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Friday, February 2, 2024

February Film Club

 Hey it's February already! Hopefully we're all done with the snow and negative weather, bring on the spring! For the month of February, I've decided to show the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 satirical comedy-drama film written, produced, co-edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with Chris Thomas King, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning in supporting roles. The film is set in rural Mississippi during the 1930s, and it follows three escaped convicts searching for hidden treasure while a sheriff relentlessly pursues them. Its story is a modern satire which, while incorporating social features of the American South, is loosely based on Homer's epic Greek poem the Odyssey.
The film currently holds a certified fresh rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian said this in his review, "O Brother, Where Art Thou? has brio, wit, and style, and the whole picture is air-cushioned with appealing comedy and its own unassuming good nature. Simply: this is a film which is impossible to dislike, and moves with an easy, approachable swing through the bleached and steaming landscape of bluegrass Mississippi, with its ornery confidence men and cracker-barrel politicians. It is made with marvelous clarity and fluency, and Joel and Ethan Coen attain a comic simplicity that other film-makers can only dream of."

We will be meeting Thursday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 pm

Here's a trailer:


Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

January Film Club

 Happy New Year! Here we are, another year, another lineup of great films. Let's get to it! To kick things off, I've decided to show the newest Wes Anderson feature film, Asteroid City.

Asteroid City is a 2023 American comedy-drama film written, directed and produced by Wes Anderson, from a story he wrote with Roman Coppola. It features an ensemble cast, including Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Steve Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan  and Jeff Goldblum. Its metatextual plot simultaneously depicts the events of a Junior Stargazer convention in a retro-futuristic version of 1955, staged as a play, and the creation of the play. It is Anderson's homage to popular memory and mythology about extraterrestrials and UFOs witnessed in the Southwestern desert in close proximity to atomic test sites during the post-war period of the American 20th century.
The film currently holds a certified fresh rating of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes and Glenn Kenny, writing for Rogerebert.com, gave it 4/4 stars saying this in his review, "All of the film's action-and there's so much of it, and all of it revels in the joy of creation, of performance, of human invention that seeks a cosmic splendor-eventually concentrates on the banal and yet all-consuming question, "what is the meaning of life?" of course, the movie's characters don't always put the inquiry so plainly. Here it takes the form of the statement, articulated like a plea: "I don't understand the play." Followed by the heartbreaking query, "Am I doing it right?" Asteroid City portrays a gorgeous gallery of people in various guises, performing art and performing life, all trying to do it right."

We will be meeting Thursday, Jan. 25 at 5:30 pm

Here's a trailer:


Hope to see you there!


Friday, December 1, 2023

December Film Club

 Hey everybody! Christmas time is here and for the month of December I've decided to show something of a more traditional Christmas movie than we have watched in the past, but just off-beat enough to satisfy even my grinch-like sensibilities. We will be watching the John Hughes written, Jeremiah Chechik directed, Christmas Vacation.

Christmas Vacation is a 1989 American Christmas comedy film and the third installment in National Lampoon magazine's "Vacation" film series. Christmas Vacation was directed by Jeremiah Chechik, written and co-produced by John Hughes, and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, and Randy Quaid with supporting roles by Miriam Flynn, William Hickey, Mae Questel, Diane Ladd, John Randolph, E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Johnny Galecki, and special appearances by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nicholas Guest, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, Brian Doyle Murray, and Natalia Nogulich. Based on Hughes' short story "Christmas '59", that was published in National Lampoon, it tells the story of the Griswold family spending Christmas vacation at home with their relatives and the ensuing mayhem.

At the time of the film's release, it received mixed to positive reviews; however, over time, many have cited it as a Christmas classic. It currently holds a certified fresh rating of 70% on Rotten Tomatoes and Variety magazine said of the film, "Solid family fare with plenty of yucks, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is Chevy Chase and brood doing what they do best. Despite the title, which links it to previous pics in the rambling Vacation series, this third entry is firmly rooted at the Griswold family homestead, where Clark Griswold is engaged in a typical over-reaching attempt to give his family a perfect, old-fashioned Christmas."

We will be meeting Thursday, Dec. 28 at 5:30 pm

Here's a trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLVd4ipC5Lc

Hope to see you there! 

Friday, November 10, 2023

November Film Club

Generally, for the month of November, I like to choose a war film in honor of Veteran's day. So, for our next film club, I've decided to show Joe Wright's excellent Darkest Hour.

Darkest Hour
 is a 2017 war drama film directed by Joe Wright and written by Anthony McCarten. The film is an account of Winston Churchill's early days as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War and the May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis, depicting his refusal to seek a peace treaty with Nazi Germany amid their advance into Western Europe. It stars Gary Oldman as Churchill, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill, Lily James as Elizabeth Layton, Stephen Dillane as Viscount Halifax, Ronald Pickup as Neville Chamberlain, and Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI. The title refers to a phrase describing the early days of the war, which has been widely attributed to Churchill.
The film currently holds a fresh rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Godfrey Cheshire, writing for Rogerebert.com, gave the film 4/4 stars saying this in his review, "I've been trying to think when there was a historical drama I found as electrifying as Joe Wright's "Darkest Hour". The Winston Churchill we see here is no cartoon hero or plaster saint. Wright's film notes the dark stain on the leader's public career that the battle of Gallipoli in World War I represented, but doesn't make it a psychological millstone. "Darkest Hour" likewise frequently shows us its protagonist from the viewpoints of his acerbic though supportive wife, Clemmie, and his young, endlessly put-upon secretary, Elizabeth. Yet the freshness of this film's portrayal begins with the dramatic sharpness and historical intelligence of Anthony McCarten's script, which gives us a Churchill who is drawn into dynamic action by the looming shadow of Hitler's evil."

We will be meeting Thursday, Nov. 30 at 5:30pm.
Here's the trailer:


Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

October Film Club: 12th Annual Crete Library Horror Fest

 Hey everyone! It's that wonderful time of year again, no, not Christmas, HALLOWEEN! My favorite time of year also happens to bring my favorite Film Club event: Horror Fest. Following Horror Fest tradition, we will be meeting two nights and watching 4 scary movies. Generally there's a theme across the 4 films, but this year it's just going to be 4 of my favorite scary movies. So without further ado, here are our films for this year:











Wednesday, Oct. 25

4pm: The Wicker Man

6pm: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Thursday, Oct. 26

4pm: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

6pm: Pontypool


Friday, September 8, 2023

September Film Club

Happy September! Thank you to everyone who made it out to our Summer Series: Directed by Wes Anderson. We had great turnouts and great discussions!

For the month of September, I decided to just randomly pick a film I've never shown before, but that I personally really love, and that choice is Hero.


Hero
 is a 2002 wuxia film directed, co-written, and produced by Zhang Yimou, and starring Jet Li, Toney Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, Donnie Yen and Chen Doaming. The historical background of the film refers to the Warring States Period in ancient China, when China was divided into 7 states. In 227-221 BC, the Qin state was about to unify the other six states, assassins from the six states were sent to assassinate the king of Qin. One of the most famous incidents was Jing Ke's attempted assassination of the King of Qin. The film was first released in China in 2002. At that time, it was the most expensive project and one of the highest-grossing motion pictures in China. Miramax acquired American market distribution rights, but delayed the release of the film for nearly two years. Quentin Tarantino eventually convinced Miramax to open the film in American theatres on Aug 27, 2004.

The film received positive reviews from critics. It became the first Chinese language movie to op the American box-office, where it stayed for two consecutive weeks. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film currently holds a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Roger Ebert awarded it 3.5/4 stars saying this in his review, "Zhang Yimou's Hero is beautiful and beguiling, a martial arts extravaganza defining the styles and lives of its fighters within Chinese tradition. It is also, like Rashomon, a mystery told from more than one point of view; we hear several stories which all could be true, or false. A film like Hero demonstrates how the martial arts genre transcends action and violence and moves into poetry, ballet and philosophy. It is violent only incidentally. What matters is not the manner of death, but the manner of dying: In a society that takes a Zen approach to swordplay and death, one might win by losing. Zhang Yimou...once again creates a visual poem of extraordinary beauty."

Here's the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgsddFEe9Oc

We will be meeting Thursday, Sept. 21 at 5:30pm

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August Film Club #2

Hello, our second film for August, and final film of our Wes Anderson Director Series will be The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 comedy-drama film written and directed by Wes Anderson. Ralph Fiennes leads a seventeen actor ensemble cast as Monsieur Gustave H. famed concierge of a twentieth century mountainside resort in the fiction Eastern European country of Zubrowka. When Gustave is framed for the murder of a wealthy dowarger (Tilda Swinton), he and his recently befriended protégé Zero (Tony Revolori) embark on a quest for fortune and a priceless Renaissance painting amidst the backdrop of an encroaching fascist regime.

The film currently holds a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Glenn Kenny writing for Rogerebert.com, gave the film 4/4 stars saying this in his review, "As much as The Grand Budapest Hotel takes on the aspect of a cinematic confection, it does so to grapple with the very raw and, yes, real stuff of humanity from an unusual but highly illuminating angle. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a movie about the masks we conjure to suit our aspirations, and the cost of keeping up appearances. "He certainly maintained the illusion with remarkable grace" once character remakrs admiringly of another near the end of the movie. The Grand Budapest Hotel suggests that sometimes, as a species, that's the best we can do. Anderson the illusion maker is more than graceful, he's dazzling, and with this movie he's created an art-refuge that consoles and commiserates. It's an illusion, but it's not a lie."

We will be meeting Thursday, Aug. 31 at 5:30pm

Here's the trailer:


Hope to see you there!