Author Archives: michaelgloversmith

About michaelgloversmith

Filmmaker, author and Film Studies instructor.

The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. A History of Violence (Cronenberg)
2. JSA: Joint Security Area (Park)
3. Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago (Christopher)
4. To Sleep with Anger (Burnett)
5. The Lady from Shanghai (Welles)
6. Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Straub/Huillet)
7. Canyon Passage (Tourneur)
8. Tiger Milk (Wieland)
9. Bicycle Thieves (De Sica)
10. The Beach Bum (Korine)


Talking Early Cinema in Wilmette

I’ll be giving a talk on the 1893 World’s Fair and its impact on the nascent film industry at the Wilmette Public Library this Wednesday night. The event is FREE and open to the public. If you’re in the north shore suburbs, please consider swinging by!


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The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. Tormenting the Hen (Collatos)
2. Family Plot (Hitchcock)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles)
4. Mickey One (Penn)
5. Citizen Kane (Welles)
6. A New Leaf (May)
7. Fort Maria (Gentry/Southerland)
8. Bleed American (Manchester)
9. Rendezvous in Chicago (Smith)
10. Bringing Up Baby (Hawks)

RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO Wins Best Comedy at the Lindsey Film Fest


I am so honored that RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO won the Best Film Comedy award at the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Alabama last night! This was a great festival and it was a privilege just to screen alongside so many accomplished short and feature-length films. The award (our second Best Comedy award after Strasburg last fall) belongs to our entire cast and crew.

The next RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO screening will take place at the Beverly Arts Center on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30pm and be followed by a Q&A with me conducted by critic Daniel Nava. Our next festival screening will take place at the Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia on the evening of Sunday, March 17 and be followed by a Q&A with me and producer Layne Marie Williams. For more info, visit the “Screenings” page.

The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. La Rupture (Chabrol)
2. The Awful Truth (McCarey)
3. The Lady Eve (Sturges)
4. The Lady Eve (Sturges)
5. Stars in My Crown (Tourneur)
6. Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov)
7. Rendezvous in Chicago (Smith)
8. Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov)
9. Contempt (Godard)
10. Sunrise (Murnau)

MAGNOLIA & CLEMENTINE at the Beloit International Film Festival


There is a long tradition of American actresses becoming directors (including figures as disparate as Ida Lupino, Elaine May and Barbara Loden), often in order to give themselves better roles than what they’ve typically been offered by their male filmmaking counterparts. This trend has gratifyingly ramped up with a renewed urgency in the “Me Too” era: Among the very best short films to play Chicago cinema screens over the past year are urgent, female-centric works like Clare Cooney’s Runner and Maggie Scrantom’s Atoms of Ashes, both locally made. Magnolia & Clementine, a 16-minute short by Tennessee-based actress-turned-filmmaker Ashley Shelton, offers welcome proof that this is a nationwide trend. It’s a potent dramedy about an aspiring writer (Shelton) who throws a short story in the trash but is later mortified to learn that her live-in boyfriend (Linds Edwards) has stolen the concept when his own “original” story is published to acclaim. Anyone planning on attending the Beloit International Film Festival this weekend — where Shelton’s movie will screen on Friday, February 22 and Sunday, February 24 — would do well to check it out.

Magnolia & Clementine is, as one would expect, a great showcase for Shelton’s talents as an actress. A veteran of film and television in front of the camera, she does a lot here in a short span of time (plays a dual role, cries real tears, plays drunk, etc.) but the film ultimately delights because of her very real skills as a writer and director. Shelton understands the importance of pacing in film comedy: Many of the biggest laughs result from her cinematography and editing choices — whether it’s an eyeline match between the protagonist and an image of Jesus, or ending a scene with the “punchline” of a close-up of an empty roll of toilet paper. More importantly, Magnolia & Clementine starts off as a comedy but unexpectedly morphs into a poignant tale of self-discovery, a Chaplin-esque tonal balancing act that Shelton pulls off with admirable precision. What begins as a story about a relationship between a woman and a man ends up being about a woman’s relationship with herself as she learns to overcome her insecurities and fully declare herself an artist. There could be no more fitting subject for a filmmaking debut as auspicious as this one.

To learn more about this weekend’s screenings of Magnolia & Clementine, including ticket info and showtimes, visit the Beloit International Film Festival’s website.


The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. M (Lang)
2. Rendezvous in Chicago (Smith)
3. City That Never Sleeps (Auer)
4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Lang)
5. The 400 Blows (Truffaut)
6. Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov)
7. Sherlock Jr. (Keaton)
8. Berlin Express (Tourneur)
9. Our Hospitality (Keaton)
10. The Image Book (Godard)

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