Beginning Thursday, April 12, the 4th Annual Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMFest) will screen more than 50 films from over 20 countries, including features, documentaries, shorts, concert films, animation and music videos - all of which have music at their center. The four-day festival (April 12-15) will also feature live performances, numerous appearances by filmmakers and actors, incredible DJ/VJ events, a Rock Poster Show and panel discussions at various venues around Chicago’s Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods, including the recently renovated Logan Theatre. To purchase tickets and for a complete schedule of films and events, go to CIMMFest.org.
Now here are a few film recommendations:
One Night Stand on Sunday, April 15, at 1 pm at the Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave)
Directed by Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton, this engaging documentary takes us behind-the-scenes of The 24 Hour Musicals, an annual charity event in New York City during which four 15-minute stage musicals are written, cast, rehearsed and performed in a single day (from 8 pm to 8 pm). Many talented Broadway and television actors participate in the event, including Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Richard Kind (Mad About You), Alicia Witt (Cybill, Friday Night Lights), Nellie McKay (The Threepenny Opera), Roger Bart (The Producers, Desperate Housewives), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), and the handsome Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu, 30 Rock), who sadly remains clothed.
Queens of Country on Thursday, April 12, at 7 pm at the Wicker Park Arts Center (2215 W. North Ave)
Directed by Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke, the festival's Opening Night film stars Lizzy Caplan (TV's New Girl, Party Down) as the line-dancing country music-loving Jolene who believes the man of her dreams is the owner of a lost iPod featuring her favorite singers. This quirky and amusing movie is perfectly cast with Ron Livingston (1999's Office Space and the recent HBO film, Game Change) as Jolene's cheating fiancé and Joe Lo Truglio as her pre-op transsexual best friend. But it's Caplan's endearing performance that will warm your heart and put a smile on your face. Caplan, Lo Truglio, actor Matt Walsh and both directors will be in attendance at the screening for a post-show Q&A.
Roller Town on Friday, April 13, at 9:15 pm at the Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave)
Directed by Andrew Bush (and featuring other members of the Canadian sketch comedy troupe Picnicface), Roller Town combines the offbeat humor of The Kids in the Hall with those "classic" roller disco movies - Roller Boogie and Skatetown, U.S.A. - as a young man named Leo (a hilarious Mark Little) tries to prevent his town's beloved skating rink from becoming a video arcade. It's silly fun - and how can you not enjoy a movie that begins with everyone skating through a park to David Naughton's infectious 1979 pop song, "Makin' It"?