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Via Zoom: Co-Director Sarah Burns on PBS Doc Series ‘Muhammad Ali’

CHICAGO – Say the name “Ken Burns” and immediately images are evoked regarding the best of American documentaries. For three films – “The Central Park Five,” “Jackie Robinson” and the latest PBS documentary series, “Muhammad Ali” – Ken’s daughter Sarah Burns co-directed with him. Sarah talked to Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com on the latest film about “The Greatest.”

Via Zoom: CJ Hunt on His New Documentary ‘The Neutral Ground’

CHICAGO – When you are not black in America, you cannot imagine the societal indignities (to say the least) that are endured on a daily basis, both macro and micro. A new documentary on a particular indignity, “The Neutral Ground,” by first time director CJ Hunt, premieres on PBS’s “POV” on July 5th, 2021. Click for details.

Podtalk: Chicago Icon Bruce DuMont on ‘Mike Wallace is Here’

CHICAGO – This week, the new documentary “Mike Wallace is Here” will release in Chicago, so who better to get a perspective on the CBS News and “60 Minutes” interviewer and reporter than Bruce DuMont, a Chicago broadcasting icon who has covered the scene since the late 1960s.

Podtalk: Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano, Part of PBS Station WTTW’s ‘Summer of Space’

Bob Sirott, Summer of Space

CHICAGO – July 20th, 2019, will mark the 50th Anniversary that a human being – astronaut Neil Armstrong – first stepped on the moon. All month in July/August, PBS station WTTW is featuring its “Summer of Space,” with special programming dedicated to both the Apollo 11 moon landing/walk and other space-themed shows. Participating are Chicago media personalities Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano, in “Jim Lovell in Booth One with Sirott and Murciano.” For a schedule of showings, click here.

Film Review: ‘The Chaperone’ is Excellent Lesson in 1920s Identity

The Chaperone

CHICAGO – Although mostly set in the early 1920s, “The Chaperone” has some pungent lessons regarding identity, and living life authentically. The story of former silent film star Louise Brooks and her first trip to New York City expresses both how we can live today and how they lived back then.

Film News: Lake Forest Academy’s ‘Global Generation’ Doc to Premiere on Oct. 22, 2018

Global Generation

CHICAGO – Lake Forest Academy, in the Chicagoland suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois, has made it policy to expand their educational philosophy, developing a high school curriculum centered on global citizenry. Two documentary producers – Mike Leonard and Mary Kay Wall – has created a documentary about the Academy’s perspective entitled “Global Generation.” The film will make its premiere at the Academy on Monday, October 22nd, 2018, and will air on WTTW-TV, Chicago’s PBS outlet, on October 25th, 26th and 27th. For more details and tickets, click here.

Interview: TV Travel Host Colleen Kelly at the ‘Travel & Adventure Show’ This Weekend in Chicagoland

Colleen Kelly, Family Travel with Colleen Kelly

CHICAGO – Colleen Kelly is a travel expert, given her success with the PBS TV show “Family Travel with Colleen Kelly” and her company Travel Film Productions. She will be a keynote speaker at the “Travel & Adventure Show” at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., January 23rd and 24th, 2016.

Film Review: Important History in ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution’

Black Panthers, The: Vanguard

CHICAGO – If you want to experience the old cliché of “everything old is new again,” look no further than the excellent documentary, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution.” The formation of the famous 1960s political group is rooted in the same issues that came out of Ferguson and Baltimore – the marginalization and harassment of African Americans by law enforcement authority. Yes, the group’s techniques were questionable, but so was the use of tax payer money – through the FBI – to destroy the organization.

What to Watch: Feb. 18-24, 2014

The Americans

What an amazing week for TV fans. As if you didn’t have enough stacking to do with the new, brilliant season of “House of Cards” on Netflix, there are four other full seasons in this week’s What to Watch that you really should watch front to back. And then there’s the still-amazing “Darkman,” a cult classic that perfectly captures Sam Raimi’s skill at controlled chaos. Finally, we have two ’80s horror flicks in one set in “Bad Dreams” and “Visiting Hours.” Check ‘em all out (OK, you can skip the genre stinkers).

TV Review: ‘Mel Brooks: Make a Noise’ Captures Comedy Genius

CHICAGO – I’m a huge Mel Brooks fan, one of those critics who bows at the altar of arguably the two best comedies of all time, “Blazing Saddles” & “Young Frankenstein.” I’ve seen them both a dozen times and can’t wait to watch them again.

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  • Chicago Party Aunt

    CHICAGO – The funny meter of Netflix went off the scale last week, as the animated series “Chicago Party Aunt” made its debut on September 17th. What began as a Twitter account by comic actor Chris Witaske (who also provides his voice talent) has morphed into the cartoon adventures of Aunt Diane Dumbowski, her nephew Daniel, and an array of familiar Chicago-isms and characters.

  • Factory Theater, The

    CHICAGO – It’s time again for live theater in Chicago, and The Factory Theater – in anticipation of their 2021-22 Season – is launching “Quiet Please! It’s A Silent Auction,” an online silent auction through the month of August (the 1st-31st). An amazing array of goods and services are available for bidding, and can be accessed by clicking here.

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