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The CHIRP Blog

KSanders writesBattle of the Sexes: “Initials S.G.” and “Instinct”

written by Kyle Sanders as part of his coverage of the 2019 Chicago International Film Festival

A good on-screen chemistry can make a film. It can really amp up the timing of a romantic or screwball comedy (think Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in Adam's Rib or Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday) or build the tension of a suspenseful thriller (think Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs or Michael Douglas and...well, any given actress in those late '80s/early '90s thrillers he used to churn out every other year).

What makes this kind of formula work? Is it simply a yin and yang balance the film requires, an easy camaraderie of the two stars, or just really really good acting? Perhaps a little of all three?

Two films that borrow from the aforementioned genres (a little bit of comedy, a little bit of suspense) are included in this year's roster of films at the Chicago International Film Festival: Initials S.G. (Argentina/Lisbon) and Instinct (The Netherlands).

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: Movies

Topics: chicago international film festival

KSanders writesKing of The(ir) World: “House of Cardin” and “Renzo Piano, Architect of Light”

written by Kyle Sanders as part of his coverage of the 2019 Chicago International Film Festival

It has been said that history is made by the individual and not the masses, and if you really break the word down, "history" is really "his story." Every story is presented from a specific point of view, including and excluding certain details that evolve the story overtime, and whatever remnants that remain is accepted as truth.

Truth can be manipulated, especially through the lens of a camera. This year, the Chicago International Film Festival featured several documentaries, including profiles of two ambitious men and how their history has shaped and influenced the world.

Fashion, believe it or not, not only shapes our world, it stylizes it. Fashion designer Pierre Cardin knows that more than most. In House of Cardin (United States/France), directed by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, we learn a great deal about the enigmatic French pioneer and his epic fashion empire.

Through talking-head interviews ranging from Naomi Campbell to Alice Cooper, as well as the man himself (now nearing 100 years of age!), we learn how Cardin made a name for himself (quite literally--that iconic signature!) working for the likes of Christian Dior and Jean Cocteau, then steadily expanding into everything from eye wear and cologne, to automobiles and jet planes.

Using archived interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, we see the designer in action, selecting models for their diverse ethnic backgrounds, democratizing high fashion, and creating modernist designs that would forever be associated with his name.

In Renzo Piano, Architect of Light (Spain), director Carlos Saura presents a very different profile on a legendary architect, famous for buildings that promote art and community. While we learn a little about what inspires Piano, the doc primarily shows the architect in action, working on the Botin Center, a project he was commissioned to do for the Spanish coastal town of Santander. Beautifully rendered on film, Santander's oceanic views and coastline are soaked in sunshine, and we learn how natural light has always been a major influence in Piano's work.

We also learn there is more to architecture than an aesthetically-pleasing building. Budgets and time frames are also put into account, as well as the logistics of creating something that will last for centuries. We even hear from the concerned citizens of Santander, and just how important it is for architecture to be integrated within a community.

History does not necessarily have to involve the past. As these two documentaries suggest, history is constantly in the making, and these two innovators are still going strong, continuing to mold their narratives even at ages when most have retired (Cardin is 97 while Piano is 82). Their outlook has always been to look ahead, and perhaps that is what has led them to such prosperous and extensive careers. Their individual histories were made to appeal to the masses, and both Cardin and Piano have left an undeniably global mark on our culture.

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Categorized: Movies

SKaiser writesAround Town: Inspired

Some days are better than others when you're alive. It's tough being human. These days especially have a groundhog's day-esque feel. The grinding 24-hour news cycle, your job, relationships, taxes, heck don't forget, we all know what it's like. We're in this thing together. We can survive the uncertainty, the unknown. Because, every once in awhile, something catches your eye. A slight reminder life is grand. You're walking, and suddenly hey, I didn't know corn could grow anywhere. Or what about those signs springing up out of the blue with reminders that "you are beautiful." If you can relate, this week's Around Town: Inspired is dedicated to you. Take it easy out there, friends. 

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Categorized: Community

KSanders writesKyle Sanders Goes to the 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Bonjour! And bienvenue to coverage of the 55th Annual Chicago International Film Festival! I always look forward to this time of the year, when "sweater weather" sees the leaves changing, and the Windy City showcases dozens of films from across the globe. As as avid cinema lover, this is my kind of Christmas!

As always, I'll be reviewing a pair of films with each post, similar in theme or content, yet produced from different walks of life. It's what I love about CIFF: you become exposed to all sorts of cultures without having to travel abroad! Here's today's review:

On the Lam with My Best Bud: Reviews of Adoration and Paradise Next

The "buddy picture" has been a common theatrical draw since Bob Hope and Bing Crosby traveled by camel to Morocco. But not all buddy pictures are comedic in nature, some involve a duo in dire straits running from the law, the mob, or (in the case of Thelma and Louise) the male patriarchy. Sometimes the paired protagonists are star-crossed lovers making a break from their feuding families, and other times they're exact opposites who find common ground on their picaresque journey. No matter what scenario though, this dynamic duo will experience moments of soul searching and camaraderie.

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: Movies

SKaiser writes@CHIRPRadio (Week of October 21)




1. Wilco – Ode to Joy (dBpm)

2. The Hecks – My Star (Trouble in Mind)

3. Sault – 7 (Forever Living Originals)

Click here for a complete listing of the CHIRP Charts!

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Categorized: Events Journal

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