Cinema Chatter #39 – 2015 Catch Up

This morning the Chicago International Film Festival announces its slate of films and with it a (hopeful) deluge of highly acclaimed foreign and American films. Amid the hysteria of the fall festival season, where critics and audiences alike make quick and often exaggerated declarations on films, it’s easy to forget some of the year’s earlier offerings that don’t usually generate the same degree of communal fervor. The outlined films are available on most VOD and streaming services or could very well be playing in a local arthouse theater. They are all, to varying degrees, worth your time. 

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A Halfway There Checklist: The Best of the Year So Far

Don’t let my limited output over the course of the first half of the year fool you: it’s been a great year at the cinema. It’s been one of those years where Hollywood blockbusters, festival darlings, and foreign holdovers have (for the most part) held true to their promise and delivered something unique. Look no further than the four selected “essential” films on this list; the quartet represents dynamic revisions on form and technique that has made 2015 an incredibly progressive year. A similar dynamic of massive and micro budget films coming down the pike look to follow suit, with films like Todd Haynes’ Carol, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight demonstrating the density of this years offerings – we’re half-way through the year but there’s ample more to look forward to.

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Previewing the 31st Chicago Latino Film Festival

The Chicago Latino Cultural Center presents its annual Latino Film Festival at Chicago’s AMC River East 21 beginning April 9 through April 23. The festival, which opened to an initial 14 films screened to 500 attendees in 1985, has now ballooned to one of the most successful film festivals celebrating Latino filmmaking in the country. For additional venue and ticket information, click here. The following films screen during the festival’s opening week.

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