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Gene Siskel Film Center

Interview, Audio: ‘An Atramentous Mind’ at Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Fest on Aug. 27, 2017

An Atramentous Mind

CHICAGO – What happens when one of the more prominent filmmakers in Chicago of the last five years meets a up-and-coming female director? They get together to make a statement in a short film. “An Atramentous Mind” will have its Midwest Premiere at the Black Harvest Film Festival on August 27th, 2017, as part of their “Chicago Shorts” series. The 23rd edition of this vital Chicago festival runs through August 31st at the downtown Gene Siskel Film Center.

Film News: ‘La Choses De La Vie’ in French Film Series at Gene Siskel Center on July 24, 2017

La Chose De La Vie

CHICAGO – The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is in the midst of a series called “Journeys Through French Cinema.” The theme is based on filmmaker/film historian Bernard Tavernier’s documentary “My Journey Through French Cinema,” and highlights his experiences with the rich cinematic influences of French film. The series, which runs through August 2nd, 2017, is putting the spotlight on “La Choses De La Vie” (The Things of Life) on July 24th.

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: 20th Chicago European Union Film Festival Opens at Gene Siskel Center on Mar. 3, 2017

20th Chicago European Union Film Festival

CHICAGO – From March 3rd to the 30th, the 20th Chicago European Union Film Festival (CEUFF) of 2017 will unfurl at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. The Opening Night Film is from Malta – and their emerging film industry – and it’s entitled “20,000 Reasons,” directed by Jameson Cucciardi. For more information, including a complete schedule of films, click here.

Interview: Filmmaker Lonnie Edwards to be Honored at ‘Hollywood on State’ in Chicago

Lonnie Edwards

CHICAGO – Tonight is the 89th Academy Awards, and Hollywood will honor their own in the annual lavish ceremony. In Chicago, there will be a similar celebration, as the Gene Siskel Film Center is throwing a “Hollywood on State” party, and honoring four local filmmakers at the event. Joining honorees Lori Felker, Jennifer Reeder and Michael Smith is filmmaker Lonnie Edwards, whose voice has made an impact ever since his awarding-winning debut in 2014, the short film “Parietal Guidance.”

Film News: Gene Siskel Film Center to Honor Four Filmmakers at ‘Hollywood on State’ on Feb. 26, 2017

HolState2017

CHICAGO – As Chicago evolves as a film town, so do its parties. The annual “Hollywood on State” gathering, put together by the Gene Siskel Film Center, is enhancing their Oscar watching event by honoring four prominent and emerging Chicago filmmakers – Lonnie Edwards, Lori Felker, Jennifer Reeder and Michael Smith. For more details, and to be a part of the magical evening, click here.

Interview: Director Julie Dash of ‘Daughters of the Dust’

CHICAGO – Iconic and historical are the two apt terms for a film directed by an African American woman, the first to be distributed theatrically, Was it the 1920s? 1940s? It had to be the 1970s. No, it was 1992 when that barrier was broken, with the film “Daughters in the Dust,” directed by Julie Dash.

Film News: 2016 Black Harvest Festival Closes in Chicago on Sept. 1 with ‘Agents of Change’

2016 Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – A sold out Gene Siskel Film Center will be the scene for the Closing Night of the 2016 Black Harvest Film Festival on Thursday, September 1st, 2016. For the last three and a half weeks, the theater has been buzzing with African American-centric films, in a celebration of culture and history. The Closing Night Film is “Agents of Change: Black Students and the Transformation of the American University,” directed by Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg. The directors will be in attendance.

Film News: ‘Here Comes the Videofreex’ Panel Talk at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center on May 19, 2016

Here Comes the Videofreex

CHICAGO – What made the 1960s the petri dish for the counterculture had to do with many of that movement’s participants trying new things in the “underground.” When Sony released its first home video capability in 1968, many like-minded individuals – who wanted to use the technology to gather alternative news – set out to change the world. The result is a new documentary, “Here Comes the Videofreex.” The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago will offer a premiere screening and panel discussion on May 19th, 2016. For details, 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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