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Podtalk: Amy Guth, New Executive Director of Chicago’s Midwest Independent Film Festival

Amy Guth of the Midwest Indie Fest

CHICAGO – First Tuesdays in Chicago have a new face and a new attitude. Amy Guth – who is a filmmaker, author and broadcaster – was named in July as Executive Director of the Midwest Independent Film Festival, the monthly fest event that convenes every first Tuesday during the year. Her first presentation opportunity for 2018 is tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 7th) at the popular Female Filmmakers Night. For the short film line-up, more information and ticket purchasing, click here.

Red-Carpet Voices: Gillian Flynn for HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

Gillian Flynn, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – She is the author whose novels are screen friendly. Gillian Flynn has had all three of her books adapted for either television or film, and the latest is a miniseries adaptation of her first novel, which continues on HBO, titled “Sharp Objects.” The series runs eight episodes, and features Amy Adams in the lead role, supported by Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina and Elizabeth Perkins.

Film Review: ‘Christopher Robin’ is a Story That Should Have Remained Untold

Christopher Robin

CHICAGO – Yeesh. Who woulda thunk that the fine people at Walt Disney Studios would throw the “legend” of Winnie-the-Pooh into a live action “sequel,” with absolutely no life… including the computer generated dead-eyed stuffed machinations of the famous animals. Yet, here we are with “Christopher Robin,” featuring Ewan McGregor in the title role.

Film News: Chicago’s 2018 Black Harvest Film Festival Opening Night is August 4th

2018 Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the Windy City’s greatest annual cultural events will open its 2018 edition at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The 24th Black Harvest Film Festival runs from August 4th through 30th, 2018, and features a cornucopia of African American themed features and shorts celebrating stories, dreams, history and legacy. Many of the screenings will include filmmaker appearances, including the Opening Night short film overview, “A Black Harvest Feast,” featuring “Training Wheels” (directed by Sanicole), “Shotgun Wedding” (Derek Dow), “Stuck” (Praheme) and “Riverment” (Shaya Racquel).

Film Review: ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ Didn’t Need the Spy Part

CHICAGO – It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film completely stolen by a supporting character, but Kate McKinnon in “The Spy Who Dumped Me” managed to do just that… which was fortunate because the “spy” part of the story is a seen-it-before kill and gun fest that felt like the first draft of a James Bond knock-off.

Podtalk: Director Marc Turtletaub Solves the ‘Puzzle’

CHICAGO – When a notable indie film producer decides to direct, what does it feel like on that other side? For Marc Turtletaub, the connection was in his sophomore effort as director, “Puzzle.” The emotional drama features the impeccable Kelly Macdonald, as a stay-at-home Mom named Agnes who discovers a hidden talent.

Red-Carpet Voices: Chris Messina for HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

CHICAGO – You’ve seen him in many familiar roles over the years, from “Argo” to “The Mindy Project.” Character actor Chris Messina is memorable in all those roles, and currently is taking on Detective Richard Willis in the hot new HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects,” opposite Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson.

Film Review: Fun and Uproarious ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies'

CHICAGO – If a good laugh is golden, then “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is worth its weight. Although the meta-make-fun of superhero movies have already been done almost to death (Deadpool?), the Titans have been doing it on the Cartoon Network since 2013, and take it to a new level in their movie adventure.

Podtalk: Jerry Vasilatos on Premiere Screenings & 2018 Awards for the 48 Hour Film Project

48 Hour Film Project 2018

CHICAGO – That’s a wrap! The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) goes into its final stage for 2018 with the Premiere Screenings of the short films – created in 48 hours by over 60 production teams – at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago on July 29th and 30th, with the “Best of” screening and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, August 3rd. Producer Jerry Vasilatos oversaw judging and the 48HFP itself for the fourth straight year, in its 14th edition in Chicago. For film line-ups and ticket information, click here.

Podtalk: Director Robert Schwentke of German War Film ‘The Captain’

Captain, The

CHICAGO – Films about the Nazis and the German military during World War II are numerous… except for the ones with a pure German perspective. “The Captain,” directed by Robert Schwentke (“R.I.P.D.”), is based on a true story about a German army deserter who finds a Captain’s uniform, and decides to ride out the waning days of the war with the power of an officer.

Podtalk: Cast of Netflix's ‘Orange is the New Black' on Season Six Download for July 27, 2018

Orange is the New Black

CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

Film Review: Tom Cruise Outruns Time in ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout'

CHICAGO – By any reasonable account, Tom Cruise should be entering into a phase in the “Mission Impossible” series not unlike the latter James Bond films of Roger Moore… appearing in closeups and letting the stuntmen do the rest. However, Cruise continues to outrun the ravages of time, and his stunts only seem to get crazier in the sixth film, “Mission Impossible: Fallout.”

Film Review: The Artist’s Obsession in ‘Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti’

CHICAGO – The art masters, and the masterpieces they have created, become a background culture in our lives… even if we don’t necessarily know the artist. Paul Gauguin is one of those painters-as-cultural-influencer, and a vital point in his artistic life is told in the film “Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti.”

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