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Music Box Films

Interview: Director Daniela Thomas on ‘Vazante,’ Presented by Music Box Films of Chicago

Daniela Thomas of 'Vazante'

CHICAGO – A vital and obscure piece of Brazilian history is exposed in the new film “Vazante,’ directed by Daniela Thomas, and is the latest film to be distributed by Music Box Films of Chicago. “Vazante” is now playing at the Music Box Theatre through February 8th, 2018. For more information, click here.

Interview: Director Hannes Holm Meets ‘A Man Called Ove’

CHICAGO – In 2012, Fredrik Backman released his Swedish novel called “En man som heter Ove.” It was published in English in 2013, and became a best seller. The book that delved into the life of a cranky old man is now a major Swedish movie, distributed in the U.S. by Chicago’s Music Box Films, and directed by Hannes Holm.

Interview: Norman Lear of ‘Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You’

CHICAGO – Norman Lear is one of the greatest TV creators of the 20th Century, and beyond. The producer was a titan of 1970s television, with shows like “All in the Family,” “Good Times,” “Maude” and “Sanford and Son.” He is the topic of a new film documentary, “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.”

Film Review: Ordinary Lives Are Interwoven in Intricate ‘Flowers’

CHICAGO – The meaning of our lives is elusive, and the time we spend here too short. The Spanish foreign language film “Flowers” seeks to define the meaning, through three women trying to memorialize one man. “Flowers” opens at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Dec. 18th, 2015.

Interview: Director Jimmy Chin on What is There in ‘Meru’

CHICAGO – There is a fictional film about to be released called ‘Everest,’ but now there is the real deal, a documentary about climbing Mount Meru, one of the most difficult and spiritual peaks in the world. “Meru” is co-directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. On the expedition itself, Chin was also a climber and cameraman.

Film Review: Incredible Personal Tour in ‘Antarctica: A Year on Ice’

Antarctica: A Year on Ice, 2014

CHICAGO – Along with your local library’s DVD section and equality, Antarctica remains one of the general world’s greatest oversights, even though it’s the size of a continent (because it is one). Around this time of year, the North Pole gets a huge shoutout for its mass production of brand items, but it’s the South Pole that forever remains in the shadow of everything else in the world, only mentioned in films like Werner Herzog’s 2007 documentary “Encounters at the End of the World,” or that 2009 Kate Beckinsale snow thriller “Whiteout.”

TV Review: Sundance Channel Continues Excellent Year with ‘The Returned’

CHICAGO – They have already made a statement in 2013 by broadcasting Jane Campion’s brilliant “Top of the Lake” and the riveting “Rectify” but Sundance Channel goes for the hat trick, starting tonight, as they debut the French supernatural hit “The Returned,” a brilliant twist on the undead genre that places the emphasis on mood, dread, and emotion instead of the unexpected.

Blu-ray Review: Excellent Release for Baran bo Odar’s ‘The Silence’

The Silence

CHICAGO – Reminiscent of “The Vanishing” and “Memories of Murder,” Baran bo Odar’s “The Silence” is one of the most acclaimed international thrillers of the year. This excellent work focuses more on the people wrapped up in grief and sin than the mystery itself, and heralds the arrival of a great new talent. What I love so much about the Music Box Films Blu-ray release of the film is the way it highlights the talent of the man who made it, including two short films he produced before this full-length debut in their entirety.

Film Review: Nature’s Instincts on Display in Unique ‘Augustine’

Augustine

CHICAGO – How the human species was able to survive, given its dismissal and treatment of women during certain points in history is somewhat miraculous. This film from France, “Augustine,” chronicles the relationship between a 19th century neurologist and his prized female patient, as she tries to work through a condition called nature.

Blu-ray Review: Saskia Rosendahl Delivers Stunning Debut in ‘Lore’

Lore Blu-ray

CHICAGO – From the moment young Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) rises from her bath to witness the long-awaited return of her father, thrusting herself in front of a window as the curtains become pasted to her still-moist back, Cate Shortland’s Holocaust-era drama is conspicuously awash in sensuality. The age of its titular heroine was changed from 12 (in Rachel Seiffert’s award-winning book, “The Dark Room”) to 14 in order for the filmmakers to explore her budding sexuality.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Nothing Without a Company’s new world premiere stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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