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Chicago Filmmakers on the Chicago River (1998)

 -  Documentary  -  April 2004 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 33 users  
Reviews: 7 user

"Chicago Filmmakers on the Chicago River" is an independent documentary film that reviews the careers of movie makers indigenous to Chicago. The filmmakers are interviewed aboard an amusing... See full summary »

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D.P. Carlson ...
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Richard M. Daley ...
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Steven A. Jones ...
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Chris Ligon ...
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"Chicago Filmmakers on the Chicago River" is an independent documentary film that reviews the careers of movie makers indigenous to Chicago. The filmmakers are interviewed aboard an amusing variety of watercraft (speedboat, fireboat, tugboat, houseboat, fishing boat, rowboat, pontoon, canoe, etc.) while cruising along the branches of the Chicago River. In the program, the Chicago River comes to life as the filmmakers float along this famous waterway, which is often photographed, but rarely featured as a continuous backdrop in films. The audience learns about each artist's creative process as they navigate their boats and reflect on the various influences that guided their careers, and how they expose their hometown on the silver screen. "Chicago Filmmakers on the Chicago River" is the first documentary to bring together a wide variety of filmic talents from any one city. Written by D.P. Carlson

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chicago illinois

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April 2004 (USA)  »

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Useful for film students, enjoyable for all.
13 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you enjoy the bonus features on DVD's, then you'll enjoy this entire DVD--including the movie itself! Since it is a film about filmmakers and film-making, producer-director D. P. Carlson quite appropriately lets us see some of the process. For example, he's not shy about letting us see other cameras in multi-camera setups or including comments about process by the participants. For example, John Landis, on the deck of a boat going down the Chicago River, interrupts his own expounding to stare at a beautiful scene on the riverbank and blurt, "How can you not be shooting that!" And Carlson thereupon lets him know he shot it earlier for a cutaway--and cuts to it to show us that he wasn't kidding.

There's a good assortment of personalities here, all of them interesting. They range from A-listers to the virtually unknown. They all have worthwhile comments to make and stories to share. Carlson correctly anticipates that many of those watching his film will be film students wanting to learn how it's done--and provides useful insights in his commentary track.

I love the innovative 3-D glasses included in the DVD case! It's a process I've never seen before, and it works--without detracting from the experience of watching the movie without the glasses. A tutorial on how to use the glasses is included in the bonus features.

I'm sure I'll watch this film again. Highly recommended for anyone interested in producing, directing, shooting, writing, or acting. And pretty entertaining even for anyone who isn't.


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