2018

Podtalk: Mike Kwielford on Midwest Independent Film Fest’s ‘Best of the Midwest,’ Jan. 17, 2019

CHICAGO – Local Awards Season is coming up with the Best of the Midwest, honoring the 2018 film year of the Midwest Independent Film Festival. The Gala is on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, click here for tickets and information.

Feature: Top 20 Celebrity Photos of 2018, by Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com

CHICAGO – 2018 was a killer year. I lost both my father and my childhood guitar idol|/mentor Ed King (of Lynyrd Skynyrd) within four days of each other. Both men played instrumental roles in starting and supporting my chosen photographic journey.

Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s Overrated & Worst Films of 2018

CHICAGO – It’s easy to bohemian rhapsodize about the best films in any particular year… it’s why we go to the movies. But what about those times when 1) everybody loves something, and you think, “huh?” or 2) the film is just plain “the worst”? Jon Lennon Espino, Spike Walters and Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com can relate.

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2018, By Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – With 2018 in the rear view mirror (finally), it’s time in this first week of 2019 to reflect on what was, with the 10 BEST FILMS of 2018… as selected by Patrick McDonald, the Über-Critic of HollywoodChicago.com. The list includes docs, animated films and even superheroes, along with the snooty film critic fare that’s always ripe for the watching.

Slideshow: Preview of ‘Days of the Dead’ Chicago, Nov. 16-18, 2018

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Sean Astin of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.

CHICAGO – The “Days of the Dead” convention is an annual event in Chicagoland and elsewhere, that brings together admirers of the horror film genre, cult movies enthusiasts, vendors and panel discussions related to it all. Several celebrities also attend the event, including Linda Blair (“The Exorcist”), Sherilynn Fenn/James Marshall/Dana Ashbrook (“Twin Peaks”), director Clive Barker (“Hellraiser,” “Candyman”) and rocker Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys). The 2018 convention will be held Friday, November 16th through Sunday the 18th at the Chicago Schaumburg Marriott in Schaumburg, Ill. (click link below).

Photos: 54th Chicago International Film Festival Ends with Ruth E. Carter & ‘The Front Runner’

Ruth E Carter, Jason Reitman photos by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – That’s a wrap. The 54th Chicago International Film Festival ended on Sunday October 21st, 2018, with a screening of “The Front Runner,” directed by Jason Reitman (who made an appearance). Also on Saturday, the Black Perspectives event was a career overview of Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter, who contributed to “Black Panther” and “Selma,” among many others.

Film News: DAY ELEVEN of 54th Chicago International Film Festival Has Black Perspectives Tribute

Ruth Carter, Black Perspectives

CHICAGODAY ELEVEN of the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) on Saturday, October 20th, 2018, is Black Perspectives Night, with a tribute to behind-the-scenes production leadership that is vital to the look of a film, through one of its best practitioners. And in the week before Halloween, the “After Dark” series goes spookily into the wee hours.

Slideshow: Red-Carpet Photos for ‘Widows’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival

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Liam Neeson portrays Henry in ‘Widows.’

CHICAGO – Liam Neeson “Released the Superstars” on October 13th, 2018, as the all-star cast of the new film “Widows” walked the Red Carpet before a premiere screening at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival. Joining Liam was Oscar winner Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez (“Fast & Furious” series), as well as supporting actors Cynthia Erivo and Brian Tyree Henry, plus author/screenplay adapter Gillian Flynn and director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”).

Slideshow, Audio: Red Carpet for ‘The Hate U Give’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival

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Amandla Stenberg portrays Starr Carter in ‘The Hate U Give’

CHICAGO – With a film that is seemingly ripped from the headlines, “The Hate U Give,” made its Red Carpet debut at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival on Thursday, October 11th, 2018. The lead actor in the film, newcomer Amandla Stenberg, along with veteran director George Tillman Jr. (“Soul Food”) and producer Robert Teitel, walked the carpet.

Podtalk: Director Gregory Dixon of ‘Olympia’ at 54th Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 15, 2018

Olympia

CHICAGO – As each generation transitions to adulthood, the overwhelming changes that occur in employment, relationships and loss become their drama. Director Gregory Dixon and writer McKenzie Chinn teamed up to create a film that addresses that drama, in the made-in-Chicago “Olympia.” The film is screening at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival on Monday, October 15th, 2018 (5:30pm). For details and tickets, click here.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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