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Interview: Kevin Epperson Directs ‘The Courtship,’ Screening in Chicago on June 21, 2018

Courtship, The

CHICAGO – The dark, mysterious film genre of noir has been a hand-in-glove for most of the cinema’s epic history. Director Kevin Epperson’s latest short film, “The Courtship,” uses all the familiar tools within the noir theme… the use of black&white, plus the roles of the hapless mark and the mysterious dame… to showcase the story of online dating gone awry. Epperson will be screening “The Courtship” at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago, on Thursday, June 21st, 2018, at 7pm (click link below for more details).

Red-Carpet Interview: Gene Siskel Film Center Honors Ethan Hawke

CHICAGO – Ethan Hawke has made 2018 his year, and on June 7th the Gene Siskel Film Center of Chicago recognized his recent artistic achievements and his career by honoring him with their annual Renaissance Award. The event included a Red Carpet walk, and an on-stage talk with his friend, actor Vincent D’Onofrio.

Podtalk: Producer Kristi Dunn Kucera on Her Brother & His ‘Trial of Lies’

Shawn & Kristi Dunn

CHICAGO – In 1925, the Franz Kafka novel “The Trial” was published, launching the term “Kafka-esque” to describe people who get trapped by the judicial system. One such victim is Shawn Dunn, a financial planner who discovered a way (in 1994) to take “corporate inversion” – a tax abatement system initially developed by multinational corporations to substantially reduce their tax bill – and apply that same system to his small business and retirement fund clients for their use. Despite the continued legality (for corporations) of the accounting technique, the FBI raided Dunn’s offices, and arrested him for providing the same legal means for his clients to minimize their tax bills. He lost his trial in 2008, and despite many appeals, is currently serving an 18 year sentence.

Podtalk: Director Jeff Tomsic Plays the Game of ‘Tag’

CHICAGO – When a real life group of friends keep a thirty year tradition alive, playing a game of “Tag,” there is bound to be a film that shares the same name. Jeff Tomsic makes his director debut with a killer cast… Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress and Jeremy Renner, all still playing that childhood game.

Film Review: John Travolta Captures the Life & Times of ‘Gotti’

Gotti

CHICAGO – Probably the last classic era of romanticized organized crime (mafia, mob, etc.) in New York City was the reign of John Gotti… the high profile boss of the Gambino family from 1986-1992. Nicknamed both the Dapper Don and Teflon Don (because of his ability to avoid prosecution), he is brought back to life by John Travolta in the sparely titled “Gotti.”

Film Review: ‘Incredibles 2’ is a Sequel That Returns for Fine Fun

CHICAGO – If you liked Pixar Animation’s original “The Incredibles” of 14 years ago, then you’ll find a lot to like with this sequel, which puts these “supers” back in their suits for another go around to save the world. The action in “Incredibles 2” picks up almost immediately after the original film left off.

Podtalk: Director Brett Haley on Rhythms in ‘Hearts Beat Loud’

CHICAGO – There is no better Father’s Day present at the movies than director Brett Haley’s new film, “Hearts Beat Loud.” It’s the story of a single Dad, portrayed by Nick Offerman, dealing with his about-to-go-to-college daughter. The riff in the film is that they are also songwriters together, and that becomes a major conflict.

Video Interview: John Travolta on His New Role as ‘Gotti’

CHICAGO – John Travolta has fulfilled his career legacy of icon status, and he continues to work on projects that highlight his performance abilities. Fresh off his role as real-life Robert Shapiro in “The People Vs. O.J. Simpson,” Travolta takes on another historical figure in his portrayal of mobster John Gotti in the new film “Gotti.”

Theater News: ‘The Cher Show’ in Chicago, June 12, 2018

CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

Podtalk: ‘Working in protest’ on Final Day of Chicago Underground Film Festival, June 10, 2018

Working in protest

CHICAGO – In the age of Donald Trump, the number of citizen protests have increased in size and scope. But what are the results of these gatherings and what does it really mean? A new documentary film by co-directors Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley entitled “Working in protest” uncovers a bit of unvarnished truth in these demonstrations, as it covers the protest years of 1987 through 2017. This is part of the final day of the 25th Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF), which includes the Closing Night film “FUTURE LANGUAGE: The Dimensions of VON LMO,” directed by Lori Felker.

Film Review: Toni Collette Discovers that Horror is ‘Hereditary’

CHICAGO – The classic horror/psychological films continue to chill our souls long after the experience of them. “Hereditary” uses a masterful performance by Toni Collette, and layers it with symbolic commentary and freaky scares to accomplish that lingering discomfort. After viewing it, the cluck of the tongue will never be the same.

Podtalk: Actor Blake Jenner Nurtures ‘American Animals’

Blake Jenner of AMERICAN ANIMALS

CHICAGO – One of the coolest-cat young actors is Blake Jenner. The versatile performer began his career on TV’s “Glee,” portraying Ryder Lynn. Since that time, three short years ago, he has broken out in a big way, landing in the ensemble cast of “Everybody Wants Some!!” and “The Edge of Seventeen.” His latest is a combination documentary/narrative film, the unusual and absorbing “American Animals.”

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  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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