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Patrick McDonald

Podtalk: Filmmaker Clare Cooney on ‘Runner’ at Chicago Critics Film Festival, May 6, 2018

Runner/Clare Cooney

CHICAGO – When a notable filmmaker debut takes place, the cinema universe takes notice. Clare Cooney debuted her short film “Runner” on the festival circuit in 2017, and won Best USA Short Film at the Fairhope (Alabama) Film Festival. She brings the made-in-Chicago short back to its city of origin, as “Runner” screens as part of the 6th Chicago Critics Film Festival on Sunday, May 6th, 2018, part of “CCFF Shorts Program #1.” For details and ticket purchase info, click here.

Exclusive Photos: Natalie Morales of ‘The Today Show’ on Cookbook ‘At Home with Natalie’

Natalie Morales, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Natalie Morales is the West Coast news anchor of NBC-TV’s “The Today Show,” the host of “Access Hollywood” and a contributing correspondent to “Dateline NBC” and the “NBC Nightly News.” Somehow, she also has time to be a superior home cook, and shared her recipes recently during a stop at Anderson’s Bookshop La Grange (Illinois), promoting her cookbook “At Home with Natalie.”

Film Review: Remake of ‘Overboard’ a Fun & Unexpected Treat

CHICAGO – When the movie remake of the 1987 charmer “Overboard” was announced last year, immediately my thought was “it will stink.” But the creators of this remake didn’t listen, and produced a charmer of their own, twisting the premise and adding the hope of America. If that ain’t heart, I don’t know what is.

Film News: Special Appearances at the 6th Chicago Critics Film Fest, May 4-10, 2018

2018 Chicago Film Critics Festival

CHICAGO – The 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF), the only fest curated by film critics in the country, is entering its sixth edition with another outstanding line up. A collective of Chicago film critics attend the winter film festivals (Sundance, SXSW, etc.) and find the hidden gems that will make their mark in cinemas for 2018 and beyond. The festival takes place from Friday, May 4th – “Fast Color” is the opening night film – through Thursday, May 10th, at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre. Get all the information – including the opportunity to purchase a weeklong pass – by clicking here.

Tribeca 2018: Author Tawni O’Dell on the Screenplay Adaptation of Her Book, ‘Back Roads’

Tawni O'Dell of 'Back Roads'

CHICAGO – For a first book author, there is probably no greater literary blessing than their work becoming a “Oprah’s Book Club” selection. Tawni O’Dell experienced that honor in 2000, for her novel “Back Roads.” Fast forward years later, and O’Dell adapted that novel – with Adrian Lyne – into a screenplay that became the film “Back Roads,” which screened at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th, 2018.

Interview: Betsy West & Julie Cohen on Their Documentary ‘RBG’

CHICAGO – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the notorious “RBG,” has been a steady and abiding voice on that high court since 1993. But how much do we really know about this unassuming and highly admired jurist? Co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen answer this question in their documentary “RBG.”

Theater Review: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is Supersonic at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Tribeca 2018: Producer Ron Perlman for New Film ‘To Dust’

NEW YORK CITY – The actor side of Ron Perlman has made his mark in films/TV like the “Hellboy” series and “Sons of Anarchy.” But he has put on a producer’s cap for the new film “To Dust,” which features Matthew Broderick. The film made its Red Carpet premiere at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival on April 23rd, 2018.

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Festival Presents Comedy Shorts Showcase on May 1, 2018

Midwest Independent Film Festival Logo

CHICAGO – It’s time to laugh, and the Midwest Independent Film Festival has just the ticket. The 2018 Comedy Short Film Showcase – an annual event – screens on Tuesday May 1st, 2018. at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago. The ten films include sneak previews and premieres, in film and TV shorts. For more information, including ticket purchasing and the list of short films, click here.

Film News: 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Honors ‘Diane’ as Best U.S. Narrative Feature

2018 Tribeca Jury Awards, 'Diane'

NEW YORK CITY – The 17th Edition of the Tribeca Film Festival continues through April 29th, 2018, but the main jury awards were announced on April 26th at Awards Night ceremonies. “DIane,” directed by Kent Jones, was awarded Best U.S. Narrative Feature. “Smuggling Hendrix” took the honors for Best International Narrative Feature, and “Island of Hungry Ghosts” was Best Documentary Feature.

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  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Has anybody in show business had more “comebacks” than Cher… or if you added her many last names Cher Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman? All of the triumphs and downturns are shoehorned into “The Cher Show,” now in Chicago in a pre-Broadway run through July 15, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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