Over the next couple of weeks, those of you in the Chicago area are going to have several chances to attend quite a few Q&A screenings I’m hosting, so keep an eye on the site for updates. First up is one of the many music biopics being released in the coming weeks. There are films about jazz greats Miles Davis and Chet Baker, but of this recent crop, it’s the music of Hank Williams that I’m most familiar with. Williams was more than just a hillbilly, country-western singer. He was a heartbreak poet, and artist today are still performing and discovering his raw lyrics cut to the core of loneliness and dug in for the long haul. In a very short period of time (he died at age 29), he released single after single, channeling a life filled with booze, drugs, and women into each song.
In I SAW THE LIGHT, Tom Hiddleston positively channels Williams (he even sings all the songs in the film). You might know Hiddleston from playing Loki in a few movies, but he’s also quite good in films such as MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, WAR HORSE, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, and CRIMSON PEAK, and I can’t wait to see him later this year in Ben Wheatley’s HIGH-RISE and the AMC series “The Night Manager,” (which begins April 19) as well as upcoming releases such as KONG: SKULL ISLAND and (I’m assuming) THOR: RAGNAROK. His director on I SAW THE LIGHT is Marc Abraham, who made a name for himself in the movies producing such works as THE COMMITMENTS, SUGAR HILL, AIR FORCE ONE, END OF DAYS, THE RUNDOWN, James Gunn’s SLITHER, Zack Snyder’s DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, THE LAST EXORCISM, IN TIME, and CHILDREN OF MEN.
Co-starring Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones and Bradley Whitford, I SAW THE LIGHT pulls no punches in portraying Hank Williams, but it also gives us so many of his great songs to listen to. And I have a seats to an early screening of I SAW THE LIGHT for Ain’t It Cool News readers in the Chicago area. The screening takes place this Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00pm at a theater in downtown Chicago (the exact location will only be given to the winners). As an added bonus, we’ll have a post-screening Q&A with lead actor Tom Hiddleston and writer-director Marc Abraham. Here’s how to win…
To win, send me an email at LightChicago@aintitcoolmail.com (please note the new email address) with the subject line “Praise the Lord!” (exactly like that). In the body of the email, I need your full Name, if you are bringing a guest (write “Guest” or “No Guest”; each winner may bring ONE, confirmed guest—if I think you gave your extra ticket to someone trolling for free tickets at the theater, you won't get in), and the answer to the following question: “What is your favorite music biopic, and why?” I’m looking for a film title and a well-reasoned explanation for your choice. Keep your responses BRIEF—no more than 100 words (no matter how tempted you are to go over the limit). Best answers (as judged by me) win, and you'll hear from me very soon if you won, so check your email over the next couple of days.
Although this is not an exclusive Ain't It Cool News event, winners’ seats will be reserved until 15 minutes before showtime (meaning 6:45pm). The venue is deliberately overbooked to guarantee a full house for our guests. If you can't arrive by 6:45pm, don't enter this contest. If you show up at the last minute, there is no guarantee that your seats will be good or together. If there's even the slightest chance you or your guests will have to back out of attending or arrive late if you do win, don't enter. If you have a job that might make you late or unable to attend, or an ill/pregnant relative, or a temperamental significant other, or a scratchy throat, do not enter. And the 24-hour-notice-to-cancel rule is done. If you win and don't show up, the Black List is your new best friend.
Good luck, everyone! And thanks to Sony Pictures Classics for giving us this very cool screening opportunity and bringing in these fantastic guests.