CHICAGO – Actress Katie Chang is in the high school graduating Class of 2013. But in a sense, she has already graduated to the big time with her lead role in director Sofia Coppola’s new film, “The Bling Ring.” Chang portrays Rebecca, the leader of a gang of teenage burglars who rob the homes of celebrities, including Paris Hilton.
CHICAGO – The creator behind the provocative new documentary “Dirty Wars” is veteran investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, and he is unafraid to reveal the dirt on the perpetual conflict under the heading of the war on terror. Scahill is not a stranger to controversy, and his insertion into the film’s narrative is part of the story itself.
CHICAGO – As the TBS Network’s “Just for Laughs Chicago” winds up on June 16th, the six-day comedy festival has become a major happening during the beginning of the summer entertainment season. Experiencing new comics on the local level is one of the joys of the event, and one of the places to find them is at hot new venue in the city, Stage 773.
CHICAGO – One of the most influential sound artists in American rock history is Todd Rundgren. Known for radio friendly hits like “Hello It’s Me,” “I Saw the Light” and “Bang the Drum All Day,” Rundgren also is one of rock’s most notable producers, formulating hits for Meat Loaf, Grand Funk Railroad, the New York Dolls and XTC.
CHICAGO – With his production company, Blumhouse, Jason Blum might be the most important voice in modern horror. As studio horror films became glutted with remakes and sequels in the ’00s, Blum changed the model with low-budget, high-profit films like “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious.”
CHICAGO – With Memorial Day behind us, thoughts return to the beginning of summer. Writer Chris Galletta and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts have created a coming-of-age film about that particular seasonal ritual, featuring young actors Moises Arias, Nick Robinson and Gabriel Basso as “The Kings of Summer.”
CHICAGO – If you don’t like the roles you’re being offered, why not write them yourself? That has been the philosophy of actress Brit Marling, who taught herself the art of screenwriting in order to create the sort of complex female roles Hollywood avoids like the plague.
CHICAGO – Dave Franco is James Franco’s brother. Since that’s now out of the way, Dave Franco is also a writer, actor, regular on the “Funny or Die” website and co-star in the newly released film, “Now You See Me.” Franco plays a streetwise magician, and in his career he keeps bringing the magic.
CHICAGO – Just in time for Father’s Day, comedian Jim Gaffigan has written a new book about his adventures in Papa-hood, entitled “Dad is Fat.” The hilarious observational comic, known for his riffs on America’s food habits (“Hot Pockets”), takes on the rigors and rites of fatherhood as only he can.
CHICAGO – The story of “What Maisie Knew” may be unusual, but the reflection of the subject matter fits perfectly within the patterns of contemporary family culture. Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel create a scenerio in which a custody battle for a little girl named Maisie becomes more about the parent’s egos than her care.