We're heading into a crowded weekend for film fests in Chicago, with no fewer than three major events competing for attention. This kind of overlap is far from ideal, but then again filmgoers are a self-selecting bunch, and the three festivals on tap speak to distinct interests. I'll take a closer look at two of them, while my colleague Michael Phillips tackles the 28th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival this week in Specialty Screenings.
The Architecture & Design Film Festival (adfilmfest.com; through Monday), formerly headquartered at the Siskel Film Center, has moved north to the
But one title that caught my eye on the 2012 lineup (and is sure to bring audiences out in droves) is the spirited portrait "Eames: The Architect and the Painter" (7 p.m. Friday, Saturday) about the eccentric husband-and-wife team best known for their mid-Century furniture designs. The doc is followed by "Elephant Safari-Into the Wild," a whimsical naturalistic stop-motion short film "starring" multiple versions of the Eames elephant stools. (It took some digging on the web to get even this cursory bit of info about the short, as neither the Music Box nor the festival's web sites offers anything approaching a useful description. Something to work on for next year.)
Changing gears, Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (better known as CIMMfest; cimmfest.org) returns for a fourth year, ambitious as ever with its unique pairing of music-themed movies and live performances through Sunday. Co-founder Josh Chicoine has done his research, and "it doesn't look like there is another stand-alone film festival (anywhere) that is so focused in on music the way we are."
That can only bode well for the festival's future, particularly in terms of broadening its reputation outside of Chicago. As many fests as play here throughout the year, many feel somewhat provincial. What the city lacks is a singular high-profile fest in the vein of
This year's lineup includes the documentary "I Want My Name Back," which traces the highs and lows of the Sugar Hill Gang — the group that recorded the disco-inflected "Rapper's Delight" in 1979, widely considered the first rap song — which screens 7 p.m. Friday at the
There is also the strange and bizarre on the schedule, including the Chicago-produced film "Sci Fi Sol," a musical about a lonely video game designer who creates a rock star character who comes to life and takes over the world (10:30 p.m. Saturday), plus the stoner comedy "High Road" (7 p.m. Friday), a mostly improvised film from former Chicagoan and
More info and a full lineup of films for the Architecture & Design Film Festival can be found at musicboxtheatre.com. For more info about CIMMfest, go to cimmfest.org.
What's your story
The Chicago Documentary Summit takes place next weekend (April 21 and 22) and features a lineup of speakers, including filmmakers Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel ("Louder Than a Bomb," about Chicago poetry slams) and Ruth Leitman ("Lipstick & Dynamite," about women's professional wrestling), and includes seminars on how to sell your project to public television or raise funding through Kickstarter campaigns. Go to documentarysummit.com.
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Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, of public radio's "Sound Opinions," will host a screening of