Interview

Podtalk: Director Lulu Wang on Her New Film ‘The Farewell’

CHICAGO – One of the hottest films from the first half 2019 festival season was an emotional story about family. “The Farewell” is a breakout for both the lead actor Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and her director Lulu Wang. Wang’s story of her grandmother became a universal spirit about our relative connections.

Podtalk: Mindy Fay Parks, on 3rd Windy City International Film Fest, July 18-21, 2019

2019 Windy City International Film Fest

CHICAGO – One of the new Film Festival “kids” on the block is the Windy City International Film Fest, now in its 3rd edition. Touted as an indie film festival that celebrates local, national and international filmmakers, the fest has four days – July 18th through the 21st, 2019 – of networking, screenings and special events. One of the co-founders (with Josh Hope) of the fest is Mindy Fay Parks. For a complete schedule, click here.

Podtalk: Judith Helfand on 'Cooked: Survival by Zip Code,' in Chicago Thru July 25, 2019

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code

CHICAGO – In the Summer of 1995, there was extreme heat in the City of Chicago for seven days, with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees with high humidity. It hit the area like a tsunami, and left power outages and and an exposure of inadequate emergency responses in its wake. The death toll from the heat, when all the analysis was done, soared to 739 people. Director Judith Helfand chronicles that event, and events like it, in her new film, “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code.”

Podtalk: Tracy Edwards, Skipper & Subject of Documentary ‘Maiden’

CHICAGO – In the pantheon of firsts, there are so many of them that fly under our radar. For every Rosa Parks, there are a number of women who take the challenge to make social change. In 1989, British-born Tracy Edwards became the first female skipper, guiding an all-female crew and sailboat in the prestigious Whitbread Around the World Race. Her story is told in “Maiden.”

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.

Podtalk: Dr. Michelle Oakley, ‘Yukon Vet,’ Reflects on Season Seven

CHICAGO – The rumors of a series stoppage were just rumors, as Dr. Michelle Oakley is in the midst of production on Season Seven of her popular “Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet,” which airs on the Nat Geo Wild Channel. Soon the continuing story of an animal enthusiast turned Canadian Yukon veterinarian will have new adventures.

Podtalk: Singer NORAA is Ready to Break Through in the USA

CHICAGO – One the most exciting moments in the culture of music is the anticipated new talent sensation. Warner Music Group’s Elektra France recently discovered a German-born singer known as NORAA – who was supplementing her music career by working as a school teacher – and took her out of the classroom and into the recording studio. She has already made in-roads in her native European scene, and now is poised to conquer the USA. Her first single, “Lie to Me,” was released in April, and is already made its way to radio station and streaming playlists in Europe and America.

Podtalk: Reflecting on ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’

CHICAGO – San Francisco is dying. Not from blight or fault lines, but by the excess of new tech money that has been buying the city block by block. The diversity that made the town is also going away, and this circumstance is poignantly rendered in the new film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Podtalk: Actor Elizabeth Laidlaw on ‘The Red Line’ and Beyond

CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

Podtalk: Nicole Brending’s ‘Dollhouse’ Closes the Chicago Underground Film Fest, June 9, 2019

2019 CUFF Dollhouse

CHICAGO – Closing Night is upon the 26th Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF), and a provocative film will bring down the curtain on the fest. “Dollhouse,” subtitled “The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture,” will screen at 8:30pm on Sunday, June 9th, 2019, at the Logan Theatre in Chicago. Click here for details and tickets.

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