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Monthly Archives: April 2019

RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO Wins Audience Choice in Tallahassee!

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I am pleased to announce that RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO has won the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Tallahassee Film Festival! This was our fourth award in eight festival screenings and I couldn’t have been happier about the response at this superbly programmed fest that is so close to my heart!

Our next screening will be at Chicago Filmmakers on Saturday, May 4 at 7:00 PM, which will be followed by a Q&A with yours truly moderated by critic David J. Fowlie. I will also be dropping announcements soon about our Michigan and New York City premieres – so stay tuned!

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The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks)
2. Saint Frances (Thompson)
3. Memories of Murder (Bong)
4. Devil in a Blue Dress (Franklin)
5. High Life (Denis)
6. Wild Canaries (Levine)
7. Black Mother (Allah)
8. Rendezvous in Chicago (Smith)
9. Buckjumping (Keber)
10. Bernadette (Psathos)


HAIL SATAN? and MIDNIGHT FAMILY at Doc10

My latest post for Time Out Chicago concerns my best bets for the Doc10 Film Festival.

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Entering its fourth year, the Chicago Media Project’s Doc10 Film Festival has established itself as an annual highlight for fans of cinema. Focusing on vital new non-fiction features from around the globe, the festival kicks off at the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square on Thursday, April 11 with the much-anticipated local premiere of the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez documentary Knock Down the House, and concludes on Sunday, April 15 with the sustainable-farm portrait The Biggest Little Farm. The rest of the lineup features a diverse array of movies, almost all of which will be followed by Q&A sessions with the filmmakers. Most impressively, 60% of the films in this year’s lineup—programmed by Chicago International Film Festival doc programmer Anthony Kaufman—were directed or co-directed by women.

One of the most interesting films you can catch at this year’s Doc10 Film Festival is Hail Satan?, a witty and informative look at the meteoric rise in popularity of the non-theistic religious group known as the “Satanic Temple.” With unfettered access to the leaders of the group’s various nationwide chapters, including charismatic church founder Lucien Greaves, director Penny Lane crafts a deceptively simple work of political commentary that ultimately sympathizes with the “Satanists” as a group of merry pranksters who see their movement as a counterbalance to the repressiveness of other organized religions.

For those looking for something more aesthetically daring, Lukas Lorentzen’s Midnight Family offers an eye-opening expose of Mexico City’s private ambulance system through the lens of one particular family-owned company, which competes with other for-profit EMTs to provide urgent care. Director Lorentzen uses a combination of handheld and dashboard-mounted cameras to put viewers in the middle of the action in the exciting ambulance-run scenes, lending his film the feeling of a thriller. The unconventional approach earned Midnight Family the award for Best Cinematography at this year’s Sundance Film Festival—an eccentric but deserving choice.

For more information on this year’s Doc10 Film Festival, including the full lineup, ticket info and showtimes, visit the festival’s official website.


The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. Hoop Dreams (James)
2. Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-screen (Palm)
3. Bicycle Thieves (De Sica)
4. Nowhere to Hide (Lee)
5. Detour (Ulmer)
6. The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen)
7. Midnight Family (Lorentzen)
8. Hail Satan? (Lane)
9. Us (Peele)
10. Medium Cool (Wexler)


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