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#323 March 6, 2018

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    By Entertainer

    Matt writes: After producing a half-century of vital and game-changing documentaries, the Chicago-based company Kartemquin Films scored its first nomination for Best Documentary this year at the Academy Awards. Steve James, the acclaimed director of "Hoop Dreams" and "Life Itself," earned the nomination for his latest riveting marvel, "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail." He also served as an executive producer on Laura Checkoway's astonishing documentary short, "Edith+Eddie," which received a well-deserved Oscar nomination this year as well. Prior to last Sunday's Oscar ceremony, I got to speak with Steve and Laura about their incredible work. Click here to read the full conversation, which includes a priceless story about Roger Ebert.



    On Chesil Beach (2018). Directed by Dominic Cooke. Written by Ian McEwan. Starring Saoirse RonanEmily WatsonSamuel West. Synopsis: In England in 1962, a young couple finds their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. Opens in US theaters on May 18th, 2018.

    The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (2018). Directed by Judd Apatow. Starring Sacha Baron CohenJim CarreyJerry Seinfeld. Synopsis: An in-depth look at the comic genius of Garry Shandling. Debuts on HBO on March 26th, 2018.

    Roxanne Roxanne (2018). Written and directed by Michael Larnell. Starring Mahershala AliNia LongAdam Horovitz. Synopsis: At the age of 14, Lolita "Roxanne Shanté" Gooden was well on her way to becoming a hip-hop legend as she hustled to provide for her family while defending herself from the dangers of the streets of the Queensbridge Projects in NYC, Debuts on Netflix on March 23rd, 2018.

    The Outsider (2018). Directed by Martin Zandvliet. Written by Andrew Baldwin. Starring Jared LetoTadanobu AsanoKippei Shîna. Synopsis: An epic set in post-WWII Japan and centered on an American former G.I. who joins the yakuza. Debuts on Netflix on March 9th, 2018.

    Birthmarked (2018). Directed by Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais. Written by Marc Tulin. Starring Matthew GoodeToni ColletteFionnula Flanagan. Synopsis: Two scientists raise 3 children contrarily to their genetic tendencies to prove the ultimate power of nurture over nature. Opens in US theaters on March 30th, 2018.

    The Feels (2018). Directed by Jenée LaMarque. Written by Jenée LaMarque and Lauren Parks. Starring Constance WuJosh FademJenée LaMarque. Synopsis: A lesbian bachelorette weekend goes awry when one of the brides admits she's never had an orgasm. US release date is TBA.

    Paterno (2018). Directed by Barry Levinson. Written by Debora CahnDavid McKenna and John C. Richards. Starring Al PacinoRiley KeoughAnnie Parisse. Synopsis: The film centers on Joe Paterno, who, after becoming the winningest coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State's Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure regarding the victims. Debuts on HBO on April 7th, 2018.

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    Kings (2018). Written and directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven. Starring Daniel CraigHalle BerryIssac Ryan Brown. Synopsis: The life of a foster family in South Central Los Angeles, a few weeks before the city erupts in violence following the verdict of the Rodney King trial. Opens in US theaters on April 27th, 2018.

    Izzy Gets The F*ck Across Town (2018). Written and directed by Christian Papierniak. Starring Mackenzie DavisHaley Joel OsmentAlia Shawkat. Synopsis: A woman at rock bottom must find her way across Los Angeles in order to crash her ex-boyfriend's engagement party. Opens in US theaters on May 4th, 2018.

    Thy Kingdom Come (2018). Directed by Eugene Richards. Starring Javier Bardem. Synopsis: A priest struggling with his beliefs encounters and sympathetically listens to the stories of downtrodden locals. US release date is TBA.

    Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (2018). Written and directed by Bruno Dumont (based on the play by Charles Peguy). Starring Lise Leplat PrudhommeJeanne VoisinLucile Gauthier. Synopsis: France, 1425. In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young Jeannette, at the still tender age of 8, looks after her sheep in the small village of Domremy. One day, she tells her friend Hauviette how she cannot bear to see the suffering caused by the English. Madame Gervaise, a nun, tries to reason with the young girl, but Jeannette is ready to take up arms for the salvation of souls and the liberation of the Kingdom of France. Opens in US theaters on May 11th, 2018.

    The Forgiven (2018). Directed by Roland Joffé. Written by Roland Joffé and Michael Ashton. Starring Forest WhitakerEric BanaJeff Gum. Synopsis: After the end of Apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu meets with a brutal murderer seeking redemption. Opens in US theaters on March 9th, 2018.

    The Grinch (2018). Directed by Peter CandelandYarrow Cheney and Matthew O'Callaghan. Written by Ken DaurioMichael LeSieur and Cinco Paul (based on the book by Dr. Seuss). Starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Synopsis: A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville. Opens in US theaters on November 9th, 2018.

    Gnome Alone (2018). Directed by Peter Lepeniotis. Written by Michael Schwartz and Zina Zaflow. Starring Becky GJosh PeckTara Strong. Synopsis: When Chloe discovers that her new home's garden gnomes are not what they seem, she must decide between the pursuit of a desired high school life and taking up the fight against the Troggs. Opens in US theaters on March 2nd, 2018.

    The Open House (2018). Written and directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote. Starring Dylan MinnettePiercey DaltonPatricia Bethune. Synopsis: A teenager and his mother find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house. Now available on Netflix.

    The Cured (2018). Written and directed by David Freyne. Starring Ellen PageSam KeeleyTom Vaughan-Lawlor. Synopsis: A disease that turns people into zombies has been cured. The once-infected zombies are discriminated against by society and their own families, which causes social issues to arise. This leads to militant government interference. Now playing in US theaters.

    Summer of '84 (2018). Directed by François SimardAnouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell. Written by Matt Leslie and Stephen J. Smith. Starring Graham VerchereJudah LewisCaleb Emery. Synopsis: After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous. US release date is TBA.

    Rogers Park (2018). Directed by Kyle Henry. Written by Carlos Treviño. Starring Christine HornJonny MarsAntoine McKay. Synopsis: Two Chicago couples struggle to keep their love alive when secrets and long-simmering resentments rise to the surface. Now playing in US theaters.

    Visual Language of "Mudbound"

    Matt writes: In this superb visual essay, Q.V Hough illustrates why "Mudbound" DP Rachel Morrison's historic achievement as the first woman ever nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar is more than well-deserved.


    Black Panther inspires youth

    Matt writes: In this photo-filled report, Chaz Ebert celebrates organizations such as Troy Pryor's Chicago-based collective, Creative Cypher, that have organized free screenings of "Black Panther" for young students.


    Free Movies

    Swept Away (1974). Written and directed by Lina Wertmüller. Starring Giancarlo GianniniMariangela MelatoRiccardo Salvino. Synopsis: A trip into the Mediterranean sea becomes a trip into the discovery of how society's frameworks of the rich and poor are delicate and temporary.

    Watch "Swept Away"

    Where the Heart Is (1990). Directed by John Boorman. Written by John Boorman and Telsche Boorman. Starring Dabney ColemanUma ThurmanJoanna Cassidy. Synopsis: Stewart McBain is a real-estate mogul who spends his living blowing up old buildings to make room to erect new buildings. All goes as planned for a new subdivision, until a group of protesters object to the destruction of one lonely, ugly building, called the Dutch House.

    Watch "Where the Heart Is"

    Sophie & the Moonhanger (1996). Directed by David Hugh Jones. Written by Sara Flanigan and Judi Ann Mason. Starring David AndrewsJason BernardMary Lucy Bivins. Synopsis: A woman pits herself against her husband and his Ku Klux Klan member friends when she learns that they are planning an attack against her black maid and her husband.

    Watch "Sophie & the Moonhanger"

    By: Matt Fagerholm
    Posted: March 6, 2018, 6:01 am


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