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On-Air Film Review: Teacher of the Year Emerges in ‘The Lesson’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on July 5th, reviewing “The Lesson,” a modern film noir featuring Richard E. Grant and Julie Delpy. In theaters since July 7th.

Podtalk: Irish Actor/Director Tania Notaro on Her Film ‘Glitterbug’

CHICAGO – When the term “A Star is Born” is used, behind that moment is hours of toil and stick-to-it-tiveness that actors and creators must go through. In that process is the Irish actor/writer and director Tania Notaro, who recently brought her short film “Glitterbug” to the Chicago Irish Film Festival.

Preview: Alex Thompson’s ‘Rounding’ at 58th Chicago Intl. Film Fest. Oct. 15 & 16, 2022

Rounding, 58th CIFF 2022

CHICAGO – Filmmaker Alex Thompson makes a triumphant return to the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) with his second feature, “Rounding,” screening on October 15th & 16th. CLICK ALEX T for info/tickets.

Via Zoom: Alex Heller’s ‘The Year Between’ at 58th Chicago Intl. Film Fest, Oct. 14 & 16, 2022

Year Between, The

CHICAGO – A filmmaker’s feature debut is a special moment, made more special when the debut takes place in the filmmaker’s Chicagoland roots. Ms. Alex Heller screens “The Year Between” at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) on October 14th (8:30p) and 16th, 2022.

Via Zoom: Filmmaker/Actor Clare Cooney on Her New Short ‘Pick Up’

CHICAGO – Although this former Chicago-based actor has moved on to Los Angeles, she continues as a filmmaker with her excellent second short, “Pick Up.” Clare Cooney wrote, directed and is featured in this poignant journey, as two ex-lovers figure out their current status in the midst of the world pandemic.

Via Zoom: Ron Falzone on ‘Coriander and a Penny’s Worth of Lonesome’

CHICAGO – In this new golden age of animation, the ability to create mood and setting is more accessible than ever. For creator and writer Ron Falzone (with director Julian Grant), a notable death in the 1920s and the movie business associated with it is in their film “Coriander and a Penny’s Worth of Lonesome.”

Podtalk: Okema 'Seven' Gunn of ‘Black Mama Sable’ at 26th Black Harvest Film Fest

CHICAGO – The 26th edition of Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Festival (BHFF) continues with online and virtual access. One of the short films, in the program “Voices of Our Time,” is writer/director Okema “Seven” Gunn’s “Black Mama Sable.”

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).

Podtalk: Midwest Independent Film Fest Opener is ‘An Acceptable Loss’ on Feb. 5, 2019

An Acceptable Loss

CHICAGO – Some extraordinary local and outside talent coordinated to produce the film “An Acceptable Loss” in 2018, including featured stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter (“Southside with You”). Producer Colleen Griffen and writer/director Joe Chappelle, who hail from Chicagoland, helped to create this passionate thriller, with echoes of paranoid government oversight films like “All the President’s Men” and the recent “Vice.” The Midwest Independent Film Festival has made “An Acceptable Loss” the kickoff film for their 2019 season. Click here for tickets and details.

Podtalk: Ike Barinholtz, First Time Director for ‘The Oath’

CHICAGO – The life we have in these “interesting times” is rife with the peril of outside influences… which makes for difficult confrontations with both the known and the unknown. Comic actor Ike Barinholtz (“Blockers”) writes and directs his first film, “The Oath,” dealing with a family Thanksgiving within a Trump-like world.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

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