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Patrick McDonald

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Best of the Midwest on Dec. 5, 2017

2017 Best of the Midwest

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, December 5th, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will award their 2017 “Best of the Midwest” honors with a ceremony at Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago at 7pm. Nominees include the feature films “Dave Made a Maze,” “Halfway,” “Signature Move,” “The Legend of Swee’ Pea” and “The View From Tall.”

Podtalk: Brad Riddell & Anna Maria Hozian of Web Series ‘Other People’s Children’

Other People's Children

CHICAGO – The education system of America has been ripe over the years for comedic skewering… and with today’s overindulgent parenting style, it’s never been a better time for those knowing laughs. The focus on parent teacher/conferences is the subject of the latest comedy web series, shot in Chicago, called “Other People’s Children.” (OPC).

Film Review: Funny ‘The Disaster Artist’ Takes Us Back to ‘The Room’

CHICAGO – “The Room” is a post-millennial cult movie that plays the midnight and college movie circuit, entertaining audiences with its sheer badness. Its story is told in the “The Disaster Artist,” featuring James Franco as the director of “The Room,” and he also directed the film. Very meta.

Exclusive Photo: Gabrielle Union for ‘We’re Going to Need More Wine’

CHICAGO – Actor Gabrielle Union is pulling no punches in her first book, “We’re Going to Need More Wine.” The memoir includes Union’s account of rape when she was a teenager. And at her book event sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville (Ill.), she spoke of her experiences with sexual harassment in her career.

Film News: Oakton Community College Pop-Up Film Festival Through Dec. 1, 2017

Oakton CC Pop-Up Film Festival 2017

CHICAGO – There is a cinematic event in Des Plaines, Illinois, that celebrated its 4th year last night with the opening night film Signature Move. The Oakton Community College Pop-Up Film Festival is the brainchild of film professor Michael Glover Smith, who also has a film in the festival entitled “Mercury in Retrograde” (Thursday, November 30th, 2017). The second night film, on November 29th, is “Porto,’ directed by Gabe Klinger. Admission for all the screenings is FREE and open to the public. For complete information regarding the festival, click here.

Film Review: Art & Real World Taken to Task in Angular ‘The Square’

Square, The

CHICAGO – Recently, the record for highest bid ever on a work of art was shattered – $450 million for Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvador Mundi’ – and the ownership of a canvas, for the price of supporting a small country, calls into question the meaning of art and collecting. All of this, and everything more, is generated in the cinematic rendering of “The Square.”

Exclusive Photos: Comedian Denis Leary’s New Book ‘Why We Don’t Suck’

Denis Leary, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Leave it to acerbic comedian Denis Leary to cut through our times with a new book, “Why We Don’t Suck,” which is subtitled “And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches.” Whether he is the man to stop it all remains to be seen, but he was in Chicagoland in early November to promote the book through Anderson’s Bookshop.

Film Review: Charles Dickens is ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’

Man Who Invented Christmas, The

CHICAGO – The story of Ebenezer Scrooge, as told in Charles Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol,” seems to be the one constant that survives the commercialization of the holiday season. The story of Scrooge’s creation is told with expressive sentimentality in “The Man Who Invented Christmas.”

Entertainment News: Teen Idol David Cassidy Dies at 67

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA – He was the heart throb-iest of the teen heart throbs when he came onto the scene in the early 1970s. David Cassidy was the driving force of the manufactured-for-TV pop act The Partridge Family, which provided a soundtrack for their era. Cassidy died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the age of 67, on November 21st, 2017.

Exclusive Photo: Antonio Fargas, Portrayed Huggy Bear on ‘Starsky and Hutch’

Antonio Fargas, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The coolest cat on 1970s TV was Huggy Bear, informant to the cop team of “Starsky and Hutch.” The man who portrayed that fly guy was Antonio Fargas, who also could lay claim as the Godfather of Blaxploitation Films (the run of African American cinema in the late 1960s through the ‘70s). Fargas was honored for his contributions with the Career Achievement Award at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival, Music Box Theatre in Chicago.

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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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