September 23, 2011 12:21 pm
A Good Man has its Chicago premiere tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. Ticket holders for both performances (6:15pm & 8:15pm) are invited to a reception with the filmmakers and Kartemquin staff. Join us tonight or get tickets for the one week run!
Ahead of the opening the Chicago press has been universally positive in reviewing the film, which follows Bill T. Jones for 2 years, from commission to performance, as he creates a new dance-theatre work based on the legacy of Abraham Lincoln for the Ravinia Festival.
Time Out Chicago gave the film 4 stars, praising it as "the decoder ring" to understanding the challenging Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray and for presenting an unvarnished look at the artist at work. Zachary Whittenburg writes: "Fondly wasn’t about our 16th President so much as it was about America. Similarly, A Good Man isn’t about Jones as much as it is about the family of artists, in the guise of a dance company, with which a volatile, highly intelligent person surrounds himself."
Ray Pride of NewCity wrote: "Patient and observant, as the best work from Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films always is, “A Good Man” studies the daily dynamic between Jones and his dancers: the emotional and sometimes heated give-and-take of creating meaning from motion, of extracting consequence from gestures of the human form."
Chicago LGBT paper The Windy Citizen Times was even more effusive in its review, with critic Richard Knight, Jr stating: "It's brilliant... a mesmerizing portrait of a great American artist."
The Chicago Reader also appreciate the unprecedented insight into the two-time Tony Award-winning choreographer, with J. R. Jones stating, "You can see what makes him such an effective artist in a collaborative medium: the ability to enlarge his diva moments into a communal experience" in his review.
Tickets for tonight's shows are close to sold out, but other days are still open. Especially don't miss out on Tuesday, September 27th's 7:45pm screening, when dancers from the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company will be present and in conversation with Ravinia Festival CEO Welz Kaufman.
A Good Man also screens twice next weekend at the Milwaukee Film Festival on October 1st and 2nd, with co-director Gordon Quinn attending October 1st, as part of their tribute to Kartemquin's 45th anniversary. The film then has a screening at the Oklahoma Dance Film Festival on October 13th and 16th, at the New Orleans Film Festival on October 17th, and the Virginia Film Festival on November 6th (with Gordon Quinn attending).
Stay tuned for announcement of A New York theatrical screening scheduled in early November, with Bill T. Jones attending! And of course, keep 9pm, November 11th in your calendar for the American Masters television premiere on your local PBS station!