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Film News: Newly Renovated Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago Reopens on Jan 5, 2018

2018 Gene Siskel Film Center

CHICAGO – The lights of State Street will be a bit brighter on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 as the Gene Siskel Film Center reopens after five weeks of renovations. New seating, carpeting and wiring was put into place, capping the first major upgrade since the legendary theater opened 17 years ago.

Interview, Audio: Trailblazing Actress & Film Historian Illeana Douglas

CHICAGO – Long before 2017, the year of notable recognition for women filmmakers, the actress, producer and author Illeana Douglas launched the film series “Trailblazing Women” on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in 2015. Her goal was to achieve recognition for the pioneering efforts of women in early film history and beyond.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Insidious: The Last Key’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new horror film “Insidious: The Last Key” from the creative minds behind the hit “Insidious” trilogy!

Film Review: Aaron Sorkin’s Directorial Debut in ‘Molly’s Game’

CHICAGO – High stakes poker are for folks who prefer to get their rush of adrenalin from the turn of a card rather than other life risks. The positives, the negatives and everything in between are in “Molly’s Game,” the feature directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing” creator). Let’s walk and talk.

Film Review: Margot Robbie in ‘I, Tonya’ Can’t Stick the Landing

CHICAGO – We have arrived at point where yesterday’s trash TV has become today’s critical darling of the film festival circuit. As the trailers proclaim, “I, Tonya” desperately wants to be the “‘Goodfellas’ of Figure Skating,” but one of the biggest problems I had is that it’s just trying too hard.

Film Review: Matt Damon in ‘Downsizing’ Offers Few Small Pleasures

CHICAGO – “Downsizing” is an interesting premise that doesn’t ultimately go anywhere interesting. Part of the problem is that writer/director Alexander Payne doesn’t seem to know what kind of a movie he wants it to be… it’s part cerebral Woody Allen futuristic comedy, part sci-fi social satire about Midwestern malaise, and winds up failing at both.

Film Review: ‘All the Money in the World’ Has a Soft Landing

CHICAGO – A bitter and old rich man won’t take responsibility for the co-opting of something he is directly connected to. Is this the Trump administration or “All the Money in the World”? Christopher Plummer portrays mogul J. Paul Getty, trying to steer clear of his grandson’s kidnapping.

Film Review: Delightful ‘Ferdinand’ Keeps it Simple & Funny

Ferdinand

CHICAGO – Like the repeat tenets of real estate, good animated films come down to story, story, story. And ‘Ferdinand,’ an older children’s tale adapted to modern audiences, combines a gentle source narrative with palatable visual and cartoon jokes. It’s fun for the whole family!

Interview, Audio: Michael Stuhlbarg in ‘Call Me By Your Name’

CHICAGO – The character actor Michael Stuhlbarg is one of the more complete players in today’s show business. His embrace of a role is absolute, and his characters ring with a particular poetry based on his interpretations. His latest role is of an academic and father in the new film, “Call Me By Your Name.”

Podtalk: Liliane Calfee of DePaul University Presents ‘Step’ on Dec. 16, 2017

2017 Screening of 'Step'

CHICAGO – Within the expanding DePaul University School of Cinematic Arts is a commitment to community outreach. Liliane Calfee is an Instructor in the school, as well as the Program Director of the CHA (Chicago Housing Authority) Program in Documentary Filmmaking, a course which gives female youth from public housing the opportunity to learn the nuts-and-bolts of the documentary art form from DePaul academic experts. This program, along with film community leader Chaz Ebert, will present the 2017 documentary “Step” on Saturday, December 17th, 2017, at the CDM Theatre on the South Loop campus.

Film Review: Ethereal ‘The Shape of Water’ Forms Cinema Magic

CHICAGO – This breathtaking morality and love story, set in a backward age, takes all of its major themes – passion, tolerance, symbolism and thrills – to the highest level. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro has created a masterwork that is part fairy tale, part adult desperation and all cinema magic.

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Association Honors ‘Lady Bird’ as 2017 Best Film

Lady Bird

CHICAGO – “Lady Bird,” which is the sensational, authentic and emotional directorial debut of actor Greta Gerwig, was honored as the Best Picture of 2017 as determined by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) on Dec. 12, 2017. The Best Director was split to Christopher Nolan of “Dunkirk,” the Best Actor was Timothée Chalamet of “Call Me By Your Name” (who also was awarded Most Promising Performer) and the Best Actress was Saoirse Ronan of “Lady Bird.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Remember Me, Rita Moreno

    CHICAGO – Academy Award winner (in 1962!) Rita Moreno is in the midst of a big media comeback. The 86 year-old actress, who famously portrayed Anita in that Oscar-winning role in “West Side Story,” is in her second season of the “One Day at a Time” reboot on Netflix, and is featured in the indie film “Remember Me,” available now for download and Video On Demand.

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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