Pens to Lens kicks off in February

CHAMPAIGN — The second Pens To Lens student screenwriting competition hosted by the Champaign-Urbana Film Society will kick off Feb. 1.

Students will write screenplays for the contest from then through Feb. 28, and filmmakers will produce films for an August 2014 red carpet gala.

Who lives here? Jan. 18, 2014

Each week on this page, The News-Gazette will show a screen shot of a home from a movie and ask readers, "Who lives here?" The first person to email with the name of a silver screen character who resides in the featured house will get a shout-out in next week's section. Be sure to include your full name and town of residence in your submission.

Chuck Koplinski: 'Survivor' noble tribute to modern soldier

Peter Berg's "Lone Survivor" contains the most revelatory opening credits sequence I've seen in a long time. Composed of various documentary film clips, it quickly compresses the basic training regime that potential Navy Seals undergo.

Film capsules, Jan. 16, 2014

Summaries and mini-reviews of movies playing now, from e3 magazine:

Entertainment listings, Jan. 16-23, 2014

A listing of events, provided by the venues. Here are instructions for submitting entries.

Predictions for Oscar nominations

Since 2007, staff writer Tim Mitchell has predicted who will get nominated for the Academy Awards (the official announcement is at 7:30 a.m. Thursday; the 86th Academy Awards show is March 2). Here is Mitchell's forecast for this year, with projected nominees in alphabetical order:


— "American Hustle"

— "The Butler"

— "Captain Phillips"

Ebert biopic to screen at his festival

Film critic, wife participated in its making before his death last April

CHAMPAIGN — The new Roger Ebert biopic, "Life Itself," will be shown at the 2014 festival bearing his name.

Look Back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

LOOK BACK: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was ...


UI's Keys handicaps Golden Globes

For a best guess on the winners of tonight's Golden Globes awards, we turned to Henson Keys, head of the acting program at the University of Illinois.

A member of the Actors' Equity Association for 40 years, Keys has acted in or directed more than 120 productions in New York and at professional theaters nationwide.

Chuck Koplinski: Love takes timely twist in darkly humorous 'Her'

Though Spike Jonze's "Her" takes place in the near future, it couldn't be more timely. And while its premise seems absurd on the surface — a man falls in love with the operating system on his phone? — as the film progresses, this idea winds up coming off not so much ludicrous as a distinct possibility, given the path we're on toward interpersonal relationships.

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