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Patrick McDonald

Slideshow: Ebert Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

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Chicago Theatre marquee announces the Roger Ebert event.

CHICAGO – April 4th will always be a bittersweet day for the film world, as it is the day in 2013 when film critic and Chicago icon Roger Ebert passed away. But his legacy lives on through his wife Chaz Ebert and their Ebert Foundation. To uplift the anniversary, the Foundation announced 21 new recipients of $1000 grants, for their organizational contributions to arts and improving the lives of Chicagoans. Included in that recipient group was the Chicago Film Critics Association, in which Roger Ebert was a member.

Interview: Brown Paper Box Co.’s ‘Positively Present’ Cabaret on Apr. 7-8, 2017

Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

Film Review: Jessica Chastain is Steadfast as ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

CHICAGO – Jessica Chastain is a memorable and glamorous actress, who continues to challenge herself with in-depth and complex roles. “The Zookeeper’s Wife” is her latest, and her performance outweighs the formulaic based-on-truth story, set during the Holocaust.

Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents Chicago Premiere of ‘The Projects’ on Apr. 5, 2017

Projects, The

CHICAGO – The fourth season of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema series continues with the Chicago premiere of “The Projects” on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. “The Projects” has been described as one of the “zanier elements of Japanese cinema.” For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Interview: Co-Director Erica Weiss on ‘The View From Tall’ at Midwest Independent Film Festival

CHICAGO – The actualities that define adolescence are always prime for new territory in drama, and that is what the Chicago-based film “The View from Tall” accomplishes. Co-directed by Erica Weiss and Caitlin Parrish, it will be screened at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 (details below).

Exclusive Portrait: Pete Holmes ‘Crashing’ the Chicago International Television Festival

CHICAGO – One of the hottest new shows on HBO is “Crashing,” a quasi-autobiography of the star of the show, comedian Pete Holmes. Last week, at the Chicago International Television Festival, Holmes stopped by and presented the latest episode.

Interviews: Red Carpet Premiere of Made-in-Chicago Film ‘Landline’

aLandlinefronta.jpg

CHICAGO – Local Chicago filmmaking got a major debut last weekend with the premiere of “Landline,” written, directed and starring Matthew Aaron. Appropriately, he got the World Champion Chicago Cubs involved, as the plot includes a PR agency pitching a new campaign to the team. The Red Carpet walk had a couple of featured performers in the film who both are Chicago natives – Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”) and comedian Jay Washington. “Landline” has a one week run at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre (details below), and on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, the film will be released digitally through most TV and internet providers.

Film News: Chicago’s DOC10 Fest Presents ‘Whose Streets?’ on Mar. 31, 2017

2017 DOC10 'Whose Streets?'

CHICAGO – The 2017 DOC10 Film Festival, now in its second year in Chicago, is spotlighting an incendiary and inspiring documentary for its March 31st showcase presentation at the Davis Theatre. “Whose Streets?” is a chronicle of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the killing of African American teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson. The film explores the coming together of community and the injustice within the Ferguson law enforcement system. For complete details and to purchase tickets for “Whose Streets?”, and other documentaries at DOC10 through Sunday, April 2nd, click here.

Film Review: Alec Baldwin Puts the Funny in ‘The Boss Baby’

CHICAGO – The young Alec Baldwin (think “Prelude to a Kiss”) never seemed as prevalent as the today’s Alec Baldwin. Taking his “30 Rock” persona to a different level, he voices the title character of ‘The Boss Baby,” the latest from Dreamworks Animation and director Tom McGrath.

Interview: Director Tom McGrath is Boss of ‘The Boss Baby’

CHICAGO – In one of the most natural pieces of voice casting in cartoon history, Alec Baldwin portrays the title character in Dreamworks Animation’s “The Boss Baby.” The director is animation veteran Tom McGrath (“Madagascar”), and the producer is Ramsey Ann Naito, and they were both in Chicago to promote the film.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Downward Dog

    CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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