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Interview

Interview: Writer, Director Allison Burnett on ‘Ask Me Anything’

CHICAGO – The number of writers who have adapted and directed their own novels as films is a very small and elite club, and it includes writer/director Allison Burnett. His 2014 film, “Ask Me Anything,” is being released on DVD on March 3rd, 2015, and features Britt Robertson, Justin Long, Christian Slater and Martin Sheen.

Interview: Kristyn Jo Benedyk, Matt Irvine of DePaul University School of Cinematic Arts

CHICAGO – Moving up the rankings like greased lightning, the DePaul University School of Cinematic Arts cracked the Top 20 of all film schools in the U.S. in 2014, after building a program that didn’t exist 20 years ago. A couple reasons why are School Director Matt Irvine and Screenwriting Professor Kristyn Jo Benedyk.

Interview: Actor Colm Feore on Portraying ‘King Lear’

CHICAGO – “Mend your speech a little, Lest it mar your fortunes…” is a fine piece of advice from the William Shakespeare play, “King Lear,” often cited as one of the greatest English language plays. Actor Colm Feore is the latest to portray the title role, which begins a film series by the Stratford Festival of Canada, to capture all of the Shakespeare plays.

Interview: ‘The Last Five Years’ Director Richard LaGravenese

CHICAGO – The movie musical seems to revive every year, and writer/director Richard LaGravenese puts his spin on the genre with a modern touch. A couple, portrayed by Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, goes through the ups and downs of a relationship while belting out appropriate tunes in “The Last Five Years.”

Interview: Husbands of the Stage Musical ‘The First Wives Club’

CHICAGO – Like the recent movie-to-stage-musical adaptations, “The Producers” and “Young Frankenstein,” Chicago has become the proving ground before a Broadway premiere. The latest is almost a no-brainer, “The First Wives Club,” adapted from the 1996 film that starred Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.

Interview: Filmmaker Anna Jung on ‘Women in Film Chicago’ 2015 Kick-Off

Women in Film Logo 2015

CHICAGO – While the new year is still fresh, the Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) will have their Kick-Off Party on February 12, 2015. The networking event will take place at the Sarofsky Corporation in the Fulton Market District in Chicago – which is run by the 2014 WIFC Focus Award Honoree, Erin Sarofsky. Filmmaker Anna Jung is the Creative Director for the WIFC, and spoke to HollywoodChicago.com about the event.

Interview: Director Gabe Polsky on Superb Documentary ‘Red Army’

CHICAGO – Every red-blooded American has been told the story of the “Miracle on Ice,” the 1980 Winter Olympic upset of the mighty Soviet Union hockey team by Team USA. But who were the Soviet players? Why were they the best in the world? Director Gabe Polsky explores these questions in the documentary “Red Army.”

Interview: Filmmaker Alex Beh Presents ‘Warren’ at Midwest Independent Film Festival

Alex Beh, "Warren"

CHICAGO – The opening night of the 2015 Midwest Independent Film Festival is on its usual First Tuesday of the month, February 3rd, and what better way to kick it off then to have Chicagoland native Alex Beh come back to present the Windy City premiere of his first feature film, “Warren.” Beh wrote, directed and performed as the title character in this slice-of-life romance about staying true to a life’s path, and everything that happens in spite of that hope.

Interview: Director Kevin Macdonald Gets Under His ‘Black Sea’

Kevin Macdonald of 'Black Sea'

CHICAGO – The old fashioned paranoid thriller lives, with the release of ‘Black Sea,’ a submarine movie that combines elements of the silent running of those underwater tin cans with the motivation of finding treasure – in this case Nazi gold – that has been buried where it sunk 70 years ago. The director of this film, Kevin Macdonald, creates a nail biting tension in the will-they-or-won’t-they survival mode of the British and Russian members of the submarine’s crew, led by Captain Robinson (Jude Law).

Interview: Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie & Director Mike Binder Ponder ‘Black or White’

CHICAGO – Kevin Costner has come to represent a particular brand of Americana, for his roles in films like “Field of Dreams,” “Dances with Wolves” “JFK” and recently as Pa Kent in “Man of Steel.” His latest film is “Black or White.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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