Religion

Podtalk: Doc Director Penny Lane on Her New Film ‘Hail Satan?’

Hail Satan?

CHICAGO – Religion, and the separation of those institutions from the “state,” is an ongoing controversy in the United States. One such religious group may have found the ultimate solution to keep that separation in place. The Satanic Temple is an anarchist religion whose goal is to get a place at the table with the other holy influencers. They are profiled in director Penny Lane’s new film, “Hail Satan?”

Interview: Director Huaug Hsin-yao on ‘The Great Buddha +’ at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Great Buddha +, The

CHICAGO – Season Six is one of the most successful for Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC), as they present gems from the Asian film world that provide mind and cultural expansion. Recently, as part of their Taiwan Cinema Days, APUC brought in director Huang Hsin-yao of “The Great Buddha +,” a meditation on class, religion and the ever present eye-in-the-sky video of the current era.

Film Review: M is for the Many Things ‘mother!’ Gave Me

CHICAGO – In a film that is unsettlingly and regally composed with deep purpose and symbolism, “mother!” fulfills the nature of what it proposes to communicate within layers of essentially rendered storytelling and cinematic perspective. It can potentially change your overall point of view.

Film Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes in ‘The Witch’

CHICAGO – We perpetuate our fears through many sources. All mythology, religion and politics are based on what is “unknown” in our lives, and the desire to placate what frightens us is how we invent and worship those entities. This is all explored in the new film, “The Witch.”

Interview: Director Robert Eggers on His Season of ‘The Witch’

CHICAGO – The myth and fear of witches has fascinated personhood since religion and anti-religion have clashed. “The Witch” is a new film that takes that battle and puts it right back into 17th century America, when religious separatists like the Puritans tamed the New World. Robert Eggers wrote and directed the film.

Theater Review: Dark Souls Congregate in UrbanTheater Company’s ‘Devil Land’

UrbanTheaterChicago logo

CHICAGO – Insanity is often a shared phenomenon. One family member can drive another family member over the brink, an incident can break collective spirits and indulgence in religion can alter perspectives. All the bleak darkness of these mental incapacities are on display in the Midwest Premiere of the UrbanTheater Company stage production of “Devil Land.”

Film Review: Gothic Originality in ‘We Are What We Are’

CHICAGO – Finding something truly original in the horror genre is rare. The most effective scare tactics are ones that touch the heart of our familiarity and psychosis. Re-imagining a Mexican film from 2010, director Jim Mickle gets right to the gothic heart of it all in “We Are What We Are.”

Interview: Director Jim Mickle of ‘We Are What We Are’

CHICAGO – One of the more unique horror film stories is in the upcoming release of “We Are What We Are,” a re-imagining of a 2010 Mexican film, co-written and directed by Jim Mickle. In moving the story to America, Mickle changes the mood of how the rituals transpire, and attaches those rituals to extreme religion.

Film Review: Vera Farmiga Wrestles Religion in ‘Higher Ground’

CHICAGO – The subject of religion in America is rarely portrayed honestly in the movies, with its power to both inspire or offend. Vera Farmiga makes her directorial debut and plays the lead character in the religious-themed “Higher Ground.”

Interview: Vera Farmiga Ascends to ‘Higher Ground’

CHICAGO – As an actress, Vera Farmiga broke out big in 2009 with her Oscar nominated performance in “Up in the Air.” Farmiga is now taking a total filmmaker’s role, playing the lead character and directing the new film, “Higher Ground.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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