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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.

Film Feature: 5 Ways to Love the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – They’re warming up the spotlights, and gathering up all the glam for the next two weeks. The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival opens on Thursday, October 12th, 2017, with the film “Marshall” (details below), and it’s time for movie lovers to come together in the Windy City.

Entertainment News: Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner Dies at 91

LOS ANGELES – Hugh Hefner was the man who turned the key to the sexual revolution when he founded Playboy Magazine in 1953. What started in an apartment in Chicago became a worldwide empire as the Playboy brand and image was embedded into American consciousness. Hefner died on Sept. 27, 2017. He was 91.

Film News: REELING, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Film Fest, Closes With ‘Saturday Church’ on Sep. 28, 2017

Reeling17 Logo

CHICAGOREELING (Reeling17), Chicago’s LGBTQ+ International Film Festival in America, closes its 35th edition in Chicago at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema on Thursday, September 28th (details below). Closing Night will feature an unique film called “Sunday Church,” featuring Luka Kain, Margot Bingham and Regina Taylor and written/directed by Damon Cardasis – his debut film.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Harry Dean Stanton

CHICAGO – Harry Dean Stanton didn’t just act. He created a screen personality all of his own. The actor died last week at the age of 91, but with a 60-year career, there are a slew of highlights and shades of the man. Spike Walters, Patrick McDonald and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com spotlight three films in his career.

Film News: REELING, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Film Fest, Opens With ‘Hello Again’ on Sep. 21, 2017

Reeling17 Logo

CHICAGO – The second-oldest LGBTQ+ international film festival in America, REELING (Reeling17), launches its 35th edition in Chicago at the historic Music Box Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. The opening-night film will be the musical “Hello Again” with appearances by featured cast members Tyler Blackburn (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Jenna Ushkowitz (“Glee”) along with director Tom Gustafson and screenwriter Cory Krueckeberg.

Film News: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Announces 2017 Fall Season & Opening Night

Asian Pop Up Cinema Season Five

CHICAGO – On September 20th, 2017, Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema will kickoff their Fall 2017 film series, their Season Five. “The Gangster’s Daughter,” a Taiwanese drama about a rebellious teen reunited with her gangster father, will begin the series on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago, with director Chen Mei-Juin will be in attendance. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: Character Actor Harry Dean Stanton Dies at 91

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LOS ANGELES – He was often categorized as the ultimate male character actor, but Harry Dean Stanton stood out on his own, with a persona that added immediate recognition in any supporting performance, and was unforgettable when he stepped into a lead role. Stanton died on September 15, 2017, at age 91.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Jerry Lewis

CHICAGO – Jerry Lewis had a long and winding life, dying last week at the age of 91. Through that life he had many show business lives – including the inevitable addictions – surviving all of the them with his signature comic style. He also was featured in over 70 films, and HollywoodChicago.com remembers three of them.

Film News: Kickoff for 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – On August 22nd, 2017, the first slate of films were announced, and the official poster was revealed, for the upcoming 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Festival Founder & CEO Michael Kutza unveiled the poster design, by artist Edwin Smeege, and Artistic Director Mimi Plauché gave the first sneak peek of films at the fest.

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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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