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Illinoise At The Movies

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 28, 2005 1:54PM

Was it Vince Vaughn’s return to the Chicago area that prompted the Illinois State Assembly to renew the Film Production Services Credit Act last week? The timing seems awfully suspicious. Was there quid pro quo? Sine quo non? Semper ubi sub ubi? The people demand answers--preferably in Latin because it sounds important!

2005_06_28_movies.jpgCredited with bringing a resurgence of Hollywood dollars to Chicago, the FPSCA provides a 25% tax credit to production companies that film in Illinois and hire local workers. We recently told you about some controversy over the renewal of that act due to concerns over minority hiring practices. Screen Magazine says the changes to the act include an additional tax credit of ten percent for companies that hire people from high unemployment or high poverty areas and the requirement that each company file “a diversity plan outlining goals for engaging the services of women, minorities and persons with disabilities and using vendors who employ such persons.” Hey, it worked in Chicago! Oh wait.

The act has passed just in time for a possible return of The Untouchables. British tabloids (known for their solemn devotion to accuracy) are reporting that Brian DePalma will direct a sequel to The Untouchables, a film that’s actually much better in your memory than it is on celluloid. The Untouchables: Capone Rising will chart the rise of gangland boss Al Capone and Chicago beat cop Jimmy Malone. Empire Online describes the idea as “not exactly bad, but certainly unnecessary” and that pretty much sums it up. No word yet on whether DePalma plans to film in Chicago or ask Ennio Morricone to do another shitty job on the soundtrack.

If you’re looking to see an example of what independent film can do with Illinois locales, we recommend the film Kwik Stop, filmed in and around Chicago, and playing tomorrow at The Gene. The film was featured in Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival in 2002 and concerns a theme near and dear to Chicagoist’s heart: escaping from the suburbs. A road movie without too much road, the film is written and directed by (and stars!) former Columbia College student Michael Gilio. The screening starts at 8:00 PM Wednesday with Gilio and Ebert both making appearances.