Ken Burns

Theater Interview: Actor Jerod Haynes Shines in ‘The Royale’

CHICAGO – One of the most well-received 2015 theater performances in Chicago has been from actor Jerod Haynes as boxer Jay Jackson, in American Theater Co’s production of “The Royale.” Inspired by real life boxer Jack Johnson, the play is about setting up an early 1900s heavyweight championship, for the first time in U.S. history, between a black and white boxer.

TV Review: Riveting ‘The Central Park Five’ Debuts on PBS

CHICAGO – Almost exactly 24 years ago (on April 19, 1989), Trisha Meili was raped and brutally assaulted in Central Park in New York City. Known in the press as “The Central Park Jogger,” she lay near death as the city let out a wail for justice. Five young men who had been in the park that night were arrested and sent to jail for a crime that they clearly did not commit.

Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s 15 Best Interviews of 2012

CHICAGO – The significant HollywoodChicago.com show business interviews of 2012 – eclectic, independent and varied – flowed throughout the year from the perspectives of Matt Fagerholm, Brian Tallerico and Patrick McDonald. All three contribute to this year-end survey of the 15 Best Interviews of 2012.

Blu-ray Review: Ken Burns’ ‘The Dust Bowl’ Resonates Today

The Dust Bowl

CHICAGO – One of the greatest gifts that Ken Burns has as arguably our best working documentarian is his ability to take historical subjects and make them resonate to our lives today. “The Civil War” transports us back in time, making the lives of those people relate to our own. His amazing “The Central Park Five,” which opened last week in Chicago and was given 4-stars by Patrick McDonald, is playing in theaters and his PBS documentary “The Dust Bowl” was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. Once again, Burns takes history and makes it present.

Interview: Co-Directors Sarah Burns, David McMahon of ‘The Central Park Five’

Centrai Park Five photo by Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – It was Sarah Burns, the daughter of legendary documentarian Ken Burns, that brought the passion for her first project with her famous father, along with husband and co-director David McMahon. “The Central Park Five” also features Raymond Santana, one of “five” who were wrongly accused in the famous New York City trial. They were all here in October at the Chicago International Film Festival.

Film Review: Miscarriage of Justice Befalls ‘The Central Park Five’

CHICAGO – It takes a provocative subject to capture the attention of famous documentarian Ken Burns. There are few things more provocative than the story of “The Central Park Five.” Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and son-in-law David McMahon were co-directors for this exploration of justice denied.

Interview: Ken Burns on Justice for ‘The Central Park Five’

CHICAGO – Mention “documentary,” in word association, and the next response is often “Ken Burns.” Burns brought a new voice to the documentary, and re-engineered the art form so much, that his technique is the “Ken Burns Effect.” His latest feature film, “The Central Park Five,” was co-directed by his daughter Sarah Burns and his son-in-law David McMahon.

Blu-ray Review: Ken Burns Uses His Amazing Skill to Chronicle ‘The War’

The War

CHICAGO – Ken Burns is one of the most important, influential, and talented filmmakers alive. His long-form documentaries for PBS — “Baseball,” “The Civil War,” and “Jazz” — are all must-sees (and he’s working on pieces on “The Dust Bowl” and “Vietnam”). One of his most accomplished works, “The War,” has been released on Blu-ray just in time for Father’s Day and would make a perfect gift for anyone interested in World War II.

Blu-Ray Review: Ken Burns Returns to National Pastime With ‘Baseball: The Tenth Inning’

Baseball: The Tenth Inning

CHICAGO – Steroids, interleague play, expanded playoffs, the Red Sox finally winning, McGwire vs. Sosa, Bonds vs. the world, the strike, the influx of Hispanic players, The Yankees, The Braves, and, of course, the continued futility of the Cubs — the last two decades of baseball have been two of the most notable in the history of this timeless sport. It only makes sense that the great documentarian Ken Burns would update his 18.5-hour opus about the sport with “Baseball: The Tenth Inning,” now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

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