The Fablemans

Oh, how much I loved this movie! I am so glad I made a non-existent time in my schedule to watch it! Once again, thanks for 400 Theater being so close to us and running all the new releases. Funny thing – for the first time ever, I used a senior discount:).

I just can’t get over it – what a great movie! I liked everything about it!

She Said Movie

I finally watched “She said” over the weekend. I knew it was a great movie and wanted to watch it for a while, but somehow, finding a place online to watch it was challenging! It is not available on Amazon, and it was not on Hulu (I do not use Hulu, but while searching for a place to watch, I decided to accept a free month of Hulu, which they sent to me for my birthday). I finally found it on Apple TV (yes, I also accepted three months free of Apple TV, it came with my new iPhone, and I am going to drop it because I do not use it!)

So, I finally watched it. What a great movie! I do not want to write at length about it, it just checks all the marks. Watching it, I could not stop thinking about how deeply sexual harassment is enrooted in all aspects of our life. I recall my teenage and young adult days, and even later – I can’t believe to which extent it was expected! We never thought about complaining, it was just a force of nature you had to consider. I realized one small but rather astonishing fact while watching – we never thought kissing against somebodies would be abuse! You were not raped, what you are complaining about?!

The movie emphasized one more time the power of numbers and the importance of everybody coming together and raising their voices against whatever evil we want to fight.

The Great Dictator

A note from the Siskel Center said:

After a remarkable twenty-year tenure, Gene Siskel Film Center Executive Director Jean de St. Aubin will resign in February. Join us in celebrating Jean’s impact and leadership, as we toast to her next chapter and celebrate her love of the movies with one of her favorite films, THE GREAT DICTATOR (this title, by the way, is in no way a reflection on Jean’s own leadership style!). Film followed by a post-screening reception with champagne, pretzels (her fave), and more. All ticket proceeds benefit the Film Center.

To be completely honest, I was more interested in the movie than in the reception :). I never saw the whole movie, not to mention on a big screen! Amazing! I knew about this movie, the plot, and when it was filmed, but even the excerpts I saw do not give enough impression of how awesome it is! It is hard to believe that it was filmed in 1940 when the US was’t even at was with Germany.

A Movie Night

The longest continually operating movie theater in Chicago is within walking distance from my house, but for some reason, I never when to see movies there. This finally changed last night when Igor, mom, and I went to see Babylon.

The movie is very long, and it’s great that the theater is so close to us, especially mom’s house. For the movie itself, I am glad I went, although Igor and I agreed that so it is not clear what’s all the drama about. I am sure it was done on purpose because the producers know very well what it should have looked like, but the purpose remains unclear to me :).

Again, the most important is that now I know the way to 400 Theater, and I will see more movies there. And another good thing is that with all of my mom’s “I don’t understand American English,” she understands good acting, so she actually liked it, even though it was three hours long!

Three Thousand Years Of Longing

OMG, what an awesome movie! Igor and I went to Siskel Center yesterday to see it, and it totally exceeded expectations! Yes, the director is awesome, and reviews where good, but recently, we had so many situations when reviews were great, but the movie would turn up being mediocre. that I couldn’t count on good reviews.

But this movie is just brilliant! With each next twist of a plot it becomes better and better. Usually, this is not my favorite genre. I saw comments on YouTube that this trailer represents the movie correctly. I disagree: there are less special effects per minute than in that trailer 🙂

The Judgement at Nuremberg Movie

This summer, the Siskel Center is running the Judy Garland centennial retrospective, and this week, they ran The Judgement at Nuremberg. I know that “everybody saw it,” but it was not screened in the Soviet Union and somehow never ended up on my “must-see” list. I knew this movie existed, but the list of the movies I never saw is too long:).

So yesterday, I spent three hours in the middle of the warm and sunny July Saturday in the dark theater and was so impressed by the movie that it took me some time to start putting my impressions in words.

The movie appears to be highly timely these days, and the parallels with the Russian invasion of Ukraine are more than apparent.

Continue reading “The Judgement at Nuremberg Movie”

Cultural Events

I was waiting for this culturally rich March with such an anticipation – and now she war overshadowed everything. But ones again, I decided it to be my form of resistance. What I did for the past two days – I lived a normal life as much as possible because that’s my protest against fears. Two personal things made me worry and upset more than in the previous days. I know that all my worries are nothing compared to people whose lives are in danger, but I have to admit that I gave in at some point. I still went to the event in the Field Museum and took mom and Igor. 

We always try to attend the Field Museum event because this museum does not have after-hours, and it is located further from the Loop than the Art Institute, so there are fewer chances to visit it otherwise. 

 The event was related to the new exhibit called Jurassic Ocean: The Monsters of The Deep, and it shows what was happening in the ocean when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. 

Some dinosaurs also lived in the water, but mostly the ocean was inhabited by giant fish and reptiles, and this exhibition presents these creatures and their differences and similarities with the modern ones.

And Friday was the day of the opening of the European Union Film Festival. It was cut in the middle in 2020 and didn’t happen last year. Same as I wanted to be in a part of the live event in the Field Museum to support its efforts to get back to life and education, I wanted to support CEUFF. 

The hosting country is France this year, but unfortunately, there was no reception :). Still, it was great to be in the theater packed with movie lovers and the representatives of the EU in Chicago and to listen to the opening remarks of the French General Consular in Chicago. 

The opening movie was a new screen adaptation of Balzak’s “Lost Illusions” – possibly too grim in the present political situation, but most definitely an outstanding cinema production! 

Cultural Activities

The Illinois indoor mask mandate will expire on February 28, and it looks like the city of Chicago will follow suit. Masks will still be required in the hospitals and such, in schools (if the legal battles will get to some resolution), and on public transport (thank goodness!!!)

I will monitor the situation, and I guess I will act as I feel comfortable. What makes me really happy is that pretty much all festivals and celebrations are returning. I still need to copy the schedule to my calendar, but I already know that summer will be busy in a good way!

That being said, there were a lot of cultural activities in the past two weeks, as much as I could fit with the amount of work I had!

I finally went to see a movie in the Siskel center with Igor (they are running so many interesting programs, and I can’t find time for any!) We went to see a 1971 movie from the “Bad Romance” series “The new leaf.’ Nothing special, but it was very entertaining. 

Then, there was a Hairspray production in the CIBC Theater. I tried to do a Broadway in Chicago subscription this year, and I am still unsure whether I like it and will do it in the future, but I am attending several performances this season. 

Official photo
Continue reading “Cultural Activities”

A Lost Silent Movie Rediscovered

The Siskel Film Center had a special event today, and Igor and I thought it would be a great way to celebrate Igor’s birthday. 

This special event was a screening of the lost and recently rediscovered silent film “The First Degree.” It turned out that today was National Silent Movie Day, so it all came together perfectly.

Here is a story of how this film was rediscovered. Please take time to read the whole blog of the Chicago Film Archives – it’s totally worth reading!

I didn’t know that the majority of the silent movies are lost forever and that often, the studios themselves would destroy the negatives. And it’s very interesting what they say about “rural melodrama” and the fact that this film is geared towards the male audience. 

Unseen for 97 years, it’s a real gem. And the live score!!! How can you beat that?!

It was the only screening of this movie, but I hope the Siskel Center will add more later!