C-U Biz-en-scène: 09.30.2010

“C-U Biz-en-scène” appears every Thursday/Friday on C-U Blogfidential to give our readers a succinct snapshot of the cinema activity in and near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA. Please support the artists and their work, attend screenings and events, and otherwise become active in our esoteric little world!


Pump Fists for the Little Guy

One of our original DIY media friends and MICRO-FILM supporters is Sean Carswell, a California-by-way-of-Florida educator, essayist, novelist, founder of indie imprint Gorsky Press, and major factor in the success of well-written punk culture mag Razorcake, co-founded with Todd Taylor of the late great Flipside. As part of his generosity towards your humble editor, complementary Razorcake has found its way into our hands without fail since the first issue; as part of his support towards all the projects your humble editor stumbles through, MF has always been given a place in Razorcake despite its lack of outward punk rock-ness. Much to our surprise, the just-arrived Razorcake #58 with a Halloween-colored Mark Sultan cover features a short-but-sweet review of C-U Confidential no.4 by Hawai’i musician/activist Steve Hart. In it he says, “I spent a year and a half in Illinois in the early ‘80s and would have loved to have something like this to read – along with the possibility of an indie-film scene in Champaign. I didn’t even know of such an entity.” Glad you enjoyed it, Mr. Hart, and now you know our dirty little secret! As to why this is a surprise, we actually sent along CUZine as a let’s-catch-up gesture addressed to Carswell so, somehow, the little rascal must have found its way onto a review pile. Hmmmm. In fact, since we really haven’t been stumping for reviews in that time-honored ‘zine tradition, this marks the first public CUZine critique (that we know of) in its three-and-a-half year existence. We’re quite elated to see this take place in the pages of Razorcake. Thanks, gang!


After the anecdotal mother lode we issued last week, we’re going to mostly stick with the facts this week so we can get this CUBiz posted on time. To begin, our friends at the Illinois International Film Festival announced their film selections on Monday, September 27, which include the feature REVOLTING from Danville and the two-minute stop motion animation IT’S A PENGUINFUL LIFE by University of Illinois graduate student Thomas Nicol. Congratulations to the filmmakers! IIFF relocates from the west suburbs this year and will take place November 5-7 at the Viaduct Theater in Chicago; we’ll list specific dates and times for REVOLTING and PENGUNFUL in our calendar when we have them!

We’ve mentioned how LEADING LADIES has engineered a healthy showing on the festival circuit during the past few months, finally coming home to flaunt the goods in Champaign-Urbana last weekend, and we’re happy to confirm that Team Beahm has plenty more exposure lined up for their low-budget, high-spirited feature in the coming weeks! Of note are three play dates within easy driving distance, the first of which will be Friday, October 8, 7 p.m., at the Normal Theater, 209 North St., Normal, as part of a week featuring gay-themed cinema including STONEWALL UPRISING, HOWL, PATRIK: AGE 1.5, and WERE THE WORLD MINE. Then, LADIES will storm one Midwest metropolis after another when they play the Reeling Film Festival on Thursday, November 11, 9:30 p.m., at the Landmark Century Center Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., Chicago, and the St. Louis International Film Festival on Saturday, November 20, time and location TBA. You can investigate the additional trajectory of LADIES at this Web page, which will include Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Rochester, NY, and Bologna, Italy.

Finally, Sanford Hess of the Art Theater has filled all the remaining late-night shows leading up to Halloween with horror movie favorites starting on Friday, October 1 with a 35mm re-release print of THE EVIL DEAD from Grindhouse Releasing. This will be followed by digital presentations of the British subterranean horror hit THE DESCENT (October 8), EVIL director Sam Raimi’s return to gonzo comedy-horror DRAG ME TO HELL (October 15), the other prominent post-millennium British horror hit SHAUN OF THE DEAD (October 22), and the atmospheric Swedish vampire tale LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (October 29). All titles will likely follow the established Friday/Saturday/Thursday @ 10 p.m. schedule that has been used for late-night movies since the series’ inception. If you can’t easily guess the dates, watch the Art’s Web site for final details as well as confirmation on which evening one may be able to, shall we say, get one’s LIX on… Bwa. Ha. Ha.


We belatedly welcome back Chris and Anne Lukeman to the C-U! Now that the UIUC alums and Illini Film & Video stalwarts have returned following a law school-abiding stint in Carbondale, they’ve wasted no time in cooking up their next film project described as an “8-10 minute sci-fi/action short.” They are still in need of several elements for the unnamed project, including an “industrial exterior space,” computer/electrical parts such as circuit boards and vacuum tubes from which to build props, an art director, and actors “who can play mid-to-late twenties.” Screen tests will take place shortly and shooting is planned for the end of October, so write chrislukeman [at] gmail [dot] com if you can help out with any of the above requests or the film in general. Vampire Hannibal Hamlin will be staked – er, stoked – to no end if you help the Lukemans focus on this non-transient adventure.

A month ago we posted an announcement from Bogdan Heretoiu about the creation of a “dance for camera” film in Champaign-Urbana. Production will apparently begin this Sunday, October 3, according to a Champaign Movie Makers post by Heretoiu, continuing for consecutive Sundays until scheduling needs dictate otherwise. “We have a variety of interiors and exteriors with very complex choreography and a cast of approximately 20 people plus extras,” writes Heretoiu, who also is looking for a production assistant to help coordinate the shoot. Contact him at bheretoiu [at] yahoo [dot] com if interested in the position.

CUBlog friends Cara Day and Stephanie Swearingen killed eight hours last Saturday to drive north and attend the CONTAGION casting call we mentioned last week. Among numerous tidbits Day passed along to us: the show will need 3,700 extras during the Chicago leg of production beginning October 19, some will wear “disease control suits” while others accessorize their suits with a “breathing apparatus” which eliminates “face time” in lieu of a bump in pay, those picked to participate may receive less than 24 hours notice to appear on set, and several individuals who worked in THE INFORMANT! in 2008 have returned on this film. Day also passed along one important little piece of data for all you behind-the-camera types looking to get in on the action: Contagion [dot] PO [at] gmail [dot] com. Ready? Go.


Alrighty, I guess we’ll have to postpone discussion of the doozy, but for now you can go ahead and read all about (and possibly read into) the announcement that Roger and Chaz Ebert will produce a new old-school movie review show at WTTW Channel 11, the Chicago PBS station, featuring several veteran critics: Christy Lemire, Elvis Mitchell, Kim Morgan, and Omar Moore. You can also sharpen up those resume sheets if you feel qualified to manage and book the physical home of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, the Virginia Theatre, as an employee of the Champaign Park District. Finally, local filmmaker Mike Trippiedi pointed out via Facebook this first review of his new film, AMBER ROSE.


@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL: SOUTH OF THE BORDER (10/1 on), THE EVIL DEAD (10/1, 10/2, 10/7, 10 p.m.), ANJANNA ANJANNI (10/2, 2:30 p.m.), THE LORD IS NOT ON TRIAL HERE TODAY (10/7, 7 p.m.)

@ The Canopy Club, Urbana, IL: Pizza + Pitcher and Movie – PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, THE GREAT OUTDOORS, THE ‘BURBS (10/3, 6 p.m.)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: “Americana at the Movies, pt.4” film class, pt.1 (9/30, 6:30 p.m.), WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS, THE TOWN (10/1 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: The Manhattan Short Film Festival (9/30-10/3, 7 p.m.), STONEWALL UPRISING (10/5-10/6, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lorraine Theatre, Hoopeston, IL: LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS (10/1 on?)

@ Harvest Moon Drive-In, Gibson City, IL – closed for season

@ Route 66 Drive-In, Springfield, IL – closed for season

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: IRON MAN 2, GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BABIES, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, FROZEN, GOOD, more! (9/21 on)

@ Film Row Cinema, Columbia College, Chicago, IL: Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival (10/6)


NEW! 10/7: “Chinese Cinema from the Fifth Generation to the d-Generation” lecture
@ Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 3:30 p.m.

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.

10/7-10/21: Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago, IL

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL, 7 p.m.

10/10: RIOT ACTS
@ Independent Media Center, Urbana, IL, 8 p.m.

10/12: THE LORD IS NOT ON TRIAL HERE TODAY local broadcast
@ WILL-TV 12, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m.

10/14-10/23: Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis, IN

10/15: THE LORD IS NOT ON TRIAL HERE TODAY local broadcast
@ WILL-TV 12, Urbana, IL, 7:30 p.m.

NEW! 10/16: Home Movie Day 8
@ Urbana Free Library, Urbana, IL, 1 p.m.

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL, 1 p.m.

@ Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield, IL, 7 p.m.

NEW! 10/19: Champaign Movie Makers meeting
@ Class Act Interactive, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL, Midnight

@ Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL, 8 p.m.

10/29-10/31: Freeky Creek Short Film Festival
@ Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL

NEW! 11/4-11/13: Reeling 29: Chicago Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Chicago, IL

11/5-11/7: Illinois International Film Festival, Chicago, IL

@ Landmark Century Center Cinema, Chicago, IL, 9:30 p.m. (@ Reeling 29)

11/11-11/13: Embarras Valley Film Festival
@ EIU campus/Will Rogers Theater/Charleston Public Library, Charleston, IL

11/11-11/21: St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis, MO

11/19-11/21: Dark Carnival Film Festival, Bloomington, IN

@ TBA (@ St. Louis International Film Festival)

2/18-2/27, 2011: Big Muddy Film Festival
@ Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

3/22-3/27, 2011: Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI

3/30-4/1, 2011: Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison, WI

4/27-5/1, 2011: Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
@ Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL


AsiaLENS: AEMS Documentary/Film Series
@ Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m.

10/5: 1428; 11/2: UNMISTAKEN CHILD; 12/7: BURMA VJ

Global Lens 2010: International Films
@ Main Lounge, Allen Hall/Unit One, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m.

10/13: LEO’S ROOM, Uruguay; 10/27: MASQUERADES, Algeria; 11/3: MY TEHRAN FOR SALE, Iran; 11/10: OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN, India; 11/17: ORDINARY PEOPLE, Serbia; 12/1: THE SHAFT, China; 12/8: SHIRLEY ADAMS, South Africa

Global Lens 2010: International Films
@ Latzer Hall, University YMCA, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 5:30 p.m.

9/30: ADRIFT, Vietnam; 10/7: BECLOUD, Mexico; 10/14: GODS, Peru; 10/21: LEO’S ROOM, Uruguay; 10/28: MASQUERADES, Algeria; 11/4: MY TEHRAN FOR SALE, Iran; 11/11: OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN, India; 11/18: ORDINARY PEOPLE, Serbia; 12/2: THE SHAFT, China; 12/9: SHIRLEY ADAMS, South Africa

IPRH Film Series
@ Room 62, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, 5:30 p.m.


Israeli Movie Club
@ The Cohen Center, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, 7:30 p.m.



With nearly everybody gravitating towards the Interwebs and e-readers and iPhones and whatnot, we’re happy to see that some young-at-heart old guard, such as the Razorcake folks, stick to their guns by staying in print. Since good things come in threes, we’re happy to note that print is also not completely dead to Cashiers du Cinemart publisher Mike White, who ended the CduC run a couple of years ago but is launching a tour to celebrate the publication of his CduC compilation book, Impossible Funky, which BearManor Media releases in October. White’s long and winding road will come closest when he exclaims “Harangue for Hollywood!” at Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago on Saturday, December 4. Also, your humble editor was just invited to contribute to the next issue of the pop culture ‘zine Syndicate Product by editrix A.j. Michel, who photocopied and hand-assembled SyndProd under its previous name, low hug, while living here in the C-U. Even though she has become a very prolific on-line poster, rest assured that SyndProd will be issued using the magical properties of toner, pulp, and skinny strips of bent metal. Sometimes it is good when something can only exist as a physical thing sitting right in front of you.

That’s it for the “business of our scene” this week!


If you have relevant news, opportunities, dates, or promotions that you would like included in CUBiz, please forward the who, what, where, when, and how much to cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com.

Compiled by Jason Pankoke


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“C-U Biz-en-scène” no. 10 © 2010 Jason Pankoke/C-U Blogfidential.

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