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Patrick McDonald

Podtalk: Christian Taylor on Origins for her Documentary ‘The Girl Who Wore Freedom’

The Girl Who Wore Freedom

CHICAGO – The era of World War II, now close to 80 years in the past, seems ever so farther in the rear view mirror of history. Movies have done their part to keep the memories and the spirit alive, so joining such works as “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan” is a new documentary in development, “The Girl Who Wore Freedom,” now in pre-production by filmmakers Christian Taylor and Terry Jun of Reverse Negative Studios in Skokie, Ill.

Film Review: Helen Mirren Takes Another Ride in ‘The Leisure Seeker’

Leisure Seeker, The

CHICAGO – Helen Mirren keeps establishing herself as an international treasure with each new role. She is the prime motivator in the new film “The Leisure Seeker,” about a retired couple taking one last spin in their RV, which takes its nickname from the title of the film. Along the way secrets are revealed and the devastation of dementia is exposed, but the story never gets too serious or heavy handed.

Film Review: ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Can’t Smooth Its Bizarre Fabric

CHICAGO – Although I am an admirer of Oprah Winfrey, it’s unfortunate that the best way to describe “A Wrinkle in Time” – with her role as goddess problem solver – is Worst. Episode. of. Oprah. Ever. The film, based on a novel from 1962, caves into effects over cohesiveness or story.

Interview: Sophia Wong Boccio on Season 6 of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Sophia Wong Boccio

CHICAGO – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) series has established a foothold in the Chicago film scene through the last three years and now five seasons. For Spring 2018, Season 6 will open on March 13th with a U.S. Premiere from Japan, “Colors of Wind,” featuring an appearance by hot lead Japanese actor, Yuki Furukawa (click here for details). The series will then unspool 14 more films through May 16th, all facilitated and curated by the Founder of APUC, veteran film programmer Sophia Wong Boccio.

Slideshow, Audio: Photos & Interviews at Chicago’s ‘a Night with Oscar’ on March 4, 2018

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Actor Tom Lenk on the Red Carpet at ‘a Night with the Oscar.’

CHICAGO – It was super finery and ultimate glam at the Park West in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood on Academy Awards night, March 4th, 2018, where “a Night with Oscar” took place. The event, which was a benefit for Center on Halsted and presented by Comcast/NBCUniversal, combined food, drink, Red Carpet and Oscar viewing revelry with information about the support that Center on Halsted provides for the LGBTQ+ community in Chicago. The event was co-hosted by variety of local notables, including Lee Ann Trotter, who covers entertainment for the local NBC5 news.

Film News: ‘Midwest Shorts’ Screens at Midwest Independent Film Festival on March 6, 2018

March 2018 Midwest Indie

CHICAGO – Short films, in a society increasingly becoming attention challenged, are getting a new lease as an essential film showcase. The Midwest Independent Film Festival will highlight a “Midwest Shorts Program” for their second 2018 event on March 6th. 13 films are part of the line-up, including a World Premiere, a Festival Premiere, Two Chicago Premieres and a 2017 Sundance Film Festival Selection. For more information, including line-ups and tickets, click here.

Film News: ‘The Shape of Water’ Wins 2018 Oscar Best Picture

CHICAGO – Even though Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway appeared once again to present the Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards – as they did last year – the correct film was announced, and it was the romantic fantasy “The Shape of Water” that won the 2018 Best Picture on March 4, 2018.

Oscar Week: Podtalk with Greta Gerwig, 2018 Oscar Best Director Nominee for ‘Lady Bird’

Greta Gerwig, "Lady Bird"

CHICAGO – One of the most fulfilled movies of 2017 was the sublime “Lady Bird,” the major film debut of actor Greta Gerwig. Nimbly shooting her own script, the achingly honest story about a teenager (portrayed essentially by Saiorse Ronan) going through her Senior Year of high school in Sacramento, California, was a breakout film of the year, and was nominated for Best Picture, as well as Best Actress for Ronan, Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalfe (as the Ronan character’s mother) and Best Original Screenplay/Best Director for Greta Gerwig.

Podtalk: Voice Artist Rob Paulsen on Steven Spielberg, Gordie Howe and the Cartoon Life

aRobPaulfront.jpg

CHICAGO – If the words, “We’re Animaniacs…” immediately makes you think, “While Bill Clinton pays the sax…” then you’ll want to experience voiceover artist Rob Paulsen, the iconic character of Yakko on that series, as well as Pinky (“Pinky and The Brain”) and Donatello/Raphael (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), among many other cartoon legends. Rob, with Animaniacs composer Randy Rogel, will be appearing in “Animaniacs Live!” at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts in Grayslake, Ill., on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 (click link below for details).

Oscar Week: HollywoodChicago.com 2018 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Time to fill out the Oscar prediction ballots! The 90th Academy Awards are on Sunday, March 4th, 2018, and HC film critics Patrick McDonald, Michael “Spike” Walters and Jon Lennon Espino are ready to add their prognosticating powers to all the major categories, plus three wild cards. Let the predicting begin.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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