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 – Some mothers are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them. The Mom of “The Meddler” – portrayed with precise intuition by Susan Sarandon – is of the greatness-of-the-future variety, by simply evolving to be herself. Rose Byrne as daughter Lori tags along.
CHICAGO – The combining of icon Susan Sarandon and a “smother mother” from New Jersey is unbeatable, especially under the sure hand of writer/director Lorene Scafaria. The distinctive voice that brought us “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,’ now is taking on mother/daughter relationships in “The Meddler.”
CHICAGO – Brit Marling is an undeniably smart, forward-thinking writer/actress in that she refuses to succumb to gender stereotypes and tries to chart her own way through the independent film movement. If this is true, and I still believe it is, why did “The East,” in which she stars and which she co-wrote, end up so frustratingly melodramatic? Why was the opportunity for true commentary or even character development within this fascinating world discarded in favor of an awkwardly-staged and poorly-written love story laden with genre tropes? I so wanted to like “The East,” but it never pointed me in the direction where I could do so.
CHICAGO – The opening moments of Anne Renton’s feature debut, “The Perfect Family,” paint a typically cheery portrait of suburbia, complete with a sign displaying the generic tagline, “An Enjoyable Town.” It’s the sort of neighborhood audiences have seen countless times before in indies aiming to depict the “dark side” of small town America, a la “Blue Velvet.”
CHICAGO – What on Earth do metal rock stars, a British detective, a 30-year-old slasher flick, and a movie starring a kid from “That ’70s Show” have in common? Nothing but release dates that shuffle them into the world-famous Round-Up, our feature that captures synopsis, cast & crew, tech details, and special features for discerning buyers. Pick your favorite.
CHICAGO – Don’t tune in to the premiere of NBC’s “The Event” expecting answers to that oppressively-advertised question of what the title refers to, although the producers have made clear that it won’t be long before we know.
CHICAGO – “The Event,” which is one of the fall’s most highly anticipated TV shows, last week was named HollywoodChicago.com’s most promising new TV show of fall 2010 beating nine other worthy rivals.