By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 18, 2008 5:04PM
--The Midwest Independent Film Festival starts a new season on Tuesday with the world premiere of Osso Bucco, which was produced in Chicago. The comedy revolves around disparate types stuck in an Italian restaurant during a massive snowstorm. Doesn't sound like such a terrible situation. The movie stars Illeana Douglas, who we've had a sort of crush on ever since Grace of My Heart. Several other cast members as well as the filmmakers will be at the show: 7:30 at the Landmark Century.
--For those with short attention spans (which, of course, includes us) the well-made short film is some kind of wonderful. Why take two hours to say something when you can say it in two minutes? Chicago Short Film Brigade has a "Best of 2007" program which culls thirteen movies from their previous screenings and you'll get two chances to see it next week at the Siskel. The Thursday show includes the presentation of the Audience Award. Some lucky filmmaker will get a $350 cash prize. Holy moley!
--In the mid-sixties, the obsession with folk music among young white musicians started to take some weird turns. What we got were bands like The Lovin' Spoonful and Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions (better known under their eventual name, the Grateful Dead). It was the jugband music recorded in the early decades of the phonograph that really lit the spark for these psychedelic folkies, and the new documentary Chasin' Gus Ghost chronicles this peculiar genre. In addition to priceless archival footage the movie features interviews with John Sebastian of the Spoonful, Bob Weir, Geoff Muldaur and tons of concert footage. Best of all, there's a free screening on Sunday, January 27 at the Old Town School of Folk Music. It's at 2 pm; afterwards there'll be a "jug jam" until 6.