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Kartemquin Films

Interview, Audio: Documentary Director Steve James on ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

CHICAGO – The documentary maker Steve James, one of the best in the history of cinema, has a resume of quality reporting through feature film that is stunning in its context. The director of “Hoop Dreams,” “Stevie,” “The Interrupters,” “Head Games” and the Roger Ebert biography “Life Itself” has a new doc, focusing on one repercussion of the financial crisis of 2008, subtly entitled “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

Slideshow: Ebert Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

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Chicago Theatre marquee announces the Roger Ebert event.

CHICAGO – April 4th will always be a bittersweet day for the film world, as it is the day in 2013 when film critic and Chicago icon Roger Ebert passed away. But his legacy lives on through his wife Chaz Ebert and their Ebert Foundation. To uplift the anniversary, the Foundation announced 21 new recipients of $1000 grants, for their organizational contributions to arts and improving the lives of Chicagoans. Included in that recipient group was the Chicago Film Critics Association, in which Roger Ebert was a member.

Film News: New Documentary Previews at Kartemquin Fall Festival on Nov. 4, 2016

America to Me

CHICAGO – Kartemquin Films is concluding its Fall Festival tonight on Friday, November 4th, 2016, with a special presentation of clips from three upcoming documentary projects. The film house, famous for the legendary “Hoop Dreams,” will show previews of ”America to Me” by director Steve James; “Eating Up Easter” by Sergio Rapu; and ”Dilemma of Desire” by Maria Finitzo. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Interview: Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films on Life After 50

CHICAGO – In the final chapter of a three-part interview, Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films desires to evolve forward, soon after the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Chicago documentary house have past.

Interview: Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films Revisits ‘Hoop Dreams’

Hoop Dreams

CHICAGO – It has been 22 years since one of the greatest documentaries in film history was released, and it was created right here in Chicago by Kartemquin Films. “Hoop Dreams,” produced by Gordon Quinn (among others) and directed by Steve James, was a turning point for Kartemquin, which had at the time been making socially focused docs for over 30 years. As part of the film company’s 50th anniversary, Gordon Quinn revisits the groundbreaking film.

Interview: Gordon Quinn on 50th Anniversary of Kartemquin Films

CHICAGO – Two months ago, producer/director/cinematographer/editor Gordon Quinn received the Baadasssss Award from the 2016 CIMM Fest, for his longtime contributions to the cinema scene in Chicago through Kartemquin Films. The famous production house, known for their documentaries, is celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Interview: Co-Directors Aaron Wickenden, Dan Rybicky of Outsider Artist Doc ‘Almost There’

Almost There, Aaron Wickenden & Dan Rybicky

CHICAGO – The discovery of an outsider artist’s eccentric creations leads to the testing revelation of a public shame in “Almost There,” a definitively human documentary that mixes the idiosyncratic canvas of “Grey Gardens” with the compassion of “Hoop Dreams.” Making its Chicago premiere tomorrow night at the Gene Siskel Film Center, “Almost There” has sold out its 7:45pm screening, but tickets a

Film Review: Roger Ebert’s Treasure of a Journey in ‘Life Itself’

CHICAGO – We will never see the likes of his kind again – the influential arbiter of cinematic taste, whose magic thumb could make or break the dreams of both filmmaker and film fan. The journey of Roger Ebert, the most influential film critic of our times, is told in the new documentary, “Life Itself.”

Interview: Chaz Ebert, Director Steve James on ‘Life Itself’

CHICAGO – The iconic film critic and renaissance man, Roger Ebert, deservedly gets a full documentary film treatment of his 2011 memoir, “Life Itself,” and who better to create it than the Chicago-based director of “Hoop Dreams,” Steve James. And who better to produce and guide it than Roger’s soulmate, his wife Chaz Ebert.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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