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Slideshow: 50th Chicago International Film Festival Opening Night, Black Perspectives Gala

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Colin Farrell of ‘Miss Julie’ at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival.

CHICAGO – The 2014 edition of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival kicked off on October 9th with a spectacular presentation of “Miss Julie,” directed by the legendary Liv Ullmann, featuring Colin Ferrell and Jessica Chastain. The following evening was the Black Perspective Gala, at which the spotlight was on “Beyond the Lights,” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Slideshow: ‘Glee’ Star Chris Colfer Tours Chicagoland for New Book

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Chris Colfer at Anderson’s Bookshop for ‘The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning.’

CHICAGO – The irrepressible character of Kurt Hummel from the popular TV series “Glee” came to Naperville, Ill. in the guise of Chris Colfer: the actor who portrays him. Colfer is also an author and was at Anderson’s Bookshop to greet fans and promote his book “The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning”.

Slideshow: Weird Al Yankovic Releases New Parody Song ‘Tacky’

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The new single from Weird Al Yankovic is ‘Tacky.’

CHICAGO – Cyberspace has been all abuzz in the last couple of days as “Weird Al” Yankovic released his newest parody song, “Tacky,” which skewers Pharrell William’s “Happy.” The video for “Tacky” features Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black, and is part of Weird Al’s new album, “Mandatory Fun.”

Exclusive Portraits: Stars of the 2014 Chicago Critics Film Festival

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Director David Wain of ‘They Came Together,’ the Opening Night Film.

CHICAGO – The second-annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, which took place from May 9 to May 15, 2014 at the Music Box Theatre from the Chicago Film Critics Association, has been one of the best film events of 2014 in Chicago. Over seven days, films from such diverse representatives as David Wain, Martin Starr, Dick Miller and Bobcat Goldthwait were unreeled for Chicago film aficionados.

Slideshow: Morgan Freeman Honored by Gene Siskel Film Center

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Morgan Freeman honored by the Gene Siskel Film Center, June 7th, 2014.

CHICAGO – The sonorous and familiar voice of Morgan Freeman was in Chicago on June 7th, 2014, as the Gene Siskel Film Center presented “A Candid Conversation with Morgan Freeman” to benefit the theater. The event, at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, raised more than $350,000 for the Film Center’s programming budget.

Slideshow: Adam Carolla’s New Book ‘President Me: The America That’s in My Head’

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Adam Carolla poses right before his appearance at North Central College.

CHICAGO – Adam Carolla has been making the rounds lately, to promote his new book, “President Me: The America That’s in My Head.” He came to Chicago on May 23rd, 2014, to North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and did a Q&A with Chicago Sun-Times Film Critic Richard Roeper, in addition to signing copies of the book for admirers. The event was presented by Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.

Slideshow: 32 Exclusive Portraits from Walker Stalker Con in Chicago

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Steven Yuen portrays Glenn in ‘The Walking Dead.’

CHICAGO – There was a meeting of the undead last month as Walker Stalker Con invaded Chicago on March 14th and 15th at the Donald A. Stephens Center in Rosemont, Ill. This convention is a gathering point for zombie lovers, also known as “Walker Stalkers,” to gather and meet their favorite performers from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and other movies and TV shows.

Slideshow: Steven Spielberg Awarded 2014 Lincoln Leadership Prize

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Actress Sally Field toasts Steven Spielberg in the presentation speech.

CHICAGO – It was a “close encounter of the legend kind” in Chicago three weeks ago, as Steven Spielberg stopped by to pick up the 2014 Lincoln Leadership Prize, given by The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. The director was nominated for an Oscar for his sweeping portrait of the Great Emancipator, entitled “Lincoln” (2012). The actress who portrayed Mary Todd Lincoln, Sally Field, presented the award on March 19th, 2014.

Slideshow: Red-Carpet Portraits of ‘Divergent’ Stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James

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Shailene Woodley portrays Tris in ‘Divergent.’

CHICAGO – The numbers are in and the new film “Divergent” – based on the popular novel by Veronica Roth – had the second best opening of 2014, with $56 million at the box office. On March 4th, 2014, photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com was at the Red Carpet Chicago premiere, and captured Exclusive Red-Carpet Portraits of cast members Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Amy Newbold, and Ansel Elgort, in addition to the Chicago-based author Veronica Roth.

Slideshow: Exclusive Portraits of Stars Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe of ‘Nymphomaniac’

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Uma Thurman in 2009, Portrays Mrs. H. in ‘Nymphomaniac.’

CHICAGO – The release of the controversial new film from Lars von Trier, “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1,” took place on March 21st. This is part of a two volume “Nymphomaniac” film series, featuring Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and Connie Nielsen. Photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com offers Exclusive Portraits of all three cast members from past appearances in Chicago.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cold War

    CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

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