“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!
MFHQ & YOU:
Separation of Mirth and Date
Starting next week, we are going to post our “scene” news separately from the Calendar listing in the effort to provide the latter consistently on Friday mornings. We hope it will prove to be more timely and useful as a result, and we’ll continue to mirror it on the dedicated Calendar Page for easy access when the post inevitably sinks out of sight. Please feel free to let us know if this works for you. Thanks!
Stayin’ Alive, Part 5: We Vote for Capital Gains over Punishment
At last, we return to our informal survey touching upon the key components of active movie culture in the area, and it seems leadership roulette is not just affecting Champaign Movie Makers, the Art Theater, and the Route 66 International Film Festival.
Cameron Counts of Springfield has revealed he will leave his post as president of that city’s Central Illinois Film Commission after more than two years, anticipating a move to Los Angeles where he will pursue a screenwriting career. He also announced in a January 4 e-blast that his successors on the Executive Committee will be Dean Williams as president, Tabitha Bock as secretary, and Linda Lou Long as treasurer. While all three have served previously in the organization, they also were the only ones to demonstrate interest in taking (back) official roles according to Counts, who approved the appointments as allowed by the CIFC bylaws. We find that admittance odd and the global lack of interest troubling. Since we’re friendly with CIFC but rarely in their midst due to the driving distance between Springfield and the C-U, it’s not in our best interest to theorize any conspiracies other than to sincerely hope whatever ailed them in the past is the past – read: ugly staff exodus – and that everybody learned their lesson well. Loosely, the group’s aims have been to provide social and educational opportunities for their members as well as insider hook-ups to professional work, so for the sake of CIFC survival we believe the new-old team needs to bring sparkling fresh ideas and even fresher blood to the table. CUBlog will continue to keep an eye on them, here in the long-range peanut gallery seats of Champaign County, and trust the Capital City faithful can wring dividends out of uneven change.
ITEMS OF THE WEEK
Champaign Movie Makers returns with their next public meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 7 p.m., at the SoDo Theatre in downtown Champaign; the marquee activity will be peer critique of four locally-made short films … Organizers of last year’s surprise addition to the local circuit, Urbana’s Buttered Corn on the Cob Film Festival, will be closing their submission window shortly, so entrants should go read the guidelines and download the appropriate form(s) to include with their work. Deadline for sending in original Webisodes is in a scant week on Friday, January 20, while singular works will be due exactly one month later on Monday, February 20 …“Hollywood on Hollywood – Part 2” is the theme of the next Richland Community College film class to be held at the Avon Theater in Decatur beginning Thursday, January 26, and lasting eight total sessions; contact either the Avon or Richland to sign up lest “Professor” Skip Huston gives you a-talkin’ to …On the national front, the regular submission deadline for Los Angeles’ edition of the New York International Film Festival is rapidly approaching on Saturday, January 21, so those interested might want to check out the details here; event dates are April 12-19 …
LINKS OF THE WEEK
We have ourselves an “industry trends” selection to share, dearest readers! A particularly foreboding Associated Press story reports on plans by Warner Bros. to delay the sales of new DVD and Blu-ray product to rental outlets like Netflix and Redbox by nearly two months, a strategy intended to increase initial consumer sales; if that move drives audiences elsewhere to get their Hollywood fix, could it also strangle the pipeline between stay-at-home movie watchers and vast Netflix/Redbox catalogs valued so much by independent distributors? The Wall Street Journal confirms the equally saddening, if long expected, news that bankruptcy will be sought by the Eastman-Kodak Company of Rochester, New York, for decades a leading innovator in photographic technology for professional and amateur needs. Kodak’s loss of prominence can partly be attributed to the rise of digital media as illustrated in this interesting chronology of marketplace milestones, compiled by Videomaker managing editor Jennifer O’Rourke on the occasion of the magazine’s 25th anniversary last summer. Ending on a more positive note, writer Emily Thomas has selected a dozen documentary-friendly “small town” film festivals worth seeking out; Roger Ebert’s Film Festival appears on page 6 of the non-ranked list, published by the Weblog of the PBS series POV, but we think you should “be a pal” and read through the entire survey to recognize the efforts of cinema aficionados across the United States!
PLAYING THIS WEEK
@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (1/13 on), A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS (1/13, 1/14, 1/19, 10:30 p.m., 2-D), Collaborators (1/15, 1 p.m.; 1/17, 4 p.m.; theatre); THE OTHER AMERICA featuring Martin Luther King, Jr. (1/16, 7 p.m., free; documentary + discussion)
@ The Virginia Theater, Champaign, IL: PUSS IN BOOTS (1/17, 1/19, 7 p.m.)
@ SoDo Theatre, Champaign, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting (1/17, 1 p.m.)
@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: THE IRON LADY, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, WAR HORSE (1/13 on)
@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (1/12-1/15, 7 p.m.)
@ Scheels, Springfield, IL: Central Illinois Film Commission meeting (1/19, 7 p.m.)
@ The Lorraine Theatre, Hoopeston, IL: WE BOUGHT A ZOO (1/13 on)
@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: WE BOUGHT A ZOO (1/13-1/15, 1/17)
@ The Princess Theatre, LeRoy, IL: NEW YEAR’S EVE (1/13-1/15)
@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: MONEYBALL, FILM SOCIALISME, HIGHER GROUND, 1911, KILLER ELITE, WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?, THE MAN FROM LONDON, BOARDWALK EMPIRE (s1), more! (1/10 on)
@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: Closed for the season!
@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: Closed for the season!
@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: Closed for the season!
Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Go see ‘em!
@ Norris University Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
1/31, 2/2: HAPPY FEET TWO
@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.
4/15: Buttered Corn on the Cob Film Festival
@ 88 Broadway, Urbana, IL
4/18-4/22: Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison, WI
4/19-4/22: 40 North/88 West presents the Boneyard Arts Festival
@ various, Champaign-Urbana, IL
NEW! 4/20: New Art Film Festival 2012
@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
4/20: Issue release: C-U Confidential #6
+ Paper Opteryx, Champaign, IL
4/25-4/29: Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
@ The Virginia Theater, Champaign, IL
Fall 2012: Issue release: C-U Confidential ‘99
+ Paper Opteryx, Champaign, IL
COMMUNITY FILM SERIES
The New Classics: Great Books to Great Films from the Past 50 Years
@ Danville Public Library, Danville, IL, 6:30 p.m.
2/13: AWAKENINGS; 3/12: ADAPTATION; 4/9: UP IN THE AIR
The News-Gazette Film Series 2012
@ The Virginia Theater, Champaign, IL, 1 & 7 p.m.
2/11: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1939); 3/17: CABARET; 4/7: EASTER PARADE; 6/2: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS; 7/7: CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG; 8/4: THE THIRD MAN; 9/1: THE MALTESE FALCON
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
We welcome your virtual presence in the Confidential scheme!
321 awesome (but way too few) peeps dig our Facebook page, while 24 astounding (yet way way way too few) comrades keep a watchful eye on our YouTube channel, the C-U Confidential Revue! We’d place our bets in a heartbeat that many more would enjoy our social/video outreach if they knew about us! Have you joined us on-line? Will you be ambassadors for our indie film cause and send your recruits in our direction? The more attention we receive, the better we can serve the interests of local artists and the movies of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond!
“C-U Biz-en-scène” no.77 © 2012 Jason Pankoke/C-U Blogfidential.