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Life Itself

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.

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 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.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s 2015 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Oscar! Oscar! Oscar! Say it three times to win it, and you’ll win every Academy Award pool you enter – at least for the nine categories covered here – if you follow the advice of the HollywoodChicago.com “experts.” We have the Oscar magic, so if you believe in it, then we deliver.

Film News: ‘Life Itself’ Snub Mars 2015 Oscar Nominations

CHICAGO – In an unprecedented oversight, especially for the film community in Chicago, film critic Roger Ebert’s biography “Life Itself” was snubbed for Best Documentary as the nominations were announced on Jan. 15, 2015 for the 87th Academy Awards. The films “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” tied for most Oscar nominations with nine.

Feature: Top 25 Interviews of 2014, By Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – One of the specialities of HollywoodChicago.com is the film and personality interview. The majority of these chats came through me, Patrick McDonald, and I couldn’t narrow it down to a top 10 or even a top 20. For 2014, there were 25 top interviews, and it is a diverse range of voices.

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 Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2014, By Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – It’s that time of year to figure it out, as 2014 leaks away, and the film year follows suit. Whittling down a list to ten films, after hours of entertainment and provoking of thought, is a fool’s challenge at best. Then who better to do it than Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com.

Interviews: Filmmaker Michael Moore Meets Chaz Ebert at 50th Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – What better way to get over the post-election hangover than hearing from the progressive lion, Michael Moore. Moore was on the Red Carpet at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival, and ran into an old friend, Chaz Ebert.

Preview: Final Week of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – The 50th Chicago International Film Festival has hit its final six days, continuing to offer Chicagoans an electrifying group of films from around the world. The festival breaks down these films in several categories, including the Main Competition, New Directors, Docufest, Out-Look (LGBT), World Cinema, After Dark and Spotlight Scandinavia.

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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 10th, 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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