THE CHICAGO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION announces first wave of titles for the CHICAGO CRITICS FILM FESTIVAL
MAY 9-15, 2014.
THE MUSIC BOX THEATRE
3733 North Southport
Chicago, IL 60613
The Second Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival announces its first wave of titles. Recent films from acclaimed directors (including Michel Gondry and Ari Folman) and stars (including Audrey Tautou, Robin Wright, Hugo Weaving, Jenny Slate and Romain Duris) will make their Chicago premieres at festival, May 9-15 at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre. Passes will be available for purchase soon.
The festival, the first to be created and curated by film critics, offers undistributed works and established festival favorites from award-winning filmmakers and talented newcomers. These following titles, gleaned from around the globe, feature raunchy comedy, introspective drama and mind-blowing fantasy.
The CCFF is proud to announce that the following titles will be a part of this year’s festival:
The Congress: Ari Folman, the director of the Oscar-nominated “Waltz with Bashir,” returns with a live-action/animation hybrid inspired by the book by Polish author Stanislaw Lem. An aging actress named Robin Wright (played, coincidentally, by Robin Wright) allows a digital likeness of herself to be created so that she can continue her career without worrying about the ravages of time, an agreement that is thrown into question years later when her electronic alter-ego becomes a superstar.
Copenhagen: Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, this film follows immature adult William who, while on a trip through Europe to visit his father’s birthplace, meets the much younger but startlingly mature Effy. As the two search for his grandfather, William finds himself increasingly taken with Effy as he finds himself confronting both his family’s tortured past and the promise of an unexpected future.
Mood Indigo: Visionary filmmaker Michel Gondry presents this trippy romantic fantasy in which Colin (Romain Durais), a rich young bachelor and inventor of the pianocktail–yes, a piano that whips up cocktails based on the mood of the music that it is playing–whose unexpected romance with his dream girl (Audrey Tautou) is thrown into turmoil when she is stricken with a mysterious disease that has left her with a flower growing in her lungs. Nominated for three Cesar awards, this also features appearances from popular French actors Gad Elmaleh and Omar Sy.
Mystery Road: An Australian-based mystery with western overtones, this is the gritty story of an aborigine detective (Aaron Pedersen) who returns to his remote home town after a decade in the city and investigates the murder of a local girl that finds him at odds with both the local white-dominated police (including Hugo Weaving) and his former friends and family.
Obvious Child: One of the most popular entries at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this initially raunchy and ultimately tender comedy, expanded by first-time writer-director Gilliam Robespierre from her 2009 short, tells the story of a racy comedienne (a breakthrough performance from Jenny Slate) whose life is thrown into upheaval when she unexpectedly becomes pregnant after a one-night stand.
OXV: The Manual (aka Frequencies): Set in a world that is strangely familiar, just plain strange and where people are grouped by “frequency”–high-frequency types are incredibly successful and lucky while those with low-frequency are anything but–the super-low Isaac will do anything to be with the ultra-high Marie and in doing so kicks off a chain of events that could change things forever.
Willow Creek: Comedian-turned filmmaker Bobcat Godlthwait (“Shakes the Clown,” “God Bless America”) returns with this horror entry about a would-be Bigfoot expert (Bryce Johnson) who, along with his girlfriend (Alexie Gilmore), gets lost while on a camping trip in Sasquatch’s alleged neighborhood and finds that there is something else out there with them.
The 2013 inaugural CCFF attracted filmmakers Sarah Polley (with her award-winning documentary “Stories We Tell”) James Ponsoldt (with his critically-acclaimed drama “The Spectacular Now”) and William Friedkin (presenting a rare 35mm screening of his 1977 masterpiece “Sorcerer”). Additional titles and guests will be announced soon at www.chicagocriticsfilmfestival.com , which also provides a look at the 2013 event.
CFCA Case Statement
The CFCA has always been dedicated to supporting and celebrating quality filmmaking that has something to say about our world, our lives, and our society. In the past, while it supported and fought for the continued role of film critics in the media, the CFCA’s primary public interaction was through the announcement of its annual film awards each December. In recent years, however, the CFCA moved aggressively to expand its presence on the Chicago arts scene and to promote critical thinking about cinema to a wider base. In 2012, in addition to re-launching a late-winter awards ceremony, CFCA members presented numerous film screenings at theaters like the Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton, and Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18 in Rosemont. Illinois and has now expanded that program to a monthly series of films to be presented at the Classic Cinemas in Elk Grove Village. CFCA members also team-taught a new Young People’s Film Criticism Workshop at Facets Multimedia that emphasized not just film analysis and criticism, but also writing skills to middle- and high-school students, many of whom were attending the course on lower-income scholarships.
The Future of the CFCA
As the Chicago Film Critics Association looks ahead to the future, it hopes to be a much larger presence on the Chicago arts landscape and an even more effective force for critical thinking and film appreciation. To do so will mean more efforts at public outreach, education, and enlightenment, and that will require a larger financial investment.
Going forward, the CFCA intends to set ambitious goals, including expanding the public presentation of films, teaching more film-based classes to both youth and adults, and making the Chicago Critics Film Festival into a long and ongoing annual tradition.
About The Music Box Theatre
For 30 years, the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full-time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned & operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information, please visit www.musicboxtheatre.com
Erik Childress (CFCA Board Member)
Office: (847) 439-5750
Cell: (224) 805-1573
Brian Tallerico (CFCA Board Member)