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Music Box Theatre

‘Leaning Into the Wind - Andy Goldsworthy’ Profiles the Artist and His Muse

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The British artist Andy Goldsworthy is a true “outsider” artist, because many of his works are rooted in the grown-and-death cycles of the great outdoors. He is described as a sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, but many of his art creations use materials available in any wooded area, based on a connection to nature combined with a creative soul. This is profiled in the second film about him from the same director, “Leaning Into the Wind - Andy Goldsworthy.”

Blissful Anarchy in ‘My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – In animation, the real innovators who evolve the artform are the risk takers who stamp their own inspiration on those cartoon images. Director Dash Shaw is one of those breakthroughs, who creates a work of anarchistic art in “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea.”

Magic of Orson Welles Rings the ‘Chimes at Midnight’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Another wondrous pleasure about director Orson Welles – as if he needed something else on his resume – is the discovery of his film career after the “Citizen Kane”/studio system/boy wonder period of the 1940s. Facing difficulties cobbling together financing for his evolving vision, he resorted to overseas money, international casts and more-for-less. One of the prime examples is “Chimes at Midnight” (1965), a Shakespeare amalgamation that is just another example of Wellesian audacity and yes, genius.

Ordinary Lives Are Interwoven in Intricate ‘Flowers’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The meaning of our lives is elusive, and the time we spend here too short. The Spanish foreign language film “Flowers” seeks to define the meaning, through three women trying to memorialize one man. “Flowers” opens at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Dec. 18th, 2015.

Film Festival Hit ‘Meet the Patels’ Sheds Comedic Light on Cultural Courting

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The words “film festival hit” can be synonymous with a good, unconventionally daring film that might even be great. Although the film may not make money or win mainstream attention, it could challenge traditional filmmaking without being constrained to fatigued formulas. That many scrutinizing eyes can see something special that Hollywood suits might nix.

Emotionally Devastating Lesson on Grief From ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Monsieur Lazhar,” an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film that is now opening at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, deftly handles delicate themes in a way that saves them from the cliché they so often become in the cogs of the Hollywood machine. The set-up sounds like a ‘90s Robin Williams movie as a teacher helps an elementary class deal with tragic loss but this remarkably human, touching, brilliant film never succumbs to melodrama, finding something truthful in the complex relationship between adults and children forced to grow up too soon.

Mesmerizing Power of Turkish ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Nuri Bilge Ceylan is one of the most interesting and admired filmmakers on the international scene and his latest, “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” is another mannered, deliberate film (some might say SLOW) that somehow gains accumulated power through its director’s incredible eye for composition and appreciation for the beauty of cinema.

Delicate, Touching Tale of Complex Adolescence in ‘Tomboy’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Tomboy” is a delicate, sensitive story of adolescence that’s not often told in cinema. It is the tale of a young girl who would rather be a boy and those days before gender confusion hits puberty like a runaway train. The film’s greatest accomplishment is writer/director Celine Sciamma’s stunning ability to draw natural, believable performances from her adolescent cast, who never hit a false note in this moving film.

‘Undertow’ Provides Poignant Metaphor For Closeted Life

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Undertow” is a title that has been used so often by so many different filmmakers that it now threatens to submerge a picture’s individuality. Fortunately, first-time writer/director Juan Fuentes-León’s Peruvian drama (originally titled “Contracorriente”) has already proven to be a film utterly incapable of drifting into obscurity.

‘Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale’ Substitutes Elves With Zombies

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “What you are about to see now may traumatize you for life.” So reads a warning near the beginning of Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander’s 2005 short, “Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions.” The film was a clever follow-up to his 2003 effort, “Rare Exports Inc.”, which seemed to milk its one-joke premise for all it was worth.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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.

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