The Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF). Chicago has always been a great town for movie lovers; everything from the classy art-house of the Music Box to the loose, let's have fun theaters like Brew and View. If the mainstream wasn't your thing, you have an endless list of choices both new and old to choose from. If you like movies, Chicago is indeed heaven on earth.
One of the festival's best events was it's opening night featuring the art-house film Motherhood about a mother juggling her daughter's birthday party with a blog contest on Motherhood. It is written and directed by The Adventures of Pete and Pete fame Katherine Dieckmann and starring Uma Thurman. The film was pretty good but the experience of being there was pretty awesome.
What was really special about the event is that my older sister had VIP tickets since she works for one of their sponsors. With VIP tickets means that I'm in the front row of the theater. It's not really good to watch the movie but it was the absolute BEST seat for the opening ceremonies. It started out with WGN's Critic Dean Richards delivering an impressive intro to the fest as he introduced all the fest heads and a few sponsors including my school Columbia College's President Dr. Carter, the head judges, and even the Mayor Daily said a few words which was pretty cool. He made a little joke about Chicago losing the Olympic bid which was a nice little line.
The biggest honor of sitting in the front row however was the film's star Uma Thurman was there to accept the festival's Hugo Career Achievement Award. To get a little personal about this blog, I must confess that Kill Bill Vol. 1 is my favorite movie ever which I don't think a single blog could express my thoughts on that. Strangely though, I heard about the movie from the review on Ebert & Roeper and went to see it back in 03. What was even more bizarre about the screening was that film critic Roger Ebert was in attendance. So the actress of my favorite movie and the person who told me about the movie are in the same room...it was just as strangely surreal as it was fucking awesome!
After accepting the award, she said a few words about working in Chicago for the film Mad Dog and Glory (not a bad flick) which helped her start her career before Pulp Fiction came out. After thanking everyone and getting some applause, the film started. It was a good screening, the audience had a good time with it. Afterwords, there was a Q&A with the director and she actually didn't get a lot of questions. It's a good sign if a film speaks for itself and the audience doesn't need to be explained anything.
Overall, it was a great screening and will be a pretty good memory. I got to see one of my favorite film stars, a pretty good movie and got to see it with my sister Aly and my cousin Kim. Extra special thanks to my sis, so 1337! That's another thing off my list of things to do before I die, now I just need to see Quentin Tarantino, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, and Vivica A. Fox and my life is complete. Thanks to CIFF for an awesome night and awesome festival.
Here's a Video of the event; you can just see me in the front row wearing white