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Film Review: Energy of Visual Cinema is the Power of ‘Wonderstruck’

CHICAGO – In one of the coolest visual films of the Fall Season thus far, “Wonderstruck” is another winner from director Todd Haynes (“Carol”), who adapts a Young Adult graphic novel by Brian Selznick (who also wrote the screenplay). The wonder of it all, baby.

Exclusive Photo, Audio: Patrick Stewart at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Make it so, and the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival accomplished “it,” honoring Patrick Stewart at a tribute event on October 25th, 2017. The versatile actor gained fame as Star Trek’s Jean Luc-Picard and X-Men’s Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X.

Film Review: ‘Suburbicon’ is the Cinematic Equivalent of a Soccer Mom

CHICAGO – Having lived in both the suburbs and in major cities throughout my lifetime, I can say without hesitation that the suburbs tend to be dull, boring and bereft of creativity. To be fair, it’s not their fault since they’re built for efficiency and with placidity in mind. “Surburbicon” is made in much the same way, becoming the one thing a film shouldn’t be: boring.

Exclusive Photo: Unit Still Photographer Dale Robinette Provides a Sneak Peek at ‘Wonder’

Wonder, photo by Dale Robinette

CHICAGO – When we last caught up with “Uncle Dale” Robinette – Unit Still Photographer in Los Angeles – it was Oscar time in February of this year, and he talked to HollywoodChicago.com about his iconic “dancing” photo from “La La Land.” Well, Uncle Dale is back to provide an Exclusive Photo as a preview to the new film “Wonder,” opening nationwide on November 17th, 2017.

Interview, Audio: Director Todd Haynes Becomes ‘Wonderstruck’

CHICAGO – Todd Haynes is an American auteur, as every one of his films bear the distinct mark of his creativity. From his beginnings with the indie masterpiece “Safe” (1995) through unforgettable films like “Far From Heaven” (2002), “I’m Not There” (2007) and “Carol,” Haynes has made cinematic art. His latest film is “Wonderstruck.”

Film News: Closing-Night Film ‘The Shape of Water’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Shape of Water, The

CHICAGO – Two weeks of tributes, perspectives and events have flown by, including the amazing line-up of over 150 films from 50 countries. The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival concludes Thursday, October 26th, 2017, with “The Shape of Water” (United States), directed by Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).

Interview, Audio: Miles Teller on ‘Thank You for Your Service’

CHICAGO – When Johnny comes marching home again, as the old song goes, we’ll give him a hearty welcome then. Most Americans truncate that to the phrase, “Thank You for Your Service,” which is the title of a new film featuring Miles Teller, who portrays Iraq War veteran Adam Schumann, and is the directorial debut of Jason Hall.

Film Review: Short Film ‘The Replacement’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Replacement, The

CHICAGO – The science fiction that we once knew, that we thought was impossible, is fast becoming everyday life. One short film that premiered at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival – “The Replacement” – takes the concept of cloning, applying a chilling and symbolic twist to a science fiction that can also be interpreted in our current times as reality. “The Replacement” screens one more time as part of the “City & State” slate of shorts on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 (details below).

Podtalk: Kristin Broadwell, Katia Gomez & Pam Tierney of Web Series ‘Vendors’

Vendors

CHICAGO – Creating web TV series is one of the hottest show business pursuits of the moment, and the three creators and actors of Urban Doe Productions – Kristin Broadwell, Katia Gomez and Pam Tierney – are developing a show that has already had a Season One online. “Vendors” is the story of three women who develop a friendship while maintaining their lives and businesses. In Season One, the women met at an outdoor market. In Season Two, they will set up a storefront.

Film Review: Stellar Cast & Director Fail to Build ‘The Snowman’

Snowman, The

CHICAGO – The biggest mystery in “The Snowman” is what in the world talented actors like Michael Fassbender, Chloe Sevigny, Toby Jones, and Val Kilmer are doing here in the first place. Fassbender’s character’s name alone should have sent off alarm bells. This is based on a series of detective novels featuring detective Harry Hole, and characters have voluminous opportunities to repeat it, although with nary a snigger.

Interview, Audio: Director Simon Curtis of ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’

CHICAGO – Winnie the Pooh is a cultural icon of four generations, due both to the character’s literary roots and Walt Disney’s interpretation. A new film, “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” is the origin story of the famous bear, as created by author A.A. Milne. The movie is directed by veteran helmsman Simon Curtis.

Exclusive Portrait, Audio: Vanessa Redgrave at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Vanessa Redgrave, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The luminous and legendary movie star Vanessa Redgrave was given a tribute at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival on October 16th, 2017. The Oscar-winning actress also directed a documentary that she brought to the festival, an overview of the world’s refugee crisis entitled “Sea Sorrow.” HollywoodChicago.com talked to Redgrave, and photographer Joe Arce took the Exclusive Portrait.

Film News: Award Honorees at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – The Chicago International Film Festival is a competitive fest, and the 53rd edition presented its awards on October 20th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago. The winner of the Gold Hugo as Best Film was “A Sort of Family” (Argentina), directed by Diego Lerman.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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