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 – Writer/director Woody Allen and the amazing cinematographer Darius Khondji (“Seven,” “The City of Lost Children”) very purposefully open their new film “Midnight in Paris” with a long series of static shots of the title city before even presenting a cast list. You see, Paris is a cast member in this film.
CHICAGO – The programming executive that thought “Better With You” would fit well between the reasonably-good “The Middle” and the spectacular “Modern Family” clearly has no idea how television comedy has changed in the last few years. To call “Better With You” — with its laugh track, cheesy music, and horrible punchlines — old-fashioned is an insult to nostalgic comedies. It’s just bad.