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Podtalk: Michael Lippert of ‘Miriam is Going to Mars’ at Ithaca Fantastik Fest on Nov. 11, 2017

Miriam is Going to Mars

CHICAGO – The issue of mental health is given a celestial spin in the short film “Miriam is Going to Mars,” written and directed by Michael Lippert of Cutters Studios in Chicago. The film recently was the Grand Jury Winner at the Midwest Independent Film Festival “Midwest Advertising Community Shorts Night,” and follows that up with a screening at the Ithaca (New York) Fantastik Fest on November 11th, 2017.

Podtalk: Executive Director Brent Kado on 7th Chicago Comedy Film Festival From Nov. 9-11, 2017

2017 Chicago Comedy Film Festival

CHICAGO – If you hear the sound of laughter from the vicinity of the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago, then most likely it is coming from the New 400 Theater, the base for the 7th Chicago Comedy Film Festival. The Festival showcases features, shorts and experimental films in all styles of funny. It opens on Thursday, November 9th, 2017, with a program of Chicago Short Films at The Second City, and continues through Saturday, November 11th.

Film News: Chicago Spotlight on 2017 CIMMfest From Nov. 9-12

CHICAGO – The fall movie season continues in Chicago with one of the best movie-music-party celebrations of the year. CIMMfest – the Chicago International Movie & Music Festival – is back for its 9th year, and promises another blast of great sounds and movies about those sounds, in all genres.

Podtalk: Lina Ramona Vitkauskas Presents ‘The Master Plan’ in Chicago on Nov. 14, 2017

Master Plan, The

CHICAGO – Poet and Activist Lina Ramona Vitkauskas is also a first generation Lithuanian-American. In keeping an eye on the situation in her homeland – part of the Baltic States that broke independently from the old Soviet Union – she discovered a new documentary about the Russian infiltration in the country’s political structure. “The Master Plan” breaks down the several-year campaign by Vladimir Putin to divide opinions and politics, to disrupt the region and confuse the recent independence. Sound familiar? A FREE screening of “The Master Plan” will take place on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 (7pm) at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago.

Exclusive Photo: Valerie Bertinelli is Cooking With New Book ‘Valerie’s Home Cooking’

CHICAGO – She has lived “One Day at a Time” and has come into a second act that really cooks. Valerie Bertinelli has gone from child star to recipe maven with her new book “Valerie’s Home Cooking,” named after her Food Network TV Show. She came to Chicagoland to promote the book on October 22nd, 2017.

Exclusive Photo: Hillary Rodham Clinton Wonders ‘What Happened’

CHICAGO – Her latest book is “What Happened,” and much of the U.S. shares that sentiment. Hillary Rodham Clinton promoted that book in Chicago on Oct. 30, 2017. As a former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and the first woman to be a major party candidate in history, Ms. Clinton has served this country.

Theater Review: Nothing Without a Company’s ‘Bobby Pin Girls’ Plays on Millennial Angst

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 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Film Review: ‘Novitiate’ Goes Inside the 1960s Catholic Church

Novitiate

CHICAGO – In a “mystery of faith” narrative disguised as a feminist statement, the new film “Novitiate” goes inside a nunnery in 1964 America, just as the Catholic Church was about to make some radical changes to their procedures. How it affected the church is how it affected the nuns, and the intriguing insider story is full of back room shocks.

Film Review: ‘LBJ’ is Important American History Brought to Light

CHICAGO – The circumstances surrounding the John F. Kennedy assassination on November 22nd, 1963, put a man into the presidential spotlight who never thought he would get there… Lyndon Baines Johnson. The story of that strange time and the man who “would be king” is told in ‘LBJ.’

Exclusive Photo: Happy Birthday to Actress Stefanie Powers of ‘Hart to Hart’

Stephanie Powers, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – For years, her signature TV series – and subsequent TV movie run – was the iconic “Hart to Hart,” co-starring Robert Wagner. Stefanie Powers began her career in the Swingin’ 1960s, and her career includes one of the signature TV shows from that era. HollywoodChicago.com wishes Stefanie Powers a Happy Birthday on November 2nd, 2017, with this Exclusive Portrait from photographer Joe Arce at “The Hollywood Show” from the Chicago gathering in March of this year.

Interview, Audio: Actor Frank Grillo is ‘Wheelman’ on Netflix

Wheelman

CHICAGO – Actor Frank Grillo is on the rise, as evidenced from his high profile supporting role in Marvel Studios “Captain America: Civil War” and portraying Sgt. Barnes in “The Purge” series of horror films. He recently has partnered in a production company (WarParty Films) and is the title character in their debut movie “Wheelman,” which is distributed and available now on Netflix, as part of their film group.

Film Review: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Shatters the Hammer, But Maintains the Mold

CHICAGO – Any blacksmith will tell you that their job is much more than the brute action of slamming a hammer onto steel. There is some finessing and an attention to detail that needs to take place in order to make something truly notable. With Taika Waititi manning the hammer, he takes the “Thor” franchise out from the Dark Ages and into the technicolor light.

Film News: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents Midwest Premiere of ‘Split’ on Nov. 1, 2017

Split

CHICAGO – The Fall Season Five continues for the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series in Chicago as they roll down the alley for “Split,” Wednesday, November 1st, 2017, at the AMC River East 21 Theatre. This South Korean bowling comedy is directed by Choi Kook-hee. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com will make an appearance as “the bowler,” with Ron Falzone of Columbia College moderating. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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