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Ballad of Narayama

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CFCA Mourns Losses of Members David Schultz, Andrea Gronvall

The Chicago Film Critics Association is saddened to report that two members of our organization have died. David Schultz, film critic for the North Lawndale Community News, passed away last week, reportedly of an apparent heart attack. Andrea Gronvall, who wrote about film for the Chicago Reader and the Movie City News website, died on September 4th. The CFCA extends its most sincere condolences to their loved ones and friends for their loss.

Schultz, right, with the late Milos Stehlik at the April 4, 2017 “Tribute to Roger Ebert & Empathy” at the Chicago Theatre.

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As the critic for the North Lawndale Community News, a rare example of a local weekly newspaper employing a film critic, Schultz served as a cultural commentator for the African-American community and his reviews added a different and welcome perspective to the mix of critical voices. He was also a treasure trove of information regarding the history of film and music exhibition and promotion as well. There will be a memorial service on Sept 7 at Gatling’s Chapel, 10133 S. Halsted St. in Chicago. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM-1:30 PM.

Gronvall was another familiar face on the local film scene, contributing reviews, interviews and festival coverage to outlets such as the Chicago Reader and the Movie City News website, where she too was able to contribute a unique voice to the critical conversation. In addition, she worked as a producer on the highly influential film review show “At the Movies” with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert between 1983 and 2003, earning five Primetime and three Daytime Emmy nominations along the way on a show that would change the face of film criticism. She also served on the CFCA’s Board of Directors. 

A funeral service will be held at 11am Thursday, September 12th, in the Chapel of Westlawn Cemetery and Mausoleum, 7801 West Montrose Ave., in Norridge, Illinois, where interment will follow. An open gathering for sharing memories of Andrea will be held on Sunday, September 15th, from 1pm to 2pm in the Mendelson Gallery at Temple Shalom, 3480 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. 

Schultz and Gronvall were more than just colleagues. They were our friends. It was always a treat to see and talk to them before screenings and to chat up the films afterwards. To lose both in such a short period of time is a terrible blow, not only to us, but Chicago and to the world of film criticism.

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