà vu all over again…

Apart from festivals and other special events, we typically do not cover specific picture shows in the schedule of the Art Theater Co-op, 126 W. Church St., Champaign, but today we make an exception for the unorthodox choice of THE MANSON FAMILY. A key underground feature to emerge during the proliferation of specialty DVD labels in the mid-2000s, your humble editor has been waiting for a long time to see this fever dream concocted by outlaw filmmaker Jim VanBebber (DEADBEAT AT DAWN) and scraped together over 15 years beginning in the late Eighties.

Tonight at 10 p.m., the Art will present a restored, high-definition MANSON brought out by Los Angeles-based Severin Films in 2013 via limited theatrical release and a widely available Blu-ray. This marks the film’s public debut in Champaign-Urbana; the same can also be said for the short subject accompanying it titled FIVE, a creation of Art staff member Jessie Seitz who is currently attending the University of Illinois. Coincidentally, this is not the first time her name will have reflected off the silver screen at the Art!

A transplant from St. Louis, Seitz amassed post-production experience on the direct-to-video output of that city’s Wicked Pixel Cinema and its founder Eric Stanze, who provided one of our very first interviews for MICRO-FILM back in 1999. Her recent WPC credits include an executive producer stint on their self-released Nazi thriller RATLINE and as an associate producer and documentarian on the science-fiction tinged DEADWOOD PARK, distributed by Cinema Epoch in 2007 and featured at the Art’s inaugural New Art Film Festival in 2010.

Please hit the jump to enjoy our brief chat with Seitz about FIVE, described on IMDb.com as “[unveiling] life in a small Midwest factory town, as seen through the eyes of a five-year-old girl. It is the story of her last summer before kindergarten begins, a tale of the last days of pure youth.” If you miss out on tonight, be sure to watch FIVE – starring VanBebber and Amanda Pemberton and executive produced by Stanze – on Amazon Instant Video, or submit to THE MANSON FAMILY sans FIVE next Thursday, January 22, 10 p.m., at the Art.

Read on, MacDuff…

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Calendar du C-U: January 16-22

January 16th, 2015

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

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/16/15-1/22/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toFriday, January 16: Eric Rampson (actor, OPEN TO CLOSE) … Sunday, January 18: Michelle Kaffko (contributor, C-U Confidential) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: INHERENT VICE (1/16 on), Essential Cinema 004: THE STING (1/20, 7:30 p.m.), Late Night: THE MANSON FAMILY (1/16, 1/17, 10 p.m., w/short FIVE introduced by filmmaker Jessie Seitz; 1/22, 10 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. FURY (1/16, 7 p.m., free)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: CITIZENFOUR (1/19, 5 & 7:30 p.m.), PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE: EXODUS (1/19, 7 p.m.)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Robot Greenscreening” (1/20, 7 p.m., free)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (1/22, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: GONE GIRL, A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, LOVE IS STRANGE, MEN WOMEN & CHILDREN, JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY, JESSABELLE, REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON, BOARDWALK EMPIRE (s5), more! (1/13 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: AMERICAN SNIPER, TAKEN 3, THE IMITATION GAME (1/16 on), “More of the Best of Hitchcock” film classes (Thursdays, 1/29-3/19, register @ the Avon)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: DO THE RIGHT THING (1/15-1/16, 7 p.m.), MUPPETS MOST WANTED (1/17, 1 p.m.), DEAR WHITE PEOPLE (1/17-1/18, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (1/18, 1 & 4 p.m.; 1/20, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: AMERICAN SNIPER, PADDINGTON, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, TAKEN 3 (1/16 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: PADDINGTON (1/16 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (1/15-1/18)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. GONE GIRL (1/16-1/18)

@ various venues, Park City, UT: 31st annual Sundance Film Festival (1/22-2/1)

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

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

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

<><><><><>

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

Read the rest of this entry »

1970 was a very DEMONOID year

January 11th, 2015

Have you ever been given a gift book listing historical and cultural events from a particular year, usually the one in which you were born? Something tells me that, were I to receive said book highlighting 1970, it would feature no mention whatsoever of DEMONOID (1970). Even if filled exclusively with entertainment fun facts, there would still be no mention of DEMONOID (1970). Horror fans might see random citation on Web sites of the Mexican production DEMONOID (1981) starring Samantha Eggar and directed by Alfredo Zacarías, but they certainly won’t find mention of the Mexican production DEMONOID (1970) directed by Juan Francisco Moctezuma II. Well, at least for now.

Except here on Facebook. And on this fan-made Internet tribute. In fact, Moctezuma’s work has been resurrected for screenings at festivals in Chicago and Spain. What gives, dearest readers?

Alaric Rocha, the filmmaker, instructor, and New Art Film Festival veteran whom we’ve featured over the life of C-U Blogfidential, is the catalyst of this creative conundrum. (Apologies if we spoil the semi-secret, but it is our editorial policy to not perpetuate faux personalities as the real deal.) It seems DEMONOID (1970) and the entire Moctezuma canon is a glorious myth invented for an upcoming false documentary, SEARCHING FOR FRANCISCO. Currently splitting time between the Windy City and Mexico, Rocha has been working with fellow young filmmakers on both sides of the border to piece together Moctezuma’s tale, one of an enigmatic low-budget director in the vein of Fernando Méndez (THE VAMPIRE) and René Cardona (DOCTOR OF DOOM) who all but vanished after his prime.

Rocha’s team has already shot vintage-style footage from the supposed Moctezuma filmography on location, starting with the luchador melodrama A PRICELESS WOMAN (UNA MUJER SIN PRECIO (1961)) and military thriller THE BEASTS (LAS FIERAS (1969)). Next up is the fabled DEMONOID (1970) and they could use your help to make that madness happen! Later tonight, Sunday, January 11, a fundraising effort will take place at The Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL, featuring a silent auction and live performances by Pool Holograph and Gramps the Vamp; doors open at 6 p.m. and the bands will play beginning at 7 p.m. Of course, those unable to drive up from Champaign-Urbana or Decatur can write twin9000 [at] yahoo [dot] com to inquire about contributing to the cinema adventures of Rocha, a downstate Illinois native, including an Indiegogo campaign to be launched today.

“Demonoid 1970″ Promo Video from Alaric Rocha on Vimeo.

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Calendar du C-U: January 9-15

January 9th, 2015

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

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/9/15-1/15/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toMonday, January 11: Damian Duffy (contributor, MICRO-FILM), Katy Vizdal (former co-organizer, IMC Film Festival) … celebrate!


LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

@ Westbrook Auditorium, Presser Hall, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL: SHORTCHANGED: UNJAILING THE MENTALLY ILL* (1/11, 1 p.m., free)

@ The Elbo Room, Chicago, IL: Film fundraiser and silent auction for DEMONOID (1970) directed by Alaric Rocha feat. Pool Holograph, Gramps the Vamp (1/11, 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show)

POSTPONED :: @ CNN (Comcast Channel 43 in C-U): Broadcast encore: LIFE ITSELF* (1/10, 8 & 10 p.m. CST) :: POSTPONED


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: INHERENT VICE (1/9 on), Late Night: IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1/9, 1/10, 1/15, 10 p.m.), closed for private rental (1/13, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Friday Night Films” feat. ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY (1/9, 7 p.m., free)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: GOPALA GOPALA (1/10, 9:45 p.m.; 1/11, 4 p.m.; 1/12, 7 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: Turner Classic Movies presents THE WIZARD OF OZ (1/11, 2 p.m.; 1/14, 2 & 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: BOYHOOD, GET ON UP, LEFT BEHIND, HORNS, NO GOOD DEED, THE LONGEST WEEK, TO BE TAKEI, DINOSAUR 13, ARCHER (s5), GIRLS (s3), more! (1/6 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: TAKEN 3, THE IMITATION GAME (1/9 on), UNBROKEN (1/9-1/14), AMERICAN SNIPER (1/15, 7 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: MARY POPPINS (1/8-1/11, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. THE LUNCHBOX (1/11, 1 & 4 p.m.; 1/13, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: TAKEN 3, INTO THE WOODS, UNBROKEN, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (1/9 on), THE INTERVIEW (1/9, 1/10, 9 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (1/9-1/11, 1/14)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1 (1/9-1/11), HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (1/10, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. TEENAGE NINJA MUTANT TURTLES (1/9-1/11)

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

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

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

<><><><><>

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

Read the rest of this entry »

IOW: Thrill to the Skull & ‘Throne’

January 8th, 2015

On this shiver-inducing Midwest winter day, we are issuing a “first alert” to our dearest readers who may be wondering what might emerge from the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters in 2015! We will not yet go into detail about the core plan, regarding a gradual shift in C-U Confidential perspectives and priorities, but can certainly illustrate by example. Did you notice those neatly garish video boxes positioned above and below these words? (How could you miss them?) While not unheralded Champaign-Urbana wonders, they do house comparable productions filled with that indelible MICRO-FILM spirit!

In the end pages of MF 7, we ran a teaser block promising not one, not two, but three sister projects intended to hit the presses way back in 2006 during C-U Blogfidential’s infancy. We will revisit the topic of MF 8 at a later date and focus a bit on the others: Backyard Cinema, an upgraded edition of the B-movie one-shot issued by Mike Trippiedi (HEARTSHOT) in the Nineties, and The Video Throne, an essay-based series that would have examined disparate films-on-tape adopted from the sale shelves of That’s Rentertainment in Campustown. None made it to pulp fruition, but, whoever said old concepts could not bear new fruit? At long last, we’re renewing our membership to club TVT!

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Calendar du C-U: January 2-8

January 2nd, 2015

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

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/2/15-1/8/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toWednesday, January 7: Steve Christopher (actor, BEYOND THE BASEMENT DOOR), Julia Skeggs (cover model, C-U Confidential #5) … Thursday, January 8: Michael Stone (co-founder, Illini Film & Video), Mark “Shades” Harstein (actor, WEREWOLF CEMETERY) … celebrate!


LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

@ CNN (Comcast Channel 43 in C-U): World broadcast premiere: LIFE ITSELF* (1/4, 8 & 10 p.m. CST)


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: THE INTERVIEW (1/2-1/4, 1/7-1/8), WHIPLASH (1/3-1/7), Essential Cinema 003: CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 (1/5, 7:30 p.m.), CITIZENFOUR (1/6, 7:30 p.m.; 1/7, 7:30 p.m. w/discussion), Late Night: THE BABADOOK (1/2, 1/3, 1/8, 10 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE EQUALIZER, LAST WEEKEND, TUSK, ELSA & FRED, REACH ME, BANSHEE (s2), more! (12/30 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: UNBROKEN, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (1/2 on), NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (1/2-1/7), THE IMITATION GAME (1/8, 7 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1/1-1/4, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE INTERVIEW, INTO THE WOODS, UNBROKEN, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (1/2 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (1/2-1/4, 1/7)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: INTERSTELLAR (1/2-1/4)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Closed for the week!

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

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

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

<><><><><>

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

Read the rest of this entry »

IOW: We are all SHORTCHANGED

January 2nd, 2015

With many Roger Ebert fans fixated on his spiritual triumph over late-in-life physiological battles, as addressed in LIFE ITSELF, we must remember he and Chaz Ebert at least had options available to him for medical procedures and living aids. Innumerable other United States citizens struggle with accessing services they need despite our healthcare overhaul, including those who suffer from mental issues and run afoul of the law due to misinterpreted behaviors.

Unusual for a small-market newspaper, The Pantagraph in Bloomington commissioned a long-form video from staff reporter Edith Brady-Lunny and photography editor David Proeber, investigating how this predicament affects McLean County on multiple fronts. SHORTCHANGED: UNJAILING THE MENTALY ILL talks about county and state officials openly recognizing a need for alternatives given how the McLean County Detention Facility, instead of hospitals or clinics, had become the largest supplier of mental health services in the area. According to opening moments in SHORTCHANGED, approximately 350,000 inmates nationwide and more than 25% inhabiting the McLean jail exhibit problems of this nature, forcing officers to handle a population ill-equipped to spend any amount of time behind bars.

While you can watch the hour-long piece below, posted by Pantagraph.com after a public premiere at the Normal Theater in neighboring Normal on Tuesday, October 28, also consider reading Brady-Lunny’s companion articles; links are aggregated at this dedicated Web page. They include updates to topics broached in the video, particularly the establishment of a 14-bed crisis center on Martin Luther King Drive in Bloomington to be managed by Chestnut Health Systems. Certainly, interview subjects appearing in SHORTCHANGED – including afflicted men and women who have found themselves caught in a wasteful system – intone a cautious optimism that long-term solutions can be found.

After all, we are shortchanged when we continuously fail to be humane to our fellow human beings.

~ Jason Pankoke


IOW: Xmas show HURT-a so good

December 26th, 2014

Confidential lunatics! During the traditional proofreading-with-booze session for C-U Confidential #8, your humble editor and Freaky Film Festival brother Brian Robertson got to talking about a local fellow named Travis Wayne Hurt and his no-budget holiday programs airing on Urbana Public Television (UPTV). A de facto townie variety show created with a big assist from Lindsey Gates-Markel and Andrew Schiver of the You Big Dumb Idiot podcast, THE TRAVIS WAYNE HURT CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AGAIN follows last year’s THE TRAVIS WAYNE HURT CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (of course!) and consists of five segments. They include: Hurt and Erin Gillis spoofing the famous spaghetti dinner scene from LADY AND THE TRAMP (sans meatballs or meet-cute kiss) in a riff on those “dog with human torso” viral videos; a brief sign language interlude with Melanie Sheckels, a mélange of Christmas-themed quizzing between the YBDI duo and a dozen or so of their own former guests; an assortment of non sequitur skits depicting “How to Celebrate Christmas;” and an oral sign-off from host Hurt. At times funny, precious, offbeat, and decidedly awkward, the HURT CHRISTMAS SPECIAL is exactly what cable access television exists for.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. We’d like to ask Hurt, who somewhat resembles a red-bearded Santa Claus if you squint a little, to consider a three-peat edition for Christmas 2015 filled with more ambitious and edgy ideas to balance out the cute. There is non-network latitude on an outlet such as UPTV, so why not take advantage of it? We’ll look for a list of air dates in our stockings hung by the chimney with care!


Calendar du C-U: Dec. 26-Jan. 1

December 25th, 2014

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

~~~~~

PLAYING THIS WEEK
12/26/14-1/1/15

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toThursday, December 25: Laura Anne Welle (actress, SCARY NORMAL) … Saturday, December 27: Bill “Wink” Turner (actor, WEREWOLF CEMETERY) … Monday, December 29: Patricia Pankoke Pellow (guardian angel, C-U Confidential) … Tuesday, December 30: Mike Boedicker (director, HOUSE OF THADDEUS), Michael Correll (former staff, Freaky Film Festival), Jason Pankoke (creator & humble editor, C-U Confidential) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: WHIPLASH (12/26 on), Late Night: DARK CITY (12/26, 12/27, 10 p.m.), THE BABADOOK (1/1, 10 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE TRIP TO ITALY, THE GOOD LIE, DEAD SNOW 2, TRAFFICKERS, TOOTSIE (Criterion), CONTINUUM (s3), more! (12/23 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: UNBROKEN, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (12/26 on), New Year’s Eve event feat. HELP! (12/31, 9:15 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (12/26-12/28, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: INTO THE WOODS, UNBROKEN, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (3-D & 2-D) (12/26 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (12/26 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: DUMB AND DUMBER TO, PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (12/26-12/28), THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (12/27, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Closed for the week!

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

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

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

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

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Ebertfest in Shatterglass limelight

December 25th, 2014

Confidential Ebertholics! To distract you this holiday week from the physical absence of C-U Confidential #8, which is almost ready for press as of this writing, Shatterglass Studios has just dropped its annual video tribute to Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. All the expected guests – Oliver Stone, Steve James, Brie Larson, Spike Lee, Haiffa Al-Mansour, etc. – and figureheads – Chaz Ebert, Nate Kohn – appear in the piece, designed by director Luke Boyce and his collaborators to extract the sense of wonder and community engendered by attending the event, a signature function of the College of Media at the University of Illinois. Be sure to watch through the end credits for some laugh-out-loud zingers courtesy of Patton Oswalt, making good on his pledge to appear at “Ebertfest” after having to cancel two years prior. If you’re a regular then we don’t have to set this up any further. If you have yet to partake, we’ll allow one Sam Fragoso of Forbes to efficiently pose some of the virtues long cited as setting this movie showcase apart from nearly everything else making up the festival circuit in North America. You can always bear witness yourself when the seventeenth Ebertfest takes place April 15-19, 2015, in downtown Champaign.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Not unlike our statement here, this will mark the beginning of our reduction in Ebertfest coverage to the bare necessities going forward. Sadly, we overreached our means in attempting to recount 2014, as our series has stalled since this post from August. Beyond practicality issues, entertainment media at large allots the show plenty of attention; we could readily divert our resources elsewhere without a crisis of conscience. As for philosophical differences … another time, dearest readers.

p.s.2 Good job with avoiding disclosure in your post, Mr. Fragoso, that you are also a regular staff writer for RogerEbert.com.


Ebertfest 2014 Final from Shatterglass Studios on Vimeo.

CNN to gift LIFE ITSELF on Jan. 4

December 21st, 2014

Confidential cinemaniacs! As we push hard to deliver C-U Confidential #8 to Champaign-Urbana as soon as possible, we’re also sneaking in extra time on the blogosphere to play catch-up with relevant stories large and small. This one is pretty self-explanatory, so much so that we’re sharing the official press release from CNN Films to help remind you that, two weeks from tonight on Sunday, January 4, sister company CNN will debut LIFE ITSELF on television at both 8 and 10 p.m. CST, with repeats on Saturday, January 10, at the same times. (Past the jump, you can take in the uneasy mix of hard information, touchy-feely hyperbole, and corporate lingo at your leisure.) We’ve also noted that merchant Web sites have begun listing Tuesday, February 17, as the street date for LIFE ITSELF on Blu-ray and DVD from Magnolia Home Entertainment, although specs and cover art are not yet available.

All links directly related to the CNN broadcasts can be found in the text below; material of various relevance can be located at Magnolia, Kartemquin Films, RogerEbert.com, and the official Web site of the documentary. You can also visit the comparable LIFE ITSELF page at “the UK’s leading documentary distributor,” Dogwoof, which released it to English cinemas on 14 November and will issue the Region 2 DVD on 23 February.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. This will most likely conclude LIFE ITSELF-specific coverage on C-U Blogfidential, no matter how many additional industry awards or critical accolades it will amass in the months ahead. We’re sure Roger Ebert is somewhat pleased and a bit embarrassed by all the posthumous attention down here on terra firma. Happy ethereal holidays, big guy.

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