CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
CHICAGO – If you need a little cinema therapy, it doesn’t get any better than “Toni Erdmann.” This subtle story builds to generate a joyful feeling, which defines the small-but-important survival guides for this thing called life. Writer/director Maren Ade has delivered the goods, and the film is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Academy Awards.
CHICAGO – When a 13 year old African American teenager is suddenly put into the atmosphere of Germany – specifically Old Heidelberg – then a whole new adventure awaits for “Morris from America.” Craig Robinson (“The Office”) portrays the title character’s father, and the film is directed by Chad Hartigan.
CHICAGO – Last week, one of the most diverse film festivals of the year in Chicago opened with the Swedish film “The Paradise Suite.” The 19th Annual Chicago European Union Film Fest will be at the Gene Siskel Film Center on State Street. With countries ranging from Austria to Slovakia, European cinema voices will be available to the Chicagoland area through March 31st, 2016.
CHICAGO – Have you ever seen a film where they throw everything against a wall to see what sticks? The appropriately titled “Unfinished Business” is a throwing machine, taking the flimsy premise of a business trip and using it as an excuse for a splattering of jokes that mostly don’t work.
CHICAGO – “The world comes to Chicago” is the mantra of the 49th Chicago International Film Festival, and one of the notable international films was “Wolfskinder,” from Germany. The story of post World War II orphans, or ‘wolf’s children,” is an impressive feature debut by director Rick Ostermann.
CHICAGO – Creating the lofty name for this film, “Love is All You Need” – from a translation of its original title, “Den skaldede friser” – is intently ambitious considering its source is a lyric from one of The Beatles most famous songs. The film has its moments, but cannot sustain itself in a stew of high drama and mixed emotions.
CHICAGO – One of the best movies of 2012 had monsters, action heroes, animation, heart-breaking drama, Christ imagery and a sense of redemption in all of what it conveyed. “Holy Motors” may have been ignored at Oscar time, but it’s destined to make an impact for cinema fans in generations to come, and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 26th.
CHICAGO – Wim Wenders has entertained audiences for over 40 years with his wide range of film subjects, both in narrative and documentary form. His latest film is the delicate and emotionally charged ‘Pina,’ an overview and exposition of his friend, the famous German choreographer Pina Bausch.
CHICAGO – Director Wim Wenders, famous for his magical takes on life and love in “Wings of Desire” and “Until the End of the World,” brings that same enchantment through a 3-D documentary about a rebellious and unusual German choreographer named Pina Bausch in “Pina.”
CHICAGO – Back in 2006, an unprecedented film project took place in Berlin, Germany, in the infamous Bebelplatz, a plaza that once hosted Nazi book burnings. The idea was to get 112 diverse individuals together to answer 100 questions. Their answers were processed by Ralf Schmerberg, the director of the resultant film, “Problema.”