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Interview

Interview, Audio: Director Mei-Juin Chen of ‘The Gangster’s Daughter’

Mei-Juin Chen

CHICAGO – Opening Night of the fifth season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema is Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, and the first film is a doozy. “The Gangster’s Daughter” is a different take on the popular Taiwanese mobster movie, a relationship film as much as the pure crime. At the helm is director Mei-Juin Chen, with her first narrative film.

Exclusive Photo: Remembering Frank Vincent of ‘The Sopranos’ & ‘Goodfellas,’ Dead at 80

Frank Vincent, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Frank Vincent always looked good, no matter what role he was playing, but he mostly portrayed mafia types, and was styling as those guys as well… he even wrote a book on dress, “A Guy’s Guide to Being a Better Man.” He was best known as Phil Leotardo on the legendary HBO series, “The Sopranos,” and he passed away at age 80 in New Jersey on September 13th, 2017.

Podtalk: Katelyn Zenie of the Femme Filmmaker Showcase in Chicago on Sept. 9, 2017

Femme Filmmakers Showcase

CHICAGO – The film community is flourishing in Chicago, and this weekend boasts of another cinema event. The Femme Filmmaker Showcase will screen three blocks of short films, all either created by women filmmakers or with women centric themes, on Saturday, September 9th, 2017. This will also be an evening of networking, and tours will be provided at one of the latest studio spaces in Chicago, 2112/Fort Knox Studios.

Podtalk: Andrea Thompson, Founder of Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival, Sept. 8-10, 2017

Milwaukee Women's Film Festival

CHICAGO – The State of Wisconsin will have an international film showcase this weekend, as the 2017 Milwaukee Women’s Film’s Festival opens on Friday, September 8th, and runs through Sunday, September 10th. The Founder and Executive Director of the Festival is Andrea Thompson, and her and her team has programmed a weekend’s worth of feature and short films that are made by women, and celebrates the art of film through the perspective and variations of the female spirit.

Podtalk: Richard Dreyfuss of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’

CHICAGO – The 40th anniversary edition of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Richard Dreyfuss, is in a limited run in theaters now. What better time to resurrect a 2009 HollywoodChicago.com interview with Dreyfuss, and publish it as a podcast talk.

Podtalk: Brian Zahm on ‘Marquee’ at Chicago’s Millennium Park Film Series on Sept 5, 2017

Marquee

CHICAGO – When the filmmaker faces his biggest screen, what will his art mean? Director Brian Zahm is about to find out, as he screens his short film “Marquee” on the state-of-the-art 40 foot LED screen at Chicago’s Millennium Park Summer Film Series on September 5th, 2017 (6:30pm). The short will be an appetizer for the main event, the screening of “Wayne’s World” as the feature presentation. The program will be the final films in the popular series at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Podtalk: Nnamdi Ngwe on ‘Rap Skool’ at the Midwest Independent Film Fest on Sept. 5, 2017

Midwest TV Pilot

CHICAGO – On one of the most exciting Tuesday nights of the year-round Midwest Independent Film Festival is the Midwest Pilot Showcase on September 5th, 2017. Seven full TV pilots will see the light of screen, all with a diversity of form and story. Among the pilots in the showcase is “Rap Skool,” a hilarious parody/comedy about a class of wannabe street rhymers. Co-created by twin brothers Amechi and Nnamdi Ngwe, this Chicago-based show is packed with laughs.

Film/TV News: Richard Anderson, Oscar Goldman in ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ Dies at 91

Richard Anderson, photo by Joe Arce

LOS ANGELES – We can’t rebuild him, but we can honor him. Richard Anderson, best known for portraying Oscar Goldman, the aide de camp of Steve Austin (Lee Majors) in “The Six Million Man,” died on August 31st, 2017 at age 91. The versatile character actor was one of the few remaining performers that came up through the old studio system, in this case the dream factory known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Interview, Audio: Director Geremy Jasper Rocks ‘Patti Cake$’

CHICAGO – How does a filmmaker create a movie about a white girl in New Jersey dreaming of being a hip-hop star? He takes the beats from his own life admiration of the music genre and fleshes out a working class story about pushing back against the odds. Geremy Jasper wrote and directed the electrically poignant “Patti Cake$.”

Interview, Audio: ‘An Atramentous Mind’ at Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Fest on Aug. 27, 2017

An Atramentous Mind

CHICAGO – What happens when one of the more prominent filmmakers in Chicago of the last five years meets a up-and-coming female director? They get together to make a statement in a short film. “An Atramentous Mind” will have its Midwest Premiere at the Black Harvest Film Festival on August 27th, 2017, as part of their “Chicago Shorts” series. The 23rd edition of this vital Chicago festival runs through August 31st at the downtown Gene Siskel Film Center.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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