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Film News: Gene Wilder of ‘Willy Wonka’ Fame Dies at 83

LOS ANGELES – The genius comedy of Gene Wilder was often in the subtlety. With a slow burn or a raised eyebrow, Wilder was able to draw big laughs. The star of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein” died in Stamford, Connecticut, according to his nephew in Los Angeles. He was 83.

Film News: 2016 Chicago 48 Hour Film Project Kicks Off Aug. 26, 2016

2016 48 Hour Film Project

CHICAGO – The annual Chicago 48 Hour Film Project, 2016 edition, begins on Friday, August 26th. Filmmakers from all over the Chicagoland area will compete in an attempt to make the best short film in 48 hours. Starting at 7:30pm, the movie making teams will be assigned a genre, character, prop and line of dialogue, that they will use to base their film on. By Sunday, August 28th, they must deliver a finished 4-7 minute film. For complete details, click here.

Interview: Actor Stephen Lang, Director Fede Alvarez Advise You to ‘Don’t Breathe’

CHICAGO – The horror genre in film is always looking for a shot in the old fear factor, and the new release “Don’t Breathe” delivers that injection (heh-heh). The second film by director Fede Alvarez (“Evil Dead”) features character actor favorite Stephen Lang – he prefers “Slang.” The film opens nationwide on August 26th.

Interview: Actor Craig Robinson, Director Chad Hartigan Reflect on ‘Morris From America’

CHICAGO – When a 13 year old African American teenager is suddenly put into the atmosphere of Germany – specifically Old Heidelberg – then a whole new adventure awaits for “Morris from America.” Craig Robinson (“The Office”) portrays the title character’s father, and the film is directed by Chad Hartigan.

Film Review: Fulfilling Emotion & Sumptuous Animation Awaits in ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

CHICAGO – In our short lives, what do we most need? It’s a hard question to answer sometimes, but the new animated film “Kubo and the Two Strings” does a memorable job of answering the query. The journey of Kubo, like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” leads to a place where he needs to go.

Slideshow: 2016 Wizard World Comic Con Chicago From Aug. 18-21

| Image 1 of 22 |
Barry Bostwick of ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and ‘Spin City.’

CHICAGO – One of Chicago’s most popular pop culture gatherings is the Wizard World Comic Con, and the 2016 edition is building anticipation for the weekend of August 18th through the 21st. Besides the fan costumes, vendor booths and comic book legends, Wizard World has appearances from TV and movie celebrities, highlighted by Michael J. Fox (“Back to the Future”), David Duchovny (“The X-Files”) and Princess Leia herself, the one and only Carrie Fisher.

Theater News: Rich Cotovsky at Final ‘Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins’ Fest From Aug. 19-21, 2016

Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Fest

CHICAGO – It’s 3am on Saturday night/Sunday morning on August 20th, and you’re just not ready to quit. How about indulging in the 2016 “Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins” Theater Festival? The three-day theater marathon is in its 28th edition, and will be sponsored for the final time by the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, and hosted by the “Godfather of Storefront Theater,” Rich Cotovsky. It all takes place at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee in Chicago (details below).

Interview: Director Marie Ullrich on Blu-ray & DVD Release of ‘The Alley Cat’

Alley Cat, The

CHICAGO – Using Chicago as a backdrop has rarely been as kinetic and exciting as under the direction of Marie Ullrich. Expanding upon a short film she produced in 2010 called “Faster,” about a bike messenger in the Windy City, Ullrich went for a grittier and more emotional look at that world in “The Alley Cat” in 2014. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th, 2016.

Interview: Director Travis Knight Strums ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

CHICAGO – One of the great benefits of the new Golden Age of Animation has been the emergence of other studios…like Laika Entertainment, which has released “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “The Boxtrolls,” all nominated for Oscars. Travis Knight directs their latest stop-motion style animated film, “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

Interview: John Michael is the One-Man Show in ‘Dementia Me’

CHICAGO – No one would call talented one-man-show artist John Michael conventional, at least if they are in their right mind. So ironically, after tackling sexually transmitted disease in his last solo performance, he takes on the vagrancies of old age and caring for elderly patients in his truly heartfelt “Dementia Me.”

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  • Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Fest

    CHICAGO – It’s 3am on Saturday night/Sunday morning on August 20th, and you’re just not ready to quit. How about indulging in the 2016 “Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins” Theater Festival? The three-day theater marathon is in its 28th edition, and will be sponsored for the final time by the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, and hosted by the “Godfather of Storefront Theater,” Rich Cotovsky. It all takes place at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee in Chicago (details below).

  • aJMfront.jpg

    CHICAGO – No one would call talented one-man-show artist John Michael conventional, at least if they are in their right mind. So ironically, after tackling sexually transmitted disease in his last solo performance, he takes on the vagrancies of old age and caring for elderly patients in his truly heartfelt “Dementia Me.”

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