I had a blast talking about MERCURY IN RETROGRADE, which continues its virtual run at the Music Box Theatre through 4/30, on the CinemaJaw podcast. We also play some fun games and I ramble enthusiastically about Mizoguchi’s SANSHO THE BAILIFF, all while getting increasingly bombed on red wine. It’s a fun listen – check it out here!
Tag Archives: Mercury in Retrograde
Esthetic Lens: Creative Quarantine
It was an honor to be profiled recently by Esthetic Lens magazine. I got to talk about the postponed RELATIVE shoot and what I’ve been up to during quarantine. You can check it out here.
COOL APOCALYPSE in Movies in the Parks’ At Home Series / MERCURY IN RETROGRADE on Amazon & Vimeo
My first feature, 2015’s no-budget Cool Apocalypse, is now available to stream for the first time ever – thanks to the Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Parks’ “Onscreen: At Home” series. You can stream it for FREE between now and next Monday, May 3, at the Park District’s website.
Meanwhile, my 2017 feature, Mercury in Retrograde, hot on the heels of its “virtual run” at the Gene Siskel Film Center, is also now available for the first time to rent/buy on Digital via Amazon Prime and Vimeo on Demand. Peep the official Mercury website for all of your options.
Rendezvous in Chicago, my 2018 feature, is, of course, still available to stream for free via TubiTV or Amazon Prime.
This means you could conceivably stream all three of the films in my “Chicago Relationship Trilogy” in the next few days for the low, low cost of $1.99 (the price of streaming Mercury in SD on Amazon). If you see any of these films and have any feedback you would like to share, feel free to reach out to me me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE Streaming Premiere!
In collaboration with my good friends at the Gene Siskel Film Center, I have made my 2017 feature film, MERCURY IN RETROGRADE, starring Roxane Mesquida (FAT GIRL) and Najarra Townsend (CONTRACTED), available to stream for the first time ever! You may stream the film anytime between now and 4/23 for the low, low price of $4.99 and part of the proceeds will go towards the Siskel’s box office. Also, I will be partaking in a virtual Q&A via Facebook Live this Friday night (4/17) at 8pm along with producer/actor Shane Simmons and surprise cast members TBA! The Q&A will be moderated by FilmChicago.com critic Lee Shoquist. Any of my students who stream the film are eligible to earn extra credit towards their grades this semester (see the extra credit page of your course website for more info). Check it out: http://www.mercuryinretrogrademovie.com
LA Premiere, Special Edition Blu-ray for MERCURY IN RETROGRADE
I’m very happy to announce that my 2017 feature MERCURY IN RETROGRADE will receive its Los Angeles Theatrical Premiere at Rooftop Cinema Club in Hollywood on the evening of Wednesday, August 7. I will be there with stars Roxane Mesquida and Shane Simmons and producer Kevin Wright for a post-screening Q&A. This event will shortly be followed by a Special Edition Blu-ray release of the film by Emphasis Entertainment. You can purchase tickets for the screening at the Rooftop Cinema Club screening on the website of the venue and learn more details about the special features on the Blu-ray in a story at Screen Magazine.
NYC Premieres of MERCURY IN RETROGRADE and RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO at Spectacle Theater
I couldn’t be happier to announce that the NYC Premieres of my most recent features, Mercury in Retrograde and Rendezvous in Chicago, will take place at Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn on the evening of Saturday, May 25! I’m a big fan of the programming at Spectacle and am honored that they wanted to show my work. Producer Kevin Wright will join me for the MERCURY Q&A and actor Rashaad Hall (Andy) will join me for the RENDEZVOUS Q&A. Tickets are on sale now and I expect both shows to sell out. Hope to see all my NYC-area friends there!
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE Press Roundup!
Because of the screenings of my film Mercury in Retrograde at the Gene Siskel Film Center over the next week (Friday, 2/16, Monday, 2/19 and Wednesday, 2/21), the film has been in the press a lot this past week. Among the highlights:
In the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper calls the film “absolutely beautiful…a smart, funny, quietly effective and authentic slice of older millennial life…Smith has a deft touch for dialogue, creating six distinct characters who look and sound like people we know…the interaction between the uniformly excellent actors feels natural and unforced.” You can read his great, spoiler-free full review here.
Andrea Gronvall of the Chicago Reader has a nice capsule review in which she calls the film an “observant, nuanced indie” and notes the humor in the book-club and disc-golf scenes (an aspect that has been too unremarked upon in other reviews). You can read her notice here.
It was an honor to be interviewed by Donald Liebenson for the mighty RogerEbert.com site. I am proud of the fact that I uttered the sentence “F.W. Murnau is my master” in this interview. Peep it here.
Two fun MiR-related radio interviews also premiered online in the past week: you can listen to me and the fabulous Najarra Townsend talk about the film with Gary Zidek on his show “The Arts Section” here. You can also here me talk about the film on the WGN Radio podcast “No Coast Cinema,” an essential listen for cinephiles, with hosts Tom Hush and Conor Cornelius here.
Hope to see you at one of the screenings!
Mercury in Retrograde on the Radio / Samantha’s Amazing Acrocats at the Siskel
My film Mercury in Retrograde will be featured on two radio shows this weekend in advance of our screenings at the Gene Siskel Film Center. First up: you can listen to me talk about the film on Saturday, February 10 at 9am on the popular “Live from the Heartland” show (88.7FM in Chicago or online at WLUW.org). Then on Sunday, February 11, tune in to hear the great Najarra Townsend and me reminisce about making MiR at 8am on Gary Zidek’s invaluable “Arts Section” show (90.9FM in Chicago or online at WDCB.org).
Speaking of the Siskel, I will be moderating a Q&A there with director Jacob Feiring following a screening of his documentary Samantha’s Amazing Acrocats at 3pm this Saturday. Much like last year’s surprise hit Kedi, it’s a must-see for lovers of both cats and cinema. Hope to see you there!
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE at the Siskel Center
I could not be more excited to announce that my film MERCURY IN RETROGRADE will receive its Chicago premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center next month. It screens three times: Friday, 2/16, Monday, 2/19 and Wednesday, 2/21. Producer/actor Shane Simmons and I will be present for Q&A sessions following all three screenings, which will be moderated by three of my favorite Chicago film critics: David J. Fowlie (Keeping It Reel), Matt Fagerholm (Indie Outlook) and Ian Simmons (Kicking the Seat). More information including ticket info and showtimes can be found on the Siskel Center’s website.
The film’s trailer, cut together by Simmons, also recently premiered as an online exclusive at The Film Stage.
Hope to see you at the Siskel!
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE at Full Bloom / Talking TWIN PEAKS on the “Page 2 Screen” Podcast
My second feature film, Mercury in Retrograde, had its World Premiere this past Saturday, September 16, at the Full Bloom Film Festival in Statesville, North Carolina, where we were awarded the prize for “Best Narrative Feature.” To commemorate the occasion, Loren Greenblatt created the beautiful hand-painted poster you see above. I should have more news soon about additional screenings this year and next. For the most up-to-date info on the film, please “like” the official MiR Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
I also recently discussed Twin Peaks Season 3 with film critic and screenwriter Jeff York on the International Screenwriters Association’s “Page 2 Screen” podcast. I had a lot of fun doing it and you can listen to it in its entirety here.