Coming Soon: Feb 2007 pt.2

Every now and then, C-U Blogfidential will highlight limited-run screenings in the area which often receive little to no press in traditional news outlets. The following events are “coming soon” in February and March; please support this diverse film programming in our community by attending and spreading the word. Multiplexes and television sets are no substitute for a true cinema experience!

Might as well lace up those running shoes, folks, because the second half of this week is stocked with places to go and movies to see!

Boardman’s Art Theatre, 126 W. Church St., Champaign, IL, follows up its French and Asian cinema events with the Latin American Film Festival, which will take place from Friday, February 23, to Thursday, March 1. Five contemporary features will play on a rotating schedule over the course of the week: BLESSED BY FIRE (Argentina), HABANA BLUES (Cuba), SIN AMPARO (Columbia), FAVELA RISING (Brazil), and MACHUCA (Chile). Descriptions and exact play dates can be found on the Art’s Web site; primary sponsors of the film festival are the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Department of Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese at the University of Illinois. Admission will be $6.50 per show.

Foreign cinema of a different magnitude dominates the 24th annual Insect Fear Film Festival this Saturday, February 24, 7 p.m., at Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Matthews Ave., Urbana, IL. This year, IFFF creator and UIUC Entomology Department head May Berenbaum will unleash the original MOTHRA (1961) and the first of three Nineties sequels, REBIRTH OF MOTHRA (1996), along with moth-a-rific shorts and an episode of the kids’ animeYU-GI-OH. Expect a menagerie of live and preserved specimens to greet attendees in the foyer, under the care of Entomology Graduate Student Association members, while creepy spooky K-12 artwork will also be on display. Admission for this all-ages event is free, with butterfly nets optional. Good luck in finding one big enough.

The Human Rights Film Series returns for the spring semester, featuring DECLINING BY DEGREES (February 22), HUNGRY FOR PROFIT (March 1), WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? (March 8), and WHY WE FIGHT (March 15) on successive Thursdays, starting at 7 p.m. Hosted by the Illinois Disciples Foundation, 610 E. Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL, the HRFS presents works that tackle social issues with a non-mainstream bent. Each show is free admission to the public; discussion sessions and light refreshments typically follow each film. The official page and PDF flyer are right here, while text-only detail can be found on this Independent Media Center post.

Readers living near the Soy Captial have a chance to put on a glamorous face for a worthy cause at the Avon Theatre, 426 N. Water St., Decatur, IL, this Thursday, February 22, 7:30 p.m., when the Friends of St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation presents a benefit premiere of the feature, THE ULTIMATE GIFT. A $100 donation to the Foundation earns admission for two as well as entrance to an h’ors d’oeuvre reception at the City Plaza, 410 N. Water St. Suggested attire is “red-carpet fabulous” and RSVPs can be made by calling (217) 464-2510. The movie, starring Drew Fuller, James Garner, Lee Meriwether, Brian Dennehy, and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE herself, Abigail Breslin, opens nationally on March 9.

At the very same moment – Thursday, February 22, 7:30 p.m. – the Rec Room at the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana, IL, will host “Lebowski Fest,” presumably a riff on the big-city celebrations of Jeff “The Dude” Dowd and the Coen Brothers‘ cult classic, THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998). The Daily Illini ad for this variation promises “Door and Trivia Prizes … Movie Showing … Free Refreshments (Lebowski Style).” Can it truly be “Lebowski Style” without alcohol? What the fuck, Donny? Oh, well, at least we can still bowl…

Finally, the Art has scheduled matinee showings of the Bollywood drama EKLAVYA: THE ROYAL GUARD on Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4, both at 1 p.m. Admission will be $10.

~ Jason Pankoke

[Wow! This is post #100 on C-U Blogfidential! Here’s to 100 more!]

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