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Interview

Podcast Talk: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Honors Hong Kong Pop & Film Legend Teddy Robin Kwan

Asian Pop Up Cinema 2017 Closing Night

CHICAGO – When The Beatles changed pop music forever in the early 1960s, they also launched a worldwide revolution of bands and songwriters. One such star was Teddy Robin Kwan, who founded Teddy Robin & the Playboys in Hong Kong, and rightly took the crown as “The King of Asian Pop.” And for his second act, the small-but-mighty Kwan became one of Hong Kong’s top film composers, as well as a director and actor of note. He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series Closing Night Gala in Chicago on May 11th, 2017.

Podcast Talk: Allison Tolman & Lucas Neff of ABC-TV’s ‘Downward Dog’

CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

Interview: Director Azazel Jacobs Looks at ‘The Lovers’

Azazel Jacobs The Lovers

CHICAGO – There is a familiar Stephen Sondheim song called “Send in the Clowns,” which speaks of the absurdity of relationships, and their ups and downs. Writer/director Azazel Jacobs has kind of made a movie version of that song’s meaning, with the trials of a married couple, cheating on each other, in “The Lovers.”

Interview: Director Pat Healy of ‘Take Me’ at Chicago Critics Film Festival on May 15, 2017

CHICAGO – An original voice, in an original conceptual movie, is a rare category of cinema art. Director and lead actor Pat Healy, working from a script from Mike Makowsky, has fashioned “Take Me,” a thriller about kidnapping and having the tables turned.

Interview: Collin Souter, Short Film Programmer for the 2017 Chicago Critics Film Festival

Collin Souter

CHICAGO – In all film festivals, the real hidden talent can often be found in the Short Films Program. This is the beginning for many great filmmakers, and it is up to the film reporters and programmers to unearth these creative jewels. Film Critic and Writer Collin Souter is the Short Films Programmer for the Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF), and the fest will be presenting two separate programs on May 13th and 14th, 2017, during the run of the festival, which takes place from May 12th through May 18th at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre (details below).

Interview: Founder Pepe Vargas of Chicago Latino Film Festival on Closing Night, May 4, 2017

Pepe Vargas of Chicago Latino Film Festival

CHICAGO – On the final day of a major film festival, it’s always good to acknowledge the work of the people who make it happen… like Pepe Vargas, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. The Fest concludes on Thursday, May 4th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago, with the Venezuelan film, “Tamara.” For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Interview: Director Park Heung-sik of ‘Love, Lies’ at Closing Night Film of Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Love, Lies

CHICAGO – The Fourth Season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series comes to a rousing conclusion with the Closing Night film – “Love, Lies” – from South Korean director Park Heung-Sik. The screening will take place on Wednesday, May 3rd, 1017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. Director Park Heung-sik will attend the screening, and participate in a Q&A afterwards. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Interview: Sean Patrick Leonard, on World Premiere of ‘Rockabye’ at Twister Alley Film Festival

Sean Patrick Leonard

CHICAGO – The sudden drama of tragic death is beautifully rendered in a new short film called “Rockabye,” a Chicago-based production directed by David Bradburn and written/performed in by Sean Patrick Leonard. The World Premiere of the film will take place at the Twister Alley International Film Festival in Woodward, Oklahoma, on April 29th, 2017.

Interview: Director Ben Wheatley Ignites His New Film ‘Free Fire’

CHICAGO – One of the more lovely examples of pure cinema – if that description can be given to a film with nearly constant gunplay – is in the upcoming release of “Free Fire.” Director Ben Wheatley (“High-Rise”) constructs a dark and funny scenario within one room, and fills it with symbolism and homage to other movies.

Interview: Larry Ziegelman on Chicago Web Series ‘Geek Lounge,’ Screening on Apr. 19, 2017

Larry Ziegelman, Director

CHICAGO – The idea was to combine the TV series nerd culture of “Silicon Valley” with the back-and-forth bar banter of “Cheers,” and creator/director Larry Ziegelman came up with a natural composite entitled “Geek Lounge.” The web series will have a sneak preview screening and party at the Holiday Club in Chicago, 7pm on April 19th, 2017 (details below).

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Downward Dog

    CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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