CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – Say the name Whit Stillman in certain cinema circles, and a rush of admiration soon follows. The director made a name for himself with his debut film “Metropolitan’ (1990), and followed with the same emotional pallette in “Barcelona” (1994). He is back with an adaptation of a Jane Austin novel, entitled “Love & Friendship.”
CHICAGO – When we got to the end of FX’s excellent “American Horror Story” and nearly all of the characters were dead, a natural question arose — what the Hell do they do for season two? Welcome to “American Horror Story: Asylum,” a completely new tale with some of the same ensemble from the first season but a new setting, new characters, and new story but the same goal — to rattle your senses and put you on edge in the middle of the week.
CHICAGO – It’s difficult to describe “Hit and Miss,” debuting tonight on The Audience Network after the season premiere of “Damages,” exclusively on DirecTV, without it sounding horrendously cliched. Even the title is a pun on the double meaning of the final word. You see, Mia (Chloe Sevigny) is a hit woman, a hired killer. She also happens to be undergoing a male-to-female sexual transition — becoming a “Miss” if you will.
CHICAGO – HBO’s “Big Love” never quite got the attention it deserved. It’s the bridge from the “Sopranos” era of HBO to the “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” one that we live in now and the rollercoaster of quality in terms of seasons never allowed the program to really find a groove. I’m happy it existed. And I’m even happier to own “Big Love: The Complete Series,” a volume of quality drama to which history will be very kind.
CHICAGO – As the credits for the premiere of the fifth and final season of “Big Love” started, I wondered exactly what I wanted from this year. Like Chloe Sevigny and most fans of the show, I agreed that season four was a serious disappointment, especially after the spectacular third outing.
CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, two lucky winners will clean up with two DVDs from Magnolia Pictures for the movies “The Great Buck Howard” and “The Answer Man” plus a full-size poster for “Barry Munday” signed by Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer and director Chris D’Arienzo!
CHICAGO – When David Lynch came to Chicago for an “Inland Empire” screening back in 2007, he offered memorable advice to a moviegoer baffled by his work. He said that his audience should meditate not on the “intellectual experience” provided by his films, but the emotional ideas that they conjure. Meditating on anything else would prove useless because, as Lynch put it, “If you meditate on buttermilk, you’ll end up going to the dairy.”
CHICAGO – It took me some time to get on the “Big Love” wavelength. HBO’s controversial show hasn’t really been on my radar since its debut season, one that I thought featured a great cast but underdeveloped dramatic potential.