The Third Annual Chicago United Film Festival
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The last date listed for The Chicago United Film Festival was Thursday September 15, 2011 / 7:00pm (Sixteen Candles).
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Written, directed by and co-starring James Franco, the intense period drama Child of God gets a sneak-preview screening, followed by an HD broadcast of a post-show Q&A with the multi-hyphenate filmmaker, moderated by Rolling Stone's Peter Travers. Franco's big-screen adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel features Scott Haze (As I Lay Dying, Bukowski) and Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) in the story of a violent, dispossessed man in '60s-era, small town Appalachia. The New York Film Critics Series brings exciting first looks at the latest indie movies, along with broadcasts of interactive Q&As with stars and filmmakers, to theaters across the country. Past series highlights have included special appearances by Woody Harrelson, Anne Heche, Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, Sigourney Weaver and many others. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Gare.Chicago
view more less of this review
This was the final night of the festival, and as such, they like to play homage to the city that they're in (they are in other cities as well. For Chicago, they played "Sixteen Candles", which - what can you say - it's an 80's classic. You can't go wrong with this movie.
I love the Music Box, and wasn't aware that they had a smaller, ancillary theater to the side. It was actually very small and cozy. The only downside was that my date had to cancel.. sigh! The night would have been so much better. Oh well!
Quotes & Highlights
Learn more about the films and watch trailers here.
Friday, September 9, 2011 at 7:00pm
__Director: Michael Barnett
A journey inside the world of real life caped crusaders. From all over America, these self-proclaimed crime fighters don masks and homemade costumes and elaborate utility belts in an attempt to bring justice to evildoers everywhere.
Playing with: Greenboy, __Banana Bread
__Friday, September 9, 2011 at 9:30pm
__Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade __
Director: Lincoln Ruchti
1982’s Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life.
Friday, September 9, 2011 at Midnight
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Director: John Landis
Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and his brother Elwood were raised.
Playing with: __40 Years
__Saturday, September 10, 2011 at Noon
__Director: Van Maximilian Carlson
Bhopali documents the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, India. Today the suffering continues, prompting victims to fight for justice against Union Carbide, the American corporation responsible for the disaster.
Playing with: __3 Hours
__Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 2:00pm
Director: David Jeffery, Philip Neel
Lesson Plan is a documentary featuring interviews of the original students and teacher of the 1967 Third Wave experiment. This exercise in fascism took place in Palo Alto, California. Within one week, 30 students grew to 200 as the Third Wave took on a life of its own, and the students unwittingly re-enacted the roots of the Third Reich.
Playing with: When I Was Young, Micky Bader
Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 7:00pm
Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians
Director: Bryan Storkel
Follows the rise of arguably the largest and most well-funded blackjack team in America-made up entirely of churchgoing Christians. While they succeed in taking millions from casinos, how will they manage to find a place for faith and God in the arena of high stakes gambling?
Playing with: Escape of the Gingerbread Man!!!
Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 9:30pm
__Eagles in the Chicken Coop
__Director: Brent Florence
A team of investigative documentarians set out to follow the making of a late night, made-for-television Mature Movie, to capture an inside look at mainstream American movie practices and sensibilities at their lowest. As the production spins out of control, the team of friends sidesteps the studios contractual demands of sex and nuance, risking their jobs, in a game of cat-and-mouse, scraping to protect the ‘important’ love story they believe The Lone Rancher can provide.
Playing with: The Sandwich Movie, BAM! Burger Jam
Saturday, September 10, 2011 at Midnight
Child’s Play (1988)
Director: Tom Holland
Young Andy Barclay gets the doll he wanted. However, he did not know it was alive!
Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 1:00pm
__Beware of Christians
__Director: Will Bakke
Four college students travel to Europe to escape their routine faith and gain a radically new perspective on following Jesus.
Playing with: Eleven, __Stay With Me Jesus
__Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 3:30pm
__Stepping Into the Fire
__Director: Ross Evison, Roberto Velez
What if the life you lived, the wealth you earned, the possessions you attained, were a deception? What if the answers to all of life’s questions were planted deep within the Amazons of Peru? This story takes you on a journey towards the discovery of life’s purpose. Step into the fire and you may just find what you’ve been searching for all along.
Playing with: The Philosopher
Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 6:00pm
__Director: Paul Brown
Based on true events, Heaven’s Rain recounts the story of the Douglass family, whose lives were irrevocably changed one evening 30 years ago. The son, after becoming an Oklahoma State Senator and authoring groundbreaking victims’ rights legislation, is forced to move forward from his past.
Playing with: The Lucky One, __Bottle
__Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 8:30pm
__Director: Andrew James, Joshua Ligairi
This insightful documentary follows the sanitized movie industry from inception to collapse. Starting with Kate Winslet’s nudity in Titanic and the Mormon culture that didn’t want to see it, the film launches into the numerous legal and theoretical debates that led to a DGA lawsuit involving industry titans.
Playing with: __Fu(nd) This!
__Monday, September 12, 2011 at 9:30pm
__White Irish Drinkers
__Director: John Gray
Brooklyn, 1975: two brothers looking for a way out of their working-class neighborhood make a pact to rob a local theater on the night of a Rolling Stones concert.
Playing with: The Interview
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 7:00pm
__The Drummond Will
__Director: Alan Butterworth
The Drummond Will follows estranged brothers Marcus and Danny Drummond as they find themselves on a surprisingly dangerous undertaking to unravel the mystery surrounding their father’s very unlikely wealth.
Playing with: Weirdo, __Write of Passage
__Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 9:30pm
The Dead Inside
Director: Travis Betz
The Dead Inside is a haunting musical about two artists, Wes and Fi, who have misplaced their muse. When Fi begins to show signs of schizophrenia, Wes finds inspiration in her deterioration. When it turns out she is actually possessed, he must choose between the woman he loves and the evil intruder that inspires him.
Playing with: Home
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 7:00pm
__Director: Conrad Jackson
The story of Elliot Carson on the day before he has surgery to remove a brain tumor. Facing what could be his last night, Elliot’s path intersects with Chloe Webb who invites him to her art show. Elliot welcomes the distraction and as the night descends, Chloe takes him on an intimate and exhilarating journey through the city. But as morning approaches, and Chloe learns of Elliot’s condition, the magic of the evening unravels, and they must together face the uncertainty of Elliot’s future.
Playing with: Kiss, A Shining Light
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:30pm
__Colin Hearts Kay
__Director: Sebastian Conley
When Brooklyn-based cartoonist Colin Jensen breaks up with longtime girlfriend Kay Ho, he pulls out all stops to win her back including dragging her into the illustrated world of his cartoons.
Playing with: Post-Nup: CSI, Dinner Party, __My Friend Peter
__Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:00pm
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Director: John Hughes
A young girl’s “sweet sixteenth” birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.
Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 9:30pm
Weird Science (1985)
Director: John Hughes
Two nerdish boys attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.