New from Jonita Davis on The Black Cape: Our View List From Chicago International Film Festival 2021

The 2021 Chicago Film Festival started last week and has been a flurry of movies and activity for The Black Cape. While we have viewed several films so far (and have more to come in the last 3 days of the festival), I wanted to share our list of watched films thus far. With each is a bit of commentary. The reviews will be linked as they go live. If you want Jo to expand on any of these titles, hit us up!

The BCM (Black Cape Media) Watch List for #ChiFilmFest2021

Hand of God

The film is quirky, sometimes dragging but interesting, coming-of-age story. An Italian boy is surrounded by the weirdest cast of characters, that he calls family. If you look closely, they may even look a little like your relatives in the 1980s. Hand of God has the trapping of Wonder Years rolled in a bit of Porkys. There is a lot of groundwork set up about the family. By the time the My Girl coming of age twist drops, the audience is ready to move on.

 

Drive My Car

This Japanese drama explores love and grief in ways that I never expected. A playwright is hit with all kinds of bad news before suffering an immeasurable loss. He tries to move on by helping an artist program put on a play that is close to the man’s heart–may be too close. However, he can’t escape the past. What he can do is find an unlikely companion on the road to healing from his grief. Drive My Car is full of twists and turns, some shocking, but all meant to tell a tale of grief and forgiveness. I love the dialogue, despite the Japanese to English translations that are not as accurate. The message is beautiful all the same.

The Harder They Fall

Jeymes Samuel wrote a masterpiece with his screenplay The Harder They Fall. This very Black and very bold Western that hits all the campy, overdramatic, hilarious, and violent themes. It’s got bad guys after worse guys, with a Bass Reeves character that you won’t forget. It’s the western we’ve all been waiting for, one with Black cowboys and cowgirls running the West like they did before the West was whitewashed. The all-star ensemble cast and entertaining story will make this film an audience favorite.

Madeleine Collins

This riveting mystery tale seems to be a prequel to another tale. It should be called, The Making of Madeleine Collins. She is a woman juggling two homes and two identities. At least, that’s what it looks like at first. Then, the layers that hold the narrative together slowly peel away to reveal so much eye-opening information. By the time the audience learns all of the truths that the mani character has to reveal, it feels like she starting to create some more. I hope there is a sequel.

Any Given Day

This documentary begins as a look at the lives of three people in court for “survival crimes”. We quickly find however, that the director/videographer of the film also has a story of mental illness to tell. She climbs from behind the camera creating a documentary that is created by, about, and for mentally ill people. It’s intriguing and will have the audience invested in each of the four lives by the end of the film.

Julia

Julia Childs is an icon, a legend who reshaped American cuisine. We know this. What many of us probably didn’t know was that her journey was a long and rough one. She spent so much time trying to prove to people that things were possible or to trust in her instinct and skill. All of cooking TikTok and every celebrity chef has Child to thank for their existence. This documentary will explain in great detail why.

Acts of Love

Another film in which the filmmaker steps from behind the camera to become a part of the story is Acts of Love. The documentary began as a means for healing but ends up being a look into the dating and intimacy for gay men. The film is a bit off the beaten track and may raise some eyebrows.

 

Love Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter

I have heard of the chef Charlie Trotter most of my life, but I never knew his story. This documentary gives an in-depth and impassioned look at the life of a brilliant man who did not receive his due. That seems crazy with all the people who speak about the man in the documentary. It seems as though the successes that eluded the chef were ones of his own making. There is so much to discover here, but it’s tempered with sadness.

Dune

I was so excited to see Dune, finally, through the ChiFilmFest. The first part of the epic journey was just as exciting as I expected. The film feels like what Star Wars would be if it were stripped of the misogyny, low-key racism, and obsession with the alpha/beta male tropes. The most powerful people here are the women of a special religious sect. One of them has passed that power along to her son, just in time to save his life and that of an entire universe.

Halloween Kills

The Strode women and the people of Haddonfield are back. It’s only been a few hours since the last Halloween film ended. Turns out, Michael Meyers is not dead and he is slaughtering his way back through town. The community has had enough and rea up in arms, but is that enough to defeat this 40-year-old evil?

Check the Schedule for More Info

The festival has 3 more days. So go to https://ift.tt/3vAadaW to see what’s playing in-person and available on the virtual ap that you can stream on Apple TV or Roku.

 

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