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Film News: Chicago Critics Film Festival Closes With ‘A Ghost Story’ on May 18, 2017

Chicago Critics Film Festival MB Marquee

CHICAGO – All great things must inevitably end, and the 5th annual Chicago Critics Film Festival will go out with a bang, with the hottest film at the recent Sundance Film Festival, “A Ghost Story,” at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Thursday May 18th (8pm). This will conclude a day of films, with “Lucky,” “Mr Roosevelt” and “Menashe” screen preceding the finale.

Podcast Talk: Allison Tolman & Lucas Neff of ABC-TV’s ‘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.

Interview: Director Azazel Jacobs Looks at ‘The Lovers’

Azazel Jacobs The Lovers

CHICAGO – There is a familiar Stephen Sondheim song called “Send in the Clowns,” which speaks of the absurdity of relationships, and their ups and downs. Writer/director Azazel Jacobs has kind of made a movie version of that song’s meaning, with the trials of a married couple, cheating on each other, in “The Lovers.”

Red-Carpet Exclusive Portrait, Audio: Jeremy Piven for Gene Siskel Center Renaissance Award

Jeremy Piven, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Actor Jeremy Piven came home to Chicago on May 13th, 2017, to moderate the Gene Siskel Center Renaissance Award tribute to actor Kevin Spacey. Piven, who grew up in nearby Evanston, Ill., has forged a diverse career in Hollywood, and is most well-known for portraying super-agent Ari Gold in the HBO series “Entourage.”

Interview: Director Pat Healy of ‘Take Me’ at Chicago Critics Film Festival on May 15, 2017

CHICAGO – An original voice, in an original conceptual movie, is a rare category of cinema art. Director and lead actor Pat Healy, working from a script from Mike Makowsky, has fashioned “Take Me,” a thriller about kidnapping and having the tables turned.

Interview: Collin Souter, Short Film Programmer for the 2017 Chicago Critics Film Festival

Collin Souter

CHICAGO – In all film festivals, the real hidden talent can often be found in the Short Films Program. This is the beginning for many great filmmakers, and it is up to the film reporters and programmers to unearth these creative jewels. Film Critic and Writer Collin Souter is the Short Films Programmer for the Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF), and the fest will be presenting two separate programs on May 13th and 14th, 2017, during the run of the festival, which takes place from May 12th through May 18th at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre (details below).

Film Review: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn Bring Hilarity to ‘Snatched’

CHICAGO – This is the Amy Schumer-in-the-movies we’ve all been waiting for… the brash zing factory who has a bit of insecurity behind her adventurous and licentious ways. Schumer teams with Goldie Hawn in a mother and daughter laugh factory called “Snatched.”

Film News: Chicago Critics Film Festival Opens With ‘The Little Hours’ on May 12, 2017

CHICAGO – The only film festival in the U.S. programmed by a film critics group is right here in the Windy City, with the 5th Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) taking place at the historic Music Box Theatre from May 12th through May 18th, 2017.

Exclusive Portrait: Ian Harding for His New Book ‘Odd Birds’

CHICAGO – He has won seven Teen Choice Awards in a row for his portrayal of Ezra Fitz on the ABC Family series “Pretty Little Liars,” and he is now the author of a new book. Ian Harding has written “Odd Birds,” a collection of essays on bird watching and show business. In an event sponsored by Anderson’s Book Shop, he appeared at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.

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  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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