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Podtalk: Brian Zahm on ‘Marquee’ at Chicago’s Millennium Park Film Series on Sept 5, 2017

Marquee

CHICAGO – When the filmmaker faces his biggest screen, what will his art mean? Director Brian Zahm is about to find out, as he screens his short film “Marquee” on the state-of-the-art 40 foot LED screen at Chicago’s Millennium Park Summer Film Series on September 5th, 2017 (6:30pm). The short will be an appetizer for the main event, the screening of “Wayne’s World” as the feature presentation. The program will be the final films in the popular series at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Podtalk: Nnamdi Ngwe on ‘Rap Skool’ at the Midwest Independent Film Fest on Sept. 5, 2017

Midwest TV Pilot

CHICAGO – On one of the most exciting Tuesday nights of the year-round Midwest Independent Film Festival is the Midwest Pilot Showcase on September 5th, 2017. Seven full TV pilots will see the light of screen, all with a diversity of form and story. Among the pilots in the showcase is “Rap Skool,” a hilarious parody/comedy about a class of wannabe street rhymers. Co-created by twin brothers Amechi and Nnamdi Ngwe, this Chicago-based show is packed with laughs.

Film/TV News: Richard Anderson, Oscar Goldman in ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ Dies at 91

Richard Anderson, photo by Joe Arce

LOS ANGELES – We can’t rebuild him, but we can honor him. Richard Anderson, best known for portraying Oscar Goldman, the aide de camp of Steve Austin (Lee Majors) in “The Six Million Man,” died on August 31st, 2017 at age 91. The versatile character actor was one of the few remaining performers that came up through the old studio system, in this case the dream factory known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Film Review: American Legal System is Put on Trial in ‘Crown Heights’

CHICAGO – There is no justice for the poor. That should be carved in stone on courthouses beside all the platitudes of American “equality” and “law.” In an eye-opening narrative film based on a true story, “Crown Heights” explores just how an impoverished individual can be found guilty and imprisoned unjustly for years.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Jerry Lewis

CHICAGO – Jerry Lewis had a long and winding life, dying last week at the age of 91. Through that life he had many show business lives – including the inevitable addictions – surviving all of the them with his signature comic style. He also was featured in over 70 films, and HollywoodChicago.com remembers three of them.

Interview, Audio: Director Geremy Jasper Rocks ‘Patti Cake$’

CHICAGO – How does a filmmaker create a movie about a white girl in New Jersey dreaming of being a hip-hop star? He takes the beats from his own life admiration of the music genre and fleshes out a working class story about pushing back against the odds. Geremy Jasper wrote and directed the electrically poignant “Patti Cake$.”

Film News: Kickoff for 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – On August 22nd, 2017, the first slate of films were announced, and the official poster was revealed, for the upcoming 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Festival Founder & CEO Michael Kutza unveiled the poster design, by artist Edwin Smeege, and Artistic Director Mimi Plauché gave the first sneak peek of films at the fest.

Interview, Audio: ‘An Atramentous Mind’ at Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Fest on Aug. 27, 2017

An Atramentous Mind

CHICAGO – What happens when one of the more prominent filmmakers in Chicago of the last five years meets a up-and-coming female director? They get together to make a statement in a short film. “An Atramentous Mind” will have its Midwest Premiere at the Black Harvest Film Festival on August 27th, 2017, as part of their “Chicago Shorts” series. The 23rd edition of this vital Chicago festival runs through August 31st at the downtown Gene Siskel Film Center.

Film Review: Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet in ‘Leap!’

CHICAGO – One of the rites of passage for most girls in the U.S.(and elsewhere, I presume) is ballet lessons. Usually it lasts for a very short time, but some girls-to-women keep pursuing it, and may even become prima ballerinas. A new animated film named “Leap!” is dedicated to that spirit.

Interview, Audio: Rebecca Fons & Jack C. Newell on ‘Destroy Your Art’ in Chicago on Aug. 25, 2017

Destroy Your Art

CHICAGO – In one of the more intriguing “happenings” in the Chicago scene, the husband and wife team of Rebecca Fons and Jack C. Newell are hosting “Destroy Your Art” in Chicago, on August 25th, 2017, at Lost Arts in the Goose Island neighborhood (details below). The evening promises a one-of-a-kind event.

Film Review: Aubrey Plaza Steers the Unsettling ‘Ingrid Goes West’

CHICAGO – Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) is an actor who always seems to do something memorable in her performances. In “Ingrid Goes West,” she carries an entire movie on her quirky and sometimes disturbing character… that of a bipolar stalker who can’t find balance.

Film News: Jerry Lewis, The King of Comedy, Dies at 91

LAS VEGAS – For Jerry Lewis, the “King of Comedy” wasn’t just a mere nickname, but an apt description for his long career and influence. He went from being the most popular entertainer of an era, to notable and studied filmmaker, to charity spokesperson and finally to comic legend. Jerry Lewis died in Las Vegas on August 20th, 2017. He was 91.

Podcast Talk: Frank Carr on Yippie Fest at Prop Thtr in Chicago Aug. 18-20, 2017

2017 Yippie Fest

CHICAGO – With the closing of the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company in Chicago, came the end of their annual theater happening after 28 years, the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival. But that wasn’t the end of the SPIRIT of Abbie Fest. A group of Abbie veterans got together and founded Yippie Fest, and the first annual Yippie Fest will take place at the Prop Thtr on Chicago’s Northwest Side from August 18th through the 20th, 2017 (more details below).

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

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