Tag Archives: Film Festival

Because Everybody Loves Movies

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We street teamed on Sunday. We’re previewing tonight. The Junior Board is ready.

It’s nearly time for the 49th Chicago International Film Festival!

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Some of the board, though everyone was there in spirit (see banner in the background)

Summer Reading List

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Two years ago during the Film Festival, we screened The Descendants and had a Q&A with the lead opposite George Clooney, Shailene Woodley. I remember sitting there thinking how well-spoken, down to earth and real she was while holding a mic and speaking to a room full of strangers. She had a command and presence that just pulled you in.

Fast forward to today, and she is blowing up. With the lead in the Divergent series (which by the by, is a FANTASTIC series and highly recommended if you enjoy/ed Hunger Games) and The Fault in Our Stars (just picked up the book, plan on reading it during this weekend’s Colorado trip), she’s in this spectacular trailer, The Spectacular Now. It’s also based off a book.

There’s your Summer reading list courtesy of Shailene Woodley’s movie career.

Oh and naturally, I’m all about the song in this trailer– “Feel Again” by OneRepublic

Silent Disco Bombs

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Ever since Treasure Island Music Festival in 2011, I have been in love with Silent Discos. They’re a dance party, where only a select few know what’s going on. To participate, you throw on the headphones and then you can hear the music and DJ. You start movin’ and groovin’ and singin’ along. For those walking by, you look completely ridiculous. All they see are you rockin’ out, shuffling your feet on the ground and humming off key. Needless to say, I was hooked from the get go.

And to be honest, Amanda and I silent disco bomb Celia in her cube at least once a month to brighten up her day (and let’s be honest, it brightens ours too). Celia joins right in with the dancing and tries to guess the song we’re listening to (shockingly, she’s often guessed the jam. She gets us.).

And finally, a brand has taken the silent disco party and used it as a stunt. I’m sold.

Via I Believe in Advertising

In the Thick of It

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Film Fest season has quickly arrived and taken control of my life. Though I must say, the 48th Chicago International Film Festival has provided lots of surprises, lots of guests and lots of fantastic films. Every day I’m there, at least three shows are sold out. And the films I’ve had the chance to see are simply magnificent, two in particular:

1.) Numbered— A documentary about Holocaust survivors today and what the number they received in camp means to them. Not nearly as depressing as I thought it would be, I often find myself drawn to any book or movie dealing with this topic. It was jarring, heart warming and saddening all at the same time. One of the directors is a still photographer and his images are so very poignant, they move the doc along without actually moving. Film clip here.

2.) The Sapphires–Mark my words, this film is going to do wonders when it’s released. Picked up by the Weinstein Company, it tells the tale of an Aboriginal girl group that plays for the US troops in Vietnam. Based off of a true story, I sat in my seat dancing and singing along to these tunes. You’ll surely tap your foot along. Chris O’Dowd (of Bridesmaids fame) is stellar delivering one-liners every where you look. No one left that theatre unhappy.

 

I also would recommend checking out Opening Night’s Stand Up GuysAny Day NowKing Curling and Off White Lies. We’ve completed our first week and have one more to go with this weekend’s Junior Board event featuring Helen Hunt and her film The Sessions. It’s been exhausting, trying to keep up with Cardinals baseball has proved at times difficult, but so very worth it. Meeting various directors and other filmmakers is inspiring. They walk around the theatre wearing their passion for their film and industry right on their faces–everyone’s smiling and eager to talk. It’s very catching.

Come see the world…

Fellow Junior Board Member (and Volunteer) Marcella and I spreading the good word

To Ease Your Pain

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I’ll never forget the first time I heard the  song, “If I Needed You.” It was in Stepmom and Julia Roberts sings it to Benjamin when he’s in the hospital after getting stitches. Ever since then, it’s a song that willingly pops into my head whenever I’m having a not so great day.

Yesterday, while listening to NPR’s World Cafe with Mumford & Sons, I got a sweet, sweet surprise. There, at the end of this fantastic podcast, is their rendition of the very song.

With the Film Fest going on, working and volunteering with Chicago Cares (all this week), it’s just what I need to keep myself going.

Note, I have no idea who this woman is featured in the film.

Return to the Screen

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Keeping with tradition, it’s time to begin the great screening and writing nights and days for the 48th Chicago International Film Festival. Last year proved difficult at times, mainly because after a day of working, I had a night of watching and writing, but overall was greatly rewarding. Aside from seeing films in advanced, your write-ups are what people use to make their movie watching decisions. Plus last year, a few of the directors offered their gratitude for spot-on summaries. It’s a great networking tool to say the least.

I’ve screened three thus far and have yet to be disappointed. A lot of previous festival winners (Cannes, Sundance), which I think patrons of Chicago will greatly enjoy. So very confident the fest this year will be just as fantastic as last year. Schedules will hit stands later in September with the Festival running from October 11-25.

 

Signs

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Last night, Amanda and I went to a screening of Jeff, Who Lives At Home. The film, from the Duplass brothers, played at the Film Festival last year and stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon. I went in expecting lots of laugh and not too much thinking.

The film delivered in humor, cringe-worthy moments and just complete absurdity. But that’s not what kept me engaged, the script was superb. The way everything tied at the end with a nice little bow you just didn’t see coming and it all was because Jeff (Segel) watched Signs one day and decides when someone calls him as a wrong number, it’s a sign he’s supposed to do something great with his life.

For me, I completely believe in signs, though I’m sure it’s just my imagination making something more in order to make me feel better about my decisions. But I couldn’t help but take it as a sign that I need to finish editing my book and send off when upon exiting the theatre, we walked right by my writing idol, Roger Ebert.

The film opens on Friday, March 16.