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Serving Time The Movie documentary
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work in progress

Watch the Serving Time video!

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Watch the Trailer to Episode 8 of "Chicagoland"!!

Producer Phillip Koch & Exec Prod Mark Benjamin
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with Jamie Lustberg & Alexander Benjamin

Robert Redford, Marc Levin, Liz Dozier,
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Mark Benjamin & Jeff Zucker at Sundance Premiere

Cameraman Brandon Riley & Sally Marschall
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at Sundance Premiere Party!

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CNN "Chicagoland" team at Sundance Premiere

 

Film Police recommends:

 

 

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Rating: Five Projectors!  (out of Five!) 

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Inside Llewyn Davis” by Joel & Ethan Coen  

 

As long-awaited as every Coen brothers movie is nowadays, “Inside Llewyn Davis” is worth the wait.  It’s a gem, a well-crafted period film that captures an epochal time and place.  Evoking the pivotal point of time in New York’s Greenwich Village circa 1961 when traditional coffee house folk music was about to make way for singer songwriters who became rock stars, “Inside Llewyn Davis” is pitch perfect.  The title character is modeled after Dave Von Ronk, a Brooklyn-born traditional folk singer who resisted writing his own songs even as it became clear he needed to re-invent himself if his career was to thrive. The very young Bob Dylan, just arrived from northern Minnesota, famously took aspects of Von Ronk’s repertoire and stage persona to create the Dylan mystique. Dylan was 20 in 1961 when he played his first New York gig, opening for John Lee Hooker at Gerde's Folk City.  As the movie rolls on, the fictional Von Ronk character’s career skews downwards just before the ascendancy of the real Dylan as a folk music idol and eventual rock God.  It’s this counterpoint that is the film’s theme and it breaks your heart.  Carey Mulligan, playing an American singer inspired by Joan Baez, tries to shake him out of his self-inflicted downslide with blistering anger but he doesn’t take the hint. Her bitter, caustic rants are both painful to hear, if you are her target like Llewyn, and a delight, if you are a connoisseur of foul-mouthed rage and bluster.

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John Goodman in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

 

In the middle of “Inside Llewyn Davis” the great John Goodman steals the show, practically blowing Llewyn off the screen, spitting out venomous lines that are both hilarious and stinging.  F. Murray Abraham is Bud Grossman, a not very subtle depiction of real-life manager Albert Grossman.  Albert Grossman managed Dylan, created Peter, Paul and Mary, and early in his career booked acts for the Gate of the Horn, a landmark folk club in Chicago that hosted Odetta, Big Bill Broonzy, Bob Gibson and many other legends.  Llewyn goes to the Gate to audition for Bud.  Bud’s comment:  “I don’t see a lot of money here,” after Llewyn plays a song, is another prediction that Llewyn disregards without any second thought—a personal flaw that will be disastrous.

 

In the last minute of the film, a Dylan-like character takes the stage at the coffee house for about ten seconds.  He sounds just like early Dylan.  But this film is not about Dylan.   Dylan’s big break was a rave review by Robert Shelton that appeared in the New York Times on September 29, 1961.  Carey Mulligan’s character mentions that someone from the New York Times will be at the coffee shop when Llewyn performs.  Llewyn blows it off.  It’s another misstep that is all the more poignant when we know the real outcome—Dylan got a rave, Von Ronk faded away

compare this photo to Dylan & Suze
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Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Bob Dylan & Suze Rotolo in Greenwich Village
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"Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" album cover shoot 1963

 

You won’t see Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, Holly Hunter, or Roger Deakins’ camera work in “Inside Llewyn Davis” but the film is rich in wonderful acting, lovely set design, and lush, gorgeous photography by Bruno Delbonnel.  Best of all, we get the renowned Coen Brothers writing which represents the ne plus ultra of American filmmaking.  It’s a great film.


Bob Dylan, Suze Rotolo, Dave Von Ronk
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1963 photo by Jim Marshall

Tell us what you think of "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Go to the comment box at the bottom of this page.  We'll post your comments!

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Bravo!  A can’t-put-down landmark work that presents Chicago as the central cauldron for change in American Culture in the forties and fifties, precipitating a Golden Age for Chicago that flourished, spread, peaked and sadly, vanished by the early sixties.  Once called “a real Chicago boy,” by Studs Terkel, author Thomas Dyja traces the history, the personalities, and the cultural institutions that we take for granted that emerged first in Chicago, then emanated out to the rest of the world.  The Chess Brothers popularized blues and helped give birth to Rock and Roll, Nelson Algren wrote outlaw rebel literature and inspired other literary landmark works, Mies van der Rohe single-handedly invented Modern architecture, all in Chicago.  Hugh Hefner made sex a legitimate pursuit of the young and moneyed class. Hef’s Playboy Magazine helped usher in sex as an acceptable part of mass media, no longer a forbidden taboo, only seen in dirty book stores.  Ray Kroc industrialized fast food, from one Golden Arch in Des Plaines to over 50,000 across the world.  Mahalia Jackson popularized gospel music and helped lead and finance the Civil Rights movement.  Improvisational comedy from the Second City was invented and nurtured in Chicago, creating a whole industry that has wide reach through entertainment, movies, and television.  Mayor Richard J. Daley seized power and launched a massive new public housing campaign that changed Chicago into a world-class economic power, albeit more segregated.   When Hef moved to LA, Nelson moved to Patterson, NJ, and others passed away, the Chicago Golden Age lost momentum.  It was a brief shining moment for Chicago that still resonates today—but what a moment!  Also featured in this comprehensive work are Chicago icons Burr Tillstrom, Walter Gropius, Sun Ra, Muddy Waters, Art Shay, Elaine May, Mike Nichols, Stuart Brent and Simone de Beauvoir.
Highly recommended!

Thomas Dyja author photo by Art Shay
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This is the Bond film to see!
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Check out our blog post on "Skyfall"!

For a review and commentary on "Skyfall" click here!

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We will read all screenplay submissions, unlike Essanay.

Check out our pal Art Shay's blog!  Art is an artist, a gentleman, a world-class photographer/writer and a national treasure.

King Levinsky & Ben Schwab, Maxwell Street, 1931
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Phillip Koch MMI, All Rights Reserved

Art Shay's blog on the Chicagoist, click here!

Film Police thanks The Academy!  “Night of The Lawyers” and Film Police friend and colleague Kate Walsh (star of ABC's "Private Practice") mentioned on the Primetime Emmy Awards by Neil Patrick Harris!!

Kate Walsh as "Pressie Brooks" and Danny Goldring
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in the Film Police production of "Night of The Lawyers"

Congratulations to Film Police friend and colleague
Joe Mantegna!
Joe now has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

Joe Mantegna & Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
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2011

Joe Mantegna, David Mamet & Jack Wallace
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Photo by Steve Elkins

Now on DVD from E-One Entertainment!!
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with Academy Award winner Colin Firth!!

"Beautifully raw, wonderfully acted"--Matt Pais, Metromix
 
"Stunning. An exquisite gem of a film!"--Cinematical
 
Congratulations to the cast & crew, especially to
Academy Award Winner Colin Firth!
Partially filmed in Chicago by Film Police crews! 
Colin Firth plays a University of Chicago professor!
Rent it, buy it, view it!
 

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Stylized Art Deco set for "Night of The Lawyers"

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Naomi Klein in "The Shock Doctrine"

Film Police film crew with Naomi Klein
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for "The Shock Doctrine" directed by Michael Winterbottom & Mat Whitecross.

Check out our latest project for "Play For Peace" on You Tube!

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Director Michael Winterbottom and Cameraman Bob Long filming "Summer in Genoa" in Chicago

click here to play :30 second clip of "The American Flag"

click here to play :40 clip of "Tropicana" commercial




























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Sean Connery and Director Phil Koch on a BBC-TV shoot






Film Police is an award-winning film and video production company. We specialize in high-quality commercials, documentaries, corporate films, and feature films.

We will assist you in developing your feature film projects, preparing screenplays, budgets, and schedules for investor presentations.  We are experienced in casting and production managing.  We produce films in the U.S. and around the world. 




























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"PINK NIGHTS"

"Charming, well-written...a few of the supporting roles are creations of genius! A fabulous soundtrack! Pink Nights nicely captures the wonder and puzzlement of being a teen-ager."--Chicago Sun-Times

"Splendidly acted, civilized, droll and well-written, Pink Nights is the kind of thoughtful coming of age movie you didn't think they made anymore."--American Film Insitute Preview

"Recommended...a few of the bit parts are inspired off-the-wall creations."--Chicago Tribune

"A rosy indie charmer.  Perceptive, a bright nicely sketched tale of teen-age romance.  The performances are gold and silver."--Hollywood Reporter

"Acting credits are tops and even the marginal roles are expanded with a charming humor."--Variety

Online review: "The Unknown Movies Page"

"Pink Nights is a breath of fresh air in the teenage genre…blessed by having taste, intelligence, and heart."

From "Yahoo movies":

"What a Gem!
by jimparkey_1999  Oct 10, 2004

It's a wonderful story with a wonderful cast. It's in the "Risky Business' type 80s genre, but much, much more heartfelt and satisfying a film. I highly recommend it!"

 

Order your copy today!

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"Medusa Challenger"

Short dramatic film Starring Joe Mantegna and Jack Wallace

WINNER:

Blue Ribbon of the American Film Festival

Gold Plaque of the Chicago Film Festival

Gold Medal and Special Jury Award of the Virgin Islands Film Festival

Special Jury Award of the San Francisco Film Festival

A Selected Film for Young Adults by the American Library Association

REVIEW QUOTES:

"A gem. A...masterpiece of economic cinematic storytelling…that in its flawless economy recalls classic shorts such as Roman Polanski’s ‘Two Men and A Wardrobe.’ Generates considerable suspense because Wallace and Mantegna are such good actors."—Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

"Every once in a while a film comes along which is a pure joy to watch. The film is a gem, a ray of sunshine that brightens the day. ‘Medusa Challenger’ is such a film. Anyone who sees this film will come away richer for it."—Barbara Flynn, Film News

"Engaging and quietly touching…The movie has the clarity of narrative and bittersweet view of human nature of an O. Henry story."—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"Beautifully acted and produced…a moving and loving short film."—Richard Christiansen, Chicago Daily News

"Excellent. Mantegna’s performance is a masterpiece. A hauntingly beautiful musical score. A cinematic folk poem."—David Jones, Chicago Reader

"MEDUSA CHALLENGER" is one of the first American films to be translated into Mandarin Chinese and broadcast on television in the People's Republic of China. Mr. Koch was awarded the Emmy Award for Individual Excellence for "MEDUSA CHALLENGER

Order your copy today!

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Order your copy today!

"NIGHT OF THE LAWYERS"
"Very clever!  The acting is great, wonderful music, a very amusing, deeply wacky script!  Tom Towles pulls off two really amazing double roles.  A strange, silly, funny, very well-produced movie that should attract a cult following!"--Artistic License, WBEZ Radio, Chicago
"Tom Towles astonishes in a double role as the alien and killer lawyer!"--Alissa Simon, Film Center, Art Institute of Chicago
"Cheerfully venemous!  "Nice double role by Tom Towles"--Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Hilarious! Like an X-Files on laughing gas!"--Daniel Bhatty, Trial Diplomacy Journal

PBS broadcasts "The American Flag"!!
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Producer/Director Phillip Koch &TV/Film Producer Norman Lear

Photographed at Second City in Chicago
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Harold Ramis interviewed for the PBS program "The American Flag"




"Betaville" Distributed by Porchlight Ent.
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Phil Koch and Lou Rawls on the set of "Betaville"

The Film Police name, logo & "To Serve and Project" are registered with the United States Patent &Trademark Office. 
Registered USPTO All Rights Reserved

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