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Podtalk: Director Patrick Creadon on ‘Hesburgh’ at Midwest Independent Film Festival on Sep. 4, 2018

CHICAGO – For every grand name in history, there are behind-the-scenes performers who contribute to that history just as profoundly. One such person was “Father Ted” of Notre Dame, profiled in Patrick Creadon’s new documentary, “Hesburgh.”

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Neil Simon

CHICAGO – Writer Neil Simon was an American treasure, and created humor that anchored his often neurotic characters into our consciousness. From his early days in 1950s TV (“Your Show of Shows”) to winning a 1990s Pulitzer Prize for “Lost in Yonkers,” he refined and produced “the laugh.” Simon died on August 26th, 2018, at age 91, in New York City.

Film Review: ‘Kin’ Overcomes Early Portrayal Issues to Score Big

CHICAGO – The concept of “family” has been romanticized to death in the movies in the last generation, coinciding with the increasing decline of actual togetherness. The new film “Kin” is essentially about family, but it also is about otherworldly weaponry, gritty crime lords and the old on-the-road story.

Podtalk: Aneesh Chaganty & Sev Ohanian Start ‘Searching’

CHICAGO – Face it, fellow modernists, we live on our screens. It was inevitable that entire films would soon be set there, and the latest is “Searching.” Combining the nightmare of a missing teenager with the abilities of social media, cameras and devices, filmmakers Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian “screen it” to the max.

Film News: Chicago’s 2018 Black Harvest Film Festival Closes with ‘Fear of a Black Hat’

2018 Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – The month long celebration that is the 2018 Black Harvest Film Festival is coming to a close on August 30th with a special revival screening of 1993’s “Fear of a Black Hat.” The ahead-of-its-time hip hop “mockumentary” chronicles the misadventures of the group NWH. Director Rusty Cundieff will make an appearance of behalf of the film’s 25th Anniversary. Over its run, the Black Harvest Film Festival featured a cornucopia of African American themed features and shorts celebrating stories, dreams, history and legacy.

Podtalk: Filmmaker Bing Liu is Essential in ‘Minding the Gap’

CHICAGO – Sometimes, if a filmmaker is aligned, all of their experience, accessibility and life force combine to create a signature production. This is what happened to Bing Liu, who took his life as a skateboarder and explored beyond it to find what was essential. The result is the multiple award winning documentary, “Minding the Gap.”

Feature: Warren Beatty, Robert Klein and ‘Medium Cool’ Remember Aug. 28, 1968, in Chicago

Medium Cool

CHICAGO – It was 50 years ago today – August 28th, 1968 – that Chicago Police and Viet Nam War protestors clashed in front of the Hilton Chicago Hotel on Michigan Avenue, while the Democratic National Convention was in town nominating Hubert Humphrey as their presidential candidate. As the police used excessive force on the protestors, the “whole world was watching.” This included witnesses actor/director Warren Beatty, comedian Robert Klein, and the production crew – including future director Andrew Davis – of the Haskell Wexler film “Medium Cool.”

Podtalk: Josh & Jonathan Baker on the Passion of ‘Kin’

CHICAGO – The tagline for the new film “Kin” is “No force is stronger than family,” and who would know that better than a couple of twin brother filmmakers. Josh and Jonathan Baker make their feature film debut with this gritty sci-fi action picture, and create a new direction and style for the genre.

Film News: Oriana Oppice Awarded Best Director for ‘Leia’s Army’ at Global Impact Film Fest

Oriana Oppice

WASHINGTON, DC – Chicago took home a bit of gold on August 26th, 2018, as local filmmaker Oriana Oppice was awarded Best Director for her short film “Leia’s Army” at the Global Impact Film Festival in Washington, D.C. The film, which is a fictional overview of the Woman’s March Movement through multiple generations, is a contemporary and multi-dimensional look at families in the age of Trump.

Podtalk: Sophia Wong Boccio on Season Seven for Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

CHICAGO – With three years and six seasons behind her, Sophia Wong Boccio has established the Asian Pop-Up Cinema as a Chicago film happening. Season Seven begins on September 12th, 2018. For more information, click here.

Film Review: A Bit of Pop/Rock Magic Spins in ‘Juliet, Naked’

CHICAGO – The story of a drop-out rock and roll star… usually disappearing at the height of their fame… has fascinated the movies in both fiction (“Eddie and the Cruisers”) and documentary (“Waiting for Sugarman”). “Juliet, Naked” takes the premise and creates a charming, romantic story about fandom and redemptive decisions.

Film Review: ‘Papillon” Still Packs a Classic & Compelling Story

Papillon 2018

CHICAGO – The remarkable true-ish story of “Papillon” is difficult to mess up. Henrí Charriére published the “autobiographical novel” in 1969, and the first film version dropped in 1973, with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman as the two leads no less. The latest film has Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek in those leads, as two French prisoners constantly trying to escape.

Film Review: ‘The Happytime Murders’ Shoots Its Wad Too Early

CHICAGO – The most noteworthy feature of the puppet-noir comedy “The Happytime Murders” is its use of felt and fluff for nefarious ends, and while that’s not exactly new, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work. But the movie shoots its wad early, and doesn’t have much imagination after that beyond turning silly string into a bodily fluid.

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