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Preview: Week-One Films at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CIFF 2017 Week One

CHICAGO – The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival has kicked off, and the first weekend has already unspooled. But what is coming up for the WEEK ONE as the Festival kicks into gear? HollywoodChicago.com’s Patrick McDonald and Jon Lennon Espino preview the films and events to put on your list.

Preview: Second-Week Films at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

CIFF 2016 2nd Week Films

CHICAGO – It’s Week Two of the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival, and with Closing Night coming next Thursday, what film gems still are yet to see? The film reviewers of HollywoodChicago.com has been previewing several second week screenings, and offers the following capsule summaries.

Preview: First Week of Films at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – It’s Week One of the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival, and with so many film opportunities to experience, what are some of the highlights? The intrepid film reviewers of HollywoodChicago.com has been sampling the cinema fare for the first week, and offers the following capsule summaries.

Interview: Kevin Hanna on The Artist’s Lab Staging of ‘The Cowboy and The Showgirl Cycle’

Cowboy and The Showgirl, The

CHICAGO – Chicago is a hotbed for new stage talent, and the growth of that creativity is generated in new theater works. The Artist’s Lab at Stage 773 is one such developmental program, and director Kevin Hanna is currently in residence to create a new three part musical production called “The Cowboy and the The Showgirl Cycle.” The first part will have its premiere at Stage 773 on February 11th, 2016 (details below).

Exclusive Portrait: Sarah Silverman Receives Honor at 51st Chicago International Film Festival

Sarah Silverman, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Sarah Silverman is a one-of-a-kind anarchistic comedian, but she is also making her mark as an actor. She was featured in her new indie film, “I Smile Back,” at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival, where she received the “Breakthrough Performer Award” and walked the Red Carpet on Friday, October 16th.

Interview: Kevin Pollack on His Portrayal of Roger Ebert in ‘The Black/White Love Play’

CHICAGO – Roger Ebert is an icon, in both film criticism lore and his inspirational life. Two years after his passing, the Black Ensemble Theater of Chicago is honoring his legacy by focusing on a love story, the passionate relationship with his wife Chaz Ebert. Actor Kevin Pollack portrays Roger in “The Black/White Love Play.”

Film Review: Pre-Apocalyptic Darkness Found in ‘Maps to the Stars’

CHICAGO – There is a moral darkness in director David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” that is hard to shake. It is filled with circumstance and souls right at the edge of insanity, polluted by an atmosphere that doesn’t give them much of a chance. The apocalypse is now, and living in Los Angeles.

Film News: Screen Actors’ Guild Nominations Contain a Few Surprises

The Help

CHICAGO – The announcements keep coming for award season winners and nominees. Today, we have the list of nominees for this year’s Screen Actors’ Guild awards. The awards celebrate the best male and female performances in film and television, leaving out awards like Best Picture or Best Director. “The Help” leads this year’s films with four different nominations.

Hookup: 50 Admit-Two Passes to Two Screenings of Sundance Hit ‘American Teen’ in Chicago

CHICAGO – In our latest edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two passes up for grabs to two separate Chicago screenings of the Sundance Film Festival hit film “American Teen” from writer, director and producer Nanette Burstein.

Superhero Film ‘Hancock’ With No Superhero Ancestry Proves Bold But Deadly Decision

CHICAGO – With superhero films as hot in 2008 as psychedelics were in the 1960s, the new blockbuster superhero film “Hancock” fits in with the label but without any of the ancestry.

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  • 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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