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Interview, Audio: Director Todd Haynes Becomes ‘Wonderstruck’

CHICAGO – Todd Haynes is an American auteur, as every one of his films bear the distinct mark of his creativity. From his beginnings with the indie masterpiece “Safe” (1995) through unforgettable films like “Far From Heaven” (2002), “I’m Not There” (2007) and “Carol,” Haynes has made cinematic art. His latest film is “Wonderstruck.”

Film News: Closing-Night Film ‘The Shape of Water’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Shape of Water, The

CHICAGO – Two weeks of tributes, perspectives and events have flown by, including the amazing line-up of over 150 films from 50 countries. The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival concludes Thursday, October 26th, 2017, with “The Shape of Water” (United States), directed by Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).

Interview, Audio: Miles Teller on ‘Thank You for Your Service’

CHICAGO – When Johnny comes marching home again, as the old song goes, we’ll give him a hearty welcome then. Most Americans truncate that to the phrase, “Thank You for Your Service,” which is the title of a new film featuring Miles Teller, who portrays Iraq War veteran Adam Schumann, and is the directorial debut of Jason Hall.

Film Review: Short Film ‘The Replacement’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Replacement, The

CHICAGO – The science fiction that we once knew, that we thought was impossible, is fast becoming everyday life. One short film that premiered at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival – “The Replacement” – takes the concept of cloning, applying a chilling and symbolic twist to a science fiction that can also be interpreted in our current times as reality. “The Replacement” screens one more time as part of the “City & State” slate of shorts on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 (details below).

Podtalk: Kristin Broadwell, Katia Gomez & Pam Tierney of Web Series ‘Vendors’

Vendors

CHICAGO – Creating web TV series is one of the hottest show business pursuits of the moment, and the three creators and actors of Urban Doe Productions – Kristin Broadwell, Katia Gomez and Pam Tierney – are developing a show that has already had a Season One online. “Vendors” is the story of three women who develop a friendship while maintaining their lives and businesses. In Season One, the women met at an outdoor market. In Season Two, they will set up a storefront.

Film Review: Stellar Cast & Director Fail to Build ‘The Snowman’

Snowman, The

CHICAGO – The biggest mystery in “The Snowman” is what in the world talented actors like Michael Fassbender, Chloe Sevigny, Toby Jones, and Val Kilmer are doing here in the first place. Fassbender’s character’s name alone should have sent off alarm bells. This is based on a series of detective novels featuring detective Harry Hole, and characters have voluminous opportunities to repeat it, although with nary a snigger.

Interview, Audio: Director Simon Curtis of ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’

CHICAGO – Winnie the Pooh is a cultural icon of four generations, due both to the character’s literary roots and Walt Disney’s interpretation. A new film, “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” is the origin story of the famous bear, as created by author A.A. Milne. The movie is directed by veteran helmsman Simon Curtis.

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.

Film News: Award Honorees at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – The Chicago International Film Festival is a competitive fest, and the 53rd edition presented its awards on October 20th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago. The winner of the Gold Hugo as Best Film was “A Sort of Family” (Argentina), directed by Diego Lerman.

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.

Podtalk: ‘Liquid Truth’ at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Liquid Truth

CHICAGO – In a story that could be happening right now, Brazilian director Carolina Jabor adapted a stage play into “Liquid Truth,” about a swim teacher (portrayed by Daniel de Oliveira) who experiences a smear campaign by a parent on social media after being accused of being too familiar with of his students.

Film Review: Dull ‘Professor Marston & the Wonder Women’

CHICAGO – For a film that has free love, lie detection, bondage, the origin of a great comic superhero and 3-way carnality, “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” still comes out rather flat… quite a achievement. Wonder Woman is the comic hero, and this is the rest of her story.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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