Film mavericks take on B-N, C-U

Right now is a good time to be hip to indie films here in Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond such as Bloomington, Normal, and Pontiac, for each one will be hosting a visitor or local during the next month who will address their audiences about life, history, and politics through and behind the camera lens.

To help our community remember the reasons why “Chief Illiniwek” should be paired with the phrase “former University of Illinois sports mascot” forevermore – despite its curious resurrections for non-university sanctioned “dances” on university property, a-hemiResist Coalition and M.E.Ch.A. de UIUC present “Deconstructing the Mascot” tonight, Wednesday, September 30, at 6 p.m. This event will feature Jay Rosenstein and a screening of his documentary, IN WHOSE HONOR? in Room 314 of the Illini Union, UIUC, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana, IL. Admission is free.

One hour later, SUPER SIZE ME and WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? director Morgan Spurlock will entertain and engage with his humorous tales during a free event starting at 7 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, September 30, in the Braden Auditorium of Bone Student Center, Illinois State University, 100 N. University St., Normal, IL. Topics will include his life post-SSM as a “media celebrity” and his involvement with the omnibus adaptation of Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt.

Two days later, kick off your weekend with an improbable campus film lecture when Ed Glaser of Dark Maze Studios in Champaign discusses the weird international world of “remakesploitation” films that twist Hollywood originals on their ear. The prime example Glaser will unleash as “Exhibit ‘A’” is, of course, KORKUSUZ a.k.a. RAMPAGE a.k.a. “Turkish RAMBO,” which Dark Maze dubbed into English and then released on DVD back in April. The free madness will uncork like Serdar’s pop gun rocket launcher on Friday, October 2, 7 p.m., in Armory 101 of the Armory Building, UIUC, 505 E. Armory Ave., Champaign, IL.

Two weeks after that comes a rare treat. When one thinks of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and its relatively traditional and/or family friendly programming, one does not necessarily think of “An Evening with John Waters.” Sure enough, the auteur behind such Baltimore trash classics as PINK FLAMINGOS, POLYESTER, and CECIL B. DEMENTED will bring it to the cornfields on Friday, October 16, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost between $25 and $31 but honestly, it might just be worth the investment to see what exactly he’ll heap upon his audience at the BCPA, 600 N. East St., Bloomington, IL. We’d leave the dog poo and man-sized lobsters at home, however, if we were you.

And finally, a project from ISU graduate student Brian Seay called PONTIAC’S REBELLION will be shown on Saturday, October 24, 7 p.m. at Pontiac Township High School, 1100 E. Indiana Ave., Pontiac, IL. The film records the heightened fears faced by Pontiac citizens as the state of Illinois publicly flirted with closing a nearby correctional center in 2008, threatening the loss of jobs and security for a small-town area already hurting by the shifting economic landscape.

We would also love to know whether or not the posters we saw in UIUC buildings Monday night touting an appearance by actress Marlee Matlin (THE L WORD, WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW?!) as part of a LGBT awareness series were legit. Sad to admit it, but C-U Blogfidential can’t find any proof of its scheduling on-line anywhere and said posters mysteriously disappeared. CUBlog agents are invited to check in and verify details. And, no, we don’t know what it is with all these punctuated titles lately, either.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. For those more interested in salivating at the prospect of working in film geek heaven, we link to this report from last night’s on-campus talk by UIUC alum Michael B. Johnson, who works at the Moving Picture Group of Pixar Animation Studios. We bow to thee, sir.

p.s.2 Ack! If we had actually known about it, we would have interrupted the boys’ club above with an additional blurb about the one and only Emily Hubley appearing this past Saturday, October 3, at the Normal Theater in Normal, IL, along with her brand-new feature THE TOE TACTIC. We bow to thee, ma’am, and weep with regret.

[Updated 10/5/09, 15:45 p.m. CST]

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