CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film News: 47th Chicago International Film Festival to Open With ‘The Last Rites of Joe May’
CHICAGO- Earlier today, Cinema/Chicago announced that the 47th Chicago International Film Festival will premiere with the film “The Last Rites of Joe May.” The film stars longtime film and Chicago theater actor Dennis Farina.
“The Last Rites of Joe May” is the story of a hustler (played by Farina) who is shocked to see life went on normally without him when his friends and acquaintances thought he had died while Joe was in the hospital fighting pneumonia. Joe must now cope with living with new tenants who had moved in when Joe’s landlord thought he had died and the struggle of redefining a legacy that he realizes is less than stellar.
“The Last Rites of Joe May” was written and directed by Joe Maggio and co-stars Jamie Anne Allman, Meredith Droeger, Ian Barford, Chelcie Ross, and Gary Cole.
Maggio was humbled by the nomination and praised the city where his film was made and where the film festival will be hosted: “Before I even made my first film, I remember thinking of all the great filmmakers who had premiered at the Chicago Film Festival, and dreamed of showing a film there,” Maggio said. “Now to be selected as the opening night film - it’s a tremendous honor. It’s especially gratifying to be returning to Chicago, a city that showed us so much generosity during production and really made the whole film possible.”
Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, Michael Kutza, added his delight at having “The Last Rites of Joe May” kick things off as well as the excitement for the rest of what the festival will offer:
“As a major Chicago institution, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival is proud to showcase a production of Steppenwolf Films, which is of course associated with Chicago’s renowned Steppenwolf Theater Company,” Kutza said. “With this opening night film, we also want to celebrate the vitality of Chicago’s filmmaking community. This year’s Fest will feature a diverse selection of features, shorts and documentaries shot in Chicago as well as conversations with those Chicago artists who have left their mark. We are bringing to Chicago what the world is watching. And the world is going to be watching us for the two weeks of the Festival.”
“The Last Rites of Joe May” will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 6th at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park and the rest of the 47th Chicago International Film Festival lineup will be announced September 19.