Preview: Chicago Critics Film Festival

Though the heyday of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel has passed, Chicago boasts a strong showing in film criticism these days. The guys (because it’s mainly guys) who make up the Chicago Film Critics Association work hard across outlets to cover film releases and happenings around the city.

On Friday, their fifth annual Chicago Critics Film Festival kicks off a week of screenings at Chicago’s classic Music Box Theater. A small festival by any measure – no galas, no panels, no frills – it’s big where it matters: the movies. More than twenty features will screen over the course of a week, and for those of us keeping track of these kinds of things, they’re two dozen great films.

With such a fantastic line-up heading to a theater within walking distance (a long walk, but still), my plans include at least one film a day (and one day with three!). Here’s what I’ll be seeing: Continue reading “Preview: Chicago Critics Film Festival”

Watch This: Chicago’s DOC10 Film Festival

Next week, Chicago Media Project presents DOC10, an annual film festival that presents the most compelling documentary films of the year over the course of a few days. This year, organizers have partnered with the newly-revamped Davis Theater in Lincoln Square to showcase films covering subject matter from music and film to social justice and true crime.

Much as I’d love to, I can’t fit in all eleven films in four days. But I am going to catch a few, which I’m highlighting here. Join me!

Continue reading “Watch This: Chicago’s DOC10 Film Festival”

Back to my roots. Gladly.

I try to keep the posts here short, snappy and to the point. I’ve been doing this long enough that not only do I not have the energy for a long preamble to set up the post, but you have no interest in it either. So, dear reader, forgive me for what may be some rambling to get to today’s point, as there’s a lot to sift through.

Truth is, I have no idea where to start this post. I haven’t written it yet because it’s still very much in progress, and also because I didn’t know how to go about it. There are so many angles I could take. So many starts, so many directions. And there’s so much to unpack, so much to share. I’ll probably write and write, then revise and revise. Re-order and rework. And then I hope I hit publish and you’re reading it, warts and all.

Do I talk about my ongoing journey to build a career in the film industry? Do I write through the thought process that found me finally happy in Chicago? Do I try to explain my own internal wiring, the ingrained impulse to never settle, to push through this life like a bull in a china shop until I’ve gotten it right?

Because really, this is a story of all those things, and more. Where I am today is the convergence of factors I couldn’t ignore if I tried, factors I’m only now realizing, and factors that have yet to occur to me.

In the end, I’ll just have to write it. I’ll have to be as honest and transparent as I can be, because that’s really the only way to understand where my head (and my heart) is in all of this. And if you’re not here to do that, then I’m not entirely sure why you’re here at all…

Continue reading “Back to my roots. Gladly.”