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African American

Film Review: All Forms of Heroism Available in ‘Black Panther’

CHICAGO – The fortune of the latest Marvel Studios superhero epic, “Black Panther,” lies in its solid foundation in African mythos and intelligent storytelling. And with Ryan Coogler (“Creed”) as director, there are still major confrontations and battles, intertwined into the soul.

Interview, Audio: ‘An Atramentous Mind’ at Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Fest on Aug. 27, 2017

An Atramentous Mind

CHICAGO – What happens when one of the more prominent filmmakers in Chicago of the last five years meets a up-and-coming female director? They get together to make a statement in a short film. “An Atramentous Mind” will have its Midwest Premiere at the Black Harvest Film Festival on August 27th, 2017, as part of their “Chicago Shorts” series. The 23rd edition of this vital Chicago festival runs through August 31st at the downtown Gene Siskel Film Center.

Interview, Audio: Sabaah Folayan & Damon Davis of ‘Whose Streets?’

CHICAGO – The historic 2014 street killing by law enforcement of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. – and the subsequent deflection by the police – continues to resonate. “Whose Streets?” is a new documentary about the incident and aftermath, and it marks the debut of co-directors Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis.

Film Review: ‘Get Out’ is Funny, Scary & Tells Us About Us

CHICAGO – When he got his chance, writer/director Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele”) completely understood what he had to do – combine his skewered hilarity, love of horror movies and true social conscience, and put them all into one great movie. Ladies and germs, “Get Out.”

Film Review: Brainiac Fulfillment is the Key to ‘Hidden Figures’

CHICAGO – In America, there is the history we have, and the history that we want to have happened. “Hidden Figures” falls into the second category, but it’s presented in such a way that it fulfills the goal – tell an amazing story about a group of African American women who helped launch men into space.

Interview: Jovan Adepo & Stephen McKinley Henderson of ‘Fences’

CHICAGO – The film adaptation of a stage play by August Wilson, the late playwright known for his “Pittsburgh Cycle” of dramas, was aided by Denzel Washington, both portraying the lead role and directing “Fences.” Washington had done the play on Broadway, and recruited to the film his stage mate Stephen McKinley Henderson and newcomer Jovan Adepo.

Interview: Director Julie Dash of ‘Daughters of the Dust’

CHICAGO – Iconic and historical are the two apt terms for a film directed by an African American woman, the first to be distributed theatrically, Was it the 1920s? 1940s? It had to be the 1970s. No, it was 1992 when that barrier was broken, with the film “Daughters in the Dust,” directed by Julie Dash.

Interview: Omar Epps & D.C. Young Fly of ‘Almost Christmas’

CHICAGO – Every year, the “season” gets earlier and earlier, and the first out of the gate for the holidays is the new film, “Almost Christmas.” This warm-hearted comedy involves a large African American family gathering at the Yuletide, and features Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, and introducing D.C. Young Fly.

Interview: Actor Craig Robinson, Director Chad Hartigan Reflect on ‘Morris From America’

CHICAGO – When a 13 year old African American teenager is suddenly put into the atmosphere of Germany – specifically Old Heidelberg – then a whole new adventure awaits for “Morris from America.” Craig Robinson (“The Office”) portrays the title character’s father, and the film is directed by Chad Hartigan.

Interview: Harry Lennix Puts His Career & Life in Perspective

Harry Lennix, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The stage play that Harry Lennix is in town to direct – “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red” – is in its last weekend, and is giving the actor/director the best notices of the theater part in his long and successful career. For more information about the play, and ticket availability, 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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