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The CHIRP Blog

Entries categorized as “Movies” 31 results

Kyle writesHealing with Hilarity: A Review of “Care to Laugh”

by Kyle Sanders

Laughter isn't always the best medicine--sometimes, it's the only medicine. There's a reason "it's funny cuz it's true" is the typical response to a solidly funny joke, because the raw punch of the line stems from the reality in which it was thrown. The relief one gets from laughing at the joke, is equal to the solace received from the jokester, aka the stand-up comic.

Every comic has their schtick, but ultimately all of their material is based in some degree of reality, and it often stems from their personal lives--a tap of endless material. Take for instance Jesus Trejo, a young stand-up comic from Long Beach, California. When Trejo isn't traveling hundreds of miles to perform at open mics, he's at home taking care of his aging parents. An only child, it is up to Trejo to care for his mother, a diabetic recovering from a brain tumor, and his father, recovering from cancer. It's a difficult balance, but through familial love and unbending tenacity, Trejo uses his experiences as a millennial caregiver as material for his comedic sets.

It is Trejo's story that convinced AARP Studios to film a documentary, Care to Laugh, and release it as their first full-length feature about the burgeoning role of the Millennial caregiver. "We basically just work to tell the best personal stories we can with priorities that are about helping people improve their life with a brighter outlook," says Jeffrey Eagle, Executive Producer at AARP Studios and one of the producers of the film. "We conducted a search for what caregivers want and we landed on two things: time and laughter. What would be better than a comedy show?"

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Categorized: Movies

KSanders writesOne More for the Road: Reviews of “The Road Not Taken” and the Chicago International Film Festival

In October. CHIRP volunteer Kyle Sanders attended the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival and reported on what he discovered there...

If you haven't been paying attention, I love cinema. It's one of the easiest activities to do, and requires very little effort other than sitting down and looking at what's on the screen in front of you. And while our modern toys provide us many different formats to consume it, I will ferociously argue and strongly recommend that the only way to truly experience a film is at the movie theater. It might be easier to Netflix 'n chill in the comfort of your own home, but the cineplexes have upped their game and provide you dinner and plush recliners. Even the smaller theaters have added a little panache, providing lounge areas and full bars to take the edge off of the power of 35 and 70 millimeter motion pictures. And for what reason? Well, to reference one of the best horror films of all time, "it's all for you."

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Categorized: Movies

Topics: chicago international film festival

KSanders writesLiving Out Loud: Reviews of “Mario,” “Rafiki,” and “Sauvage”

This month CHIRP volunteer Kyle Sanders attended the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival and reported on what he discovered there...

In a volatile political landscape, minorities such as the LGBTQ community are often the ones finding themselves in a vulnerable position. As a group that is finding more awareness and representation in the pop culture they consume, it's comforting to see LGBTQ films from around the world play at the Chicago International Film Festival.

This year's event included the high profile premiere of Boy Erased, starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman. However, I found the films outside the American mainstream to be quite more telling about queer culture around the world. Those films include (due to festival restrictions, the following are capsule reviews only):

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Categorized: Movies

Topics: chicago international film festival

KSanders writesA Series of Unfortunate Events: Reviews of “Boys Cry” & “Volcano”

This month CHIRP volunteer Kyle Sanders attended the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival and reported on what he discovered there...

Sometimes life throws a wrench in your gears. A cosmic event so out of left field you can't explain it or figure out how to overcome it. How you respond could alter the rest of your day, your week, or even the rest of your life.

It's a common narrative device in storytelling, especially in films. Two films that include this device are Boys Cry and Volcano, both of which screened at the Chicago International Film Festival (due to festival restrictions, the following are capsule reviews only):

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Categorized: Movies

Topics: chicago international film festival

KSanders writesGrowing Pains: Reviews of “Flammable Children” & “Guie’dani’s Navel”

This month CHIRP volunteer Kyle Sanders attended the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival and reported on what he discovered there...

Childhood sucks when you're a kid. There's so much of life that you're unaware of and when you try and find the answers, oftentimes you're provided the wrong information from the wrong kind of sources. As a minor, your thoughts and feelings are irrelevant, your choices and decisions are undermined by those who think they know best. You're often shut down with the words "Because I said so." Life moves at a glacial pace, to the point where you think you'll never be able to escape the hell of being a kid.

Yet even when you're living under the thumb of authority, you never realize just how much freedom you have until you reach adulthood. At this year's Chicago International Film Festival, two films highlighted the wacky and weary world of adolescence: Australia's Flammable Children and Mexico's Guie'dani's Navel.

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Categorized: Movies

Topics: chicago international film festival

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