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Interview

Podtalk: J. Wilder Konschak & Stirling McLaughlin on Digital Release of ‘Cold War’

Cold War

CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

Podtalk: ‘Murder in the Woods,’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 9, 2018

Murder in the Woods

CHICAGO – The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is underway, after a successful Opening Night on April 5th, 2018. One of the showcase films will have its Midwest Premiere on Saturday, April 7th, the horror tale “Murder in the Woods.” Directed by Luis Iga and written by Yelyna De Leon, the film features “Machete” star Danny Trejo and young Latino actors portraying teens that are being killed in mysterious circumstances during a cabin getaway. For information about the Red Carpet and premiere, click here.

Interview: Founder/Director Pepe Vargas of 34th Chicago Latino Film Fest, April 5-19, 2018

2018 CCFF logo

CHICAGO – One of the great cinema festivals of the Windy City is run by Pepe Vargas, the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. The 2018 edition will be the 34th annual, and Vargas has shepherded the film celebration since its beginnings. Opening Night is on Thursday, April 5th, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago, with a Puerto Rican themed night, with the films “From Now On” (short) and the feature film “Broche De Oro: Beginnings.” For more details, click here.

Podtalk: 50 Years Later, Jesse Jackson on Martin Luther King Jr.

CHICAGO – On April 4th, 1968, Reverend Jesse Jackson was already, at age 26, a civil rights leader. He joined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, on that April night to help with a sanitation workers strike. He was in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel when the shots rang out that killed Dr. King on the balcony.

Podtalk: Director Emily Esperanza Invites Us to ‘Make Out Party’

CHICAGO – I’m not going to tell you anything about ‘Make Out Party,’ a new film directed by Emily Esperanza, that is making its World Premiere this weekend – March 30th and 31st, 2018 – in the Windy City (info below). You’ve got to go yourself, and experience the wild ride of true collaboration and vivid creativity, produced right here in Chicago.

Podtalk: Japan Film Star Yuki Furukawa on ‘Colors of Wind’ at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Yuki Furukawa, 2018 Asian Pop-Up Cinema

CHICAGO – Opening Night at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) Season Six was extra exciting on March 13th, 2018, as popular Japanese film star Yuki Furukawa came to the Windy City to represent his starring role in the magical romance “Colors of Wind.” The film, a co-production of South Korea and Japan, was directed by Kwak Jae-yong and co-starred Takemi Fujii.

Podtalk: Arthur Swidzinki of Film ‘Shred America,’ Premiering in Chicago on March 24, 2018

Shred America

CHICAGO – It was the age of innocence, way back in 2008. Social media was a fledging duck, GPS was in its spare infancy and ride service didn’t exist… what better time for four dudes to skateboard from Chicago to New York City. “Shred America” is the film documentary story of Arthur Swidzinki, Michael Kosciesza, James Lagen and Anthony Michal in 2008, as they did what many twenty-year-olds have done throughout time – just say “what the f**k” and go for it, then film the results. “Shred America” premieres at the Patio Theatre in Chicago on March 24th, 2018 (details below).

Podtalk: Joe Minoso for ‘Alonso, The Dream and the Call’

CHICAGO – He has portrayed the reliable firefighter Joe Cruz for six seasons on NBC-TV’s “Chicago Fire”… Joe Minoso both plays that role and actually lives in Chicago now. Before his stint on “Fire,” he had completed a short film for local filmmaker Ben-Hur Uribe, “Alonso, The Dream and the Call,” which has just been released for Amazon Prime download.

Podtalk: Christian Taylor on Origins for her Documentary ‘The Girl Who Wore Freedom’

The Girl Who Wore Freedom

CHICAGO – The era of World War II, now close to 80 years in the past, seems ever so farther in the rear view mirror of history. Movies have done their part to keep the memories and the spirit alive, so joining such works as “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan” is a new documentary in development, “The Girl Who Wore Freedom,” now in pre-production by filmmakers Christian Taylor and Terry Jun of Reverse Negative Studios in Skokie, Ill.

Oscar Week: Podtalk with Greta Gerwig, 2018 Oscar Best Director Nominee for ‘Lady Bird’

Greta Gerwig, "Lady Bird"

CHICAGO – One of the most fulfilled movies of 2017 was the sublime “Lady Bird,” the major film debut of actor Greta Gerwig. Nimbly shooting her own script, the achingly honest story about a teenager (portrayed essentially by Saiorse Ronan) going through her Senior Year of high school in Sacramento, California, was a breakout film of the year, and was nominated for Best Picture, as well as Best Actress for Ronan, Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalfe (as the Ronan character’s mother) and Best Original Screenplay/Best Director for Greta Gerwig.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Has anybody in show business had more “comebacks” than Cher… or if you added her many last names Cher Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman? All of the triumphs and downturns are shoehorned into “The Cher Show,” now in Chicago in a pre-Broadway run through July 15, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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