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Podtalk: ‘Maktub’ Premieres at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival on Oct. 15, 2017

Maktub

CHICAGO – The world comes to Chicago for the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival, and screenwriters/lead actors Guy Amir and Hanan Savyon has brought their new film “Maktub” for screening on Sunday night, October 15th, 2017 (8pm). The unique comedy is the first film for the Israeli television hitmakers.

Slideshow, Audio: Opening Night for ‘Marshall’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

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Chadwick Boseman portrays Thurgood Marshall in ‘Marshall.’

CHICAGO – On the night before the nationwide opening of the new film “Marshall,” the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival was alive with the premiere Red Carpet event – both for the start of the Festival and for the film and its stars. Chadwick Boseman, Sterling K. Brown, Jussie Smollett and John Marshall (the son of Thurgood Marshall, the subject of the film) all walked the carpet.

Slideshow: Preview of 2017 ‘Days of the Dead’ Chicago with 2016 Exclusive Portraits

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Rocker Alice Cooper

CHICAGO – The “Days of the Dead” convention is an annual event in Chicagoland and elsewhere, that brings together admirers of the horror film genre, cult movies enthusiasts, vendors, and panel discussions related to it all. Several celebrities also attend the event, including Linda Blair (“The Exorcist”), Ray Wise (“Twin Peaks”) and rocker Dee Snider (Twisted Sister). The 2017 convention will be held November 17th-19th at the Chicago Schaumburg Marriott in Schaumburg, Ill. (click link below for more information).

Interview, Audio: Director Sean Baker Builds ‘The Florida Project’

The Florida Project, Sean Baker

CHICAGO – It’s an epidemic in America, and it exists in a gray area that is not as prominent as other socio-economic issues. It is the “hidden homeless,” and the problem is uniquely defined as individuals who live week-to-week in cheap hotels, shelters and SROs, one circumstance away from being officially homeless. Writer/director Sean Baker takes this subject on in a stark-but-accessible narrative film called “The Florida Project.”

Film Review: No New Frights in Store for ‘Happy Death Day’

CHICAGO – “Happy Death Day” has a “Groundhog Day” gimmick, but that’s about it, offering essentially an ‘80’s style slasher flick with the hope that with a little cosmetic window dressing will help it appeal to an audience in 2017… Live, Die, Repeat. That’s all this film offers with precious few improvements to justify its existence.

Interview, Audio: Artistic Director Mimi Plauché on 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – In May of this year, Cinema/Chicago – the parent organization of the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) – announced that Mimi Plauché was the new Artistic Director of the Fest. She assumed the position that had formally been held by CIFF founder Michael Kutza, who continues as President and CEO.

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.

Slideshow, Audio: Red-Carpet Portraits from The Second City Roast of George Wendt

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Honoree George Wendt gets ‘roasted.’ Norm!

CHICAGO – On September 9th, 2017, it seemed like the whole of The Second City theater on Wells Street in Chicago let out a collective cry of “NORM!” The favorite barfly of TV’s “Cheers,” George Wendt, came back to his old comedy stomping ground at The Second City to participate in “I Can’t Believe They Wendt There: The Roast of George Wendt.”

Film Review: Cautionary ‘Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House’

Mark Felt

CHICAGO – Everything old is new again, in the 1970s story of the infamous “Deep Throat” – the source in the FBI who tipped off the Washington Post about the issues surrounding Watergate scandal – who revealed himself in 2005. He is now the subject of a new film, and is portrayed by Liam Neeson, in “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.”

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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 10th, 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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