Podtalk: Michael Glover Smith on His Film ‘Mercury in Retrograde’

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CHICAGO – Reviving a film from local cinema treasure Michael Glover Smith is always welcome at any time, but especially now. The Gene Siskel Film Center is enhancing their “From Your Sofa” download-from-home film series with Smith’s seminal release, “Mercury in Retrograde” through April 23rd.

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The Gangs All Here in a Scene from ‘Mercury in Retrograde’
Photo credit: SiskelFilmCenter.org

The partnership between the film and the Film Center – 50% of the ticket price goes toward the Siskel during the pandemic closure – is a natural one, as Smith’s films have played at the venue frequently in different runs. For more details about the screening, including a live Q&A on April 17th, click here.

“Mercury in Retrograde” involves three Chicago couples, Golda and Jack (Alana Arenas and Jack C. Newell), Richard and Isabelle (Kevin Wehby and Roxane Mesquida ), plus Wyatt and Peggy (Shane Simmons and Najarra Townsend) … they are together for a weekend in the woods at a Michigan cabin owned by Jack’s father. During the three days, the state of where all their relationships are – in an overview of the couples and the intertwined friendships – begin to determine the circumstances of their interactions. This emotional stew reveals some profound secrets, and the themes of memory and coupledom both strengthen and unravels the crew. Like his most recent film, ”Rendezvous in Chicago,” writer/director Michael Glover Smith delves into the finer points of our human experience in this poignant and relatable mystery trip.

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Writer/Director Michael Glover Smith of ‘Mercury in Retrograde’
Photo credit: WhiteCityCinema.com

Smith is also an author and film studies instructor (at Oakton Community College and elsewhere), and is based in Chicago. His first feature film, “Cool Apocalypse,” premiered in 2015, the same release year as his first book, “Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry.” His next two films were “Mercury in Retrograde” in 2017, and “Rendezvous in Chicago” in 2018. He is currently in pre-production for his next feature, “Relative.”

In Part One of a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Michael Glover Smith of “Mercury in Retrograde” talks about horoscopes, memory, book clubs and the relating nature of women and men.

In Part Two, Smith talks about past filmmaker masterclasses for first time directors, tips for low budget filmmaking and his reveal through Leonard Cohen.

CLICKING HERE links to a cast and crew Podtalk for “Rendezvous in Chicago” with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com.

”Mercury in Retrograde” is available through April 23rd, through the Gene Siskel Film Center From Your Sofa Series. Featuring Alana Arenas, Jack C. Newell, Kevin Wehby, Roxane Mesquida, Shane Simmons and Najarra Townsend. Written and directed by Michael Glover Smith. Not Rated.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor and Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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