2017

Feature: Top 25 Celebrity Portraits of 2017, Captured by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – My year in capturing 2017 celebrity portraits is best summed up with a bit of poetry: My subjects skewed older and politically bolder/In a year that demanded change/My list is longer with work hopefully stronger/In capturing these faces not strange.

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2017, By Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – It’s time to choose the TEN SCARIEST Donald Trump Tweets, excuse me, The 10 Best films of 2017 (got a lot on my mind). Selected by HollywoodChicago.com’s Patrick McDonald, the “Über Critic,” it is a list that celebrates redemptive spirit, love of the love and just all-out fun at the flickers.

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Association Honors ‘Lady Bird’ as 2017 Best Film

Lady Bird

CHICAGO – “Lady Bird,” which is the sensational, authentic and emotional directorial debut of actor Greta Gerwig, was honored as the Best Picture of 2017 as determined by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) on Dec. 12, 2017. The Best Director was split to Christopher Nolan of “Dunkirk,” the Best Actor was Timothée Chalamet of “Call Me By Your Name” (who also was awarded Most Promising Performer) and the Best Actress was Saoirse Ronan of “Lady Bird.”

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Best of the Midwest on Dec. 5, 2017

2017 Best of the Midwest

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, December 5th, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will award their 2017 “Best of the Midwest” honors with a ceremony at Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago at 7pm. Nominees include the feature films “Dave Made a Maze,” “Halfway,” “Signature Move,” “The Legend of Swee’ Pea” and “The View From Tall.”

Slideshow, Audio: Closing Night ‘The Shape of Water’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

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Michael Shannon is Agent Strickland in ‘The Shape of Water.’

CHICAGO – Put the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival in the books, as the spectacular Closing Night film was “The Shape of Water,” directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and featured Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg, who both walked the Red Carpet on October 26th, 2017, and was joined by producer Daniel Kraus.

Exclusive Photo, Audio: Patrick Stewart at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Make it so, and the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival accomplished “it,” honoring Patrick Stewart at a tribute event on October 25th, 2017. The versatile actor gained fame as Star Trek’s Jean Luc-Picard and X-Men’s Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X.

Slideshow, Audio: Bill Pullman Red Carpet at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

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Bill Pullman at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival.

CHICAGO – Bill Pullman is one of Hollywood’s treasures. The rogue-ish and handsome actor has been plying his trade for over 30 years, in such classics as “Spaceballs,” “A League of Their Own,” “While You Were Sleeping,” “Independence Day,” “Lost Highway” and the recent “Battle of the Sexes.” His latest film, which he previewed at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival with director Jared Moshe, is a western called “The Ballad of Lefty Brown.”

Slideshow, Audio: Black Perspectives Red Carpet at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

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Alfre Woodard at her tribute at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival.

CHICAGO – It was an evening to celebrate the Black Perspective in filmmaking at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival, and also to celebrate one of the great African American actors with a tribute to Alfre Woodard. Woodard walked the Red Carpet on October 21st, 2017, with fellow actors Regina Taylor (“I’ll Fly Away”) and Jussie Smollett (“Empire”).

Exclusive Portrait, Audio: Vanessa Redgrave at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Vanessa Redgrave, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The luminous and legendary movie star Vanessa Redgrave was given a tribute at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival on October 16th, 2017. The Oscar-winning actress also directed a documentary that she brought to the festival, an overview of the world’s refugee crisis entitled “Sea Sorrow.” HollywoodChicago.com talked to Redgrave, and photographer Joe Arce took the Exclusive Portrait.

Preview: Week Two Films at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CIFF 2017 Week Two

CHICAGO – The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival is winding down, with the closing night film set for Thursday, October 26th, 2017 (“The Shape of Water”). But there are still many films to go until the end, and Jon Lennon Espino and Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com preview some choices for week two.

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  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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