Michael Shannon

Podtalk: Robert Forster & Elizabeth Chomko of ‘What They Had’

CHICAGO – Families dealing with the effects of aging parents – which include dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease – can experience a new film which explores these topics through the family dynamic. “What They Had” is writer/director Elizabeth Chomko’s debut, and features Robert Forster, Blythe Danner, Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon.

Photos, Audio: Red Carpet for ‘What They Had’ at 54th Chicago International Film Festival

Elizabeth Chomko & Robert Forster, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – He’s a legendary character actor that began his career in 1967. She’s a first time director interpreting her own script, which that legend called “the best he’s ever been in.” Robert Forster portrays Burt in writer/director Elizabeth Chomko’s “What They Had,” also featuring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner and Taissa Farmiga. Forster and Chomko walked the Red Carpet representing the film at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival on Monday, October 15th, 2018.

Film News: DAY SIX of 54th Chicago International Film Festival Discovers ‘Friedkin Uncut’

Friedkin Uncut

CHICAGODAY SIX of the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) on Monday, October 15th, 2018, features a tribute to the Chicago-born director William Friedkin (“The Exorcist,” “The French Connection”), two made-in-Chicago films and four films vying in the International Competition.

Film Review: ‘12 Strong’ Wins the Battle as it Loses the War

CHICAGO – In the 16 years of the U.S. and Afghanistan war, which began a month after Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars and lost 2,400 soldiers. The story of that war’s first battle, “12 Strong,” would probably be more revelatory if we weren’t still there.

Film Review: Ethereal ‘The Shape of Water’ Forms Cinema Magic

CHICAGO – This breathtaking morality and love story, set in a backward age, takes all of its major themes – passion, tolerance, symbolism and thrills – to the highest level. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro has created a masterwork that is part fairy tale, part adult desperation and all cinema magic.

Slideshow, Audio: Closing Night ‘The Shape of Water’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

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Michael Shannon is Agent Strickland in ‘The Shape of Water.’

CHICAGO – Put the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival in the books, as the spectacular Closing Night film was “The Shape of Water,” directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and featured Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg, who both walked the Red Carpet on October 26th, 2017, and was joined by producer Daniel Kraus.

Film News: Closing-Night Film ‘The Shape of Water’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Shape of Water, The

CHICAGO – Two weeks of tributes, perspectives and events have flown by, including the amazing line-up of over 150 films from 50 countries. The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival concludes Thursday, October 26th, 2017, with “The Shape of Water” (United States), directed by Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).

Film Review: ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Takes Two Stories to New Levels

CHICAGO – Reality and fantasy have separate rules, and in fantasy there are no rules. This is the philosophy of “Nocturnal Animals,” a wild character study that exists on the reality/fantasy planes. And it has the bonus of the Amy Adams/Isla Fisher mix-up and Jake Gyllenhaal at his Gyllenhaal-iest.

Film Review: ‘Loving’ Reminds Us That Love Conquers All

CHICAGO – This is a difficult review to write. Not for any sort of technical standpoint, but one of moral outrage. Seeing “Loving”, the relevance in today’s society was clear, but that was before the election of our new president. The hatred of the past still echoes to this day, but now more than ever the message of hope and perseverance is needed.

Film Review: ‘Elvis & Nixon’ is a True Story That’s Fit for a King

CHICAGO – “When two great saints meet, it’s a humbling experience,” said Paul McCartney of John and Yoko. Well that also applies to “Elvis & Nixon.” Their meeting, albeit brief, has layers of meaning for our times – and their time – and the movie with the “E&N” title exposes that meaning with humor and grace.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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