Movie News Roundup: The Nightingale Turns 5, Rosenbaum Turns 70 And More
We know that you're supposed to give something made out of wood for a fifth anniversary, but what about a fifth birthday? When the celebrant is a community fixture as full of love for the cinematic medium, the answer is obvious: give the gift of high definition.
Community microcinema and hub of experimental cinema exhibition The Nightingale will mark this milestone with a birthday party on April 5, and there is a lot to celebrate. With five years and over 200 screenings and events under the Nightingale's belt, its tireless founder Christy LeMaster told Bad at Sports that she will be turning over the keys to a sort of Justice League of film programmers: Patrick Friel, Emily Kuehn, Jesse Malmed, Chloe McLaren, and Doug McLaren.
Besides attending the party (or upcoming screenings, like the two happening this weekend), anyone interested in seeing this beloved institution into the next phase of its existence can get onboard with the kickstarter campaign to acquire a new HD projector along with other needed infrastructure improvements.Mixed up: We can't believe it's already been a year since the super-cool CFA Mixer event to benefit the Chicago Film Archives. Pairing three filmmakers with three directors and a pile of odd footage from the archives, the event hosted by WBEZ's Allison Cuddy at the Hideout was such a success that they're at it again this June. Details are available online, but the pairings look equally intriguing this year: Cauleen Smith and The Eternals, Jesse McLean and Sich Mang, with Alexander Stewart and Sam Prekop rounding out the program.
And the name for coolest award goes to... You won't have to wait until June to explore the interaction of sound and image with the return of the ever-popular CIMMFest from April 18 to 21, inaugurating the newly re-imagined Constellation (formerly the Viaduct Theater at 3111 N. Western.). The music and movies fest will open with an evening of Van Dyke Parks, observes the 50th anniversary of the stones, debuts a new "BAADASSSS lifetime achievement award" with inaugural honoree and guy on any proper shortlist of "coolest humans alive," Melvin Van Peebles.
Now that's what I call a curriculum: There are movies that are so bad they're good, movies that are so very bad that they push through that phase and go back to bad, and then there are movies that find their way onto the syllabus of Facets Night School. With a cannibal film from one of the world's greatest living directors, anti-marijuana hilarity, and something called "chimp-sploitation," this session's lineup of oddments truly bowled us over. Classes start this Saturday, so get get your spot now.
Viva Rosenbaum: In a town truly blessed with great film critics, there will always be a special place for long-time Chicago Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, who celebrated his 70th birthday last month. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and Kevin B. Lee put together a short film to mark the occasion, which you can watch online at Fandor. Rosenbaum's criticism is one of impassioned but thorough critique, down-to-earth cosmopolitanism, effervescent intelligence and an honest, inimitable writing style. There have been enough lectures, events and publications for us to get our Rosenbaum fix since he retired from the Reader in 2008, and discovered recently that he is in the midst of putting the entirety of his highly recommended book Moving Places online for free, among all the other dusty nuggets he unearths for that website.
What to watch?: The new: Stoker. Decades from now, after your friend to tells you how much he enjoyed watching it on his brain-implant-Netflix, you can say "I saw it in a theater." And he'll be like "What's a theater." Still. The used: Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at The Music Box. Goodie bags? Singing? Whatever, it didn't take the Burton/Depp vision to make us realize how amazing Gene Wilder was in this one, but gosh. You had us at "snozberries." Between the cracks: It may be easy to miss in the array of interesting things currently on tap at the MCA, but we'd recommend Akram Zaatari's HD video playing upstairs at the MCA Screen. We got hooked very quickly by this 12-minute loop.