Blog Directory CineVerse: August 2010

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.


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