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Film News: Chicago Gala to Honor Michael Kutza on July 14, 2018

CHICAGO – One of the greatest representatives of Chicago cinema history, Michael Kutza, the Founder and CEO of the Chicago International Film Festival, announced his retirement after 55 years on North America’s oldest film festival. He will be honored at the Festival Summer Gala in Chicago on July 14th, 2018.

Podtalk: Yedidya Gorsetman on June 24 World Premiere of ‘Empathy, Inc.’ at 2018 Cinepocalypse

Empathy, Inc.

CHICAGO – The buzz of the Chicago film week is the 2018 Cinepocalypse Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre. And there is no better excitement than a World Premiere, and director Yedidya “Jed” Gorsetman is doing just that with his new film, “Empathy, Inc.” For complete information about the screening, click here.

Film Review: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is Classic Jurassic

CHICAGO – For a franchise celebrating its 25th Anniversary, with three original films and on its second reboot, the dinosaurs-living-on-modern-earth dynamic would pretty much be played out. But after a shallow first reboot, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” takes on a more classical approach, and returns to form.

Film News: Special Guests for ‘Cinepocalypse’ at Chicago’s Music Box, June 21-28, 2018

Cinepocalypse 2018

CHICAGO – It’s the 2nd Annual “Cinepocalypse,” unspooling at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre on Thursday, June 21st, 2018, for a week of weirdness, horror and cinema carnage. Throughout the week, there will be special appearances, freaky revivals and Lifetime Achievements. The following is a guide to all the special guests and events for this special film festival.

Interview: Kevin Epperson Directs ‘The Courtship,’ Screening in Chicago on June 21, 2018

Courtship, The

CHICAGO – The dark, mysterious film genre of noir has been a hand-in-glove for most of the cinema’s epic history. Director Kevin Epperson’s latest short film, “The Courtship,” uses all the familiar tools within the noir theme… the use of black&white, plus the roles of the hapless mark and the mysterious dame… to showcase the story of online dating gone awry. Epperson will be screening “The Courtship” at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago, on Thursday, June 21st, 2018, at 7pm (click link below for more details).

Red-Carpet Interview: Gene Siskel Film Center Honors Ethan Hawke

CHICAGO – Ethan Hawke has made 2018 his year, and on June 7th the Gene Siskel Film Center of Chicago recognized his recent artistic achievements and his career by honoring him with their annual Renaissance Award. The event included a Red Carpet walk, and an on-stage talk with his friend, actor Vincent D’Onofrio.

Podtalk: Producer Kristi Dunn Kucera on Her Brother & His ‘Trial of Lies’

Shawn & Kristi Dunn

CHICAGO – In 1925, the Franz Kafka novel “The Trial” was published, launching the term “Kafka-esque” to describe people who get trapped by the judicial system. One such victim is Shawn Dunn, a financial planner who discovered a way (in 1994) to take “corporate inversion” – a tax abatement system initially developed by multinational corporations to substantially reduce their tax bill – and apply that same system to his small business and retirement fund clients for their use. Despite the continued legality (for corporations) of the accounting technique, the FBI raided Dunn’s offices, and arrested him for providing the same legal means for his clients to minimize their tax bills. He lost his trial in 2008, and despite many appeals, is currently serving an 18 year sentence.

Podtalk: Director Jeff Tomsic Plays the Game of ‘Tag’

CHICAGO – When a real life group of friends keep a thirty year tradition alive, playing a game of “Tag,” there is bound to be a film that shares the same name. Jeff Tomsic makes his director debut with a killer cast… Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress and Jeremy Renner, all still playing that childhood game.

Film Review: John Travolta Captures the Life & Times of ‘Gotti’

Gotti

CHICAGO – Probably the last classic era of romanticized organized crime (mafia, mob, etc.) in New York City was the reign of John Gotti… the high profile boss of the Gambino family from 1986-1992. Nicknamed both the Dapper Don and Teflon Don (because of his ability to avoid prosecution), he is brought back to life by John Travolta in the sparely titled “Gotti.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

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