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Film Review: Tribal Side of Drug Trafficking in ‘Birds of Passage’

Birds of Passage

CHICAGO – One of the overriding characteristics in the movies, when it comes to drug traffickers, is the stereotypical image of a fat and corrupt cartel leader who usually have machine gun wielding henchmen and bikini clad groupies. “Birds of Passage” goes back to the business of the drug trade, but it is about the families that controlled the territorial borders during that key era, and the basis of that control in ancient tribalism.

Film Review: A Heroic Ruth Bader Ginsburg in ‘On the Basis of Sex’

CHICAGO – Many heroes of America toiled long behind the scenes to break the chains of oppression. For every Susan Anthony or Martin Luther King Jr. there were the activists, legal experts and volunteers who sought the justice denied to them by the archaic patriarchal society. One such hero is Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the film “On the Basis of Sex.”

Film News: 1st Cortadito Short Film Fest at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center on Sep. 22, 2018

Cortadito Film Festival 2018

CHICAGO – The jewel of Chicago’s cinema community, the Gene Siskel Film Center, will have a latin flair on Saturday, September 22nd, 2018, when its “Panorama Latinx” outreach program presents the Cortadito Short Film Festival. Short films representing Argentina, Columbia, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela will be presented, in an eight shorts program. For more details and tickets, including the list of films, click here.

Film News: ‘The Summit’ on Closing Night of 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 19, 2018

2018 CLFF Closing Night 'The Summit'

CHICAGO – It’s coming up on Closing Night for the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival, and the two weeks of the fest was a celebration and gift to film in Chicago. The Closing Night Gala on April 19th, 2018, will feature the film “The Summit” (“La Cordillera”) from Argentina, Spain and France. Actor Ricardo Darín will also receive the Gloria Career Achievement Award as part of the festivities. The event is sold out, but click here for more information.

Interview: ‘Silvia’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 11, 2018

Silvia

CHICAGO – Discovering new filmmaking talent often starts with the short film, and the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival is showcasing shorts before many of their feature films during the fest. Local Chicago director Diego Bolivar has submitted “Silvia,” a dreamy thesis on the decisions that many immigrants have to make while residing in America. The film will be shown with the feature film Translucid/Translúcudo on April 11th, 2018. Click here for more details.

Interview: Founder/Director Pepe Vargas of 34th Chicago Latino Film Fest, April 5-19, 2018

2018 CCFF logo

CHICAGO – One of the great cinema festivals of the Windy City is run by Pepe Vargas, the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. The 2018 edition will be the 34th annual, and Vargas has shepherded the film celebration since its beginnings. Opening Night is on Thursday, April 5th, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago, with a Puerto Rican themed night, with the films “From Now On” (short) and the feature film “Broche De Oro: Beginnings.” For more details, click here.

Film Review: Tom Cruise in ‘American Made’ Never Gets Off the Ground

CHICAGO – Tom Cruise was once a Top Gun, but his newest film “American Made” never really takes off. It wants to be a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction kind of satire where commercial airline pilot Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) winds up getting involved in the Iran Contra Affair and the Medellín drug cartel, but it never creates an enthralling place or story.

Interviews: City & State Short Film Directors at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

CIFF City and State 2016

CHICAGO – One of the great nights at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival is the short film presentation celebrating the best of area filmmakers, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. Included in the program were three notable filmmakers, Anne Beal (“Positioning”), Filip Kojic (“HUH”) and Brian Zahm (“The Nude”).

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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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