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Patrick McDonald

Interview, Audio: Comedian Demetri Martin on His Film ‘Dean’

CHICAGO – The dry, hangdog demeanor of comedian Demetri Martin is familiar to fans who have watched his Comedy Central show, “Important Things,” experienced his notable stand up routines and read his best-selling books. It seemed a natural to leap into film, so Martin has written, directed and portrays the title character in the new release, “Dean.”

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Roger Moore as Bond, James Bond

Roger Moore

CHICAGO – “Shaken, Not Stirred.” “Bond, James Bond.” “Jaws.” All the Bond iconography was celebrated by the actor who portrayed him in the most films, and the longest time period. Sir Roger Moore brought a suave and quipping JB to the filmgoers of the 1970s and ‘80s, so the film writers of HollywoodChicago.com – Jon Espino, Patrick McDonald and Spike Walters – bring essays in honor of their favorite Roger Moore Bond films.

Exclusive Portraits: Helen Mirren & Taylor Hackford Honored at Cinema/Chicago Gala

CHICAGO – There ain’t nothing like Dame Helen Mirren, international star and Oscar winner for “The Queen.” She, along with her husband Taylor Hackford (director of “Ray” and “An Officer and a Gentleman”), were honored at the Cinema/Chicago Spring Gala on May 24, 2017.

Podcast Talk: ‘Drifting Towards the Crescent’ Opens Chicago Underground Film Fest

Drifting Towards the Crescent

CHICAGO – The oldest underground film festival in U.S. cinema history is CUFF – the Chicago Underground Film Festival, celebrating its 24th edition. From Wednesday, May 31st to Sunday, June 4th, 2017, the radical fringe of the film world will unspool at the five day fest. The Opening Night film on May 31st, at the historic Logan Theatre in Chicago, is “Drifting Towards the Crescent,” a documentary from local filmmaker Laura Stewart.

Film Review: ‘Wonder Woman’ Creates Power with Social Justice

CHICAGO – There is a truth in the latest superhero epic, “Wonder Woman,” that is undeniable. The suppression of the power of woman in society, and denying the acceptance of all people – who just desire love – is the evil that can destroy the world. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman saves the day.

Podcast Talk: Full Spectrum Features ‘Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 3’ on May 30, 2017

Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 3

CHICAGO – One the top filmmaker organizations of Chicago is Full Spectrum Features. The non-profit production and exhibition collective has made their “Chicagoland Shorts” series (Vol. 1 & 2) a representation of diverse Windy City creativity, applying their mission statement of supporting minority, female and LGBTQ filmmakers in that mix. “Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 3” will have its World Premiere on May 30th, 2017, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in downtown Chicago, as announced by the Program Director of Full Spectrum Features, Dane Haiken. The screening begins at 6pm, and is free and open to the public.

Interview: Loren Hammonds, Programmer of Immersive Films at Tribeca Film Festival

Loren Hammonds

CHICAGO – The future of story experience was on display at the recent 16th Tribeca Film Festival, and its popularity bodes well for the evolution of audience interaction. The “Virtual Arcade,” which was at the festival hub in the Tribeca neighborhood, featured Virtual Reality (VR), interactive storytelling and immersive experiences, which takes the participant into the world they once only watched. Loren Hammonds is the Programmer for these experiential works.

Exclusive Portraits: Remembering Gregg Allman, Who Dies at 69

SAVANNAH, GA – He survived a life of excess, musical triumph and celebrity coupling. Rocker Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, died at his home in Georgia on May 27th, 2016. The influential innovator of the Southern rock sound and for a brief period, the husband of Cher, was 69 years old.

Exclusive Portraits, Audio: Ed Asner, TV Icon & Character Actor

CHICAGO – When Mary Tyler Moore passed away in January, it was another reminder of her groundbreaking 1970s TV series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” One of her co-stars – who portrayed bossman Lou Grant, and made his own mark in TV and movies thereafter – was Ed Asner. The actor appeared at “The Hollywood Show.”

Podcast Talk: Rebecca Fons on Reopening the Iowa Theater in Winterset on May 25, 2017

Rebecca and Marianne Fons of the Iowa Theater

CHICAGO – When Rebecca Fons, the former Education Manager of the Chicago International Film Festival, was getting married to Jack C. Newell – a prominent Chicago film director – her mother Marianne told her something that would change the course of their lives. Fons’ hometown movie theater, the “Iowa,” was about to offered for sale. In the equivalent of the recent Matt Damon family film favorite, Rebecca and Marianne Fons was about to star in their version of “We Bought a Movie Theater.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Adam West, LIFE Magazine

    CHICAGO – As they say about Adam West’s interpretation of Batman, “he hit so hard, that words describing the impact appeared out of thin air.” But there was more to him than just the superhero tights, as Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com remember the three main characters in the career of Adam West, who passed away last week.

  • Jeff Awards, 2017

    CHICAGO – The 44th edition of the Non-Equity Jeff Awards were given out on June 5th, 2017, at what insiders call “the theater prom.” The event honors the non-union smaller or “storefront” theater companies, and their efforts to produce quality stage work. Hosted in grand style by Alexis Roston and Lillian Castillo, the recipients of the top play was “At the Table” by the Broken Nose Theatre and top musical was “High Fidelity” by the Refuge Theatre Project.

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