Blog Directory CineVerse: 2010

Holiday movie recommendations part 2

Monday, December 27, 2010

Part 2 of Erik Martin's article recommending under-the-radar holiday movies has just posted on

To read the story, click here.


Nicolas Cage times two

Sunday, December 26, 2010

CineVerse explores one of the most weird and wonderful movies of the last 10 years on Wednesday, December 29: "Adaptation" (2002; 114 minutes), directed by Spike Jonez. Hope you can join us!



Forgotten holiday movies

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bored of "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street"? Read part 1 of Erik Martin's new article listing 10 under-the-radar holiday films worth checking out.

Click here to read the story (part 2 will publish next week).


...and may all your Christmases be bright

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye have a jolly old time in "White Christmas" (1954; 120 minutes), directed by Michael Curtiz, which is CineVerse's holiday treat for Wednesday, December 22 (NOTE THAT THIS MOVIE HAD BEEN MOVED TO TUESDAY, DEC. 21, BUT IS BACK IN ITS REGULAR WEDNESDAY SLOT 7-10 P.M.). Take some time off that seasonal shopping and join us for a fun evening.


January-February 2011 CineVerse schedule posted

Thursday, December 16, 2010

CineVerse has a lot of fun, absorbing and insightful flicks on the calendar for the new year. Click here to read, download and/or print out the January/February 2011 schedule.


New film column ready

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A fresh film column has just sprouted up, ripe for the reading.

To check out Erik Martin's latest "Not Coming Soon to a Megaplex Near You" write-up--which this time focuses on Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" and the classic holiday musical "White Christmas"--click here.


Ride high in the saddle on Dec. 15

Sunday, December 12, 2010

On December 15, CineVerse will hit the western trails with "Ride the High Country" (1962; 94 minutes), directed by Sam Peckinpah. We'll also have time to preview the January/February 2011 CineVerse schedule a la a trailer reel.


CineVerse meetings moved back to regular slots: Dec. 22 and 29

Friday, December 10, 2010

CineVerse has been playing a bit of musical chairs with the calendar lately.

At first, we were told that we would need to move our Dec. 22 and 29 meetings to a day earlier (Tuesday, Dec. 21 and Tuesday, Dec. 29). Now, we've been assured that we can move those dates back to their original slots on the calendar.

So that means we will meet for "White Christmas" on Wednesday, Dec. 22, and "Adaptation" on Wednesday, Dec. 29, both nights from 7-10 p.m., as originally scheduled. Sorry for all the confusion, but the good news is that we won't have to shift or cancel these events. Hope to see you over the next few Wednesdays!


The Mother and Child reunion

The Oak Lawn Library will be presenting the following film free of charge in its lower level meeting room:

Mother and Child (2009) -- Wednesday, December 15 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. -- A touching drama centered around three women: A 50-year-old woman, the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago, and a woman looking to adopt a child of her own. Starring Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington and Jimmy Smits. Rated: R for brief nudity. 125 min.


New film column up

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A new "Not Coming Soon to a Megaplex Near You" film column by Erik Martin has published on Oak Lawn's

This time around, Erik dissects "From Here to Eternity" and "You Can't Take it With You," two great old-time flicks being shown locally in the coming days.

Click here to view the column.


Come kiss "The Bride"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

CineVerse travels across the globe to bring you a World Cinema Wednesday special from Argentina on December 8: "Son of the Bride" (2001; 123 minutes), directed by Juan Jose Campanella.


Pearl Harbor 70 years later

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be presenting the following film free of charge in its lower level meeting room:

From Here to Eternity (1953) -- Tuesday, December 7 at 10 a.m. -- This Academy Award winning film takes place in the days prior to the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. A private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love. Starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra. Rated: PG. 118 min.


It may be spelled funny, but it still adds up to great suspense

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Craving a good thriller? Join CineVerse on December 1 to check out "Se7en" (1995; 127 minutes), directed by the David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. But be prepared to give your nerves a serious workout!


Your Pal and mine

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

(Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part article on pioneering filmmaker/animator George Pal; part 1 published last Wednesday)

Now riding a comet tail of box‑office success to the top, Pal jumped aboard his next, and most ambitious, producing project with all the enthusiasm of a wide‑eyed kid in a candy shop. H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds would be his sci‑fi adaptation extraordinaire, set not in late 19th century England, but in 1950s California, Pal’s home turf. Pal’s vision permeated throughout the 1953 film: instead of being faithful to the book and showing the Martians as 16‑tentacled squid‑like aliens, the creatures were portrayed as two‑legged, leathery black‑skinned mutants who fly sleek, colorful spaceships that spew crimson death rays. One of the film’s most convincing scenes depicts Los Angeles set entirely ablaze, which helped Pal and crew land its third straight special effects Oscar.

War of the Worlds proved to be yet another pioneering triumph for Pal: the first feature film that portrays a full‑scale invasion and destruction of America, a theme that would be revisited again decades later in post‑Pal productions like V, Red Dawn and Independence Day.

War of the Worlds also began a three‑film collaboration with Pal and director Byron Haskin, and gave audiences their first glimpse at Pal himself, with the producer standing in as the character described in the credits as bum #1 listening to the radio.

“War of the Worlds was always my favorite of George’s films,” said Forrest Ackerman, former publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine, when I interviewed him years back. “I remember seeing a preview of it at Paramount and, by the end of the movie, remembering to breathe. Interestingly, George later said that he wished he would have left it as a period piece.”

Continuing his successful filmic theme of mass destruction to human society, Pal next produced the nature‑against‑man action/adventure flick Naked Jungle (1954), starring Charlton Heston as a plantation owner defending his family and his land from an omnipotent army of flesh‑eating ants.

By the mid‑1950s, the filmmaker was concentrating solely on features, but began encountering more headaches with a studio system that often didn’t let him call the shots. Pal’s next sci‑fi production, Conquest of Space (1955), was plagued by studio interference and, eventually, critical scorn. Conquest tells the story of a mission to Mars with a very tacked‑on Hollywood ending. Rumor has it that Pal was furious at Paramount for tinkering with the film. Perhaps his frustration following Conquest led Pal to push for a chance at directing a full‑length feature, which he realized with Tom Thumb (1958), a movie that combined live actors, animation and puppets. The film, a big box‑office success, netted Pal more Oscar gold for special effects.

H.G. Wells was again given the Pal treatment in 1960's The Time Machine. Brilliant time‑travel sequences and strikingly designed Morlock costumes and effects certainly helped producer/director Pal win his fifth Academy Award for FX. Yet, despite this rocketing success, Ackerman says that Pal stayed down to earth and focused on doing what he did best—making more movies.

“George was a very easygoing guy, not an Erich von Stroheim who enjoyed yelling and screaming on the set,” Ackerman recalled. “As a producer and director, he was actually a pretty quiet person. And a little ahead of his time, too. I remember being on the set for The Time Machine, during the scene where Yvette Mimieux is swimming in the pool. George wanted to film her swimming naked, which of course you couldn’t do then, though it would be nothing to do that today.”

With the onset of the 1960s, Pal’s box‑office magic was starting to lose its power over audiences. He would go on to produce/direct a pair of fantasy flops—Atlantis: The Lost Continent (1961), and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962)—before conjuring up what would become a bona fide cult classic, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964), featuring the very unusual casting choice of Tony Randall as the multiple‑personality proprietor of a mystical circus. The final decade of Pal’s career was plagued by growing studio indifference to sci‑fi and fantasy fare. Pal produced two weak final offerings in 1968 and ‘75, The Power and Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze before his death from a heart attack in 1980.

“George had always wanted to remake Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, said Ackerman,” who was asked by Pal’s widow to deliver the eulogy at his friend’s wake. “That was his holy grail. But George’s problem was that the studios never really coughed up enough cash for him to do what he was capable of. Unfortunately, he was always on a tight string.”

Projects pulled from Pal, some yanked at the last moment, others due to lack of studio interest, included Logan’s Run, When the Sleeper Wakes and sequels to When Worlds Collide and The Time Machine.

Some critics argue that while Pal’s movies were packed with lasting, colorful cinematic images, scripts and acting in his films were usually neglected.

Ackerman is quick to dismiss these aspersions. Ask him if today’s sci‑fi film fare can hold a candle to the best of Pal’s work, and Ackerman will tell you it’s a case of the tail wagging the werewolf.

“Special effects are king now, but as far as storytelling, I’m still waiting [for science fiction/horror filmmakers] to get back to the first principles that make a film good,” said Ackerman. “George’s goal was to simply entertain, to tell a great science‑fiction story.”


"Eat Pray Love" coming to Oak Lawn Library

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be presenting the following film free of charge in its lower level meeting room:

Eat Pray Love (2010) -- Tuesday, November 23 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. -- Julia Roberts plays a woman who leaves an unhappy marriage and takes a round-the-world journey to "find herself." Also starring Billy Crudup and Javier Bardem. Rated: PG-13. 133 min.


Lilies of the Field rescheduled for January

Please be aware that CineVerse will not meet on Wednesday, Nov. 24, due to the Oak View Center building closing early. The film slated for that evening, "Lilies of the Field," will be rescheduled for sometime in January (the January/February 2011 CineVerse schedule will be released in mid December).

Additionally, please note that our Dec. 22 and 29 CineVerse dates will also need to be moved due to early building closings on those dates; we will now meet to screen and discuss "White Christmas" on Tuesday, Dec. 21 from 7-10 p.m., and "Adaptation" has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 28 from 7-10 p.m.

To view an updated Nov/Dec 2010 schedule, click here.

Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we will reconvene on Dec. 1 for "Se7en". Hope to see you then!


Our pal, King George

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

King of Classic Celluloid Sci-fi

by Erik J. Martin

(Note: This is part 1 of a 2-part article on George Pal; part 2 will publish next Wednesday)

Long before Lucas, sci‑fi cinema had a Pal in Hollywood. And, by George, coincidence be damned if they didn’t share the same first name.

Like Lucas, George Pal created futuristic film fantasies that defined their generation. And, like Lucas, Pal persisted in his quest to make quality escapist films despite critical barbs and studio naysayers. Indeed, as the man responsible for bringing to life big‑screen science‑fiction classics like The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, When Worlds Collide and The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, Pal was practically a one‑man sci‑fi film studio throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

“His legacy leaves behind quite a body of work,” said Forrest J. Ackerman, the former editor/creator of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, of his longtime friend Pal, when I interviewed him years ago. “Someone like Fritz Lang, a genius in his own right, is only remembered for two science‑fiction films: Woman in the Moon and Metropolis. But Pal fans have a vast variety of films to pick from. They’ve stood the test of time quite well. His movies were always out of this world, but George was very down to earth in his depictions of the common man overcoming tremendous odds.”

Which could be a fitting description for Pal himself. The child of a theatrical family, he was born in Cegled, Hungary, in 1908. The young Pal attended the Budapest Academy with aspirations of becoming an architect, but legend has it that a clerical error landed him in illustration classes, where Pal’s true talents emerged. Pal ended up earning his architectural degree, but quickly found that Hungary offered very few jobs for architects. Luckily, Hunnia, a small Hungarian film studio was in need of animation illustrators, and Pal was hired.

His hopes for financial security were dashed, however, when he learned that the new job was an unpaid apprenticeship. Pal’s new bride Zsoka suggested that they migrate to Berlin to find paid work, which Pal did at the famous UFA studio, which produced films for German filmmaking legends like Lang, Ernst Lubitsch and F.W. Murnaugh. After only two months, Pal was supervising all of UFA’s cartoon production. But by 1933, Hitler’s Gestapo began rounding up foreigners throughout Germany, and the Pals were quickly on the move again, this time, for Prague, Czechoslovakia.

There, Pal attempted to launch a one‑man animation studio, but couldn’t locate any of the special cameras he needed to realize his animation dreams. It was then that he decided to chuck the cartoon concept and to use puppets, instead. Pal’s puppets—which he called Puppetoons—were born, and the world of animation would never again be the same.

Though many historians credit John Sutherland with pioneering the technique, some say Pal invented the art of replacement animation (used prominently in films like The Nightmare Before Christmas) in which separate puppets or parts of puppets were crafted to represent each desired action, instead of using the same puppets with hinged or malleable parts. For example, instead of reshaping a pliable puppet head for each changing frame to depict facial expressions, a series of reusable heads would be fashioned, each with a slightly different expression.

Pal’s career as a movie puppetmaster began in Paris, where he and his wife relocated to create a stop‑motion cigarette commercial to be shown in theaters. Not content with the short‑lived success the ad achieved, the Pals picked up and moved yet again, this time to Einhover, Holland, where the animator founded his Dollywood studio, partially financed by an investor who commissioned Pal to make special Puppetoon ads for him. The shorts became so popular that theaters began billing them in the lobby and playing them pro bono.

By the mid 1930s, Pal’s animated shorts and entertainment films began to catch the eye of America, and soon he had secured lucrative deals with overseas clients. In 1939, the Pals, who were in the States giving a lecture at Columbia University, left their European roots behind forever upon hearing the news that Hitler had invaded Poland. The couple headed for the sunny climes of California, and Pal signed a long‑term contract with Paramount Pictures to produce dozens of non‑advertising Puppetoon shorts.

Soon Pal was collaborating with the best animators in the business, including Gene Warren, Bob Baker, Wah Chang and a burgeoning young talent named Ray Harryhausen, whom Pal hired in the early 1940s. Between 1943‑1944, Paramount’s Puppetoons series was in its full glory, and an average film called for the crafting of 9,000 puppets. Pal’s Puppetoon characters had become a sensation, and the filmmaker was turning into a hot Hollywood commodity.

It wasn’t long before Paramount entrusted Pal to produce a live‑action feature film. It was 1950's Destination Moon, widely considered to be the first sci‑fi movie of the red scare era, when futuristic films, created as a subtle reminder of the threat of global communism and nuclear annihilation and man’s ability to stave off these impending dooms through science and technology, were in full bloom. The film’s story details how a scientist, an engineer and a general persuade rich businessmen to help them defy the government and build a rocketship in a patriotic effort to beat the Russians to the moon. Pal’s successful movie was truly ahead of its time: not only did Destination Moon win an Academy Award for its special effects animation, but the film also anticipates America’s lunar landing by 20 years.

For his next trick, Pal made a catastrophic classic for the ages, When Worlds Collide (1951), which depicts the mayhem that ensues when a wayward planet is found to be on a collision course with Earth and a spaceship is created for a select group to escape in. It, too, landed Pal and his team an Oscar for special effects, thanks in particular to its Armageddon‑ish climax, in which New York is seen being struck by a tidal wave.

Next week: Part 2--War of the Worlds and more


New film column posted

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My next film column for has posted, this time spotlighting "The Band's Visit" and "Lilies of the Field," two films to be shown in the south suburbs over the next few days.

To read the column, click here.


It's not scandalous, it's "Notorious"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You won't want to miss one of Hitchcock's very best on November 17: "Notorious" (1946; 101 minutes) will be CineVerse's main attraction, featuring standout performances by Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be presenting the following film free of charge in its lower level meeting room:

Please Give (2010) -- Friday, November 12 at 10 a.m. -- In this quirky comedy, a New York City husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of a woman who lives in an apartment that they own. Starring Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet and Ann Morgan Guilbert. Rated: R for brief nudity. 90 min.


Taste the "Bitter Rice" at St. Xavier University

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

“Bitter Rice” (1949), directed by Giuseppe De Santis, is one classic foreign flick will not leave a bad taste in your mouth. In fact, it’s quite the savory and rare delicacy, as evidenced by the fact that it’s currently not available on DVD in North America.

Fortunately, St. Xavier University is presenting this film on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at McGuire Hall absolutely free as part of its 2010-11 film series—the focus of which is on the experience of labor round the world (previous St. Xavier showings this fall included Chaplin’s “Modern Times” and Gregory Nava’s unforgettable “El Norte”).


Second film column published

Monday, November 8, 2010

Erik Martin's second film column for (now officially titled "Not Coming to a Megaplex Near You") has just posted on

This time around, Erik writes about 2 classic films soon to be playing in the area: Bitter Rice and Hitchcock's Notorious.

Click here to read the column.


Come see The Sea Inside

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CineVerse shifts its focus overseas to Spain on November 10 with "The Sea Inside" (2004; 125 minutes), directed by Alejandro Amenabar.

Join us for this introspective and inspirational film about a disabled man, based on a true story.


Polish Film Festival comes to Beverly Arts Center

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Beverly Arts Center in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago presents a Polish Film Festival, Nov. 10-19. Explore six different films from 2009-2010. Sreenings are $13, students, $12 (with ID) and seniors, $9. Festival passes available at

Established in 1989, the Polish Film Festival in America (PFFA) promotes Polish cinema, screening features, documentaries and shorts to Chicagoland venues.

For more info, visit


The Swimmer is floating your way

Monday, November 1, 2010

It may not feel much like summer, but CineVerse is about to open the pool on one cool movie from the sixties: "The Swimmer" (1968; 95 minutes), directed by Frank Perry and starring Burt Lancaster, will be our featured spotlight on Nov. 3.

Plus, we'll present a trailer tribute to Burt Lancaster prior to the film.


One movie that doesn't suck--then again, maybe it does

Friday, October 29, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

If you prefer a boxoffice bloodsucker with a little comic bite this Halloween season, sink your teeth into "Vampire's Kiss," a wonderfully weird flick that quickly became a cult classic following its 1989 release.

Oscar winner Nicolas Cage stars as Peter Loew (back when Cage was playing more daring, on-the-edge roles and establishing himself as Hollywood’s biggest risk-taker), a yuppie with a womanizing reputation. But Low gets his comeuppance right in the jugular from bedmate Jennifer Beals one night, and is gradually convinced that he’s become one of the undead.

Cage brilliantly transforms his character from egotistical suave bachelor to psychotic psychosomatic and, with his delightfully twisted performance, delivers some of the most memorably shocking images ever captured onscreen.

In one scene he pretends his sofa is a coffin by turning it upside down and lowering it onto himself. In another, he snarfs down a live pigeon. And who could forget the yummy moment when Cage actually eats a live cockroach?


That pesky Michael Myers is at it again...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

Enjoy slasher movies? You can't go wrong with John Carpenter's "Halloween" this scary season. The original, of course, spawned a franchise that droned on and one with one bad sequel after another.

The second installment in the series, however, "Halloween II" (the INITIAL Halloween II from 1981, not the Rob Zombie-helmed remake from last year) is worth a look if this is your kind of genre. This follow-up to the original “Halloween” set the pace for all slasher sequels to follow.

Dubbed "The Nightmare Isn't Over!", "Halloween II" picks up exactly where the first movie leaves off: Michael Myers has escaped and the injured Laurie Strode is on her way to the hospital. And that white-walled setting is exactly where the Boogieman plans to strike next. No remote controlled bed can protect Jamie Lee Curtis from the masked one’s murderous mission -- to seek and sever Haddonfield’s favorite babysitter.

Sure, the script is Swiss cheese thin and the acting is far from Oscar caliber, but the flick has a certain brain dead appeal and laughably campy quality that makes it a B-grade cult favorite, despite its obvious outdated look and style. It's also Curtis’ last appearance in the series until "H20", 17 years later.


November/December 2010 schedule posted

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The new November/December 2010 CineVerse calendar is ready for you to access.

We've got a wide variety of films to explore over the next nine weeks, including westerns, thrillers, foreign favorites, holiday classics and more. To view, download or print out our new schedule, click here.


Is that a baby screaming...or you?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tis the season for goosebumps...CineVerse concludes Shocktober Theater this week with an exploration of "Rosemary's Baby" (1968; 136 minutes), directed by Roman Polanski, scheduled for Wed., Oct. 27.

Note that this film contains graphic content that can offend some viewers. You are encouraged to read up more on it before attending.


Hitchcock for Halloween

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

North by Northwest (1951) -- Thursday, October 28 at 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. -- In this Alfred Hitchcock thriller of mistaken identity, Cary Grant plays a hapless New York advertising executive who is chased across the country by foreign spies. Also starring Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. Rated: PG. 101 min.

Read more... spotlights CineVerse film group

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oak Lawn's Web site and its editor Lorraine Swanson recently posted a fun feature article on our CineVerse film group, including photos.
Lorraine visited us during our viewing/discussion of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" back on October 6 and wrote a very complimentary story about our group as well as the film itself.

To read this write-up, click here.


CineVerse moderator has a new column on

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Erik Martin, your CineVerse moderator, now writes a film review column twice monthly for's Oak Lawn Web site.

To view my debut column, which spotlights "Rosemary's Baby" and "North by Northwest," two upcoming classic thrillers to be shown in Oak Lawn over the next week, click here. is AOL's new hyperlocal community news portal with a dedicate site in various suburbs around Chicago, including Oak Lawn. To visit Oak Lawn Patch, click here. Please visit this site regularly for the latest news in and around Oak Lawn as well as a plethora of interesting features, columns and articles. And spread the good word to family and friends to check out


Enjoy classic cartoons and shorts at Spookview

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If you've got young'ns, make plans to bring them to Spookview, Oak View Center's annual Halloween event for families, on Saturday, Oct. 23.

As is his annual tradition, CineVerse moderator Erik Martin will be present at the festivities showing classic cartoons and entertaining shorts themed around Halloween, projected on a big screen in one of the classrooms. Other events include hobbies/crafts, specially themed rooms, games and more.

For more details on Spookview, click here or ph
one (708) 857-2222.


A dash of suspense from France

Sunday, October 17, 2010

With Halloween approaching, CineVerse cordially invites you to attend Shocktober Theater--if your nerves can stand it!

Be with us on Wed., October 20 for a World Cinema Wednesday special from France: "Diabolique" (1955; 116 minutes), directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot--the film that inspired Hitchcock to make "Psycho."


The understated (and underrated) genius of "The Usual Suspects"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

by Camiele White

(Note: This is a guest blog written by a fan of our site.)

The best trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

What can be said about a film that personifies the very essence of smooth? There are those films that are recognised for their exceptional plot, powerful cast, for their undeniable cinematographic excellence. Very rarely have there been films that have eagerly, and with style, embraced every aspect of film, giving the industry a taste of something truly spectacular. The Usual Suspects is a film that defies expectation, scoffs at clichés, and challenges an established order while still being an affair that both entertains and intrigues.

I won’t over-saturate this blog with clichés; I won’t give you a bunch of colloquialisms to describe the mastery of this film. Without having to go there, anyone can understand the beauty of this film. Every time you watch it, it continues informing you of its majesty. Forget a fine wine; this film is a straight double shot of Tequila --bright and voluptuous like the lady she resembles, but also rough and full of fire like the aftertaste of the Devil’s kiss.

With all its charm and sophistication, The Usual Suspects was a film that was destined to either stand the test of time as one of the most brilliant experiences captured on celluloid or to fade away in the annals of films that were good, but far from memorable. Fortunately, director Bryan Singer had enough foresight to do away with the pretentiousness of such films as Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind and just give viewing audiences the pleasure of a film that only plays up its cinematography when the mood and space calls for harsh atmosphere.

Well, one can’t have adulation without giving some sort of reference. The first scene immediately sets the tone for what the audience is to experience: we’re on a docked boat in San Pedro. We see a faceless man in a trench coat and Fedora. He’s walking menacingly towards an injured man. The two have a short conversation before the injured man is shot to death and the boat set ablaze. The injured man is an exceptional con artist named Keaton. The faceless murderer: Keyser Söze.

From this point our story develops into something quite unexpected.

The narrator and star witness of our tale is an unfortunate cripple affectionately (or scathingly) known as “Verbal” (played with chilling authority by Kevin Spacey) --despite his shortcomings in stature and physical strength, he most certainly has an astoundingly loquacious gift. Before we leave the pier, we are given a slowly creeping close-up of a pile of ropes and ship fodder behind which sits our cowering storyteller. Throughout the film Verbal regales us with the adventures of this group of miscreants, led by Dean Keaton (played with sophistication by Gabriel Byrne) and including Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), Fred Fenster (Benicio del Toro), and Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollack).

I don’t want to trouble you with the entire plot of the film --if you’re up on your film history, you’ll have already seen this masterpiece. However, there are a few moments in the film that truly mark it as one of the greats. One of the most iconic is actually a film reel blooper that became ultimately became part of the finished product. The now infamous line-up scene in which each man is asked to step forward and repeat the line “Hand me the keys, you f---ing c---sucker!”

Fenster speaks some sort of mangled English, a characteristic del Toro adopted to add to Fenster’s awkward smoothness. During the shooting, Fenster steps forward and before he even gets the line out, begins to do his partners in crime. This scene had been started and stopped numerous times before Singer finally just went with it, creating one of the most hilariously brilliant scenes in cinematic history.

Of course, one can’t forget Verbal’s account of how the infamous Keyser Söze became so infamous. As a low-level dope runner, Söze wasn’t much to through a parade over. But, this, we find out, was simply his way of managing his anger and moving it towards something truly magnanimous down the line. A group of notorious bandits comes shattering through his world in an attempt to demand that he give over his business to them --they rape his wife and threaten his children.

When Söze walks in on the scene of his ravaged wife and frightened kids, the leader of the group immediately slits the throat one of his son to let him know that they meant business. So what does Söze do in retaliation? He shoots two of the hitmen without hesitation. The leader then grabs Söze’s daughter and puts the knife to her throat. At this point, you’d expect any man to cede defeat --not the Keyser. Instead, as Verbal tells us, “he showed these men of will what will really was.” He shoots his wife and his remaining children. Before he lets the leader of the pack go, he says “I’d rather see my family dead than live another day after this.”

Thus spoke Keyser Söze.

The Usual Suspects also produced one of the most twisted and mind-blowing scenes to ever hit the big screen. After telling his story in defence of his good friend, Keaton, Verbal is finally allowed to leave the police station. This is where the film gains its reputation as one of the most cleverly shot and acted in the world. Verbal, along with his unbelievable gift of gab, also has a keen eye for detail and an intelligence that most underestimate. While weaving his tale of what happened in San Pedro on that boat pier, Verbal has connected dots with details about the FBI office in which he’s being interrogated. From where the tacky board was manufactured (Skokie, IL) to the type of coffee mug (Kobayashi) that US Customs Special Agent Dave Kujan (played convincingly in style by Chazz Palminteri) is drinking from.

Each little nuance, each minute idiosyncrasy that even the trained eye would miss plays a part in the tapestry woven by Kevin Spacey’s Verbal. I don’t want to ruin the surprise; however, the mastery of the script, beauty of the photography, and the genius of the acting culminated in an ending that shocked audiences across the board --M. Night Shyamalan could learn a thing or two about plot twists. What Night attempts to set up in an entire movie (sometimes hitting, others missing), Singer manages to accomplish in the last five minutes of the film.

It makes one wonder about the artistry of the craft. Filmmakers are always, it seems, striving to win the ardour of a prestigious group of viewers that may or may not exist. I wonder if, perhaps, it’s possible to forget about the process and let the beauty unfold right in front of you --no pretence, no expectation. What if, my dear hearts, we were allowed to view something that had all the technical merit of am award-winning film but delivered a chill so unexpected that not even someone privy to the world of plot twist would be able to figure it out? What if we were all being put in the miraculous situation of being nothing more than serendipitous bystanders to a scene that was planned for us? The Usual Suspects forces the audience to accept that they are nothing more than puppets in the plot to disrupt the madness of expectation --expect the world to become a better place by the end? The ruthless truth is nothing is ever as straightforward as we’d like it to be.

Perhaps the most astonishing turn of events has yet to be played out for us. The Devil is smiling and holding the strings taut. Perhaps the best trick the Devil ever pulled wasn’t convincing the world he didn’t exist. Perhaps it was convincing the world to do his bidding for him.

And just like that [poof], he’s gone.

With bags under my eyes I write this. Films have the hypnotic tendency to take the sleep right out of me. Because of this, I have the curious habit of writing out screenplays in my sleep. Part of my fascination with film has bled over into the blogging world. From Korean horror to Ninja flicks, I keep myself awake watching and writing. Right now, I get my jabberjaw jollies writing about costumes for Halloween. If you want to give me a buzz, I can be reached at


The Great Potemkin

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two years ago this week, one of the most influential and unforgettable films in cinema history was explored by our CineVerse group: The Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein, featuring the amazing Odessa steps sequence that changed film editing forever.

To hear that insightful discussion again, click here for the podcast.


Swing back with Astaire and Rogers

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Feel light and fancy free, classic Hollywood style, by coming to CineVerse on Wed., October 13 for "Swing Time" (1936; 103 minutes), directed by George Stevens and starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

We'll have time to kick off the evening with a preview of the November/December CineVerse schedule, too


Foxy and fantastic

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) -- Monday, October 11 at 2 p.m. -- In this stop-action animated film, an urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation. Featuring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray. Rated: PG. 87 min.


Baby talk

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

Babies (2010) -- Monday, October 11 at 10 a.m. -- A visually-stunning documentary that takes a look at the first year of four babies living in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and Tokyo. Rated: PG. 79 min.


Put Chicago Film Festival on your calendar

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Enjoy fresh films from around the world? You don't have to go globetrotting to catch them--they'll come to your neck of the woods starting Thursday.

The 46th Chicago International Film Festival is right around the corner. This year's festival runs October 7-21. For more details, visit


Tattoo you

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CineVerse is proud to present one of the most talked-about movies of the last year. Make plans to be with us on Wed., October 6 for a World Cinema Wednesday special from Sweden: "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (2009; 152 minutes), based on the bestselling novel and directed by Niels Arden Opley.

Please note that this is a dark, disturbing film which contains a fair amount of graphic content. If you are easily offended or disturbed, you are encouraged to read up on it first before viewing. That being said, we hope you'll still join us, see it for yourself and judge it on its own merits. Also, because this film is 2.5 hours long, we will need to start it promptly at 7 p.m., which will still only allow for a very limited discussion time.


Meet the Young Victoria

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

The Young Victoria (2009) -- Wednesday, September 29 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. -- A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. Starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend. Rated: PG. 100 min.


Laugh-out-loud lunacy a la the Coen brothers

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In the mood for a gut-busting comedy? Join CineVerse on Wed., September 29 for "Raising Arizona" (1987; 94 minutes), directed by the Coen brothers. We'll also have time for a trailer tribute the this great sibling filmmaker team.


Move over celluloid (part 2)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

(This is part 2 of a 2-part article on digital movie theater projection; part 1 published yesterday.)

by Erik J. Martin

Under ideal circumstances and using the best equipment, digital movies projected on a big screen can produce extremely bright, crisp, colorful images. There are no film-grain artifacts, jerky projector movements or reel-replacement delays to interrupt your moviegoing experience. Unlike film, which can intersect with the shutter 48 times a second, light from a digital projector is always hitting the screen, arguably yielding a more pure, robust picture.

A movie studio or distributor can send a theater its e-movie on a portable hard drive that stores the images as digital files that can be played through a digital projector, beam the film directly to the theater via satellite, or transmit the information in real time through fiber optics or over the Internet. That means the production cycle - from shooting the feature to getting it in theaters - will be shortened, possibly allowing moviegoers to see a new release months earlier than today's distribution process allows.

But despite digital advantages, e-movies face a number of hurdles before corporate and consumer acceptance can be assured. For one, while the picture is vibrant and robust, it still can't boast the same contrast ratio as film. Dark colors and bright images set against black screens aren't rendered quite as true, which can limit a cinematographer's vision and compromise a film's artistic scope.

What's more, the transition costs from film to digital projectors in theaters are staggering. Digital projectors cost hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. And because there is no trade group or regulatory agency to enforce digital-cinema standards, a flurry of competing projection technologies could confuse the motion-picture marketplace and set back the evolution of digital movies for longer than industry experts anticipate.

Texas Instruments’ popular line of digital light processing projectors are used to display first-run movies on nearly 5,500 screens across North America. In an effort to compete with Texas Instruments, Sony recently inked a major deal to install its 4K digital projectors in all AMC Entertainment theaters (nearly 5,000 screens).


Move over celluloid--make way for digital flicks

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

While 3-D theatrical films are making a bigger splash lately, 3-D isn't the only hot technology wave that's grabbing the attention of viewers. Digital movie projection could change the way movies are made and viewed.

In the not-too-distant future, "going to see a film" may be an outdated expression. That's because there may not be any "film" to see. Instead, every multiplex or moviehouse you frequent henceforth could very well be showing a state-of-the-art multimedia movie, digital-style.

If you thought high def technology represented the biggest revolution in movie entertainment since the advent of surround sound, think again. All signs indicate that the real watershed in motion picture enjoyment may not be the trend toward 3-D; instead, perhaps it will come from digital movie projection at your favorite theaters.

“E-movies” first began to make headlines in the late 1990s, when big-budget, mainstream flicks made brief debuts via digital projector. Director George Lucas became a pioneer allover again when he decided to release a digitally projected version of "Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace" at four specially equipped theaters in 1999. Since then, many films, have been projected digitally to lucky audiences across the country. In fact, some industry experts estimate that approximately 20 percent of theatrical films are being projected digitally today.

Why the seemingly sudden shift from 35 mm film to digital images? Though it's unlikely that electronic movies will completely replace film anytime soon, digital movies can save studios and theaters money in the long run and give audiences an upgrade in picture and sound, resulting in more bang for your box office buck.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of this article


"Glory" in the greatness of Kubrick

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Take the road less traveled and join CineVerse on Wed., Sept. 22 for "Paths of Glory" (1957; 87 minutes), directed by Stanley Kubrick. We'll also have time to take in a trailer tribute to the films of Kubrick. Don't miss this one!


Political paranoia podcast

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Three years ago this week CineVerse dissected the great political thriller "All the President's Men," starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.

This riveting group discussion was captured on tape and can be enjoyed again by clicking here.


The movies are great "In America"

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

In America (2002) -- Friday, September 17 at 10 a.m. -- A touching, modern story of a young Irish immigrant family adjusting to life in New York City. Rated: PG-13. 105 min.


Life, the universe and everything

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Like Thai food? Maybe you'll also like a Thai movie. CineVerse will explore
"Last Life in the Universe" (2003; 112 minutes), directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, on Wed., Sept. 15.


Links for movie lovers

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Enjoy reading about movies? Appreciate perspectives from other film fanatics? Here are a few recommended blogs and sites you can visit for further reading on film:

And if you relish renting or buying movies on home video, here are a few good resources that provide reviews and such:


Jane Campion tickles the ivories

Sunday, September 5, 2010

CineVerse will explore a passionate love story set in a foreign land on Wed., September 8 with a viewing and discussion of "The Piano" (1993; 121 minutes), directed by Jane Campion. and starring Holly Hunter. Hope you can join us!


The soundtrack to our cinematic lives

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy September, film fans! A new month brings a new CineVerse poll. For September, CineVerse asks the question, “What is the greatest film score of all time?” Is it “Gone With the Wind”? “Star Wars”? “Jaws”? The American Film Institute ranked its top 25 all-time film scores, so those will be among the choices. Vote for your favorite movie music by participating in our latest CineVerse poll, found on the left sidebar of our home page. Deadline to vote is through Sept. 30.

By the way, here are the results to our last poll, which queried: “What is the greatest science-fiction film of all time?” There was a tie at the top: “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Star Wars” each garnered 20 percent of the vote; runners up included “E.T.” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (13% each).


Au revoir, August -- hello September

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Join CineVerse on Wed., Sept. 1 for Louis Malle's bittersweet ode to the loss of childhood innocence, "A Revoir Les Enfants" (1987; 104 minutes), a French film with English subtitles, hailed as one of the best movies of the eighties.


The "Last Picture" for August

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It won't be the last picture show we ever see together, but it will be "The Last Picture Show" (1971; 118 minutes), directed by Peter Bogdonovich.

Make plans to attend CineVerse on August 25 for this unforgettable movie.


A picture is worth a thousand screams...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) -- Wednesday, August 25 at 2 p.m. -- A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all. Starring George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed and Angela Lansbury. Based on a novel by Oscar Wilde. Rated: PG. 110 min.


Check out our new CineVerse schedule

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fall is not quite here yet, but the new CineVerse schedule for September and October is!

Click here  (or click on the "Current schedule" link at the top of our Web page) to view the calendar for the next two months, which features quite an eclectic mix of new, old, American and foreign films. We hope to see lots of you over the next several Wednesdays!


Time for a checkup with "Dr. Zhivago"

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

Dr. Zhivago (1965) -- Friday, August 20 at 10 a.m. -- The epic story of the life of a Russian doctor/poet who, although married, falls for a political activist's wife and experiences hardships during the Bolshevik Revolution. Starring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie and Rod Steiger. Based on a novel by Boris Pasternak. Rated: PG-13. 197 min. Snacks at intermission.


Enter the underworld of "Orpheus"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's no myth: The story of Orpheus is a timeless tale that translates well to French cinema, a la director Jean Cocteau's "Orpheus" (1950; 95 minutes), which is next up on our CineVerse calendar for August 18. Join us for what should be a real World Cinema Wednesday treat.


House rules

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

Recently, I was challenged to name my favorite comedies of all time. After much deliberation, the top choice was obvious: "Duck Soup" starring the Marx Brothers. But the silver and bronze winners and other follow-ups were not so easy to rank. When in doubt, they say it's best to trust your heart--or, in this case, your funnybone. And the movie that consistently makes me laugh more than few others has got to be "National Lampoon's Animal House."

Twenty-plus years aggo, toga parties, food fights and frat parties were all the rage, thanks to this modern comedy classic directed by John Landis. It became the highest grossing comedy of its era, and has come to be regarded as one of the funniest films of all time.

Based on co-screenwriter Chris Miller's experiences at his Dartmouth College fraternity house in 1962, "Animal House" details the side-splitting exploits of the bawdy Delta House frat boys, who wage a war against class and the classroom by being, well, classless.

Released in 1978 by Universal Studios, the film launched the big screen careers of many of its stars, including John Belushi (as party-hard slob Bluto Blutarsky), Kevin Bacon (Chip), Karen Allen (Katy), and Tom Hulce (Larry, the character modeled after Miller). It also put Landis and co-screenwriter Harold Ramis on the map as Hollywood's hottest comedy creators. Only two years later, Landis would go on to direct "The Blues Brothers."

After more than 50 colleges rejected Landis' request to film on location, the director finally bagged the University of Oregon at Eugene as his set, on the condition that location shooting wrap 30 days or less. The result? A hectic six-day work week of filming, which allowed Belushi's on-the-spot improv antics to steal many a scene. The building used for filming Delta House's exterior shots was also a halfway house for convicts, only adding to the behind-the-scenes absurdity.

A bit of little-known "Animal House" trivia: Dan Aykroyd was originally cast as motorcycle madman D-Day, and Chevy Chase was first offered the role of Otter, played by Tim Matheson; Belushi earned a mere $35,000 for his role; and Otis Day & the Knights' bass player in the film is none other than marquee blues guitarist Robert Cray


From Hollywood to Cooperstown

Monday, August 9, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

Your friendly neighborhood CineVerse moderator visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown last week and got a chance to tour a pretty snazzy "Baseball at the Movies" exhibit. Many vintage posters and artifacts from celebrated baseball flicks were on display, including "Fear Strikes Out," "The Pride of the Yankees," and, of course, "The Natural."

In fact, here is a personal snapshot of some key props from that film that I took:

Speaking of "The Natural," The Oak Lawn Library will be showing this film in its lower level meeting room on Thursday, August 12 at 10 a.m. (for more details visit

"The Natural" (1984) is the story of an average baseball player comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent. Starring Robert Redford and Glenn Close. Based on a novel by Bernard Malamud. Rated: PG. 144 min.


Take a "Road" trip with Tom Hanks

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby weren't the only duo to make "The Road to..." movies. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman paired up for "The Road to Perdition" (2002; 117 minutes), directed by Sam Mendes--a gripping drama about a mob hit man and his son on the run. Join CineVerse on August 11 for a night of fine drama.

Note: The August 11 movie will NOT be "Orpheus," as mistakenly posted previously. That film is scheduled for August 18.


When Hollywood rides the Windy City rails (continued)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

(Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part article that first published last week.)

Here's the timetable of events for an average Hollywood film bound for the CTA: The film's director contacts a Chicago-based location manager, who then gets in touch with the Illinois Film Office and the Chicago Film Office. The director of the latter sets up shots and locations within the city, and helps to get clearance from the CTA.

Movie companies are required to provide the CTA with a script or story line in advance to be reviewed for content and approval. Producers can then meet with CTA officials from Insurance, Service Delivery, Finance and External Affairs Departments to negotiate feasibility, schedules and cost. Script approval and other agreements must be OK'd by the CTA Law Department, and, ultimately, the CTA President.

Former transportation manager of CTA rail service Sidney Edwards warned that all productions, whether Hollywood, student or independent, have to follow the same routing policy, although student requests may be treated somewhat differently depending on intent and use of the film.

"The CTA is in the business of transporting passengers from point A to B, but we do try to accommodate the film industry the best we can," Edwards said. "They do spend a lot of money in Chicago, and it is good public relations for the city and the CTA."

The CTA is the only transit system in the country that's elevated in the downtown area, Edwards noted, adding that that distinction, with its built-in scenery of abundant skyscrapers and citizens, makes Chicago' transit system tops for Tinseltown train shoots.

To maintain a positive image of the CTA on the big or small screen, Edwards said he put the kibosh on graffiti and violence in and around a scene shot on the city's commuter rail system.


Reminder: No CineVerse meeting Aug. 4

Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't forget that we will not have a CineVerse group meeting on Wednesday, August 4. CineVerse will reconvene the following week on Aug. 11. Remember--there's more to life than movies, so get out and enjoy the summer!


Rip out a page from "The Notebook"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

The Notebook (2004) -- Wednesday, August 4 at 2 p.m. -- A poor and passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman and gives her a sense of freedom. Separated by their social class differences, this couple must fight for their future lives together. Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. Rated: PG-13. 123 min.


When Hollywood rides the Windy City rails

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

(Note: This is part 1 of a 2-part article that will conclude next week.)

Ever wonder what’s involved in shooting a film a Chicago CTA train? Former transportation manager of CTA rail service Sidney Edwards can tell you.

For years, Edwards coordinated film and video shoots that took place on CTA cars, rails and platforms--telling a film crew where to go, what to do and when to do it. In fact, whenever Hollywood passed through a CTA turnstile in the seventies, eighties or nineties, Edwards came along for the ride.

Consider Edwards' celluloid CV since 1975, the year he first stepped in to supervise TV and movie shoots for the CTA: "Code of Silence;" "The Hunter;" "The Blues Brothers;" "Risky Business;" "Running Scared;" "Next of Kin;" "Planes, Trains and Automobiles;" "Above the Law;" "Midnight Run;" "Adventures in Babysitting;" "Blankman;" "Richie Rich;" "The Fugitive;" and “While You Were Sleeping.”

Edwards also logged a lot of TV memories--from his first production assignment, "The Million Dollar Ripoff," a TV pilot shot in 1975 starring Freddy Prince, to one of the most harrowing, an episode of the mid-'80s TV series "Lady Blue" in which a stunt person was hanging from the side of a running train.

The film "Next of Kin was really challenging, Edwards told me in a 1995 interview, "because you had a stunt man trying to jump from one train to another going in the opposite direction. The time and speed of the jump had to be calibrated exactly. That was real nerve racking."

Though the track record for injuries was unblemished during his term, Edwards and the CTA made sure a film or video production is covered with railroad protective insurance. (The third "live" rail, fed with 600 volts DC of electricity, is shut off during scenes afoot on the tracks, in case you were wondering.) In addition to providing proof of insurance, a film crew must pay for the chartering of their own train, and the cost of any onsite CTA supervisor's overtime.

Then, they're given a choice of a late night shoot or during Sunday--non-peak times--and a designated length of trackage to run on. A prime choice, Edwards said, are stations between Wellington and the Loop on the Brown line.

"When the action gets tough, I have to be out there on the track myself," Edwards told me, citing an action-packed chase scene in "Running Scared." "It requires a lot of extra time on my part. Sometimes I have to come in on my day off, at midnight or on a Sunday. Producers like to shoot during rush hour, but we don't allow that because they have a tendency to want to take over the entire station."

Next week: Part 2—Following the train of command


We had it all...just like Bogey and Bacall

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Like a dash of smoldering sensuality with your main course movie?

Join CineVerse on July 28 for "To Have and Have Not" (1944; 100 minutes), directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart and a fetching young Lauren Bacall.


Down in the valley, all covered with green...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library will be showing the upcoming following film in its lower level meeting room (for more details visit

How Green Was My Valley (1941) -- Monday, July 26 at 10 a.m. -- At the turn of the 20th-century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans raise coal-mining sons and hope that their youngest will find a better life. Starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara. Based on a novel by Richard Llewellyn. Rated: G. 118 min.


Orson Welles pulls from his bag of tricks

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Orson Welles did more than direct "Citizen Kane." While he found it hard to obtain the creative freedom and financing to make the kind of movies he wanted to after the 1940s, he did produce a few under-the-radar gems before his death in 1985.

One of them is "F is for Fake" (1973; 85 minutes), which is quite unlike any movie you've probably ever seen. Join CineVerse on July 21 to see what all the fuss is about.


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