CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film News: Gene Siskel Film Center, CFCA to Hold ‘Castles in the Sky’ Retrospective
CHICAGO – Fans of the legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and his magnificent Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, have a cinematic treat in store this summer. The Chicago Film Critics Association has teamed up with the Gene Siskel Film Center at 164 N. State St. to present “Castles in the Sky”: a 15-part retrospective showcasing the studio’s best work to date.
HollywoodChicago.com’s own Patrick McDonald is one of seven CFCA members scheduled to lead post-film discussion at one of eight select screenings. Movie buffs eager to join in the discussion are welcome to attend the Japanese-language versions of Miyazaki’s “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke,” as well as the English-language versions of “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Ponyo.” Additional films included in the screening series are Isao Takahata’s “Only Yesterday,” “Pom Poko,” and “My Neighbors the Yamadas,” Yoshifumi Kondo’s “Whisper of the Heart,” Hiroyuki Morita’s “The Cat Returns,” Tomomi Mochizuki’s “Ocean Waves,” and, of course, Miyazaki’s “Castles in the Sky” and “Porco Rosso.” The series runs from Friday, June 8, through Thursday, August 2.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away will be screened July 13 at the Siskel Center.
Photo credit: Studio Ghibli
Here is the complete list of the screenings followed by post-film discussions:
“Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” (1984)
Friday, June 8, 6pm
Discussion led by Peter Sobczynski of eFilmcritic.com.
“My Neighbor Totoro” (1988)
Saturday, June 16, 4:45pm
Discussion led by Jeffrey Westhoff of The Northwest Herald.
“Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989)
Friday, June 29, 6pm
Discussion led by Steve “Capone” Prokopy of Ain’t It Cool News.
“Spirited Away” (2001)
Friday, July 13, 6pm
Discussion led by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com.
“Princess Mononoke” (1997)
Friday, July 20, 6pm
Discussion led by Locke Peterseim of Hammer & Thump at Open Letter Monthly.
“Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)
Thursday, July 26, 7:30pm
Discussion led by Tasha Robinson, Associate Editor of The AV Club.
Friday, July 27, 6pm
Discussion led by Lee Shoquist of Mindful Metropolis and N:Zone.
For information on the Chicago Film Critics Organization, visit here.