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.
CHICAGO – The Chicago energy for local production keeps picking up, and the latest creative burst is the web series “Mad Scientists Consortium.” Created, written and co-directed by Harry Bauer, this wonderfully funny production – putting a modern spin on the Mad Scientists genre – is available for download now.
CHICAGO – In the context of history, and the way information is consumed these days, the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013 seems both like yesterday and a long time ago. Director Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day” is the first film account of that horrid week, and features Mark Wahlberg.
CHICAGO – The year 2016 was a dangerous one to be a famous person. In the past twelve months, one dozen of my former photo subjects passed away, celebrities who at one time or another famously posed for my lens. However, on a positive note, at least photos are forever. Or to quote the immortal words of Pee Wee Herman – “Why don’t you take a picture, it will last longer!”
CHICAGO – For gosh sakes, someone call the Vatican and make Marty Scorsese an honorary priest. He is overtly fascinated – in this work and his other films – with the notion of religious faith, particular within his Catholic roots. He approaches the subject again in the intense “Silence.”
CHICAGO – It was a musical-oriented, high octane night at the 74th Golden Globe Awards on January 8th, 2017. Hosted by Jimmy Fallon of NBC-TV’s “The Tonight Show,” the Globes celebrated the best in TV and film in 2016, and selected Best Pictures “La La Land” (Comedy/Musical) and “Moonlight” (Drama), and honored the Best TV Shows with “Atlanta” (Comedy, FX) and “The Crown” (Drama, Netflix).
CHICAGO – The nature of dying, especially in process with a close loved one, is a testing ground for unwieldy and alien emotions. When, why and how we’re challenged does not have a timetable, nor a convenience. All of this is played out as fantasy in the vital “A Monster Calls.”
CHICAGO – It’s that time of the film year, the “Ten Best” lists. In representing my 2016 picks – as “Patrick McDonald” – I looked for the emotional experience as much as anything. I think every filmgoer, from the most casual to the ardent buff, adhere to their favorites through that feeling of connection.
CHICAGO – Familiar to video gamers everywhere with her web series “The Guild,” actress and author Felicia Day had a very busy 2016 with the release of her book, “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).” Photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com shot this Exclusive Portrait of Ms. Day in April of 2016.
CHICAGO – “In me nothing is extinguished or forgotten…” is a single line from a poem by Pablo Neruda (“If You Forget Me”), and succinctly describes the film tribute to him, written by Neruda’s fellow Chilean countryman Guillermo Calderón, and directed with grace by another Chilean, Pablo Larrain.
CHICAGO – The search for the cure continues through the Chicago-based Gateway for Cancer Research, with their spectacular benefit that took place in October of 2016. Musicians and singers such as Peter Cetera, CeeLo Green, Michael Bolton and Carly Rae Jepsen were in attendance, as well as comedian Sinbad.