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Lights, Camera, Chicago

By chicago_chris in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 30, 2004 5:37PM

2004_08_movies_camera.jpg If you read Chicagoist with any regularity – in which case, we love you – you know that we're always reporting about Hollywood coming to Chi-town (or just pretending to come here). Most prominently, we've bitched about Josh Hartnett posing as a Bucktown hipster and fawned over the caped crusader chilling on Lower Wacker. (We always knew Wacker Drive felt like another world and now we know it is: Gotham City.)

This week's New City explains that all the recent activity is thanks to Governor Rod Blagoghypwiegf and the State Senate giving a tax break to movie studios willing to film in Chicago. Apparently, GovRod and Paramount head Shirley Lansing – a Chicagoan in her own right – met all shady-like behind closed doors – surely amidst lots of shadows and cigarette smoke – and conspired to bring more movies here. (Hey, someone should film that.)

The next few months will see the release of Wicker Park, Shall We Dance, The Weather Man, Proof, Surviving Christmas, and Ocean's Twelve – all featuring at least a few scenes set in Chicago locations. The Weather Man even boasts a script by Chicagoan Steven Conrad and has local talent like Second City's Peter Grosz. (Not only do we need more movies set in Chicago, we also need more movies about local weathermen. Groundhog Day does not suffice!) And next year's crop features Ice Harvest (whose director Harold Ramis and producer Albert Berger are both area natives), Amityville Horror, Roll Bounce (from the people who brought you the smiliarly Chicago-centric Barbershop movies), and Derailed, which has Jennifer Aniston getting run over by an L-train. Er, we hope.

With all this high-profile filmmaking happening on our turf – remember when Early Edition episodes were a big deal? – Chicagoist just wonders how we can get more good movies to actually come here...