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James Marsh

Film Review: Heartfelt Tale of Human Needs in ‘The Theory of Everything’

CHICAGO – The life story of iconic physicist Stephen Hawking is given a well-deserved cinematic treatment this weekend with “The Theory of Everything,” an earnest presentation of an existence that defies the usual.

Film Review: ‘Shadow Dancer’ with Clive Owen is Tense IRA Thriller

CHICAGO – Would you betray your cause and the rest of your family tree for the safety of your son? Such is the nightmarish question that Collette must answer in James Marsh’s tense, complex “Shadow Dancer,” a slow-burn thriller that may be a bit too slow at times but builds in power by the final reel. It is On Demand now and opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, May 31. It’s worth seeking out.

DVD Review: ‘Project Nim’ Powerfully Chronicles the Tragic Life of a Chimp

CHICAGO – James Marsh’s much talked-about documentary, “Project Nim,” is one of the saddest films of 2011, charting the mishandling of a chimpanzee by well-meaning but misguided humans. Nim Chimpsky was the simian subject of a widely publicized ’70s-era experiment created by Professor Herbert Terrace. His goal was to discover if a chimp could speak in complete sentences via sign language.

Film Review: Fascinating ‘Project Nim’ Chronicles Tragic Failure

Project Nim
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Human beings are an egotistical, power-hungry species. There’s simply no way around it. And if you think any differently, watch James Marsh’s “Project Nim,” a documentary about the rampant egotism of man’s manipulation of another species. Even the urge to learn and teach that’s expressed at the beginning of “Project Nim” is just a disguise for control.

Blu-Ray Review: Riveting, Memorable ‘Red Riding Trilogy’

Red Riding Trilogy

CHICAGO – Thriller fans should seek out the fascinating “Red Riding Trilogy,” a series of films with largely different casts set in different time periods that attempts to pull back the facade of peace to reveal the dark face of evil underneath. The films are not perfect but they work together to create a memorable portrait of corruption that has infected an entire country and taken more than a few victims in its grip.

Death-Defying Audacity Walks Between the Twin Towers in New Documentary ‘Man on Wire’

CHICAGO – Where have all the true eccentrics gone? Where are all those people who achieve a Zen purpose just because the challenge is there?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    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.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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