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Lost in Translation

Exclusive Portraits: Scarlett Johansson Receives Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award

CHICAGO – She’s conquered the box office as the top grossing female star of all time, and she’s had a series of big superhero and prestige films. The Gene Siskel Film Center honored Scarlett Johansson with their Renaissance Award, at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago on June 20th, 2016.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Somewhere’ Paints Haunting Portrait of Celebrity Ennui

Somewhere Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Sofia Coppola’s films are intriguing in a way that’s often difficult to put into words. I often find my attention drifting during my initial viewing of them, and yet they somehow manage to linger in my mind long after others have faded. Her problematic costume drama, “Marie Antoinette,” has become one of my favorite films to leave on in the background of a room, simply for the pleasure of dwelling in its subtly nuanced atmosphere.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Lost in Translation’ Hits HD to Coincide With Release of ‘Somewhere’

Lost in Translation

CHICAGO – As Sofia Coppola’s excellent “Somewhere” with Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning begins to roll out across the country (read our review), catch up with Coppola’s best film, one of the best of the ’00s, the great “Lost in Translation,” now available on Blu-ray for the first time. The release is mostly just a tie-in with a filmmaker’s current release but there is a new special feature — basically a commercial for “Somewhere.” It’s not a fantastic “special edition” but it’s still a fantastic movie.

Film Review: Sofia Coppola’s Lyrical ‘Somewhere’ Nearly Finds Meaning in Nothing

CHICAGO – Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” is her most lyrical film, a work that feels not unlike Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days” or “Elephant” in its liberal use of long takes, huge gaps in dialogue, and real-time scenes that seem to go nowhere.

Hit-or-Miss Mastermind Woody Allen Recaptures Genius With Eccentric ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’

CHICAGO – While legendary writer and director Woody Allen can’t always be equated with sheer genius these days and is more accurately described as a hit-or-miss proposition, the sorely undermarketed and film-festival touring “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” serves as unquestionable retribution for his recently questionable work.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    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.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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