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Film News: ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Star Peter O’Toole Dies at 81

“I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star.” Peter O’Toole intoned that line as Alan Swann in 1982 farce, “My Favorite Year.” This was the truth as irony, because the Irish born O’Toole was both a movie star and one of the notable actors of the British stage.

Interview: Forest Whitaker Serves Up ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’

CHICAGO – In person, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is a man at peace. His talent has created a demeanor of a guru – soft spoken with transcendent thoughts. His latest film is “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” in which he portrays the title character. As a black man caught between two eras in American history, Forest Whitaker does relate.

Interview: Halle Berry, Morris Chestnut Answer ‘The Call’

CHICAGO – Halle Berry has had a career of diverse and award-winning roles, and takes on another provocative character in the new movie, “The Call.” Her co-star in the film is Morris Chestnut, a versatile lead and character actor with films as varied as “Boyz n the Hood’ and “The Best Man.” They both honor the acting craft.

Film Review: Oscar Nominee ‘The Gatekeepers’ is Truth to Power

CHICAGO – Normal job justification makes most people defensive. Imagine justifying an anti-terrorist organization. What weapons – besides the physical variety – would be available to you? Fear, jingoism and marginalizing of the “other” are a few of the defensives used by “The Gatekeepers.”

Interview: Director Dror Moreh of Oscar Nominee ‘The Gatekeepers’

CHICAGO – One of the five documentaries nominated for an Oscar this Sunday is the incendiary story of “The Gatekeepers.” The film goes inside “Shin Bet,” the Israeli secret anti-terrorist agency. By interviewing ex-agency leaders, director Droh Moreh was able to gain insights into the moral failings of their activities.

Interview: Helen Hunt Red Carpet for ‘The Sessions’ at Chicago International Film Festival

Helen Hunt, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Oscar winning actress Helen Hunt has emerged recently with the lead role in “The Sessions,” in which she portrays a sex therapist counseling a handicapped man played by John Hawkes. The Junior Board of the Chicago International Film Festival screened “The Sessions” and honored Helen Hunt with a Red Carpet appearance on October 20th, 2012.

Interview: Filmmaker Julia Reichert to Appear at Midwest Independent Film Festival on Aug. 7, 2012

Midwest Independent Film Festival Logo

CHICAGO – Julia Reichert is a filmmaker of legendary proportions. Her career has spanned from the radical 1960s to the present, and along the way she has made passionate documentaries about life affirming and life evolving events, earning three Oscar nominations. She will make an appearance at Female Filmmakers Night at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on August 7th.

Film News: Chicago’s Music Box Theatre Pays Off Roger Ebert Bet, Will Screen ‘Red Rock West’

Red Rock West

CHICAGO – In Feb. 2012, the Music Box Theatre (on Chicago’s north side) offered a challenge to Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. If he could beat them in predicting the 86th Annual Oscars – as part of his “Outguess Ebert” contest – then the theatre would screen any film chosen by the Pulitzer Prize-winning legend. Roger Ebert presents “Red Rock West” at the Music Box Theatre on May 1, 2012.

Film Review: Tim Allen Narrates the Humanity in ‘Chimpanzee’

Chimpanzee

CHICAGO – It’s Earth Day this weekend, and following on the heels of “Earth” and “African Cats,” previous releases from Walt Disney Studios and Disneynature, there is “Chimpanzee.” Tim Allen narrates the story of Oscar, Isha, Freddy and Scar, and the film is co-produced by the Jane Goodall Institute, which preserves the chimpanzee natural habitats in Africa.

Film Review: ‘Footnote’ Deserves Prominence With Great Storytelling

Footnote

CHICAGO – Answering the question, “Where are all the great film thrillers about Talumdic Studies?,” the awesome film “Footnote” considers that very subject, pitting the always complicated relationship between a father and son against an treasured academic prize. Even though it sounds starchy, it actually had more verve than most spy movies.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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