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#416 September 28, 2021

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    By Entertainer

    Matt writes: On September 19th at Navy Pier's Chicago Shakespeare Theater, publisher Chaz Ebert was thrilled to present the work of ten remarkable filmmakers, ages 11-21, who are the winners of The No Malice Film Contest, presented by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF), The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. These young artists created outstanding short films as part of Healing Illinois, a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust. Check out Chaz's coverage, embedded here, where you can read all about the filmmakers—Anna Lee Ackermann, Kenya Apongule, Sean Emmanuel Atienza, Abigail Eldridge, Azalee Irving, Zaknafein Luken, Niko Pecori-Robinson, Michael Proctor, London Shields, Jessica Wong—and view their films as well.

    imagePhoto credit: Chuck Osgood.


    Passing (2021). Written and directed by Rebecca Hall (based on the novel by Nella Larsen). Starring Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland. Synopsis: Follows the unexpected reunion of two high school friends, whose renewed acquaintance ignites a mutual obsession that threatens both of their carefully constructed realities. Debuts on Netflix on November 10th, 2021.

    The Humans (2021). Written and directed by Stephen Karam. Starring Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer, Jayne Houdyshell. Synopsis: Set inside a pre-war duplex in downtown Manhattan, the film follows the course of an evening in which the Blake family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving. As darkness falls outside the crumbling building, mysterious things start to go bump in the night and family tensions reach a boiling point. Debuts in the US on November 24th, 2021.

    The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021). Written and directed by Joel Coen (based on the play by William Shakespeare). Starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Brendan Gleeson. Synopsis: A Scottish lord becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next King of Scotland, and his ambitious wife supports him in his plans of seizing power. Debuts on AppleTV+ on December 25th, 2021.

    Benedetta (2021). Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Written by Paul Verhoeven and David Birke (based on the book by Judith C. Brown). Starring Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Daphne Patakia. Synopsis: A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair. Debuts in the US on December 3rd, 2021.

    Nightmare Alley (2022). Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Written by Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan (based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham). Starring Rooney Mara, Bradley Cooper, Toni Collette. Synopsis: An ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is. Debuts in the US on January 22nd, 2022.

    Finch (2021). Directed by Miguel Sapochnik. Written by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell. Starring Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Lora Martinez-Cunningham. Synopsis: On a post-apocalyptic earth, a robot, built to protect the life of his creator's beloved dog, learns about life, love, friendship and what it means to be human. Debuts on AppleTV+ on November 5th, 2021.

    Britney Vs Spears (2021). Directed by Erin Lee Carr. Synopsis: Journalist Jenny Eliscu and filmmaker Erin Lee Carr investigate Britney Spears' fight for freedom by way of exclusive interviews and confidential evidence. Now available on Netflix.

    What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (2021). Written and directed by Aleksandre Koberidze. Starring Giorgi Ambroladze, Oliko BarbakadzeGiorgi Bochorishvili. Synopsis: A chance encounter on a street corner has Lisa and Giorgi fall in love at first sight, but an evil spell is cast on them. Will they ever meet again? US release date is TBA.

    The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021). Directed by Will Sharpe. Written by Will Sharpe and Simon Stephenson. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Taika Waititi. Synopsis: English artist Louis Wain rises to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings. Debuts in the US on November 5th, 2021.

    Ida Red (2021). Written and directed by John Swab. Starring Frank Grillo, Deborah Ann Woll, Melissa Leo. Synopsis: Ida "Red" Walker may not survive her terminal illness while incarcerated for armed robbery. She turns to her son, Wyatt, for one last job and a chance to regain her freedom. Debuts in the US on November 5th, 2021.

    A Mouthful of Air (2021). Written and directed by Amy Koppelman. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Britt Robertson, Paul Giamatti. Synopsis: Julie Davis writes bestselling children's books about unlocking your fears, but has yet to unlock her own. When her daughter is born, that trauma is brought to the fore, and with it, a crushing battle to survive. Debuts in the US on October 29th, 2021.

    The Tsugua Diaries (2021). Directed by Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes. Written by Maureen FazendeiroMiguel Gomes and Mariana Ricardo. Starring Crista Alfaiate, Carloto Cotta, João Nunes Monteiro. Synopsis: Follows Crista, Carloto and João who are building an airy greenhouse for butterflies in the garden and share household routines, but they are not the only ones. US release date is TBA.

    The Beta Test (2021). Written and directed by Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe. Starring Jim CummingsPJ McCabe and Virginia Newcomb. Synopsis: A married Hollywood agent receives a mysterious letter for an anonymous sexual encounter and becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, infidelity, and digital data. Debuts in the US on November 5th, 2021.

    Night Teeth (2021). Directed by Adam Randall. Written by Brent Dillon. Starring Debby Ryan, Megan Fox, Sydney Sweeney. Synopsis: A college student moonlighting as a chauffeur picks up two mysterious women for a night of party-hopping across LA. But when he uncovers their bloodthirsty intentions - and their dangerous, shadowy underworld - he must fight to stay alive. Debuts on Netflix on October 20th, 2021.

    The Blazing World (2021). Directed by Carlson Young. Written by Carlson Young and Pierce Brown. Starring Udo Kier, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw. Synopsis: Decades after the accidental drowning of her twin sister, a self-destructive young woman returns to her family home, finding herself drawn to an alternate dimension where her sister may still be alive. US release date is TBA.

    Army of Thieves (2021). Directed by Matthias Schweighöfer. Written by Shay Hatten. Starring Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee. Synopsis: A prequel, set before the events of "Army of the Dead," which focuses on German safecracker Ludwig Dieter leading a group of aspiring thieves on a top secret heist during the early stages of the zombie apocalypse. Debuts on Netflix on October 29th, 2021.

    Halloween Kills (2021). Directed by David Gordon Green. Written by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems (based on the characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill). Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Judy Greer. Synopsis: The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the "Halloween" series. Debuts in the US on October 15th, 2021.

    Spencer (2021). Directed by Pablo Larraín. Written by Steven Knight. Starring Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Jack Nielen. Synopsis: During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, Diana decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles. Debuts in the US on November 5th, 2021.

    R.I.P. Melvin Van Peebles (1932-2021)

    Matt writes: Last week, the world lost one of its greatest cinematic trailblazers, Melvin Van Peebles, director of 1971's watershed film, "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song." Be sure to read Robert Daniels' tribute, as well as additional remembrances penned by Sergio Mims, Omer Mozaffar, Scout Tafoya and Peter Sobczynski.

    Rebekah Del Rio on "Mulholland Dr."

    Matt writes: I recently had the honor of interviewing singer/songwriter Rebekah Del Rio about her unforgettable scene in David Lynch's 2001 masterpiece, "Mulholland Dr.", which will screen this Wednesday, September 29th, and Thursday, September 30th, with Del Rio in attendance at Chicago's Music Box Theatre as part of MUBI's Hollywood on Hollywood series (I'll be moderating the Q&A on the 29th). You can read our full conversation here, as well as Roger Ebert's Great Movies essay on "Mulholland Dr." here.

    Free Movies

    War Dogs (1942). Directed by S. Roy Luby. Written by John Vlahos. Starring Billy Lee, Addison Richards, Bradley Page. Synopsis: A young boy donates his pet, a police dog, to the army to be trained as a war dog.

    Watch "War Dogs"

    Charade (1963). Directed by Stanley Donen. Written by Peter Stone. Starring Audrey HepburnCary Grant, Walter Matthau. Synopsis: Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust?

    Watch "Charade"

    The Fat Spy (1966). Directed by Joseph Cates. Written by Matthew Andrews. Starring Phyllis DillerJack E. LeonardJayne Mansfield. Synopsis: Off the coast of Florida, a nearly-deserted island is rumored to have the fountain of youth. A boatload of teenage kids are headed there for a scavenger hunt.

    Watch "The Fat Spy"

    By: Matt Fagerholm
    Posted: September 28, 2021, 5:01 am


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