The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

An Embarrassment Of Riches

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 1, 2005 12:50PM

Chicagoist keeps hearing rumblings about declining national box office numbers yet we refuse to think that people aren’t going to the movies as often. Sure, they’re not rushing to see whatever cinematic middle finger John Cusack is flipping at you these days but with so many movie events happening around Chicago, we think there’s something for everyone in theaters this week.

Indiefest Chicago started this weekend and continues through Sunday August 7th. Not just a film fest, it includes a film and script market and a screenwriting contest. The walls between audience and artist are broken down in Q&A sessions following the films and after-parties at local bars. Click here (PDF) for an Indiefest program detailing the various flicks 2005_08_01_zoom1.jpgand here for a schedule. Of particular interest to us are the films Punk: Attitude, a film about the roots and branches of the 70s punk movement; Debating Robert Lee, making its world premiere here and conjuring up fever dreams about our time on the debate team in high school; and the short film Zoom Suit, an animated film about a boy’s discovery of a superhero suit that falls from the sky.

The Zoom Suit screening sounds like extra-nerdy fun as not only will the director be on-hand for a Q&A but all attendees will also receive a double-disc DVD of the film, extras, and a preview of the Zoom Suit four-issue comic PLUS trading cards. It’ll be a nice warm-up for this weekend’s Wizard World convention. The best times to catch the film are 9 PM Thursday at the Le Meridien hotel on Rush or at noon on Sunday the 7th at the Landmark.

The final two films in the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Contemporary Mexican Cinema series also hit the celluloid this week. Violet Perfume screens at 8:15 PM tonight and Pulque Song will be an early screening tomorrow at 6 PM.

Also, this month’s Midwest Independent Film Festival event takes place at the Landmark tomorrow night. Flirt and schmooze from 6 to 7:30 then stay for the award-winning short Lifelike and a preview of 5-25-77, an autobiographical film about the day Star Wars opened in a small town in Illinois. The post-screening booze-up will be at Monsoon on Broadway and Diversey. Admission is $10 or $7 for students.

And, of course, there’s a film about a certain extra-terrestrial in Grant Park tomorrow.