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Patrick McDonald

Podtalk: Megan Marie Connolly on ‘Straight 8 Says Hello Chicago!’ on Jan. 26, 2018

Straight 8 Says Hello to Chicago!

CHICAGO – A very unique film event will take place on Friday, January 26th, 2018. The “Straight 8 Says Hello Chicago!” presentation is designed to introduce Chicago filmmakers and other interested participants to the Straight 8 film competition. The program will be an exhibition of films from that global contest, including one (“Bedhead”) from Chicagoan Megan Marie Connolly, who went to London as a finalist. Connolly is producing “Straight 8 Says Hello Chicago!” with Eliaz Rodriguez, in association with Straight 8 and IFP Chicago.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell Weighs in on ‘42 Grams’

CHICAGO – At this point in our civilization, the food culture is at its peak. “Foodies” devote themselves to TV networks, celebrity chefs and the latest taste sensations. Director Jack C. Newell explores a portion of this culture in his new documentary profile of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt, as he attempts to build the Chicago eatery ’42 Grams.’

Exclusive Photo: Legendary Broadcast Journalist Dan Rather

CHICAGO – From the JFK assassination, through Vietnam, Watergate and his days of anchoring the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather has influenced the media for six decades. He appeared in Naperville (Ill.) last November for his new book, “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism,” sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

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.

Interview: Alexandra Dean of ‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’

CHICAGO – Hedy Lamarr was tagged as “the world’s most beautiful woman” in movies during her brief run as matinee idol during the 1940s. While taking that on, she was also co-inventing a wireless guidance system during World War II. Director Alexandra Dean contrasts that double life in “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.”

Film Review: ‘Phantom Thread’ is Both Beautiful and Muddled

CHICAGO – There is a certain beauty in human creation, and the fashion industry allows that we can be individual in the sense of our clothing choices. The perfection that those creators attend to is nicely defined in “Phantom Thread,” but as an exploration of their personal life, it is frustrating.

Film Review: Annette Bening Proves ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

CHICAGOGEORGE BAILEY: “Hey, you look good. That’s some dress you got on there.” VIOLET: “This old thing? I only wear it when I don’t care how I look.” That is how actress Gloria Grahame (as Violet Bick) was introduced in the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Now she is portrayed by Annette Bening in “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”.

Digital Review: Comeback Kid Rita Moreno in ‘Remember Me’

Remember Me, Rita Moreno

CHICAGO – Academy Award winner (in 1962!) Rita Moreno is in the midst of a big media comeback. The 86 year-old actress, who famously portrayed Anita in that Oscar-winning role in “West Side Story,” is in her second season of the “One Day at a Time” reboot on Netflix, and is featured in the indie film “Remember Me,” available now for download and Video On Demand.

Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s Overrated & Worst Films of 2017

CHICAGO – Opinions are like certain orifices, everybody has one. The contributors to HollywoodChicago.com – Patrick McDonald, Jon Lennon Espino and Spike Walters – are no strangers to opinions on the film scene, so why not offer judgement on the most overrated and worst films of the year 2017.

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  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


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