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Patrick McDonald

Podtalk: Andrea Thompson, Founder of Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival, Sept. 8-10, 2017

Milwaukee Women's Film Festival

CHICAGO – The State of Wisconsin will have an international film showcase this weekend, as the 2017 Milwaukee Women’s Film’s Festival opens on Friday, September 8th, and runs through Sunday, September 10th. The Founder and Executive Director of the Festival is Andrea Thompson, and her and her team has programmed a weekend’s worth of feature and short films that are made by women, and celebrates the art of film through the perspective and variations of the female spirit.

Film Review: Effective Scare Factor & Teenage Traumas Define ‘IT’

CHICAGO – “IT” is the kind of film that relies on jump-scares and ghastly images a bit too much, but behind it all is a quirky story – based on a Stephen King novel – about that time in childhood where becoming a teenager and finding a way within the change is adventurous and unsettling.

Podtalk: Richard Dreyfuss of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’

CHICAGO – The 40th anniversary edition of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Richard Dreyfuss, is in a limited run in theaters now. What better time to resurrect a 2009 HollywoodChicago.com interview with Dreyfuss, and publish it as a podcast talk.

Podtalk: Brian Zahm on ‘Marquee’ at Chicago’s Millennium Park Film Series on Sept 5, 2017

Marquee

CHICAGO – When the filmmaker faces his biggest screen, what will his art mean? Director Brian Zahm is about to find out, as he screens his short film “Marquee” on the state-of-the-art 40 foot LED screen at Chicago’s Millennium Park Summer Film Series on September 5th, 2017 (6:30pm). The short will be an appetizer for the main event, the screening of “Wayne’s World” as the feature presentation. The program will be the final films in the popular series at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Podtalk: Nnamdi Ngwe on ‘Rap Skool’ at the Midwest Independent Film Fest on Sept. 5, 2017

Midwest TV Pilot

CHICAGO – On one of the most exciting Tuesday nights of the year-round Midwest Independent Film Festival is the Midwest Pilot Showcase on September 5th, 2017. Seven full TV pilots will see the light of screen, all with a diversity of form and story. Among the pilots in the showcase is “Rap Skool,” a hilarious parody/comedy about a class of wannabe street rhymers. Co-created by twin brothers Amechi and Nnamdi Ngwe, this Chicago-based show is packed with laughs.

Film/TV News: Richard Anderson, Oscar Goldman in ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ Dies at 91

Richard Anderson, photo by Joe Arce

LOS ANGELES – We can’t rebuild him, but we can honor him. Richard Anderson, best known for portraying Oscar Goldman, the aide de camp of Steve Austin (Lee Majors) in “The Six Million Man,” died on August 31st, 2017 at age 91. The versatile character actor was one of the few remaining performers that came up through the old studio system, in this case the dream factory known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Film Review: American Legal System is Put on Trial in ‘Crown Heights’

CHICAGO – There is no justice for the poor. That should be carved in stone on courthouses beside all the platitudes of American “equality” and “law.” In an eye-opening narrative film based on a true story, “Crown Heights” explores just how an impoverished individual can be found guilty and imprisoned unjustly for years.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Jerry Lewis

CHICAGO – Jerry Lewis had a long and winding life, dying last week at the age of 91. Through that life he had many show business lives – including the inevitable addictions – surviving all of the them with his signature comic style. He also was featured in over 70 films, and HollywoodChicago.com remembers three of them.

Interview, Audio: Director Geremy Jasper Rocks ‘Patti Cake$’

CHICAGO – How does a filmmaker create a movie about a white girl in New Jersey dreaming of being a hip-hop star? He takes the beats from his own life admiration of the music genre and fleshes out a working class story about pushing back against the odds. Geremy Jasper wrote and directed the electrically poignant “Patti Cake$.”

Film News: Kickoff for 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – On August 22nd, 2017, the first slate of films were announced, and the official poster was revealed, for the upcoming 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Festival Founder & CEO Michael Kutza unveiled the poster design, by artist Edwin Smeege, and Artistic Director Mimi Plauché gave the first sneak peek of films at the fest.

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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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