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Charlie Chaplin

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell on Digital Release of ‘Open Tables’

CHICAGO – Local filmmaking has always gotten a boost through director Jack C. Newell. His 2015 film “Open Tables,” shot in Chicago and Paris, will get it’s digital release on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016, on iTunes and Video-On-Demand. This coincides with his art project “The Wabash Lights,” and his continued production work.

Interview: Geraldine Chaplin, at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – She is the oldest daughter of movie legend Charlie Chaplin, from his fourth marriage to Oona O’Neill, but she also was a spectacular actress in her own right. She is Geraldine Chaplin, and she was honored at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival, and was president on a film jury for the fest.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell Has ‘Open Tables’ at 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Jack C. Newell will ride his bike when he meets you for an interview in Chicago, naturally. The locally based director is a welcome original, with credits in both documentary and narrative films. His latest feature, “Open Tables,” will screen at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival on October 20th, 2015.

Blu-ray Review: Chaplin Section of Criterion Collection Now Includes ‘City Lights’

City Lights

CHICAGO – Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” used to be more widely considered to be one of the best films ever made. In early editions of the Sight & Sound poll (the every-decade poll of film historians and critics), it appeared in the top ten regularly. Its esteem seems to have slipped a bit over the decades as some now prefer other Chaplin to “Lights” (me, I adore “Great Dictator” and “Gold Rush,” both available in Criterion Blu-ray editions as well) but the new Criterion edition reminds one why so many people consider this one of the best. It’s still a glorious gem.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell on the Chicago Set for ‘Open Tables’

Jack Newell

CHICAGO – You know you’re on a Jack C. Newell film set when his producer, Steve Tobiasz, offers you the best empanada you’ve ever eaten, from the Gourmet Food Truck that is crucial to the upcoming scene. “Open Tables” is director Jack C. Newell’s second feature film, coming in right after 2012’s “Close Quarters.”

Blu-Ray Review: Amazing Edition For Charlie Chaplin Classic ‘The Great Dictator’

The Great Dictator

CHICAGO – Every time I’ve seen “The Great Dictator,” I’m amazed that it even exists. It is not only one of the great Charlie Chaplin’s most consistently funny films but it is a satirical masterpiece that is SO daring that it’s amazing it even got made. It is a piece of slapstick comedy about World War II and Adolf Hitler. Think about that for one minute. Now, it was made in 1940 (a year before our entry into the war), but it was still a risky move to make a piece this politically and socially conscious and try and sell it to an audience who had grown accustomed to watching Charlie Chaplin fall down.

DVD Review: Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ Features Comic Master in Top Form

Modern Times

CHICAGO – There’s a scene early in “Modern Times” in which Charlie Chaplin’s timeless Little Tramp character has been so mentally and physically damaged by the routine he’s been forced to do over and over again on an assembly line that he can’t stop moving his arms in the same repetitive motion. As he tries to turn everything that looks like it can be turned with a wrench, the routine perfectly captures the genius of Chaplin in its duality. Not only is it a commentary on how men are being destroyed by the machine of industry but it’s damn funny at the same time.

Interviews: Christmas Stars Shine With Mickey Rooney, Ernest Borgnine, Tippi Hedren, Larry Hagman

CHICAGO – On this Christmas Eve, we will bask in the light of sparkling film stars, and honor their legacy. Mickey Rooney, Ernest Borgnine, Tippi Hedren and Larry Hagman met admirers at the Hollywood Celebrities Show.

Interview: Film Director Jeremy Kruse on the Screening of ‘Flüffenhaus’

CHICAGO – Jeremy Kruse is a major part of Chicago’s vibrant film scene. The actor and writer has made a big splash with his short films, and now directs Emily Skyle’s “Fluffenhaus: The Comeback of a Pop Icon,” with an screening here September 17th.

Actors Awkwardly Impersonate Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin in ‘Mister Lonely’

CHICAGO – The wonder of a filmmaker’s art and perspective is the ability to challenge and reflect the absurdity of our own nature back to us. Few filmmakers have done more to add provocation to that sensibility than Harmony Korine.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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