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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Chicago International Film Festival Turns 46

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The Chicago International Film Festival turns 46. It’s been founder Michael Kutza’s baby since its inception. “North America’s oldest competitive film festival” runs October 7-21. The schedule was announced September 21 at Lucky Strike Lanes, a floor below the AMC River East 21, the downtown multiplex where all festival films are shown. Some notable titles arrive from other festivals, including the Palme d’or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives, by School of the Art Institute alum Apichatpong Weerasethakul. [Photo: Ray Pride]





Also hailing from other fests, Kiarostami’s Certified Copy, Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats and Aaron Katz’s Cold Weather.


Plus at least a couple of Chicago-shot working-class tales, Ben Berkowitz’s Polish Bar and Bob Meyer’s Drunkboat (2007).

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch