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Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers the Films of Director John G. Avildsen

John G. Avildsen

CHICAGO – His films were more popular than his name, but director John G. Avildsen did put his mark on the last 30 years of 20th Century movies. Avildsen died last week at the age of 81. He is known best for the Oscar Best Picture-winning “Rocky” (1976), but also did the controversial “Joe” (1970), “Save the Tiger” (1973, Best Actor Oscar for Jack Lemmon), John Belushi’s last film “Neighbors” (1981), “The Karate Kid” (1984), “Lean on Me” (1989) and “8 Seconds” (1994). Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com offer three essays on their Avildsen favorites.

Film News: Merle Hayden, Subject of ‘Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians,’ Dies at 96

Merle Hayden

RACINE, WIS – The last of the Lawsonians has now passed on. Merle Hayden, six days after he made an appearance on Closing Night at the Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF), died on June 10th, 2017, of natural causes in Racine, Wisconsin. He was 96 years old. His life was the subject of a World Premiere documentary shown at CUFF, “Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians” on June 4th. Mr. Hayden made an appearance at that screening, lucidly participated in a Q&A and got to celebrate the achievement of his life’s work brought to a cinematic form.

TV Feature: HollywoodChicago.com on Three Parts of Adam West

CHICAGO – As they say about Adam West’s interpretation of Batman, “he hit so hard, that words describing the impact appeared out of thin air.” But there was more to him than just the superhero tights, as Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com remember the three main characters in the career of Adam West, who passed away last week.

Film News: Adam West, the 1960s TV Batman, Dies at 88

LOS ANGELES – When Adam West had a voice role on “The Simpsons,” portraying the Batman – as he had in the iconic TV series from 1966 through 1968 – he remarked, in reference to the rubber muscle costume that the movie actors wore, that his Batman was “All Pure West.” West died on June 9th, 2017, at the age of 88.

Film News: ‘Manlife: The Last of Lawsonians’ Wins Audience Award at 2017 Chicago Underground Film Festival

Manlife

CHICAGO – The 24th Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) wrapped on June 4th, 2017, and announced their award winners on June 7th. Taking the Audience Award, the top prize at CUFF, was the closing night film “Manchild: The Last of the Lawsonians.” As a bonus, the 96 year-old star of the film, Merle Lawson, got the opportunity to bask in the limelight, as he appeared on behalf of the film.

Film News: CUFF Closing Night Film is ‘Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians’ on June 4, 2017

Manlife

CHICAGO – It’s been five days of off-the-wall cinema, filmmaker appearances, afterparty happenings and showing off the emerging Logan Square neighborhood. The 2017 Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) is wrapping up on Sunday, June 4th, with a day of film presentations, culminating with the special U.S. and World Premiere of “Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians.”

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Roger Moore as Bond, James Bond

Roger Moore

CHICAGO – “Shaken, Not Stirred.” “Bond, James Bond.” “Jaws.” All the Bond iconography was celebrated by the actor who portrayed him in the most films, and the longest time period. Sir Roger Moore brought a suave and quipping JB to the filmgoers of the 1970s and ‘80s, so the film writers of HollywoodChicago.com – Jon Espino, Patrick McDonald and Spike Walters – bring essays in honor of their favorite Roger Moore Bond films.

Film News: Roger Moore, Who Portrayed James Bond, Dies at 89

SWITZERLAND – Of all the breathless hype that comes with each new James Bond movie, the man who played Bond the longest (and in the most films) is often forgotten. Sir Roger Moore – he was knighted for his charity work – portrayed Bond from 1972 to 1985, and died in Switzerland on May 22, 2017. He was 89.

Film News: Chicago Critics Film Festival Closes With ‘A Ghost Story’ on May 18, 2017

Chicago Critics Film Festival MB Marquee

CHICAGO – All great things must inevitably end, and the 5th annual Chicago Critics Film Festival will go out with a bang, with the hottest film at the recent Sundance Film Festival, “A Ghost Story,” at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Thursday May 18th (8pm). This will conclude a day of films, with “Lucky,” “Mr Roosevelt” and “Menashe” screen preceding the finale.

Film News: Chicago Critics Film Festival Opens With ‘The Little Hours’ on May 12, 2017

CHICAGO – The only film festival in the U.S. programmed by a film critics group is right here in the Windy City, with the 5th Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) taking place at the historic Music Box Theatre from May 12th through May 18th, 2017.

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  • Adam West, LIFE Magazine

    CHICAGO – As they say about Adam West’s interpretation of Batman, “he hit so hard, that words describing the impact appeared out of thin air.” But there was more to him than just the superhero tights, as Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com remember the three main characters in the career of Adam West, who passed away last week.

  • Jeff Awards, 2017

    CHICAGO – The 44th edition of the Non-Equity Jeff Awards were given out on June 5th, 2017, at what insiders call “the theater prom.” The event honors the non-union smaller or “storefront” theater companies, and their efforts to produce quality stage work. Hosted in grand style by Alexis Roston and Lillian Castillo, the recipients of the top play was “At the Table” by the Broken Nose Theatre and top musical was “High Fidelity” by the Refuge Theatre Project.

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