Calendar: Apr. 28-May 4, 2017

April 28th, 2017

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!

4/28: John Isberg (filmmaker, WHERE IT BEGINS: 1977-2000)
4/29: Matt Shivers (voice talent, HORRORS, Pens to Lens 2016)
4/29: Eric Sizemore (voice talent, THE CODY CHRONICLES: MURPHY’S LAW, Pens to Lens 2016)


CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

10 Years AgoWednesday, April 25, 2007: In an effort to expand awareness of their on-line forum, C-U Blogfidential, Opteryx Press of Champaign rebrands as Paper Opteryx and releases a companion digest, C-U Confidential. At 36 pages long, CUZine #1 provides a capsule look at downstate Illinois film culture for both Champaign-Urbana residents and patrons of Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival, returning this evening to the Virginia Theatre with GATTACA as its opening selection. The free-to-keep publication features recent CUBlog bulletins as well as excerpts from interviews with local filmmakers Jason Butler, Chris Lukeman, Eleanore Stasheff, and Alaric Rocha.


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
THE LOST CITY OF Z (4/28 on), SPACE JAM (4/28-4/30), RUKUS preview screening (5/1, 8:30 p.m.), The Seventh Art Stand: CAIRO IN ONE BREATH (5/2, 7 p.m.), The Art No-Movie Theater Series: “Erotica Showcase” w/Veronica Bleaus (5/3, 10 p.m.), UI Women’s Resources Center presents 8th annual Feminist Film Festival* (5/4, 7:30 p.m., free, information), Art Theater Co-op Owners Meeting – discussion of proposed resolution and merger agreement (4/29, 11 a.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BAAHUBALI 2 (Hindi & Telugu languages), BATTLE OF MEMORIES, THE CIRCLE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, BORN IN CHINA, THE BOSS BABY, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, GET OUT, GIFTED, GOING IN STYLE, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, PHOENIX FORGOTTEN, THE PROMISE, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE, UNFORGETTABLE (4/28 on), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (5/4)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
LA LA LAND, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, DETOUR, BOKEH, CATFIGHT, MEAN DREAMS, more! (4/25 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE CIRCLE, LOVE OFF THE CUFF, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, BORN IN CHINA, THE BOSS BABY, THE CASE FOR CHRIST, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, FREE FIRE, GET OUT, GIFTED, GOING IN STYLE, THE LOST CITY OF Z, PHOENIX FORGOTTEN, POWER RANGERS, THE PROMISE, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE, UNFORGETTABLE (4/28 on), SING (4/28-4/30), DOUBLE INDEMNITY (4/30, 5/3), TED Cinema Experience: 2017 Highlights Exclusive (4/30, simulcast), Jonah: On Stage! (5/2), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY double feature (5/4, 4:30 p.m.), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (5/4 on)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (5/2, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. SPLIT, Pine Lounge (4/28, 4/29, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
College of Media presents 3rd annual Illinifest Student Film Festival (4/29, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.) Information

@ Pizza M, Urbana, IL
Champaign Screenwriters mixer (5/4, 8 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: April 21-27, 2017

April 23rd, 2017

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!

4/21: William Kephart (actor, BUMPS IN THE NIGHT, Pens to Lens 2016)


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
THE LOST CITY OF Z (4/21 on), THE VOID (4/21-4/22, 4/27), International Jazz Day 2017 event (4/25, 5:30 p.m., free), SPACE JAM (4/26)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BORN IN CHINA, GIFTED, PHOENIX FORGOTTEN, THE PROMISE, UNFORGETTABLE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BOSS BABY, THE CASE FOR CHRIST, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, GHOST IN THE SHELL, GOING IN STYLE, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LIFE, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/21 on), Chonda Pierce: “Enough” (4/25), THE CIRCLE (4/27)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
SPLIT, SLEEPLESS, THE FOUNDER, THE WATCHER, YOUTH IN OREGON, BIGGER FATTER LIAR, more! (4/18 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BORN IN CHINA, FREE FIRE, GIFTED, THE LOST CITY OF Z, PHOENIX FORGOTTEN, THE PROMISE, UNFORGETTABLE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BOSS BABY, THE CASE FOR CHRIST, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, GET OUT, GOING IN STYLE, LIFE, LOGAN, POWER RANGERS, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/21 on), ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (4/21-4/23), The Metropolitan Opera: Eugene Onegin (4/22, simulcast; 4/26, recorded), AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (4/23, 4/26), TED Cinema Experience: 2017 Opening Event (4/24, simulcast), Chonda Pierce: “Enough” (4/25), TED Cinema Experience: 2017 Prize Event (4/25, simulcast)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (4/25, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. TBA, Pine Lounge (4/21, 4/22, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
College of Media at Illinois presents the 19th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (through 4/23)

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: April 14-20, 2017

April 15th, 2017

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!

4/18: Mike Trippiedi (actor, THE POTATO BOY, Pens to Lens 2016)


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
[As of 4/13, the Art is temporarily closed due to projector malfunction. Please check their Facebook or Web site for news on when shows will resume. – ed.] T2 TRAINSPOTTING (4/14 on), SPACE JAM (4/14-4/16, 4/19-4/20)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
THE CASE FOR CHRIST, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BOSS BABY, THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X, GHOST IN THE SHELL, GOING IN STYLE, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LOGAN, THE SHACK, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/14 on), THE PROMISE (4/20)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Lighting Gear Roundup,” Robeson Pavilion Room A (4/18, 7 p.m., free)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
HIDDEN FIGURES, LION, MONSTER TRUCKS, WAR ON EVERYONE, CLAIRE IN MOTION, BRIMSTONE, SWORD MASTER, AMERICAN MOONSHINE, MARS (s1), more! (4/11 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BOSS BABY, THE CASE FOR CHRIST, GET OUT, GHOST IN THE SHELL, GOING IN STYLE, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LIFE, LOGAN, POWER RANGERS, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/14 on), TROLLS (4/14-4/16), HELLO, DOLLY! (4/16, 4/19), DOCTOR WHO Season 10 Premiere (4/17, 4/19), RiffTrax Live: SAMURAI COP (4/18, 7 p.m.), BOSTON: AN AMERICAN RUNNING STORY (4/19, 7:30 p.m.), THE GRATEFUL DEAD MOVIE 40th Anniversary Fan Meet-up (4/20, 7 p.m.)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (4/18, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Henry Administration Building (outside), UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video t-shirt sale & fun booth (4/18, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. SING, Pine Lounge (4/14, 4/15, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: DUCK SOUP (4/15), College of Media at Illinois presents the 19th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (4/19-4/23)

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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FOW: Discover CONRAD on April 9

April 7th, 2017

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While your humble editor is on the road dealing with stressful family business – it’s the eighth consecutive week for him to stray from the friendly Champaign-Urbana confines, so be kind when he actually materializes before you – and the eager elves at the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters hammer away at C-U Confidential #9 – the struggle is quite real to finish up and then release it two weeks from today on Friday, April 21 – we’d like to call brief attention to an upcoming screening. (You will understand shortly why we felt the need to designate this event as “Flicker of the Week” despite hanging up the critic’s cap.) Our do-it-yourself culture confidant David Gracon has finally brought his Hallways Microcinema series out into the open with Vol. 19 taking place this Sunday, April 9, 7:30 p.m., at the Art Theater Co-op, 126 W. Church St., Champaign. Local improvisational quartet SUNSAT IV opens with a mini-concert after which Hallways will present a new documentary on the nonconformist media icon Tony Conrad, who passed away on the same date a year ago at age 76. Tyler Hubby’s film, TONY CONRAD: COMPLETELY IN THE PRESENT, spans his life and career to explore a “playfully radical approach to art-making” that encompassed a true passion for blasting through established genres, formats, and pretensions. His signature experimental film, THE FLICKER (1966), is a black-and-white minimalist journey while his most famous movie association, FLAMING CREATURES (1963), involved soundtrack contributions to the seminal Jack Smith short subject. Also opening this evening at 6:30 p.m. is the Art’s entry in the Boneyard Arts Festival, an exhibit featuring works by Art staff members Lainey Waugh and Jessie Seitz; the reception is free for the public although Hallways 19 will cost a reasonable $8 to attend. The TONY CONRAD preview embedded here does a good job teasing at Conrad’s eclectic achievements in music composition, video production, university instruction, and overall lack of regard for the establishment. On the other hand, we simply could not pass on sharing the tongue-in-cheek(s) show flier below. The event is a personal tribute to Conrad by Gracon, who was a student under the late provocateur while attending the University of Buffalo-SUNY.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar: April 7-13, 2017

April 7th, 2017

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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NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (4/7 on), DONNIE DARKO (4/7-4/8, 4/12-4/13), Boneyard Arts Festival art opening – Lainey Waugh & Jessie Seitz (4/9, 6:30 p.m., free), the Art and Hallways Microcinema present TONY CONRAD: COMPLETELY IN THE PRESENT w/pre-show concert by SUNSAT IV (4/9, 7:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
GOING IN STYLE, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BOSS BABY, CHIPS, THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X, GHOST IN THE SHELL, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LIFE, LOGAN, POWER RANGERS (4/7 on), BEFORE I FALL (4/7-4/13, 12 p.m.), FACING DARKNESS (4/10, 7 p.m.), THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (4/13)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, PATERSON, THE BOOK OF LOVE, RUNNING WILD, TANK 432, DON’T HANG UP, THE EVIL WITHIN, more! (4/4 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE CASE FOR CHRIST, GOING IN STYLE, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BOSS BABY, GET OUT, GHOST IN THE SHELL, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LIFE, LOGAN, POWER RANGERS (4/7 on), KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (4/7-4/9), THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (4/9, 4/12), FACING DARKNESS (4/10, 7 p.m.), RiffTrax Live: SAMURAI COP (4/13, 7 p.m.), THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (4/13)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (4/11, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. THE FOUNDER, Pine Lounge (4/7, 4/8, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
AEMS presents AsiaLENS Documentary/Film Series feat. DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN (4/11, 7 p.m., free)

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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Ebertfest 2017 films revealed

March 31st, 2017

On Thursday, March 30, the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced the full slate of movies to be showcased at the nineteenth annual edition of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival taking place on April 19-23, 2017:

Wednesday, April 19
7:00 p.m. HAIR (1979, 121 min, D: Milos Forman)

Thursday, April 20
1:00 p.m. HYSTERIA (2012, 99 min., D: Tanya Wexler)
4:00 p.m. TO SLEEP WITH ANGER (1990, 102 min., D: Charles Burnett)
8:30 p.m. THE HANDMAIDEN (2016, 145 min., D: Park Chan-wook)

Friday, April 21
1:00 p.m. THEY CALL US MONSTERS (2016, 82 min., D: Ben Lear)
With: JULY AND HALF OF AUGUST (2016, 12 min., D: Brandeaux Tourville)
4:00 p.m. VARIETÉ (1925, 72 min., D: E.A. Dupont)
Accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra
8:00 p.m. ELLE (2016, 131 min., D: Paul Verhoeven)

Saturday April 22
11:00 a.m. MIND/GAME: THE UNQUIET JOURNEY OF CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW (2015, 57 min., D: Rick Goldsmith)
1:30 p.m. PLEASANTVILLE (1998, 124 min., D: Gary Ross)
4:30 p.m. NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU (2016, 92 min., D: Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady)
8:30 p.m. BEING THERE (1979, 130 min., D: Hal Ashby)

Sunday, April 23
11:00 a.m. DE-LOVELY (2004, 125 min., D: Irwin Winkler)

Key festival guess this year include Charles Burnett (TO SLEEP WITH ANGER), Isabelle Huppert (ELLE), Gary Ross (PLEASANTVILLE), Norman Lear (NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU), and Irwin Winkler (DE-LOVELY).

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival will take place at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign, IL. The Ebertfest” Web site also features individual reviews and details of signings and panel discussions. Individual and bulk ticket sales will go on sale tomorrow, Saturday, April 1, 2017, while a small number of festival passes are still available.

~ Jason Pankoke


Calendar: Mar. 31-Apr. 6, 2017

March 31st, 2017

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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NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (3/31 on), KEDI (3/31, 4/5-4/6), Black World Film Series: BLACK GIRL (4/3, 7 p.m.), Wild & Scenic Film Festival (4/4, 6 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
THE BOSS BABY, THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X, GHOST IN THE SHELL, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, CHIPS, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LIFE, LOGAN, POWER RANGERS (3/31 on), SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/6)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, SILENCE, PATRIOTS DAY, WHY HIM?, A MONSTER CALLS, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS, ARSENAL, more! (3/28 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE BOSS BABY, GHOST IN THE SHELL, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, CHIPS, GET OUT, HIDDEN FIGURES, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LIFE, LOGAN, POWER RANGERS, THE SHACK (3/31 on), THE NEVERENDING STORY (4/2, 4/5), THE CASE FOR CHRIST live event (4/6)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (4/4, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. THE BYE BYE MAN, Pine Lounge (3/31, 4/1, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Pizza M, Urbana, IL
Champaign Screenwriters mixer (4/4, 8 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: March 24-30, 2017

March 24th, 2017

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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NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
KEDI (3/24 on), THE LURE (3/24-3/26, 3/30), OCEAN WAVES (3/25-3/26), JOURNEY TO MY MOTHER’S LAND (3/27, 7 p.m., free), Mountainfilm on Tour 2017 (3/28, 7 p.m.), OUR HEAVENLY BODIES w/live accompaniment by Coupler (3/29, 8:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
CHIPS, KATAMARAYUDU, LIFE, PERSONAL SHOPPER, POWER RANGERS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, GET OUT, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/24 on), FACING DARKNESS (3/30, 7 p.m.), THE BOSS BABY, GHOST IN THE SHELL (3/30)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
SING, MISS SLOANE, ASSASSIN’S CREED, LIVE BY NIGHT, IN DUBOUS BATTLE, ELOISE, THE BROOKLYN BANKER, THE QUIET HOUR, WOLF CREEK (s1), more! (3/21 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
CHIPS, LIFE, POWER RANGERS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, GET OUT, HIDDEN FIGURES, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/24 on), The Metropolitan Opera: Idomeneo (3/25, simulcast; 3/29, recorded), LABYRINTH (3/26, 3/29), MINDGAMERS (3/28, 8 p.m.; feature film w/”cognitive experiment” + live Q&A), FACING DARKNESS (3/30, 7 p.m.)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (3/28, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. MOONLIGHT, Pine Lounge (3/24, 3/25, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: THE GENERAL w/live accompaniment by Mark Gifford (3/25)

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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IOW: A Myriad Musical Tour, Pt.3

March 23rd, 2017

Even if we seem a bit out of tune with the ongoing soundtrack of our Champaign-Urbana lives, we find no harm in revisiting cool examples of local music artists set to full-motion visuals! Therefore, we restack the deck of melodious streaming content in an “Images of the Week” that will provide you with an aesthetic range from something old (in historical content) and something new (rendered with charming animation) to something borrowed (in the non-political plundering vein) and something Blue (in both the song’s reason for being and the singer-songwriter herself.) Scroll away and press “play,” dearest listeners!

Unleashed last week by the C-U garage rock combo, The Underwerewolves, this self-produced video for “The Aliens Work for the Evil Boss” finds our heroes performing in a partly shorn cornfield – it is, perhaps, a crop circle? – to warn the world of extraterrestrial invasion. Intercut is black-and-white public domain footage from Japan’s STARMAN featurettes from the late Fifties that depicts bizarrely-costumed space people, wire-hung model rockets, and Earth’s bombardment via exploding miniature sets! This track appears on their upcoming EP-with-comic book, Adventures in Time, which will be released at a Cowboy Monkey show on Saturday, April 8. Acme Principle and Lonely Trailer are set to join Jeremy Pessin, Jay Creek, Will Arnold, and Conner Buenting in downtown Champaign for the cosmic festivities.

Taking its music cue from the “no-collar country” album Bramble Patch Blues by The Fights, released back in October, the following CGI video for “Self Helpless” (despite the onscreen title) relays “a short fable about how things we don’t understand can be beautiful if we only take the time to learn about them,” told with a sleepy brown bear, busy little caterpillars, and a colorful polygon countryside. Florida-based firm 7×6 Design, operated by former C-U music scene contributor Chris Eitel, lovingly crafted the spot and premiered it in late February, while The Fights – Clayton Deering, Nicholas Stine, David Pride, and Cole Rabenort – performed this past Monday night with Rebecca Rego & Eric Fitts and Dewclaw as part of the fifth anniversary Urbana Hootenanny show at the Rose Bowl Tavern in our other downtown.

We pay mind and listen up with our next video, the first of several to accompany the EP Another Angry Woman by Champaign-to-Chicago performer Emily Blue. A stark reminder that sexual assault affects thousands of individuals daily, this minimalist expression produced by Wave Upon Wave alternates between slow-motion “limbo” vignettes of Blue, a survivor who is using the track “No Pain” to call direct attention to a society-wide problem, and anonymous women and men depicting their traumas and defiance on a marker board. Both made their debut in August and attracted nationwide press for their timely messages as well as for Blue donating her proceeds to help Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services (RACES) in Urbana, a vital regional agency only beginning to rebound after losing all its state funding.

Finally, we check in with Urbana filmmaker John Isberg of Swede Films, whose output dominated our last Tour and recent portfolio includes videos for Elsinore, We the Animals, and Sunset. Just returned from South by Southwest in Austin, TX, Isberg will resume work on his massive national-to-local documentary WHERE IT BEGINS: 1977-2000; here, we share a teaser trailer filled to the brim with ephemera and familiar faces that will register with long-term fans of Champaign-Urbana rock history. Veteran talents also taking part include Adrian Belew, Kim Deal, Jon Ginoli, Ian MacKaye, and Steve Albini as interview subjects and The Smashing PumpkinsJeff Schroeder as score composer. An Indiegogo push to afford post-production costs has just been extended to Saturday, April 22, coinciding with the annual Record Store Day.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Not unlike in our review post from last week, we have most likely seen the last of a department as we begin to retool what we do on C-U Blogfidential. “Images of the Week” hasn’t been employed much lately, as it is pretty well understood that a forum about movie media would be illustrated, and we never seemed to build up enough steam to offer it weekly without fail. Maybe it could use a more autonomous voice in a column format similar to what we think might benefit a fresh round of “Flicker of the Week.” We’ll see.

‘Dance’ to be last FOW, FWIW

March 18th, 2017

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We summarily end at one of the locations where we began a year ago to investigate area shows, exhibits, and performances that might fall within our critical tastes and thereby qualify as a “Flicker of the Week.” This preview will not pour over the current installation in question as much as its (digital) analog from the spring of 2016, but we encourage you to spend some time with it at the University of IllinoisKrannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign, IL, so you may contemplate culture, place, ancestry, and the encroachment of world influences. Videos comprise the bulk of “Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?”, a collection of recent creations by the British-Nigerian artist and teacher Zina Saro-Wiwa, which has taken residence in the first floor East Gallery of KAM since November 17. Raised and educated in the United Kingdom and United States, Saro-Wiwa is based in Brooklyn, NY, and regularly returns to her birth country to document regional history and mythology using several media forms including photography, sculpture, audio, and projection. The artist also produces documentaries and short films in the overall drive to “map emotional landscapes.” Her focus here is on the residents of the Niger Delta, a small region in south Nigeria, and Ogoniland, a home within that region to an indigenous people numbering less than two million who have weathered human rights issues for decades, including massive oil-related pollution.

It is clear that Saro-Wiwa observes instead of screams, breathes instead of asphyxiates. The only English language can be found in her artist’s statements and little is vocalized all told, but she wields conversation with precision and the presentation otherwise speaks volumes. There is visual clarity in how she explores the resilience of her homeland’s fabric even though recovery from outside influences is long from over. Motion pieces include: Karikpo Pipeline (2015, 28 min., five-channel), a meditation on local customs, the environment, and pipeline remnants featuring three dancers in ceremonial dress; Prayer Warriors (2014-2015, 33 min., five-channel), an intense experience presented in a darkened room using five monitors hung vertically in which native spiritual leaders deliver impassioned Christian-derived sermons; Kuru’s Children (2015, 9 min., fullscreen), a collage juxtaposing the Ogoni legend of a wise but mischievous tortoise named Kuru and two young girls whose strong presence feminizes the retelling; and Niger Delta: A Documentary (2015, looped, widescreen), a deceptively static landscape of a shoreline, depicted on an enormous monitor, in which a lone and symbolic red plastic lawn chair sits in the foreground while fishermen row past in the distance, casually scooping up industrial waste from the waters instead of anything resembling nourishment for human beings or the delta itself.

Open to the public through a week from today, Saturday, March 25, “Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” is the first solo show by Saro-Wiwa and a co-presentation of KAM and the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas, curated by Amy L. Powell. Turn to the gallery’s official page of the exhibit for more information and look for a high-quality monograph – filled with essays, interviews, and “recipe-stories” reflecting the artist’s interest in food growth and consumption within the Ogoni community – at the show. All that said, “FOW” is now rewarded a rest until we decide if and when our trusty department might return to a Weblog near us. Fin, and we really mean it.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Calendar: March 17-23, 2017

March 17th, 2017

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!

3/19: Andrew Gleason (director, HELLO FEAR, Pens to Lens 2016)
3/22: Jonathan Culp (webmaster, Unpopular Arts, Toronto)


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

Psych. Did you really think we’d go back on our word? (Trust us, we’d love to if we could swing it.) Don’t forget about our proposition from last week in which we’re willing to court exuberant souls who may be interested in taking over “FOW” writing duties. Also, watch C-U Blogfidential tomorrow morning for the standalone “FOW” we’ve promised you. Finally, aiding the funding of C-U Confidential #9 with your advertising dollars and cheerily universal support is our primary drive at the moment; booking ends next Mon., 3/20, but we might let that slide a couple of days for those potential clients who express serious interest in doing business with us to keep our esoteric subculture du C-U in print and, more importantly, in the hands of the readers of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond where it belongs! We would be a tad heartbroken if more than “FOW” would become fin by the end of this Calendar year.


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
A UNITED KINGDOM (3/17 on), KEDI (3/17-3/19, 3/21-3/23), TONI ERDMANN (3/18-3/19, 3/23), Black World Film Series: BLADE (3/20, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, BEFORE I FALL, GET OUT, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/17 on)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Pens to Lens Pitches,” Robeson Pavilion Room C (3/21, 7 p.m., free)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
PASSENGERS, COLLATERAL BEAUTY, FENCES, ELLE, SOLACE, AMERICAN VIOLENCE, more! (3/14 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, BEFORE I FALL, GET OUT, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LION, LOGAN, THE SHACK (3/17 on), THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (3/17-3/19), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (3/19, 3/22)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. LA LA LAND, Pine Lounge (3/17, 3/18, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Ang Lee: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (3/21, 3/23)

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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Cyberfest 20th not quite ver. 2.0

March 13th, 2017

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After a short debate about anointing this event as one of our final “Flicker of the Week” picks, given the historic pedigree shared in Friday’s Calendar that informs its very existence, we decided against it by the technicality that it does not actually involve a film presentation. Yet, given how pervasive the use of computers and other technology is in media production, we suppose the “Cyberfest 20th Anniversary” celebration and talk scheduled for later tonight, Monday, March 13, is worth a highlight. The University of IllinoisNational Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which hosted the original “Cyberfest” in March 1997 and connected it with the January 1997 “Urbana birth date” of the artificial intelligence HAL-9000 as told in the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, also organized this namesake cosponsored by the UI College of Media and Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. Presumably free for the public to attend, Cyberfest 20th will be held in the main auditorium at NCSA, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana; it begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception as well as interactive demonstrations arranged by staff. This will be followed by a panel, “The Impact of Cyberfest on Culture and Society,” moderated by NCSA/Media and Cinema Studies postdoctoral research associate Veronica Paredes; “Ebertfest” stalwarts Chaz Ebert and Nate Kohn will join international technology experts, several of them with present and past UIUC ties, to ponder the Cyberfest legacy and once again theorize how scientific innovation may intersect with the arts and shape our immediate future.

We now lay down a few pertinent links. Click here for the official NCSA announcement detailing Cyberfest 20th, visit this page for a vintage press release breaking down the primary schedule for Cyberfest ’97, and switch data streams to read an article about the longstanding relationship between UIUC and digital computer advancements. (Interestingly, the first Cyberfest is just recent enough that one can easily locate national press and obscure ephemera lingering in various corners of the Internet, originally brought to everyday consumers by the NCSA-developed Mosaic Web browser.) We also excite your senses with key images; above resides a nifty poster by local illustrator Steve Schaberg that depicts the infamous sensor-eye of HAL lording it over Cyberfest ’97 performer Insook Choi, while below is embedded a video that preserves the half-a-world-away meeting between Ebert and Clarke conducted via satellite as part of a “Cyberfest Gala” extravaganza. Of course, everyone loves to wax poetic as to how this fabled conversation along with Ebert’s emcee turn the night before, introducing the film 2001 to an enraptured audience at the Virginia Theatre, directly pointed towards the founding of Ebertfest. Given the latter’s consistency in duration and scope, we can’t help but wonder about the single-evening brevity of this Cyberfest in comparison to the last, which took place over a full week at multiple locations. Even if this does not quite compute – we happen to not be rocket scientists, after all – it should be a rather interesting foray for those who value the positive attributes of science fact and speculation.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Roger Ebert Interviews Arthur C. Clarke from Illinois Public Media on Vimeo.

Calendar: March 10-16, 2017

March 10th, 2017

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

20 Years AgoThursday, March 13, 1997: A marquee attraction of “Cyberfest ’97,” a weeklong symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign exploring the correlation between technology and the arts as well as the place of artificial intelligence in the future of humankind, takes place this evening at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign. A 70mm screening of the visionary Stanley Kubrick production 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), hosted by Chicago Sun-Times film critic and UIUC alumnus Roger Ebert, is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. screening. This will be followed by Ebert’s participation in the “Cyberfest Gala” tomorrow night, Friday, March 14, at the UIUC Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, during which he will interview participants of 2001 including actors Gary Lockwood, slated to attend in person, and Keir Dullea, via prerecorded interview. Legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, whose short story The Sentinel inspired both his expanded full-length novel and the feature film, is expected to converse live with Ebert via satellite from his home in Sri Lanka. The glowing response given to Urbana native Ebert, as well as the theoretical discussions centered on cybernetic “Urbana native” HAL-9000 from the film and novel, would lead to the launch of Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival at the Virginia two years later. Of course, HAL and 2001 would be revisited at “Ebertfest” in 2001 as the opening night presentation.


FLICKER OF THE WEEK | Suggestions in Full-Motion Arts

Tune back in to C-U Blogfidential next week for the tentative “FOW” denouement in which we’ll offer first impressions of a multimedia exhibition on display at the UI Krannert Art Museum through Sat., 3/25; this sentence fragment will be linked to the post once our write-up regarding the Zina Saro-Wiwa installation, “Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?”, goes live. In the meantime, what would you highlight if we turned over the “FOW” reins to you for engaging the movie-watchers of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond with sound opinions, tangible wit, and factoid finesse? Hit us up via cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com between now and Sun., 4/9, convincing us creatively in 250 words or less why you are the person for the job! Don’t forget to include links to at least three applicable and previously-published pieces that will sell us on your FOWorthiness. To bring this zippy edition of our once-and-future department to an exciting close, we have a single consideration to impart upon you. KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros.), directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and starting Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, and John C. Reilly, looks like an absolute blast with the liveliness largely missing from GODZILLA. Or, just go see it because it’s King fucking Kong! “FOW” is hereby finished until further notice. Thanks for following along this past year!


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL
A UNITED KINGDOM (3/10 on), I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (3/10, 3/16), MOONLIGHT (3/11, 3/15), Black World Film Series: COOLEY HIGH (3/14, 7 p.m.)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL
KONG: SKULL ISLAND, BEFORE I FALL, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, FIST FIGHT, GET OUT, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, LA LA LAND, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LOGAN, MOONLIGHT, ROCK DOG THE SHACK, TABLE 19 (3/10 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
MOANA, JACKIE, INCARNATE, THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, TRESPASS AGAINST US, NEW LIFE, MAN DOWN, THE AMERICANS (s4), more! (3/7 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
KONG: SKULL ISLAND, LA-LA LAND: Sing-along, THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT, BEFORE I FALL, FIFTY SHADES DARKER, GET OUT, HIDDEN FIGURES, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, LION, LOGAN, ROCK DOG, THE SHACK, SPLIT, TABLE 19 (3/10 on), MIDDLE YEARS (3/10-3/12), DIRTY DANCING (3/12, 3/15), The Metropolitan Opera: La Traviata (3/15, recorded), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (3/16)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video meeting, Room 221 (3/14, 6:30 p.m.)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, Pine Lounge (3/10, 3/11, 7 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
“Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” photography/video installation by Zina Saro-Wiwa, East Gallery on Main Level (through 3/25)

@ National Center for Supercomputing Applications, UIUC, Urbana, IL
NCSA, College of Media at Illinois, and Roger Ebert’s Film Festival present Cyberfest 20th Anniversary, NCSA Auditorium (3/13, 5:30 p.m. reception and demos, 6:30 p.m. panel discussion)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
AEMS presents AsiaLENS Documentary/Film Series feat. PLAYING WITH FIRE: WOMEN ACTORS OF AFGHANISTAN (3/14, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Films of Ang Lee: LIFE OF PI (3/14, 3/16)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

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In My Backyard: Year 10

March 4th, 2017

Apart from a few deep thoughts we strung together for your consideration three and six weeks ago, dearest readers, it has been a long while since we officially addressed the residents of our Champaign-Urbana backyard, the same one in which we work a lot, play some, dream a little, and sporadically fizzle out when no one is looking. Although we last drafted a full “In My Backyard” from scratch back in 2012, there is probably not much use in forcing a massive MFHQ brain dump in 2017 so we can retro-write the missing annual summaries. Just the same, you are more than capable of reviewing C-U Blogfidential at any time for the names, titles, dates, and stories you need to know about our shared cinema culture. Consider this post a creative placeholder that gives us an excuse to revive old and obscure copy from various sources, flesh out past moments in the Confidential history, and lead us numerically towards a brand-new “Year 12” entry with our 11th anniversary in the books as of last Saturday, February 25. Much of this material will appear on CUBlog for the first time, providing alternate takes on certain topics du C-U.

In this third lap ‘round the “Backyard,” we consider what it means to reinvigorate old social movements and their ideals. Your humble editor remembers a time frame preceding the launch of this Web site when he was uncertain of a direction, especially with employment at The Octopus taken away from him and MICRO-FILM duties on the wane. An early component of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, the in-house Production Group, held a key place for him in this era. Bright minds met on weeknights in downtown Urbana, alternating between the IMC space on the 200 block of W. Main St. and Embassy Tavern at 114 S. Race St., to cook up projects along with chewing over current news headlines and technology developments. Although this iteration managed not much apart from a few short citizen-journalist videos and activist film shows, it served as an eye-opening primer spent with individuals who are now highly accomplished in fields of communications, education, and computer sciences. Ye Ed does wonder if Paul, Colleen, Drew, Nikki, davep, and the rest will ever plot again.

With our media avengers disassembled and the Embassy long closed, the IMC itself has marched on through the proverbial thick and thin since being established in 2000, the year after progressive centers began cropping up across the United States in solidarity with coordinated efforts to counter the World Trade Organization conference held in Seattle. It has formally occupied for the last decade much of the Urbana Post Office building at 202 S. Broadway Ave., two blocks from its original storefront, and current leaders have been actively fulfilling its original promise as a highly diversified community center. Long-standing facets remain such as the Books to Prisoners program, Makerspace Urbana collective, WRFU-FM radio station, and Zine Library archive, while recurring and one-off events bring vitality under the “big tent” per incoming program director Brian Dolinar. They include popular education (#PopEd) sessions, “Open Scene” youth activities primarily funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), various social justice workshops, and showcases for political, ethnic, and alternative arts.

A cultural hub like the IMC is powered by its people above all else, but it always reaps the benefits of volunteer energies and supplemental funding. Outside planners can stage special events on the ample IMC main floor, affiliate groups might host regular meetings during the quieter hours, and hands-on creators may rent available rooms or nooks for studio space. As well, experts in our university community should consider venturing off campus to the IMC and teach the underserved of Champaign-Urbana all manner of skills to help them improve their lives and neighborhoods. Here is where we circle back to the Production Group. Does it exist in 2017? If not, would anyone take up that baton? The last time Ye Ed toured the main offices at the IMC, camera equipment and computer editing stations awaited use from those without the means to acquire their own gear. An arguable flaw of our old team, apart from the overall lack of output, was our concentration on creating and choosing media we thought worthwhile for others to see and not better engaging an audience in learning how to seek and produce on their own.

Contributed by yours truly to the Public i, an IMC publication now in its seventeenth year and found across the C-U, our highlighted treatise makes the case that accessible showcases fueled by non-mainstream material can only help to open minds as well as encourage the industrious to add their voices to the video mix. Centered on impressions gleaned from the second IMC Film Festival in Urbana and the first New Art Film Festival in Champaign, both held in 2010, its overall viewpoints and suggestions still apply today. It is worth noting the lack of a fully-equipped public studio for citizens in our twin cities – say, the media equivalent of the University of IllinoisCommunity Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) for dimensional design – although the outlets mentioned at the end of our reprint, along with the UI Media Commons for enrolled students that did not exist when the article first ran, still provide valid starting points for those who wish to try their hand at it. We believe that grassroots efforts with socially relevant views, no matter how low budget or rough, deserve to exist and can serve an audience at the IMC or elsewhere.

With that espoused, it’s time to read on, MacDuff

~ Jason Pankoke

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