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Film Review: Heroics of ‘Dunkirk’ Portrayed Ardently & Humanely

CHICAGO – War is hell, even in “The Good War.” The early days of World War II were a desperate time for the British, and the events of “Dunkirk” were largely about loss, yet mostly about inspiration. Director Christopher Nolan gives his film a grand cinematic treatment, evoking an era that has mostly faded away.

Film Review: Joy of Life Expands When Meeting ‘Toni Erdmann’

Toni Erdmann

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.

Interview: Actor Craig Robinson, Director Chad Hartigan Reflect on ‘Morris From America’

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.

Film News: 19th Chicago European Union Film Festival at Gene Siskel Center Through March 31, 2016

2016 Chicago Euro Film Fest

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.

Film Review: ‘Unfinished Business’ is an Unfunny Vocation

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.

Interview: ‘Wolfskinder’ Director Rick Ostermann at 2013 Chicago International Film Festival

'Wolfskinder" Director Rick Ostermann

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.

Film Review: More is Preferred in ‘Love is All You Need’

Love Is All You Need

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.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Holy Motors’ Realizes Sacred Cinema

Holy Motors

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.

Interview: Iconic Director Wim Wenders Dances With ‘Pina’

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.

Film Review: Director Wim Wenders Celebrates Choreographer in 3-D ‘Pina’

Pina

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.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

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