THE CREEPING GARDEN (Chicago premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.


We are really excited to be able to bring one of our favorite documentaries from the festival circuit here to Chicago. We will be hosting two screenings, one on April 4th and the second on April 8th (see the very bottom of this post for all specifics). (UPDATE: additional screening on 4/19) A real life science fiction movie exploring a world creeping right beneath our feet, where time and space are magnified and intelligence redefined. The Creeping Garden is a feature length creative documentary exploring the work of fringe scientists, mycologists and artists, and their relationship with the extraordinary plasmodial slime mould. The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction. But as well as exploring the slime mould in the lab, the film also travels out into the wild, hunting for the organisms in their natural habitat

The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction. But as well as exploring the slime mould in the lab, the film also travels out into the wild, hunting for the organisms in their natural habitat. Co-directed by artist film-maker Tim Grabham and writer and film curator Jasper Sharp, the film follows in the unconventional footsteps of Grabham’s previous feature ‘KanZeOn’ and Sharps fascination with the extended world of mycology. With an original soundtrack composed by celebrated musician and producer Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth, Werner Herzog’s ‘Grizzly Man’) this is a unique exploration into a hitherto untapped subject matter, observing and immersing the audience into the worlds of the observers and the observed.



‘Stupendously fascinating and individualistic documentary masterpiece… see it and be forever altered.’

Mitch Davis, Fantasia International Film Festival

‘The Creeping Garden is, cinematically, the reflection of its subject… a masterpiece… An absolute must ‐ see.’

Joseph Elfassi, Voir Montreal

‘The movie hums as if it was shot by aliens visiting Earth for the first time, and that’s a high compliment.’

Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

‘Imagine if Stanley Kubrick and Douglas Trumbull were tasked with making a 1970s educational science film about the pods from Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and you’re some way to understanding The Creeping Garden.’

James Marsh, Twitchfilm

‘An out-of-left-field nerdy delight’

John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

‘An enthralling delve into the world of plasmodial slime moulds deserving to be served up at a series of other festivals… A unique documentary to be sure.’

Mark Adams, Screen International

‘An essential reminder of how smart docs about peculiar subjects can be as entertaining as any psycho thriller… Who knew fungal gunk could be so rapturous to behold?’

Steve Dollar, Indiewire

‘This is a documentary that transcends its form and creeps, mold-like, into your subconscious. And so far as unusual experiences go, The Creeping Garden is one I’d recommend wholeheartedly.’

‘A gorgeously careful film, this thing is beyond fascinating. A must-see.’

David Bradford, Forget The


1st screening
Digital Projection, 81mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, April 4th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $8.00

2nd screening
Digital Projection, 81mins
Location: Hokin Hall at Columbia College
623 S Wabash Ave. 60605
Date: Wednesday, April 8th
Time: 6:30pm
Ticket price: $8.00

Additional screening
Digital Projection, 81mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Sunday, April 19th
Time: 7:00pm
Ticket price: $8.00


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THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG (Chicago premiere) with Director Andrew Leavold in attendance hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

weng wengWe are so excited to be hosting the Chicago premiere of THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG on December 12th with our friends at Chicago Filmmakers. We are even more excited that Director Andrew Leavold will be flying in from Australia and will be in attendance to introduce the film with a Q&A after the screening. We here at the Chicago Cinema Society have been big fans of the few films that Weng Weng has starred in and had been waiting anxiously for this documentary as we, too, were curious as to what had happened to this almost mythical individual. Leavold’s journey to the Philippines with barely any leads on Weng Weng’s  possible whereabouts is incredible. Do not miss this amazing documentary!


One night in 1996, Australian cult video store owner turned guerrilla filmmaker Andrew Leavold dreamt he was in the Philippines directing a documentary about Weng Weng, the two-foot-nine Filipino James Bond. Ten years later, he’s actually in Manila making a deal with the forces of chaos and following his two decade obsession to its logical conclusion.

It’s just the beginning of a very strange adventure, and as fate would have it, it’s all captured on film. As for Weng Weng: he remains an enigma even to those who worked with him. His reign as the midget Agent 00 was an outrageous novelty that plucked him from complete obscurity and returned him just as quickly. What was he like? When and how did he pass away? In a country of 80 million people, it seems the truth about Weng Weng has slipped between the cracks forever.

“THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG” leapfrogs from one eccentric character to the next – directors, producers, actors, stuntmen, dwarf waiters, even Imelda Marcos herself, each one with a unique place in Filipino cinema – all the while dismantling the country’s greatest filmic urban legend. Proving reality sometimes really is stranger than fiction, it’s part detective story, part forgotten B film history, and part surreal Quest for the Holy Grail – that is, if the Grail is a two foot nine superstar called Weng Weng.

Digital Projection, 96mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Friday, December 12th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $8.00


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I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS (Chicago premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

Knife poster

We are incredibly excited to be hosting the Chicago premiere of the hit on the film festival circuit, I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS. Too unique, too weird, too unconventionally hilarious and simply too amazing to ever be produced with anything other than the microbudget it was made on, I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS is exactly the sort of film that illustrates why underground outsider cinema remains essential in 2014. Show us a work with more oddball personality this year, we challenge you. Shot on a budget of just $12,000 on 24P mini DV beginning in 2007 and emerging from post-production only this year, it’s driven by a very strange style of straight-faced absurdist humour, sort of reminiscent of TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW, GREAT JOB!, if any comparison has to be drawn. However, this is something that exists entirely on an island of its own, the toothpicks-and-bubblegum, no-budget aesthetics further enhancing the film’s gonzo charm. In fact, they’re a key part of its comedic tapestry.


International Europop star Bené is holed up at a secret Los Angeles location, in hiding after a fatwa has been taken out on him via the dreaded website. All he knows is that the fatwa was taken out by a figure with the user name “iluvtennis127”, whose profile pic is a shot of his hand with a face drawn on it. Bené is haunted by the memory of his girlfriend Baguette who was recently killed by a suicide bomber bomber (“I’ll kill that suicide bomber”). Unfortunately, Baguette was not a very interesting person, and she did all the things normal people would do, so every mundane item and activity reminds him of her. With him in the safe house is frustrated manager/security Beefy (Will Crest), who does his best to keep the awkward pop star safe — and occupied. Bené spends his time in all kinds of strange ways, making uproarious contemplations, getting into gut-bustingly bizarre circular arguments, writing songs, dealing with nosy neighbors, whipping up disguises in order to go outside and — oh yeah — fighting off the odd militarily trained super-soldier.

knife image 1

Writer/producer/director/composer/editor/sound designer/star Bennett Jones — who also sings a number of impossibly great and preposterous songs — is a gobsmackingly original voice. He shaped his “terribly serious and ridiculous” Bené character over years of standup comedy performances and has emerged with a genuinely special creation. All kinds of weird and wonderful beats pop up from out of nowhere, hysterically funny lines are deadpanned into instant immortality (the banter between Jones and Crest is absolute comic gold), rugged animation, lo-fi psychedelia, crazy catchy electropop, nutzoid backstories and the odd burst of eccentric action and destruction collide to make this a film truly unlike anything else on the planet. (thanks to Mitch Davis of Fantasia International Film Festival for the write up!)

Digital Projection, 84mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, December 13th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $8.00 in advance and can be purchased by clicking onto this sentence.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Fatal Frame: Avant-Garde Horror on 16mm at Co-Prosperity Sphere.


In collaboration with the Co-Prosperity Sphere, South Side Projections and the Chicago Cinema Society present Fatal Frame, a program of avant-garde horror films. Following H.P. Lovecraft’s supposition that “The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” these films hinge on uncanny enigmas, favoring existential terror over cheap thrills and grotesque monsters. And we’re presenting them all on glorious 16mm film.

Watson and Webber’s The Fall of the House of Usher (1928, 13 min.) gives Poe’s tale of madness the German Expressionist treatment, courtesy of bold shadows and prismatic effects. Equal parts Mario Bava and Marquis de Sade, Peggy Ahwesh’s Nocturne (1998, 30 min.) is sadomasochistic thriller about the violence of dreams. Curtis Harrington’s On the Edge (1949, 6 min.) concerns a mysterious figure trapped in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and includes a soundtrack by experimental composer Charles Ives. Assembled after her death by Anthology Film Archives, Mara Deren’s surreal masterpiece The Witch’s Cradle (1943, 12 min.) uses an abstract sculpture installation as the backdrop for occult rituals (with a cameo appearance by Marcel Duchamp). Finally, Victor Faccinto’s Book of the Dead (1978, 16 min.) is reminiscent of Méliès’ satanic shorts, featuring sleight-of-hand magic tricks and ghoulish animations.

Where: Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan Ave.
When: Thursday, October 30 at 7pm
How much: $7 admission

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METRO MANILA (Chicago premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.


We are incredibly proud to the hosting the Chicago Premiere of one of our most favorite films of 2013, METRO MANILA, with our good friends at Chicago Filmmakers! This screening will be on October 11th at 8:00pm (details below). METRO MANILA has received many accolades and we are so excited to be able to bring this film to Chicago.

Winner of the Sundance Audience Award 2013


British Entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards


“Quietly brilliant . . . Poetic and near perfect” – Empire


“A smartly structured and atmospheric crime film” – Screen


“Beautiful with superb twists” – The Guardian

Jake Macapagal Metro Manila-01


Following a disastrous crop failure that all but destroys them, Northern Philippine rice farmers Oscar (Jake Macapagal) and Mai (Althea Vega) relocate to the Metro Manila region with their two infant daughters, hoping to start anew. They first move to Quezon City, but are almost immediately taken advantage of and robbed of the meagre savings they’d managed to hold onto. Now in a state of outright poverty, the family moves to a decrepit shack in the slums as a temporary step until things look up. Fate semi-smiles on Oscar when his military history impresses a former cop named Ong (John Arcilla) at a job interview. Ong takes an immediate shine to the desperate farmer and the two become partners, driving a heavily armoured car in some of Manila’s most dangerous areas, picking up lockboxes and perpetually looking over each other’s shoulders, chilled with the knowledge that a lethal robbery attempt could explode at any moment. Ong knows that last part all too well, having recently been wounded in a brutal holdup that left his partner dead. What seemed like a blessed opportunity opens up into predatory arteries of deceit and corruption. Oscar and his family are about to become caught up in every terrible thing that Manila has to offer.

An absorbing slow-burn thriller that took home an audience award at 2013 Sundance in 2013, METRO MANILA casts an illuminating gaze on the struggles of migrant families treading water amidst the dark underbelly of Filipino mean streets. It’s a riveting human drama and one of the most realistic and tense crime films in recent years. Oscar-nominated director/co-writer Sean Ellis (THE BROKEN), a U.K. national shooting on unfamiliar ground with the most uncanny naturalism and ease, pulls you intimately into his characters’ plights from the opening beats and never lets you go. His direction is perfect — and brilliantly put together — always one step ahead of the audience, twisting things off into places most unexpected with an agility that will amaze you. It’s phenomenal filmmaking. It is a film that explores both the moral compromises forced by poverty and the cutthroat social dynamics that make bad choices all but inevitable. Above it all, it’s a film about devotion and family, driven by the highest stakes, underscored with equal measures of hope and violence. You will be transfixed. (Mitch Davis, Fantasia Film Festival)

Digital Projection, 115mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, October 11th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $8.00 in advance and can be purchased by clicking onto this sentence.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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TOY MASTERS (Sneak Preview Screening) with filmmakers in attendance hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.


We are incredibly excited to be hosting a sneak preview screening of the amazing HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE documentary TOY MASTERS “The Real Story Behind the Greatest Toy Line ever Created …” with our friends at Chicago Filmmakers! Also, for this screening, director Roger Lay Jr. and producer Corey Landis will be in attendance for a Q&A after the film! This will be on August 16th, 8:00pm at Chicago Filmmakers!

There is not a formal trailer as of yet but here is a 7:49 minute preview (Note that this is an older preview and the film is still being re-worked and edited.):


Chances are, if you were a young fantasy nut growing up in the early ’80s, you had a collection of Mattel’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toys piled high in your bedroom, you grooved to the animated Filmation cartoon series and even waited on line for Cannon’s ill-fated movie version, starring a well-oiled Dolph Lundgren. TOY MASTERS is the first-ever feature-length documentary on the world-wide phenomenon that inspired an entire generation of kids and grossed over a billion dollars in the then-booming boys’ toys market. Nor can we forget to mention the immensely popular HE-MAN cartoon shows that had school kids running home every day to watch the muscle-bulging Prince Adam (designed to make Schwarzenegger look like a “wimp”) battle skull-faced nemesis Skeletor.

But He-Man’s biggest struggles took place behind the scenes, which TOY MASTERS divulges in fascinating, hilarious and revealing details. Over the last 30 years, several former Mattel employees, namely preliminary designer Roger Sweet, visual designer Mark Taylor and marketing executive Paul Cleveland, all claim to be responsible for creating these beloved characters and product line. In TOY MASTERS, childhood He-Man fans-turned-filmmakers Roger Lay Jr. and Corey Landis set out to track down every single player in the development and production of the mega-selling toy line in order to get to the bottom of this decades-old rivalry and bitter clash over credit. But that’s not all — TOY MASTERS features interviews with the key creative personnel behind every version of those action figures and all other incarnations of Masters of the Universe (television, film, stage, print and even cheesy strip-mall appearances!), thus tracing the inception and ups and downs of the fantasy juggernaut. Everyone involved in the 30-year history of this franchise turns up in TOY MASTERS, including such genre luminaries as J. Michael Straczyski (BABYLON 5), FX Oscar-winner Richard Edlund (STAR WARS), movie concept artist William Stout (CONAN THE BARBARIAN), Filmation co-founder Lou Scheimer (a hoot!), MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE movie director Gary Goddard, the animated show’s key voice cast and many others. In TOY MASTERS, you will learn that the fight for the universe pales in comparison to the one waged for creative acknowledgment.

Do not miss a very rare chance to see this amazing film! Here is all of the info:

Digital Projection ~90mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, August 16th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $8.00 in advance and can be purchased by clicking onto this sentence.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!


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ACROSS THE RIVER (Chicago premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

AtR poster (2)

We are incredibly excited to be hosting the Chicago Premiere of the wonderful Italian atmospheric horror film ACROSS THE RIVER with our wonderful friends over at Chicago Filmmakers. This screening will be on June 7th at 8pm. For more information, here is the synopsis:

“A wildlife biologist has set up a variety of trophy cameras along a path in the remote Italian mountains. Living alone in a cabin, he collects data daily, reviewing footage, studying animal behaviour and their tracks, on the hunt for ever-elusive wild beasts. Occasionally, strange items appear, such as a beautiful piece of cloth flowing down the river, from what appears to have been a dress. One day, he takes his camper further down the road and ventures past the river, which traps him unknowingly on its opposite shore. Wandering deeper and deeper within the forest, an abandoned village catches his attention, and what he discovers within its walls, lurking at night, unseen, is far more unnerving than he could have imagined. The darkness engulfs him. Meanwhile, an old man watches over it all, guardian of a terrible secret.”

One of the most downright efficient, atmospheric horror film of 2013 and a chilling discovery from Italy, ACROSS THE RIVER prioritizes a slow-building, intense crescendo approach to its atmosphere of disorientation and dread, forsaking cheap scares for the sake of terrific sound design, carefully placed shadows and rustling leaves. Thrusting you deeper and deeper into the clutches of his dark, otherworldly woods, director Lorenzo Bianchini offers an almost dialogue-less hybrid of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (without it being subjective found footage) and INTO THE WILD, pulling you into the supernatural wilderness one discovery at a time, insidiously even, until you are, like his protagonist, completely trapped and at the mercy of what lies within. The unique infrared wildlife footage peppered throughout takes on a vividly evocative quality, as uncanny images of the wilderness are produced, forcing you to wonder as to what is really there. A classical horror tale spun from the interstices of man and his digital technologies as confronted with the (super)natural world of yore, ACROSS THE RIVER is a brilliant opposition of new and old narratives, building towards a downright terrifying finale. Wander, wonder and dare cross the river, you will be glad you did. (Thanks to Ariel Esteban Cayer of Fantasia and Pop Montreal for the write up!)

Do not miss this special ,one night only, opportunity to see this wonderful Italian horror film. Here is all of the info:

Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, June 7th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $7.00 at door

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

ATR Frame 4

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THE BURNING BUDDHA MAN (U.S. premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

bbm1We are proud to be able to bring to America one of the most fascinating films that we had seen in all of 2013, THE BURNING BUDDHA MAN, with our friends over at Chicago Filmmakers on April 5th at 8:00pm. This insane, one-of-a-kind movie wowed audiences at film festivals all over the world! Created by first-time director Ujicha, “The Burning Buddha Man” uses a technique called “gekimation” in which paper cut-outs are shot live on camera against elaborately hand-drawn backgrounds like puppets. You’ve probably never seen anything quite like this before! Check out the trailer below:

Here is the synopsis:

“Sacred Buddha statues of Kyoto are being stolen in a series of crimes that are even stranger than one might first imagine — the true perpetrators, modus operandi and motivation for the thefts lie far beyond the threshold of familiar reality. High-school student Beniko is dragged into this waking nightmare when the statue at her family’s temple is taken — and her parents slain in a most gruesome manner. Alone now and shaken to the core, Beniko is taken under the wing of the mysterious monk Enju. He claims to be a close friend of her parents, and to have insights into the enigma they are confronted with. Beniko is brought to Enju’s sanctuary and given the liberty to roam its calm yet somehow unsettling grounds. When she discovers a secret room and its uncanny inhabitant, Beniko begins to realize that her situation is far darker and more disorienting than she can comprehend…”

Do not miss a very rare chance to see this amazing film! Here is all of the info:

Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, April 5th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $7.00 at door

Looking forward to seeing you all there!


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VANNIN’ (special sneak preview screening) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society and Little Cabin Films!

The Chicago Cinema Society and Little Cabin Films Inc present a special “sneak preview” of Vannin’ – The Movie at the Patio Theater on Saturday, November 16th!

Doors at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:00 p.m.

Discussion with Filmmakers and Vanners to follow screening. (Nick Nummerdor, Andrew Morgan, Howard Furtak, & David “Matchstick” Brooks)

“Vannin’ – Its a way of life”

Often thought of as the outcasts of the automotive world, Vanner’s and their vans provide an extraordinary glimpse into a a subculture that saw it’s rise and high-water mark in the late 70’s. Vans were everywhere back then. They became affordable rolling rooms filled with shag carpet, bubble windows, moon roofs, wet bars, and full size beds. The customized van was representative of a parent’s worst nightmare and a young person’s wet dream. But, just as fast as they rose in popularity, they faded; leaving only an echo on american pop culture.

This film by Nick Nummerdor and Andrew Morgan features interviews with hardcore Van enthusiasts taken over the course of six days at the 40th National Truck-In (known as the Van Nationals) in Elkhorn, WI. Set to a roaring soundtrack by RED DESERTEasyrider Records), Heavy Times (HoZac Records), & DANAVA (Kemado). Vannin’ is a glimpse into an unusual American subculture. (58 minutes)

Directed by Andrew Morgan and Nick Nummerdor


Vannin’ – A Documentary Trailer from Little Cabin Films on Vimeo.

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50’S HORROR SCI-FI DOUBLE FEATURE! Hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society & Fans for Living.

The Giant Spider



Co-Presented by Chicago Cinema Society and Fans For Living.

Fans For Living Screening Room
920 W. Wilson Ave
Chicago Illinois 60640

$6 at the door.

Show starts at 7 pm Doors open at 6:30

Double Feature of The Giant Spider,” and “Terror from Beneath the Earth” With a Director Christopher Mihm Q&A!

Giant Spider head available for photos!

CAUTION This event is BYOI (Bring Your Own Insecticide)

Christopher R. Mihm is the writer, director, and producer of the films of the “Mihmiverse,” a series of award winning, loosely interlinked feature-length films styled after 1950s-era “drive-in cinema.”

Mr. Mihm’s filmmaking career officially began in 2006 with the release of his first retro-styled film, “The Monster of Phantom Lake.” Made on a nearly non-existent budget, the film went on to garner much critical acclaim, appear in many film festivals, win multiple awards, and, to this day, continues to screen across the world.

Since “The Monster of Phantom Lake,” Mr. Mihm has released one new as-authentic-as-possible 1950s-style feature a year, many of which have received numerous accolades, nominations, and awards. His sixth film, “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” raked in the most “2011 Dead Letter Awards” at “House of Ghosts,” Mr. Mihm’s tribute to the films of classic horror master William Castle, won the coveted Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for “Best Independent Feature” and the “Best Action/Horror Feature” award at the Highway 61 Film Festival.

Christopher R. Mihm has been featured in many publications, both online and off, including SCI-FI Magazine, Screem, and Scary Monsters Magazine. Mr. Mihm was the recipient of the first-ever “Roger & Julie Corman Intrepid Filmmaker” award at the 37th annual ValleyCON in Fargo, ND and won the “Best Director” award from

Mr. Mihm’s latest film, “The Giant Spider,” a tribute to the “giant bug” films of the 1950s, premiered in the Twin Cities on May 22nd, 2013 and has been earning rave reviews ever since!

RSVP at the Facebook event page here:

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