Graphic from the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival website.
I’ve got nothing against my sleepy little home town of Palatine, Illinois but I’ve never thought of it as a hotbed of cultural activity either. Occasionally, something cool happens, like when the Durty Nellies night club hosted an Underground Garage showcase that included The Zombies, Gore Gore Girls, and The Mooney Suzuki, or when The Smithereens will play the Palatine Street Fest on August 28th. But mostly it’s sedate around here.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival being held in town this week. It kicks off with an outdoor concert by Chris Petlak at the Fred P. Hall Amphitheater on Wednesday, July 21st, and ends with an Awards Brunch at Hotel Indigo on Sunday, July 25th. In between, there will be several screenings each night at the Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center. Emmett’s restaurant will be the scene of a Festival Dinner Buffet late Saturday afternoon.
The independent films are from around the world and range from Brooke Dahmen’s two-minute comedy 8 Hour Work Day to Gregory Fitzsimmons’s 85-minute drama Miss Ohio. Several of the entries look interesting. For example, there’s the Alex Karpovsky directed Trust Us, This Is All Made Up, a documentary about Second City improv masters TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi. Bryan Litt’s Educating Cooper is an offbeat comedy about a schoolboy coping with his mother’s death, an evil principal, and an exotic female classmate. On Saturday, Blue Whiskey will present the Illinois Premiere of The Exploding Girl, a drama about a college student whose epilepsy is affected by her emotional troubles. And there are plenty more choices.
Hopefully, there will be a good turn out for this event, but I’m not sure if many people in Palatine even know about it. I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t seen Blue Whiskey’s eight-page program at the Palatine Library, although the Blue Whiskey website has links to articles by Dann Gire in The Daily Herald and Dan Pearson in the Barrington Courier-Review. As for you people coming from abroad for the film festival, try spending some cash at Durty Nellies, Emmett’s, Mint Julep Cafe, Lamplighters, and some of the other bars and restaurants in town. That just might encourage Palatine to try this sort of thing more often.