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The Interrupters

Interview, Audio: Documentary Director Steve James on ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

CHICAGO – The documentary maker Steve James, one of the best in the history of cinema, has a resume of quality reporting through feature film that is stunning in its context. The director of “Hoop Dreams,” “Stevie,” “The Interrupters,” “Head Games” and the Roger Ebert biography “Life Itself” has a new doc, focusing on one repercussion of the financial crisis of 2008, subtly entitled “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

Interview: Co-Directors Aaron Wickenden, Dan Rybicky of Outsider Artist Doc ‘Almost There’

Almost There, Aaron Wickenden & Dan Rybicky

CHICAGO – The discovery of an outsider artist’s eccentric creations leads to the testing revelation of a public shame in “Almost There,” a definitively human documentary that mixes the idiosyncratic canvas of “Grey Gardens” with the compassion of “Hoop Dreams.” Making its Chicago premiere tomorrow night at the Gene Siskel Film Center, “Almost There” has sold out its 7:45pm screening, but tickets a

Film News: Magnolia Pictures Acquires Roger Ebert Biography Film ‘Life Itself’

Life Itself, Roger Ebert

CHICAGO – The buzz at Sundance was for a documentary about the life of a film critic – but that film critic happens to be Roger Ebert, and the film is an adaptation of his memoir, “Life Itself.” Magnolia Pictures announced yesterday that they have acquired U.S. theatrical, Video-On-Demand and home entertainment rights to the film, and are planning on a summer release.

Blu-ray Review: Chicago-Based ‘The Interrupters’ is Best Documentary of 2011

The Interrupters

CHICAGO – On Sunday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will name what they consider to be the Best Documentary of 2011. They will be wrong. How do I know? Because it’s not even nominated. The actual best documentary of last year (which was a VERY good year from the form with everything from “Into the Abyss” to “Tabloid” to “Pearl Jam Twenty” to “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”) was not nominated. That title goes to Steve James’ “The Interrupters,” which was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD and is simply a must-see.

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2011

CHICAGO – We could tell, very early on, that 2011 would be a stellar year for film. As the year opened, great genre product like “Source Code,” “Hanna,” and “The Adjustment Bureau” entertained viewers and critics alike, while art houses unspooled gems like “Certified Copy” and “Meek’s Cutoff.”

Film News: Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’ Wins Four 2011 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

CHICAGO – Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” led the way for film in the eyes of the Chicago Film Critics Association, as they have dubbed it the Best Picture of 2011. Malick also took Best Director for his long-delayed labor of love, while the CFCA also chose the cinematography and the work by Jessica Chastain as the Best Supporting Actress work of the year. “Drive” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene” came in second with two wins a piece.

Film Review: ‘The Interrupters’ Seek Peace One Soul at a Time

The Interrupters

CHICAGO – Chicago is a divided city. On one end is prosperity, modernity and all the trappings therein. On the other, abject poverty, anger and killing. One dedicated group is trying to diminish the killing end, and is documented by director Steve James (”Hoop Dreams”) in “The Interrupters.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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