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Podcast Talk: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Honors Hong Kong Pop & Film Legend Teddy Robin Kwan

Asian Pop Up Cinema 2017 Closing Night

CHICAGO – When The Beatles changed pop music forever in the early 1960s, they also launched a worldwide revolution of bands and songwriters. One such star was Teddy Robin Kwan, who founded Teddy Robin & the Playboys in Hong Kong, and rightly took the crown as “The King of Asian Pop.” And for his second act, the small-but-mighty Kwan became one of Hong Kong’s top film composers, as well as a director and actor of note. He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series Closing Night Gala in Chicago on May 11th, 2017.

Red-Carpet Exclusive Portrait, Audio: Jeremy Piven for Gene Siskel Center Renaissance Award

Jeremy Piven, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Actor Jeremy Piven came home to Chicago on May 13th, 2017, to moderate the Gene Siskel Center Renaissance Award tribute to actor Kevin Spacey. Piven, who grew up in nearby Evanston, Ill., has forged a diverse career in Hollywood, and is most well-known for portraying super-agent Ari Gold in the HBO series “Entourage.”

Film News: Mimi Plauché Named New Artistic Director at Chicago International Film Festival

Mimi Plauché

CHICAGO – Cinema/Chicago – the parent organization of the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) – announced today that Mimi Plauché will take over as Artistic Director for the festival, effective immediately. She assumes the position formerly head by Michael Kutza, the Founder of CIFF. Kutza will continue with the festival as President & CEO, overseeing operations, the branding of Cinema/Chicago, fundraising and the education programs.

Interview: Founder Pepe Vargas of Chicago Latino Film Festival on Closing Night, May 4, 2017

Pepe Vargas of Chicago Latino Film Festival

CHICAGO – On the final day of a major film festival, it’s always good to acknowledge the work of the people who make it happen… like Pepe Vargas, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. The Fest concludes on Thursday, May 4th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago, with the Venezuelan film, “Tamara.” For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: Cinema/Chicago Presents 2017 CineYouth Festival From May 4-6, 2017

2017 CineYouth Festival

CHICAGO – The 13th annual CineYouth Festival – presented by Cinema/Chicago – starts on Thursday, May 4th, 2017, at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, kicking off a three day festival run. The opening night film is the animated “My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea,” a debut by director Dash Shaw, who will make an appearance on behalf of the film for the CineYouth Festival.

Interview: Director Park Heung-sik of ‘Love, Lies’ at Closing Night Film of Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Love, Lies

CHICAGO – The Fourth Season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series comes to a rousing conclusion with the Closing Night film – “Love, Lies” – from South Korean director Park Heung-Sik. The screening will take place on Wednesday, May 3rd, 1017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. Director Park Heung-sik will attend the screening, and participate in a Q&A afterwards. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents Zombie Thriller ‘Train to Busan’ on Apr. 19, 2017

Train to Busan

CHICAGO – The fourth season of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema series continues with a screening of the popular South Korean film “Train to Busan,” on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. “Busan,” directed by Yeon Sang-Ho, broke box office records in major Asian cities when it was first released last year. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents U.S. Premiere of ‘Norjmaa’ on Apr. 12, 2017

Norjmaa

CHICAGO – The fourth season of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema series continues with the U.S. premiere of “Norjmaa” on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. “Norjmaa” won the “Golden Rooster” – the Chinese Oscars – for Best “lower budget” Film. Tsogtbayer Namsrai of Mongol Films will appear on behalf of the film. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Interview: Brown Paper Box Co.’s ‘Positively Present’ Cabaret on Apr. 7-8, 2017

Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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).

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