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Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008 10:40 pm

Confessions of a film fanatic

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The critic with his four-year-old son, Grant.

It all started with my father. He loved the movies, particularly those from Hollywood’s Golden Age. When I was a kid, movie stars like Clark Gable, James Cagney and Gary Cooper became more familiar to me than relatives I would see twice or three times a year. My passion for films has never abated.

I studied cinematic theory at Columbia College in Chicago, and have been lucky enough to be able to write about movies for more than 15 years now. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of being able to interview some of the biggest movie stars and filmmakers of our time, as well as waste away more hours than I care to count on bad movies.

As you might imagine, films are a constant presence in our home. Framed, autographed movie posters decorate our house, DVDs spill from shelves in far too many rooms and I find myself in our basement more times than not, with the television tuned to Turner Classic Movies, often finding one of those old classics I first discovered with my father and enjoying it as much as I did the first time. Sometimes, I can get my four-year-old son, Grant, to sit there and watch them with me. He knows who Charlie Chaplin and Cary Grant are on sight. We’re off to a good start.

Chuck Koplinski has been writing professionally about film for 15 years, 10 of them with Illinois Times. In addition to the Illinois Times Web site, his reviews can be found at Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com). He is currently hard at work forming the Midwest Film Critics Association.

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