Movie half-marathons are go!

So, here’s reason #638 why our columnist Michelle Kaffko thinks we need interns pronto here at the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters – so we didn’t have to write informative and fun yet developmentally half-assed postings that prove without a doubt we haven’t quite been on the ball lately.

Case in point is how we will finally point out the Global Lens 2009 film festival about three weeks into its run at the Virginia Theater. Only four feature presentations remain in this expansive series: SLEEPWALKING LAND (2007, Mozambique, Wednesday, Dec. 9), SONG FROM THE SOUTHERN SEAS (2008, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Dec. 15), THOSE THREE (2007, Iran, Wednesday, Dec. 16), and WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD (2006, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 17). Each starts at 7 p.m. with tickets costing $5 per show. Presented by the Global Film Initiative, which also distributes festival entries on domestic home video through First Run Features, the traveling Global Lens event is an outreach effort to “promote cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema.” Details on all 2009 titles can be found at this Web site; open your eyes to some or all of the remainder at the Virginia, 203 W. Park St., Champaign, before they’re gone.

In double-checking the Virginia’s on-line calendar, we’re reminded that another movie spotlight begins next month, the on-going News-Gazette Film Series reviving classic Hollywood past and present. We hadn’t heard any sort of announcement about the 2010 titles, even though we know it’s “that time of year” when said titles are revealed, but better late than never for us to discover the Virginia site reveals … the first half of them. Huh? At least we now know that CHINATOWN (1974, Mar. 20), ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004, Feb. 13), and GROUNDHOG DAY (1993, Jan. 30) are coming soon, with childhood favorite BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985, Apr. 17) zooming into the mix before a grande dame double feature of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962, May 15) and SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950, June 5) takes us into the summer. As usual, all dates are Saturdays with 1 and 7 p.m. show times; tickets will run $5.

Finally, a special presentation that starts and ends with two attractions will be had shortly at the Avon Theater, 426 N. Water St., Decatur. First up is – what else? – IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) this Thursday, December 10, 7 p.m., followed by – surprise! – NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989) on Thursday, December 17, also at 7 p.m. You can thank the Head Honcho Skip Huston personally for these free shows … right before you blow your cash on some delicious Avon gourmet popcorn at the concession stand. Happy Holidays!

~ Jason Pankoke

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