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Academy Awards

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Jonathan Demme

CHICAGO – The impact that director Jonathan Demme had on the last couple generations of cinema will live beyond his passing last week, at the age of 73. The Oscar-winning filmmaker also made an impact with the film writers of HollywoodChicago.com – Jon Espino, Patrick McDonald and Spike Walters.

Film News: Oscar-Winning Director Jonathan Demme Dies at 73

NEW YORK CITY – He was the helmsman of “The Silence of the Lambs,” which won him Best Director and took home Best Picture at the 1992 Academy Awards, and made numerous other late 20th Century movie classics. Director Jonathan Demme died in New York City on April 26, 2017, at the age of 73.

Film News: TCM Host & Film Historian Robert Osborne Dies at 84

NEW YORK CITY – Robert Osborne, one of the great film advocates and historians of our era, who hosted on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) with passionate skill from 1994 until recently, has passed away on March 6th, 2017, in New York City. The way that Mr. Osborne inspired film lovers everywhere was deep and influential. He was 84.

Film News: Comcast & ABC-TV Announce ‘The Oscars’ Immersive Experience on Xfinity X1

X1 Oscar

CHICAGO – For the second year in a row, Comcast, ABC-TV and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are partnering up for an “immersive” TV experience on The Oscars telecast. This year’s The Oscars experience will include more than 1500 hours of extra content, as well as live streams of backstage activity and the red carpet, interactive voice commands and enhanced extras – all on TV with Xfinity X1.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s 2017 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – When is comes to Academy Award predictions, HollywoodChicago.com is second to none. That’s right, nobody does it better, even the approximately 100 million other outlets predicting the Big Night awards. HC film critics Patrick McDonald, Michael “Spike” Walters and Jon Lennon Espino “correctly” predict the major categories.

Film News: Gene Siskel Film Center to Honor Four Filmmakers at ‘Hollywood on State’ on Feb. 26, 2017

HolState2017

CHICAGO – As Chicago evolves as a film town, so do its parties. The annual “Hollywood on State” gathering, put together by the Gene Siskel Film Center, is enhancing their Oscar watching event by honoring four prominent and emerging Chicago filmmakers – Lonnie Edwards, Lori Felker, Jennifer Reeder and Michael Smith. For more details, and to be a part of the magical evening, click here.

Film Review: Discover the 2017 Oscar Short Film Nominees

CHICAGO – One of the more overlooked set of nominees at Academy Awards time is two categories for Best Short Film – Live Action and Animated. The 2017 nominees are packaged as two presentations that are currently screening in Chicago at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema.

Film Review: 2017 Best Doc Oscar Nominee ‘I Am Not Your Negro’

I Am Not Your Negro

CHICAGO – The terms that have been used to describe African Americans over the years …black, afro-americans, negro and worse… has always been what others had named them, the others that wanted to marginalize, categorize and group individuals into images of words. The documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” seeks to upend these generalizations and in turn, those words.

Interview: Oriana Oppice of Women in Film Chicago & Their Open House on Jan. 26, 2017

WIFC logo, 2016

CHICAGO – Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) continues its role as one of the best resource and advocacy groups for women filmmakers and their supporters. The organization has roots to the 1970s, when the first WIFC group was formed in Los Angeles, and the Chicago chapter has experienced strong growth, both in numbers and what it offers to its membership. The WIFC will be celebrating all of this with their Open House, January 26th, 2017, at Columbia College in Chicago (details below).

Interview: Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films Revisits ‘Hoop Dreams’

Hoop Dreams

CHICAGO – It has been 22 years since one of the greatest documentaries in film history was released, and it was created right here in Chicago by Kartemquin Films. “Hoop Dreams,” produced by Gordon Quinn (among others) and directed by Steve James, was a turning point for Kartemquin, which had at the time been making socially focused docs for over 30 years. As part of the film company’s 50th anniversary, Gordon Quinn revisits the groundbreaking film.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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