CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – In a year where shoots with perpetual photo fashionistas like Cindy Crawford and Sarah Jessica Parker still failed to crack the Top Ten list of biggest celebrity photo-ops, you know 2014 was a very good year for HollywoodChicago.com and myself, Joe Arce, as Senior Staff Photographer.
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.
CHICAGO – Just like every year before it, there were no perfect films in 2014. I do not see this as a negative thing - reaching for greatness is far more electrifying than the plateau of achieving it, as presented in a hustler’s opus like ‘Whiplash,” which specifically eschews applause after a drum solo that just may have been perfection.
CHICAGO – As HollywoodChicago.com’s resident connoisseur of crappy movies, my cup runneth over with choices for my annual worst of the year list. Looking back on the year it seems like I spent many of my nights in a darkened theater aghast at the unspeakable cinematic atrocities.
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.
Including films that achieve the correct button-mashing combo to earn fancy kudos and are positively lauded, there are only a select few from the whole bunch that have the significance of “definitive.”
CHICAGO – Why are those three Oscar winners – Susan Sarandon, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton – laughing on that fourth poster below? Because they managed to cash a paycheck on the way to participating in one of the Worst Films of 2013.
I’ve avoided saying it outright for a few years as it seems like an overwritten headline but one thing is too clear to ignore when looking back at this past year in television — we are currently in the most creatively vital time in the history of the form.
CHICAGO – The year caught up with me. 2013 was characterized by a soft start and a strong finish, but overall there were impressive contenders throughout the year and some fine examples of great storytelling and filmmaking. Risks were taken, some truth emerged and even in more “mainstream” films, there were flashes of promise.
It was too good a year for ten. The best year in cinema since 2007 saw such a diverse, fascinating array of art that included amazing works from some of our most well-known directors (Joel & Ethan Coen, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, Hayao Miyazaki) alongside its newer voices (Shane Carruth, Destin Cretton, Joshua Oppenheimer, James Ponsoldt).