Patrick McDonald

Film News: 2019 Best Picture of Chicago Film Critics Association is ‘Parasite’

CHICAGO – “Parasite,” a South Korean film with themes of class warfare, struck a chord at the 2019 Chicago Film Critic’s Association (CFCA) Awards, garnering Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (for Bong Joon Ho) and Best Original Screenplay.

Photo Gallery: Punk Rock Band SUM 41 at Belvidere’s Apollo Theatre AC, Dec. 15, 2019

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Sum 41 at Belvidere’s The Apollo Theatre AC, 1 of 10

BELVIDERE, ILL – Iconic punk rockers Sum 41 brought their “Order in Decline World Tour” to the Apollo Theatre AC in Belvidere, Illinois, on December 15th, 2019. Singer Deryck Whibley and the band selected crowd favorites from their extensive catalogue of songs and kept the crowd rocking and thrashing all night. Sum 41’s performance exuded catchy guitar riffs and contagious frantic energy, along with lyrics that the crowd knew by heart.

Red-Carpet Slideshow: New Showtime Network Series is Filmed-in-Chicago ‘Work in Progress'

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Co-creator and featured actor Abby McEnany of ‘Work in Progress.’

CHICAGO – One of the latest diversity-oriented TV series is “Work in Progress,’ which premiered on the Showtime Network on December 8th, 2019. The show was created by Chicago improv artists Tim Mason and Abby McEnany, who portrays a fictionalized version of herself.

Podtalk: Marianne Parker Performs ‘Inner Worlds’ at Chicago’s Davis Theatre, Dec. 16, 2019

Inner Worlds

CHICAGO – What is “Inner Worlds”? Imagine exploring the workings of a piano, the strings inside, the body that keeps those strings in place, and the other elements that make up the guts of the instrument. Then imagine creating music not from the keys, but from those innards, and performing a whole concert.

Podtalk: Director Tom Harper Flies High with ‘The Aeronauts’

CHICAGO – When we last saw Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones together, they were portraying husband and wife in the Stephen Hawking bio “The Theory of Everything.” Now they are 19th Century high-flying hot air balloonists in “The Aeronauts,” opening December 6th, 2019, and directed by Tom Harper.

Podtalk: Christine Marie on ‘Xmas in Lost Pines’ at Chicago’s Prop Thtr, Dec. 6-13, 2019

Xmas in Lost Pines

CHICAGO – Theater art is collaborative, and it’s often the design of a stage that sets the tone for the play that unfolds. The Curious Theatre Branch presents an original holiday play called “Xmas in Lost Pines,” opening Friday, December 6th, 2019 at the Prop Thtr (theatre) on Chicago’s Northwest side, with four performances through December 13th (all 8pm).

Theater Review: Gold Standard of Dickensian Joy is Goodman Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

A Christmas Carol

CHICAGO – With a Chicago tradition that goes back four decades, the Goodman Theatre presents their holiday chestnut ‘A Christmas Carol’ for 2019, and it is simply stellar.

Podtalk: Director Rian Johnson Sharpens the Tools in ‘Knives Out’

CHICAGO – Let’s get this over with … Rian Johnson directed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in 2017. Let’s let that fanboy quiver die down and note the talented filmmaker has produced a Thanksgiving treat, his new film “Knives Out.” The old fashioned “whodunit” flicker with an all-star cast was put together in the spirit of fun at the movies.

Digital Review: Amazon Prime for Chicago-Based Christmas Film ‘Solstice’ on Nov. 27, 2019

Solstice

CHICAGO – It’s that time of year, and many gatherings use the spare time on Thanksgiving weekend to start the holiday movie tradition of the season. Although not many people know it, Chicago was the location used for the first Lifetime Christmas movie in the 1990s. “Solstice” was written and directed by Jerry Vasilatos, and premiered on Lifetime in 1994.

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