August 2019

Podtalk: Writer/Director Yuri Rutman on ‘Trained,’ to Premiere on Shorts TV, Aug. 31, 2019

Trained

CHICAGO – Filmmaking in Chicago just got another feather in its cap, as writer/director Yuri Rutman is about to premiere his short film “Trained” on the prestigious Shorts TV channel. Shorts TV is the official distributor of the Oscar nominated shorts every year, and picked up Rutman’s film as a high-level example of this truncated cinematic art form.

Appreciation: A Tribute to Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on its 90th Anniversary

Music Box Theatre, 90th Anniversary

CHICAGO – There are movie exhibitors, screening rooms, multiplexes and grindhouses, but there is only one Music Box Theatre, and Chicago is privileged to have it. The movie theater of all movie theaters opened on August 22nd, 1929, and is celebrating its 90th Anniversary all week at the venue, in the Southport Corridor neighborhood.

Podtalk: Singer Kevin Pollack is the ‘Man About Town’

CHICAGO – With summer winding down, it’s time for a focus on Fall, and singer Kevin Pollack is out of the gate early. His August song debut of “Man About Town” is part of a once-a-month song release schedule for autumn, culminating in an EP release in December. “Man About Town” is a swinging tune about a swinging soul.

Film News: Closing Night of Black Harvest Film Festival is ‘Crooklyn’ on Aug. 29, 2019

2019 25th Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – It’s been a fast four weeks, and the 25th anniversary edition of the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago will have its Closing Night on Thursday, August 29th, 2019, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in the downtown Loop. The special presentation will be the 25th Anniversary celebration of Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn,” and will feature appearances by Joie Lee (Spike’s sister and co-screenwriter) and actress Zelda Harris from the film. Click here for tickets and more information.

Film Review: Finding One’s Self in ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’

CHICAGO – There is something so lovely about a film that unfolds slowly, until the moment occurs when a multi-layered story occurrence takes the breath away. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is such a film, portrayed with a magic subtlety by Cate Blanchett, one of the finest film actors working. She lives a life that is broken, but not in ways we suspect.

Finding One’s Self in ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – There is something so lovely about a film that unfolds slowly, until the moment occurs when a multi-layered story occurrence takes the breath away. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is such a film, portrayed with a magic subtlety by Cate Blanchett, one of the finest film actors working. She lives a life that is broken, but not in ways we suspect.

Podtalk: Sergio Mims of Black Harvest Film Fest, Recipient of Gene Siskel Legacy Award

Sergio Mims

CHICAGO – The Black Harvest Film Festival (BHFF) is an August mainstay in Chicago, ever since 1994. As the Fest currently celebrates its 25th anniversary, one of the major reasons for its longevity and success will be honored on August 18th, 2019. Film critic, writer and broadcaster Sergio Mims will receive the Gene Siskel Legacy Award for his contributions as co-founder and co-programmer of Black Harvest. The bestowing of the honor, along with a reception, with occur at the screening of “Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts,” beginning at 5:30pm. For more information and tickets, click here.

Film News: Peter Fonda, Forever the ‘Easy Rider,’ Dies at 79

Peter Fonda in Chicago, January 28th, 2010

LOS ANGELES – Peter Fonda, part of Hollywood acting royalty, had many memorable roles in his long career. But he will forever be known as the “Easy Rider,” the 1969 feature (coincidentally, the film was the number one film exactly 50 years ago today) that ushered in a new wave of filmmaking. Portraying a biker named Captain America, his character was “born to be wild” as he motored across the country. Peter Fonda died in Los Angeles due to complications of lung cancer. He was 79.

Film Review: ‘Good Boys’ Misses the Mark But Manages to Land

CHICAGO – The innocence of childhood is about to be wrecked for the gazillionth time, c’est la vie. “Good Boys” is a raunchy film with foul-mouthed middle schoolers going on wacky adventures. The pretzel logic to set up these adventures are weak, but the core of the conclusion is the strength.

‘Good Boys’ Misses the Mark But Manages to Land

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The innocence of childhood is about to be wrecked for the gazillionth time, c’est la vie. “Good Boys” is a raunchy film with foul-mouthed middle schoolers going on wacky adventures. The pretzel logic to set up these adventures are weak, but the core of the conclusion is the strength.

Podtalk: Frank Carr of ‘YippieFest,’ at the Prop Theatre in Chicago, Aug. 16-18, 2019

2019 YippieFest

CHICAGO – It’s the 3rd annual YippieFest in Chicago at the Prop Thtr (Theatre), and the three days of Theater, Performance, Music, Film, Comedy and more kicks off with its 2019 edition on Friday, August 16th (7pm), and runs through Sunday, August 18th. The Fest evolved from the spirit of Mary-Arrchie Theater’s Abbie Hoffman Fest, which began 30 years ago (1989), and ended in 2016. The Fest also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock music festival, which coincides with the weekend. For more information on YippieFest, including tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Viveik Kaira Channels Bruce Springsteen in ‘Blinded by the Light’

CHICAGO – Finding joy for many people is rooted in music, and nothing expresses that joy like the love of a particular artist. Bruce Springsteen is the rocker that helps a British immigrant through some hard times in the new film “Blinded by the Light,” and the beneficiary of that joy is portrayed by Viveik Kaira.

Podtalk: Aisling Franciosi Takes the Lead in ‘The Nightingale’

CHICAGO – The “star is born” expression is not to be used lightly, yet it absolutely applies to the performance of Aisling Franciosi (Lyanna Stark in “Game of Thrones”) in the role of Clare for “The Nightingale.” As a late 19th Century woman with nothing to lose, she suffers an emotional death, a survival rebirth and humanist hope.

Film News: WEEK TWO of 25th Black Harvest Film Festival features Made in Chicago & ‘Jezebel’

2019 25th Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the longest running and most important Black film festivals is right here in Chicago, as the 25th anniversary of the Black Harvest Film Festival continues through Thursday, August 29th, 2019, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in the downtown Loop. WEEK TWO features two major shorts programs and a debut work from a first time director, for the calendar schedule, click here. The overall Festival link is below.

Film Review: ‘The Kitchen’ is Once Upon a Time in New York City

CHICAGO – It’s the ladies turn to harken back to the badass 1970s, more precisely 1977 in Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. In an adaptation of a DC Vertigo comic series, “The Kitchen” features Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss finding their destiny in taking over mobster duties.

‘The Kitchen’ is Once Upon a Time in New York City

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s the ladies turn to harken back to the badass 1970s, more precisely 1977 in Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. In an adaptation of a DC Vertigo comic series, “The Kitchen” features Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss finding their destiny in taking over mobster duties.

Podtalk: Seth Boustead, of Chicago’s ‘Thirsty Ears’ Classical Fest on Aug. 10-11, 2019

Thirsty Ears Fest 2019

CHICAGO – Seth Boustead is a rock star in a different class of music. The energetic and passionate musician is also the producer of the 4th annual “Thirsty Ears” Classical Music Street Festival in Chicago, bringing the art and “classical gas” to the Ravenswood neighborhood. For more information and performer schedules, click here.

Podtalk: Rebecca Fons & Jack C. Newell on 3rd ‘Destroy Your Art’ in Chicago, Aug. 10, 2019

Destroy Your Art 2019

CHICAGO – In what has become an annual happening, Chicago arts power couple Rebecca Fons and Jack C. Newell bring back “Destroy Your Art,” an event in which a filmmaker creates a film, shows it once to the audience, and then destroys it forever. Destroy Your Art takes place on August 10th, 2019, at Inside Town Space in the West Town neighborhood, Chicago. For more information, including tickets, click here.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Rutger Hauer

CHICAGO – Cult character actor Rutger Hauer passed away late last month, but the mark he made with his array of performances carried through two generation of admirers, even receiving the honor of Best Dutch Actor of the (20th) Century in 1999. He died on July 19th, 2019, in his native Netherlands. He was 75.

Film News: ‘When Billy Broke His Head’ at Midwest Independent Film Fest, Aug. 6, 2019

When Billy Broke His Head

CHICAGO – A movie milestone highlights the August “First Tuesday” of Chicago’s Midwest Independent Film Festival. “Billy Broke His Head” (1994) celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a screening in association with ReelAbilities Chicago. The festivities kick off at 6pm at Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago, click here for details and tickets.

Film News: Opening Night of Chicago's 25th Black Harvest Film Festival is Aug. 3, 2019

2019 25th Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the longest running and most important Black film festivals is right here in Chicago, as the 25th edition of the Black Harvest Film Festival has Opening Night on Saturday, August 3rd, 2019, and runs through Thursday, August 29th, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in the downtown Loop. For Opening Night details and ticket information, click here.

Film Review: Popcorn Ready ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’

CHICAGO – The dog days of the summer are upon us, which also reflects from the silver screen. “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” is a spin-off of the eight film “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are the title characters, fighting and driving their way into our hearts.

Popcorn Ready ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The dog days of the summer are upon us, which also reflects from the silver screen. “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” is a spin-off of the eight film “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are the title characters, fighting and driving their way into our hearts.

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