CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
CHICAGO – Some say, to use a FOX News term, that America is “post-racial.” The election of Barack Obama is supposed to have ended the debate on race, and any marginalization because of race. Of course, that is not possible in society and culture, and it’s articulated in writer/director Justin Simien’s new film, “Dear White People.”
Video Game Review: ‘Masters of the World: Geopolitical Simulator 3’ is Economic Stimulis for the BrainSubmitted by PMeekin on February 23, 2014 - 1:21pm
CHICAGO – “Everyone hates the President” said my Mother after I, yet again, bemoaned the extreme polarization of folks on various social media platforms toward Mr. Obama. I guess it’s true. But still, don’t these people on Facebook and Twitter and Disqus know how hard that job is? What the actual *job* of the President is?
CHICAGO – One of the more unique independent films that worked the festival circuit in 2012 and ’13 was the drama “Mr. Sophistication.” The main character was Ron Waters, a comedian described as “Richard Pryor’s protegé.” Actor Harry Lennix took on the character, breathing in both the drama of the show business story and the particular style of stand-up.
CHICAGO – One of the more underreported stories of the past year is that income inequality – the gap between the wealthiest one percent in the U.S. versus the rest of the population – is at historic highs. When that balance of power is tilted, the result is documented in the new film, “Inequality for All.”
CHICAGO – What are you afraid of, right now? Is it the shaky economy, the red/blue political divide or maybe Dunkin Donuts ran out of Oreo smoothies? You know what’s easy about justifying those fears? Blaming President Obama. “2016: Obama’s America,” written and directed by conservative propagandist Dinesh D’Souza, wants to blame Obama for the sun going down.
CHICAGO – Spending nearly two hours with Sarah Palin, midday on a Saturday, is a questionable use of time at best, especially when not an admirer of the half term governor and defeated vice presidential candidate. Producer Stephen Bannon creates an irony with the title of the Palin documentary, “The Undefeated,” but supporters don’t seem to notice.
CHICAGO – When Barack Obama took to the podium at Grant Park and gave his acceptance speech on the evening of November 4, 2008, his face appeared strangely reserved. His eyes did not reflect the overwhelming excitement of his supporters. Their grassroots efforts led to the election of a candidate whose popularity transcended national boundaries, injecting cynics with hope.
CHICAGO – Jeff Deutchman’s “11/4/08” is a documentary like no other. It centers on the historic Election Day of 2008 that named Barack Obama as the next American president. Deutchman called on his friends, including Joe Swanberg (“Hannah Takes the Stairs”) and Henry Joost (“Catfish”), to capture footage from the day both nationally and internationally, from Manhattan to Dubai.
CHICAGO – Pam Grier has a strong, peaceful aura. After inventing the female action hero in her early 1970s hits “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown,” Grier has navigated her life through optimistic success. She was in Chicago for a book signing at Borders State Street, promoting ‘Foxy: My Life in Three Acts.”
CHICAGO – No contemporary filmmaker has mastered the art of opinionated cinema better than Michael Moore. He doesn’t pretend to be fair and balanced, and he doesn’t claim to have all the answers. He’s more interested in raising questions that sorely need to be addressed and debated. There are few things more American than the act of questioning a system that most people have taken for granted.