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Movie Roundup: Vince Vaughn, Ebert, Tati, and Some Guy Named Oscar

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 17, 2010 4:00PM

2010_2_17movieroundup.gif Sometimes a smorgasbord is the best way to consume information, so ...

  • REEL CHICAGO is reporting that Vince Vaughn's new movie, Your Cheating Heart, is scheduled to start shooting in Chicago in May. Directed by Ron Howard, the plot centers on what happens when an average guy (guess who) discovers that his best friend’s wife is having an affair. Rumor has it that Transformers 3 will also get some location shots here this spring.
  • YouTube karaoke? On Tuesday, February 23, artist Jon Satrom aims to capture the phenomenon of viral video in a live event. For half of the program, Satrom will present a curated selection of YouTube videos; the other half will consist of "open mic" sharing by members of the audience. The event's page elaborates: "YouTube Assembly creates a situation in which people take turns entertaining each other, in this case, by sharing their favorite Youtube clips. In the spirit of the popular YouTube interface, audience members will be encouraged to comment on the videos they watch, except out loud and in real time with no anonymity." It all goes down at The Nightingale, 1084 N. Milwaukee.

  • Now that we're all YouTubed, twitterized, and bloggorama-ed out like crazy, is it is still possible to discuss movies intelligently? Or, put more eloquently, "How has the explosion of new media changed the ways we think about cinema, about questions of film aesthetics and film history? How can cinema studies contribute to the theory, analysis, and creative practice of new media?" Damn good questions. "The Material and the Code" is a free, two-day symposium at the University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center. Over a dozen presenters, including critical studies genius Tom Gunning, will tackle the subject head on. It includes a screening on Friday, February 26, and a full day of presentations on Saturday, February 27. Did we mention that it's free? More details here.

  • The Siskel screens Jacques Tati's masterpiece Play Time this Saturday. If you've never seen it before, cancel your other plans and buy a ticket now. If you've seen it before, cancel your other plans and buy a ticket now. What we wrote a few years ago: "Tati's gently befuddled M. Hulot, gaggles of clueless tourists, fishtank apartments with floor-length windows, the disastrous opening night of a swank nightclub, and nonstop fluid movement like the world's most complicated ballet ... It's the Lawrence of Arabia of humanist visual comedy, with a predilection for treating technology like an expensive toybox." It shows again on February 24.
  • So, umm, wow: the Oscars are in a few weeks. Complicated voting aside, it's about the movies. And the nominees for Best Short Film, be they live action or animated, deserve some love. Starting Friday for one week only the Landmark Century will be showing all of 'em, including the new Wallace & Gromit adventure.

  • You have less than a week to register for classes. But these are ones you'll actually want to attend. We're talking about Facets Film School. Patrick Friel teaches "The Musical in Transition: THE 70s AND 80s," which includes cult movies like Popeye, Absolute Beginners, and Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart. (If you've ever yearned to discover how Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle ended up on the same soundtrack, this one's for you.) Other classes will explore the filmography of Carole Lombard, the buddy comedies of Billy Wilder, and the "new neorealism" embodied by films such as Killer of Sheep and Wendy and Lucy.

  • "For the 281st time in the last ten months Roger Ebert is sitting down to watch a movie in the Lake Street Screening Room ..." Thus begins Esquire's poignant portrait. Ebert's eloquence, which has only sharpened since the loss of his voice, is humbling. It's a must-read.