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Interview

Film Review, Podtalk: Director Eugene Jarecki Crowns Elvis Presley ‘The King’

The King

CHICAGO – Elvis Presley, besides being one of the most famous entertainers of the 20th Century, does symbolize to an extent what can happen to icons when they turn towards certain directions in a career. Director Eugene Jarecki has created an amazing documentary about Elvis called “The King,” that uses his rise and decline as a symbol for the American Dream.

Podtalk: Lonnie Edwards on ‘Now That We Have Your Attention,’ in Chicago on July 21, 2018

An Atramentous Mind

CHICAGO – Filmmaker and Artist Lonnie Edwards keeps evolving upward with his career, but also keeps honoring his Chicago roots and his fellow artists. Edwards, and director Layne Marie Williams of “Women of the Now,” have co-curated a special night of short films under the title umbrella “Now That We Have Your Attention.” The program will take place on July 21st, 2018 (7:30pm), at the new Chicago Filmmakers center. For details, the line-up of films and tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Co-Director Tommy Haines of ‘Saving Brinton,’ Opening in Chicago on July 20, 2018

Saving Brinton

CHICAGO – In the early years of film and filmmaking, from approximately 1890 through 1930, an astounding 75% of films produced are considered “lost,” with no surviving reels, never to be seen again. Recently, an Iowa man named Michael Zahs finally convinced the University of Iowa to research and archive the Frank Brinton Collection, a cache of early films that barnstormer Brinton would show all over Iowa in the 1890s, on through the early decades of the 20th Century. What was found in that Collection is the subject of “Saving Brinton,” co-directed by Tommy Haines and Andrew Sherburne.

Podtalk: Co-Stars Daveed Diggs & Rafael Casal of ‘Blindspotting’

CHICAGO – If there are themes emerging in the 2018 film year, a couple of them are incorporated in Oakland, California, and African American identity. Like the recent “Black Panther” and “Sorry to Bother You,” the new film “Blindspotting” – written by and featuring Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal – involve those themes.

Podtalk: Josh Hope, Co-Director of the Windy City International Film Fest, July 12-15, 2018

2018 WCFF

CHICAGO – This is Year Two for the Windy City International Film Festival (WCFF) – from Thursday, July 12th to Sunday, July 15th, 2018 – and the festival that celebrates indie filmmaking both locally and internationally will have its screenings at Chicago’s historic Biograph Theater (2433 North Lincoln Avenue). Also for the second year, the festival is co-directed by Mindy Kay Parks and Josh Hope. For a complete weekend schedule, click here.

Podtalk: Playwright Hannah Ii-Epstein of Nothing Without a Company’s 'Not One Batu'

Not One Batu

CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Anuradha Rana of DePaul University on Their Student Film Festival & Chicago Cinema

Anuratha Rana, DePaul

CHICAGO – One of the growth areas in the Chicago film scene has been in academia, as traditional liberal arts universities in the area have been expanding their teaching programs and becoming more influential, in concert with the overall growth of the film industry in the Windy City. One such academic leader is DePaul University, an institution that has become one of the Top 25 film schools in the nation, through their Cinematic Arts program and innovations like their new Big Shoulders International Student Film Festival. Assistant Professor Anuradha Rana is part of that success.

Podtalk: Co-Directors David & Nathan Zellner Rescues the Western in ‘Damsel’

Damsel

CHICAGO – The familiar archetypes of the Hollywood Western… the dusty town, the swinging saloon doors and the cowboys looking the part… are all present and accounted for in “Damsel,” written and directed by David and Nathan Zellner (“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”). The twist comes in the action of the characters, portrayed by Robert Pattinson (“Twilight”), Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) and the Zellners themselves.

Podtalk: Director Shana Feste & Actor Lewis MacDougall Establish Their ‘Boundaries’

Boundaries

CHICAGO – Combining an intimate, personal story with a superstar cast, writer/director Shana Feste realized a semi-autobiographical journey in her new film “Boundaries.” The cast includes Oscar winners Christopher Plummer and Vera Farmiga, as well as Lewis MacDougall (“A Monster Calls”), Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Lloyd AND Peter Fonda in a road trip picture that reunites ne’er do well Dad Jack (Plummer) with his desperate-to-connect-with-him daughter Laura (Farmiga).

Podtalk: Actor Lee Perkins Hammers it Home in ‘The Domestics’

Lee Perkins

CHICAGO – The horror of a post apocalyptic world is ripe for exploration, and the new film “The Domestics” is the latest to take us down that road. Tyler Hoechlin and Kate Bosworth portray a married couple seeking her parents, as they road trip through what is left of Wisconsin after a societal collapse, and a series of murderous gangs have marked their territory. One of the gang leaders is Dean The Nailer, a foreboding presence who is portrayed with a ferocious intensity and precise eeriness by actor Lee Perkins.

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  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Has anybody in show business had more “comebacks” than Cher… or if you added her many last names Cher Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman? All of the triumphs and downturns are shoehorned into “The Cher Show,” now in Chicago in a pre-Broadway run through July 15, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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