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Interview: Vito Forlenza on Comcast’s Innovative Winter Olympic XFINITY X1 Viewing Experience

Xfinity X1 2018 Winter Olympics

CHICAGO – The 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, begin this week, with opening ceremonies on Friday, February 9th. NBCUniversal TV will be the broadcast source for the Games, but their parent company Comcast is upping the ante for their XFINITY X1 TV system subscribers, offering a viewing experience that is a more flexible and user friendly way to see virtually all aspects of the 2018 Winter Games, and Team USA. Vito Forlenza, Executive Director of Business Product Management – who helped developed the strategy for the viewing experience – stopped by in Chicago to promote the multi-platform system.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell Weighs in on ‘42 Grams’

CHICAGO – At this point in our civilization, the food culture is at its peak. “Foodies” devote themselves to TV networks, celebrity chefs and the latest taste sensations. Director Jack C. Newell explores a portion of this culture in his new documentary profile of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt, as he attempts to build the Chicago eatery ’42 Grams.’

Interview: Alexandra Dean of ‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’

CHICAGO – Hedy Lamarr was tagged as “the world’s most beautiful woman” in movies during her brief run as matinee idol during the 1940s. While taking that on, she was also co-inventing a wireless guidance system during World War II. Director Alexandra Dean contrasts that double life in “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.”

Interview, Audio: Illeana Douglas on Directors & Female Spirit

Illeana Douglas of TCM

CHICAGO – The acting career of Illeana Douglas began with director Martin Scorsese and flourished in her first lead role for “Grace of My Heart” (1996). She is best known today for hosting the “Trailblazing Women” series on Turner Classic Movies, and in Part Three of a three part interview with HollywoodChicago.com, she talks about feminism, the essence of directors she has worked for, plus her grandmother Helen Gahagan, the third female Congress representative in U.S. history.

Interview, Audio: Illeana Douglas on Acting & the Film ‘Grace of My Heart’

Illeana Douglas photo 2 by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The acting career of Illeana Douglas began with director Martin Scorsese and flourished in her first lead role for “Grace of My Heart” (1996). She is best known today for hosting the “Trailblazing Women” series on Turner Classic Movies, and in Part Two of a three part interview with HollywoodChicago.com, she talks about her approach as an actor and how early influences defined that style.

Interview, Audio: Trailblazing Actress & Film Historian Illeana Douglas

CHICAGO – Long before 2017, the year of notable recognition for women filmmakers, the actress, producer and author Illeana Douglas launched the film series “Trailblazing Women” on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in 2015. Her goal was to achieve recognition for the pioneering efforts of women in early film history and beyond.

Interview, Audio: Michael Stuhlbarg in ‘Call Me By Your Name’

CHICAGO – The character actor Michael Stuhlbarg is one of the more complete players in today’s show business. His embrace of a role is absolute, and his characters ring with a particular poetry based on his interpretations. His latest role is of an academic and father in the new film, “Call Me By Your Name.”

Podtalk: Liliane Calfee of DePaul University Presents ‘Step’ on Dec. 16, 2017

2017 Screening of 'Step'

CHICAGO – Within the expanding DePaul University School of Cinematic Arts is a commitment to community outreach. Liliane Calfee is an Instructor in the school, as well as the Program Director of the CHA (Chicago Housing Authority) Program in Documentary Filmmaking, a course which gives female youth from public housing the opportunity to learn the nuts-and-bolts of the documentary art form from DePaul academic experts. This program, along with film community leader Chaz Ebert, will present the 2017 documentary “Step” on Saturday, December 17th, 2017, at the CDM Theatre on the South Loop campus.

Interview, Audio: Gary Oldman is Winston Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’

CHICAGO – Gary Oldman has been generating memorable film portrayals since he broke through in the 1980s. From Sid Vicious (“Sid and Nancy”) to Lee Harvey Oswald (“JFK”) to Jim Gordon (Dark Knight Series), Oldman is a consummate actor. That is expressed in his latest role, as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.”

Interview, Audio: Veteran Screenwriters of ‘The Disaster Artist’

CHICAGO – The screenwriting team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber have had many adventures plying their trade, ever since their breakthrough “500 Days of Summer” in 2009. Their latest assignment was adapting “The Disaster Artist” for director and lead actor James Franco.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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