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Interview, Audio: Director Petra Volpe Issues ‘The Divine Order’

CHICAGO – It is astounding to note that Switzerland did not have the vote for women until 1971. Writer/director Petra Volpe was also astounded at the ignorance of that history, so she set out to create a drama about the event. “The Divine Order” is set in a small Switzerland village, where the winds of change are coming.

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.

Interview, Audio: John Carroll Lynch Directs an Elegy for Harry Dean Stanton in ‘Lucky’

Lucky

CHICAGO – He is a familiar character actor, having a long career with roles in TV and film as diverse as “Fargo,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Gran Torino,” “The Americans.” and the recent “Jackie” and “The Founder.” He is actor John Carroll Lynch, and he has made his directorial debut in the wonderfully essential “Lucky,” whose title character is portrayed by Harry Dean Stanton. The film is a perfect elegy for the actor, who passed away last month at the age of 91.

Interviews: ‘Signature Move’ at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Oct. 3, 2017

Midwest Independent Film Festival Logo

CHICAGO – The Made-in-Chicago film “Signature Move” will have a Midwest festival premiere through a “first Tuesday” showcase at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on October 3rd, 2017, and it will take place at a different location, the Music Box Theatre in Chicago (usually the Festival is at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema). Lead Actor Fawzia Mizra, director Jennifer Reeder and other cast/crew members are all scheduled to attend.

Interview, Audio: Director Mei-Juin Chen of ‘The Gangster’s Daughter’

Mei-Juin Chen

CHICAGO – Opening Night of the fifth season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema is Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, and the first film is a doozy. “The Gangster’s Daughter” is a different take on the popular Taiwanese mobster movie, a relationship film as much as the pure crime. At the helm is director Mei-Juin Chen, with her first narrative film.

Podtalk: Katelyn Zenie of the Femme Filmmaker Showcase in Chicago on Sept. 9, 2017

Femme Filmmakers Showcase

CHICAGO – The film community is flourishing in Chicago, and this weekend boasts of another cinema event. The Femme Filmmaker Showcase will screen three blocks of short films, all either created by women filmmakers or with women centric themes, on Saturday, September 9th, 2017. This will also be an evening of networking, and tours will be provided at one of the latest studio spaces in Chicago, 2112/Fort Knox Studios.

Podtalk: Andrea Thompson, Founder of Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival, Sept. 8-10, 2017

Milwaukee Women's Film Festival

CHICAGO – The State of Wisconsin will have an international film showcase this weekend, as the 2017 Milwaukee Women’s Film’s Festival opens on Friday, September 8th, and runs through Sunday, September 10th. The Founder and Executive Director of the Festival is Andrea Thompson, and her and her team has programmed a weekend’s worth of feature and short films that are made by women, and celebrates the art of film through the perspective and variations of the female spirit.

Podtalk: Richard Dreyfuss of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’

CHICAGO – The 40th anniversary edition of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Richard Dreyfuss, is in a limited run in theaters now. What better time to resurrect a 2009 HollywoodChicago.com interview with Dreyfuss, and publish it as a podcast talk.

Podtalk: Brian Zahm on ‘Marquee’ at Chicago’s Millennium Park Film Series on Sept 5, 2017

Marquee

CHICAGO – When the filmmaker faces his biggest screen, what will his art mean? Director Brian Zahm is about to find out, as he screens his short film “Marquee” on the state-of-the-art 40 foot LED screen at Chicago’s Millennium Park Summer Film Series on September 5th, 2017 (6:30pm). The short will be an appetizer for the main event, the screening of “Wayne’s World” as the feature presentation. The program will be the final films in the popular series at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Podtalk: Nnamdi Ngwe on ‘Rap Skool’ at the Midwest Independent Film Fest on Sept. 5, 2017

Midwest TV Pilot

CHICAGO – On one of the most exciting Tuesday nights of the year-round Midwest Independent Film Festival is the Midwest Pilot Showcase on September 5th, 2017. Seven full TV pilots will see the light of screen, all with a diversity of form and story. Among the pilots in the showcase is “Rap Skool,” a hilarious parody/comedy about a class of wannabe street rhymers. Co-created by twin brothers Amechi and Nnamdi Ngwe, this Chicago-based show is packed with laughs.

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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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