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Via Zoom: REELING39 LGBTQ+ Fest Opener is ‘Firebird’ with Tom Prior

CHICAGO – Opening Night is near – Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 – for the 39th edition of Chicago’s REELING film festival, an International LGBTQ+ showcase. The Opening film is “Firebird,” a based-on-truth gay love story set in Cold War Russia. It features actor Tom Prior, who co-wrote the film with director Peeter Rebane. For more info and tickets, click REELING39.

Film Review: Fists of Feminism! On-Air Review of ‘Black Widow’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on July 8th, 2021, reviewing the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Black Widow,” in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premium Access on July 9th.

Film Review: Russia! On-Air Reviews of ‘Sputnik’ & ‘Red Penguin’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 13th, 2020, reviewing the new films (VOD, virtual theaters online, actual theaters) “Sputnik” and “Red Penguins.”

Film Review: Chaos of Power in Hilarious ‘The Death of Stalin’

CHICAGO – If you want a film to take your mind off the current American power structure, that at the same time provides some truth to the situation, you won’t do better than “The Death of Stalin.” A monster comedic cast – including Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor – is assembled for this hilarious farce.

Film Review: Keep Your Eye on Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Red Sparrow’

CHICAGO – It is movie star time for JLaw (Jennifer Lawrence) in ‘Red Sparrow,’ because her performance transcends the muddy plot, and her charisma – even with the lowest of low key characters – creates an interest in her thought process, even as she muddles through the story.

Podtalk: Lina Ramona Vitkauskas Presents ‘The Master Plan’ in Chicago on Nov. 14, 2017

Master Plan, The

CHICAGO – Poet and Activist Lina Ramona Vitkauskas is also a first generation Lithuanian-American. In keeping an eye on the situation in her homeland – part of the Baltic States that broke independently from the old Soviet Union – she discovered a new documentary about the Russian infiltration in the country’s political structure. “The Master Plan” breaks down the several-year campaign by Vladimir Putin to divide opinions and politics, to disrupt the region and confuse the recent independence. Sound familiar? A FREE screening of “The Master Plan” will take place on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 (7pm) at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago.

Film Review: Life, Geopolitics & Hockey in Excellent ‘Red Army’

CHICAGO – How often can we learn life lessons from the most unlikely of sources? The documentary “Red Army” is one such source, as director Gabe Polsky tells the story of the Soviet Union hockey team, which expands to the the very parameters of human nature and competition.

Interview: Director Gabe Polsky on Superb Documentary ‘Red Army’

CHICAGO – Every red-blooded American has been told the story of the “Miracle on Ice,” the 1980 Winter Olympic upset of the mighty Soviet Union hockey team by Team USA. But who were the Soviet players? Why were they the best in the world? Director Gabe Polsky explores these questions in the documentary “Red Army.”

Film Review: Chilling, Creepy ‘Apollo 18’ Makes Us Wonder What If

CHICAGO – Space, the final frontier. The USA made one giant leap for mankind during the Apollo moon landing program forty years ago. Why were the missions abruptly terminated? Why haven’t they gone back? “Apollo 18” theorizes on the answers.

Paul Giamatti Does More With Less in ‘Cold Souls’

Paul Giamatti in 'Cold Souls'

CHICAGO – How is the best way to discover the elusiveness of the soul? For Paul Giamatti, playing himself, the key is to store the legendary organ into the deep freeze, in his new absurdist comedy, “Cold Souls.”

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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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