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 – It’s Opening Day for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo – better known as C2E2. There are three days planned – Friday, March 18th through Sunday March 20th, 2016 – for celebrities, comic book producers and the entertainment associated with our age of super hero geek culture. The event takes place at the South Building at McCormack Place in Chicago. Chicago’s own John Cusack helps to get things rolling with a panel appearance TODAY (March 18th) at 2pm, and will sign autographs and meet fans over the weekend.
CHICAGO – John Cusack has never rested on his laurels, which are many in his film career, nor stood still as an artist or an actor. His latest film is the magnificent “Love & Mercy,” in which he portrays music legend Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys as a middle aged man, trying to break free of the circumstances in his life.
CHICAGO – Through their ownership of Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures, Disney has released a stellar wave of catalog titles this week, including at least three comedies that I would call great, two of John Cusack’s best performances, and an ’80s comedy that many people point to as one of the faves of their childhood. Pick your favorite.
CHICAGO – Joelle Carter was one of those actresses who was probably a familiar face through small roles in films like “American Pie 2” and “High Fidelity” or through a number of TV guest appearances, but it was her excellent work on the first season of the FX hit “Justified” that brought her to a new level of fame.
CHICAGO – There are some movies that are gut level great because of plot, atmosphere and pacing, and then there are movies like “Tamara Drewe,” which rely on the elusive star power of the performer to drive its engine. Gemma Arterton portrays the title character and lights up the screen with a vivid presence in this simple story of a woman’s homecoming.
CHICAGO – Director Stephen Frears is a storytelling legend who sneaks up on us. Besides his new film “Tamara Drewe,” which played at this year’s Chicago International Film Festival, Frears has a filmography that includes “The Queen,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “High Fidelity,” “The Snapper,” “Hero,” “Prick Up Your Ears” and “My Beautiful Laundrette.”
CHICAGO – What man approaching or in middle age wouldn’t love to go back to when they were in their physical, sexual, and alcohol-imbibing prime and not just feel young again but perhaps even correct a few mistakes that led to a disappointing life?