In 2001, shortly after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th, two Chicago-based educators, Kevin Coval and Anna West, decided to create an outlet for young high school students to express themselves through spoken-word poetry. Nearly 20 years later, Louder Than A Bomb has grown from a small number of local high school teams to a full-scale competition made up of 120 teams from high schools all over Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The success of the program has inspired educators to form spoken-word poetry competitions in 13 cities across the country, and even in Canada. Today, Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) prides itself on being the largest youth poetry festival in the world. The success of the program, as well as the students and educators involved with organizing it every year, was the subject of a 2011 documentary, Louder Than A Bomb, by filmmakers Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel.
Jacobs and Siskel followed four individuals competing in the 2011 competition to paint a portrait of youth outlook on world events, social climate, politics, and their own personal stories. The film not only received praise at the Chicago International Film Festival, but also at film festivals all over the country, including Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Portland. Prelims for the upcoming 2018 festival are being held at Columbia College starting on February 21st-22nd. You can check eligibility rules and sign your team up on the Young Chicago Authors website. Louder Than A Bomb is available on Amazon Prime, and if you have an account I would definitely add it to your Watchlist.
As Variety’s Peter Debruge hails The Disaster Artist as James Franco achieving “what could become his most iconic role,” others like The New Yorker’s Richard Brody have claimed it’s a good movie, but Franco missed the mark; The Room is a better movie. Truth be told, reviews are always mixed for any movie, but when you compare a new theatrical film to what’s become known as the worst movie ever made, that’s saying something. The Disaster Artist, which is directed by, and stars James Franco, along with his brother Dave and long time collaborator Seth Rogan, follows the making of The Room, known to many as the worst movie ever made. The Room was a production-disaster-turned-cult-classic that was the lifeblood of two aspiring filmmakers, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero. The two met and, realizing their dreams of filmmaking, decided to go to Hollywood to make their masterpiece. A $6 billion bill, countless horrendous reviews, and an opening weekend of only 200 ticket sales, however, seemed to literally spell disaster for the young filmmakers. But sometime after the initial release, something unexpected began to happen. Continue reading →
The new dramatic thriller from director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House), Child 44, is opening in theaters this Friday, April 17th. Featuring The Dark Knight Rises co-stars Tom Hardy (Inception, Lawless) and Oscar-nominee Gary Oldman (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element), Child 44 follows a military officer in Stalin-era Russia who becomes disgraced when he begins an investigation into a series of mysterious child murders while the state claims this sort of crime is said to be non-existent. The film comes from an adaptation of Tom Rob Smith‘s novel by screenwriter Richard Price (The Color of Money, Shaft), and also co-stars Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Drop), Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop, The Killing), and Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Gatsby). Director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) produced the project with co-producers Greg Shapiro (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, The Hurt Locker) and Michael Schaefer (Now You See Me, Exodus: Gods And Kings). Watch the trailer here on MADE, then catch it in theaters this Friday.
The new World War II drama, Fury, with Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf opened last weekend and effectively knocked Ben Affleck’s Gone Girl from the top-spot to a close second. The film hit theater audiences with just under $24 million in opening weekend box-office sales alone, and the pace doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The highly advertised, but apparently unpopular animated feature The Book of Life with Channing Tatum only brought in $17 million, also falling behind Gone Girl‘s third week of release. This week will see another set of uninteresting features, including the Keanu Reeves action flick John Wick (no rhyme intended), and the new horror movie Ouija. There are some pretty interesting projects coming out, however, that will unfortunately only see limited releases. One of these include director Greg Araki‘s dramatic thriller White Bird in a Blizzard with Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, and Christopher Meloni, but the more intriguing release is the documentary Citizenfour, which features interviews with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong with documentarian and reporters Laura Poitras, Glen Greenwald, and Ewen MacAskill. “Citizenfour” was the alias used by Snowden when he contacted Poitras in 2013 via encrypted emails containing Snowden’s evidence of the NSA’s covert surveillance program. Wiki-leaks founder Julian Assange is also featured in the documentary. So if you don’t want to waste your money on another terrible movie about ghosts or featuring Keanu Reeves, put these down on your list. Other limited features to look out for include writer/director Justin Simien’s dramatic comedy Dear White People, the high school football drama 23 Blast, and directors Wai-keung Lau and Andrew Loo’s Revenge of the Green Dragons, a crime-drama following young men involved with the Chinese mafia in 1980s New York City. Enjoy!
Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg are once again collaborating on a new project after the huge popularity of their last film, This Is The End, which the two co-wrote together and which featured all of their celebrity co-stars playing themselves, including Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, James Franco, and Danny McBride. Now the two are working on an animated comedy-film, titled Sausage Party, that follows a sausage and his pales who must navigate their way through the super-market and get back to their proper location on the shelf before the big Fourth of July sale. The movie will once again feature Franco, Hill, and Cera, as well as Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, and David Krumholtz all providing voices for the R-rated characters, but now there is news that Salma Hayek will also be joining the cast. Rogan and Goldberg are currently writing the project, but the two will not be in the director’s chair this time around. Instead, experienced animation directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan will be taking over the responsibility, but we’ll have to wait for more news before we know anything else. The movie has not official release date, but it will most likely be ready for release sometime in 2015.
Last year, author Greg Sestero and co-writer/journalist Tom Bissell published their memoir-novel The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. The book follows the making of the cult classic, The Room, of which Sestero co-wrote and co-starred alongside director Tommy Wiseau, in what has become known by many as the worst movie ever made. The Room was released back in 2003 after being plagued by problem after problem in production, including countless actors and crew members being brought on and fired during filming. The movie made a total of $1800 at the box office from a budget of $6 million, becoming one of the biggest flops the film industry has ever seen. Now, actor/director James Franco has decided to adapt the book for the big screen, and will be taking on directing and co-producing roles with Point Grey Productions. Franco and his brother may even be taking on the leading roles, but that has yet to be officially announced. Stay tuned for more updates.
For the Art Institute’s first “Third Thursday” of the year, they’ve decided to put together a pretty dope night. The Art Institute will be teaming up with the Science Museum, offering a bunch of attractions in the event; you’ll be able to check out microscopic paintings as well as watch a masterwork be restored. Among other things that will be going on, Greg Grease & SCRNS will be providing the musical entertainment for the evening. Summit Brewing is providing the brew rounding out a pretty awesome evening, did we mention it’s FREE?
Icehouse was definitely the place to be last Wednesday, January 8th; up and coming rapper Greg Grease headlined a lowkey show that also featured 1990 & Isadore. The latter played a captivating show with amazing instrumentation from the band all the way through, with all 4 members having their own shining moments. There were many familiar faces in the crowd, friends & fellow artists; creating an almost intimate atmosphere in the venue. Isadore’s sultry croons filled the place with even more anticipation, a long way from the wild and ruckus GRRRL PRTY nights held on the same stage. After Isadore’s performance the venue was a buzz, people were clearly thirsty for more. As Just 9 & Greg Grease began setting up, the long lines at the bar turned into a decent crowd infront of the stage and without wasting any time Grease opened his set fully clothed in his winter gear. As the set went on, he’d take off layer after layer. It almost felt as if he had 6 or so on, but true to his metaphor; with each song the atmosphere and intensity grew hotter. Greg showcased his DJ (Just 9) with a small scratch session & even played K.Raydio & Psymun’s new jam “Sweet Dreamz” saying, “This is my shit right now”. The night ended on a high note after Grease previewed a few new songs, this was definitely one of the better performances I’ve seen at Icehouse; the venue had a comfortable crowd allowing for pretty much any pick of places to watch. If you couldnt make it out, be sure to keep an eye out for more from Greg Grease & Isadore; this wont be the last time they perform an awesome show.
Location: 2411 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis When: Saturday, October 19th from 6PM-9PM
Tomorrow the good guys at Fifth Element will be hosting an event named “Visual Audio” at their headquarters on Hennepin. The event will feature artwork from the likes of Michael Arnold, Taylor Lindgren & Tim McAuliffe while also providing live music from Greg Grease, Haphduzn, Major G & Ronnie Vyce. They will be giving away free T-Shirts and will even have Donuts on tap for those of us showing up with the munchies. This sounds like it should be a good time, amongst all of the madness that’s going on tomorrow you should definitely stop by and check out the scene.
Super late on this but we thought it would be cool to post anyway for those that haven’t seen it yet. A couple weeks ago MTV (MTVother) hit up Minneapolis to spotlight some of the local artists that make the city’s music scene so awesome. The short clip features appearances from Sean Anonymous, The Calice, Greg Grease, P.O.S, Doom Tree & Marijuana Death Squad to name a few; they also hit up a couple venues to showcase where exactly all these dope shows go down. Check out the above segment and stay tuned for more from Minneapolis’ ever growing music scene.