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Film Review: ‘Beirut’ is a Superbly Tense Geopolitical Thriller

CHICAGO – The psychological desperation of life-or-death decisions are in play within “Beirut,” the new geopolitical thriller featuring Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”). The various mazes within the story, set during the Lebanon civil war of the 1980s, is comparative to “Casablanca,” especially through the world-weary expression of Hamm’s character.

Interview: ‘Perfect Revolution' at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema on April 11, 2018

Perfect Revolution

CHICAGO – Japan is up for this week’s feature in Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) series… and what a great film it is. “Perfect Revolution,’ directed by Junpei Matsumoto, is about handicaps… both physical and mental. The film features Japanese actors Lily Franky and Nana Seino, in a odd coupling that’s a relationship experience. The film will be presented on Wednesday, April 11th, at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, with director Matumoto San appearing at the screening. For more details, click here.

Film News: Chicago’s DOC 10 Closing Night with Elvis in ‘THE KING’ on April 8, 2018

The King

CHICAGO – Elvis is everywhere and the new documentary “THE KING” proves it. There can’t be a better Closing Night film at Chicago’s DOC 10 Film Festival – April 8th, 2018, at the Davis Theater in the Lincoln Square neighborhood – then this amazing document of Elvis and the American Dream, which was directed by Eugene Jarecki (“Why We Fight”). It’s a must see. For more information, ticket info, click here.

Interview: Daphne Maxwell Reid from MLK Jr. to the Fresh Prince

CHICAGO – This week marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and funeral, but locally it was one month later – May 3rd, 1968 – that a “sit-in” took place at Northwestern University near Chicago, as protesting African American students sought change. Future actor Daphne Maxwell Reid was a participant.

Podtalk: J. Wilder Konschak & Stirling McLaughlin on Digital Release of ‘Cold War’

Cold War

CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

Podtalk: ‘Murder in the Woods,’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 9, 2018

Murder in the Woods

CHICAGO – The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is underway, after a successful Opening Night on April 5th, 2018. One of the showcase films will have its Midwest Premiere on Saturday, April 7th, the horror tale “Murder in the Woods.” Directed by Luis Iga and written by Yelyna De Leon, the film features “Machete” star Danny Trejo and young Latino actors portraying teens that are being killed in mysterious circumstances during a cabin getaway. For information about the Red Carpet and premiere, click here.

Film Review: Bottom Line is ‘Blockers’ Has Some Decent Laughs

CHICAGO – Comedy is purely subjective, and the new film ‘Blockers’ sets out to prove it, by expectorating joke after joke in all categories of sophistication. Physical pratfalls, witty asides, gross-out, sex, nudity, drugs, surrealism and more are all on the humor buffet, so pick, choose and laugh, as they pile it on.

Film Review: ‘A Quiet Place’ Will Make You Wish You Had a Quiet Place to Hide

aqp1

CHICAGO – Terror and fear take several forms. Sometimes it’s something as simple as spiders or snakes or even an incompetent president. Other times it can take the form of natural states, like darkness. Horror films channel our fears, but the great ones give us something new to fear. “A Quiet Place” lures us in with the safety of silence, only to reveal the monsters hiding within.

Film News: Chicago’s DOC 10 opens with ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ on April 5, 2018

Won't You Be My Neighbor

CHICAGO – Documentaries are often the most compelling filmmaking, because truth is always stranger. The Chicago Media Project presents its third annual DOC 10, a weekend festival of 11 (10+1!) prominent documentaries that often end up either making a national statement or getting nominated for awards. It all takes place at the Davis Theatre in the Lincoln Square neighborhood from April 5th-8th, 2018. For more information, including schedule and tickets, click here.

Interview: Founder/Director Pepe Vargas of 34th Chicago Latino Film Fest, April 5-19, 2018

2018 CCFF logo

CHICAGO – One of the great cinema festivals of the Windy City is run by Pepe Vargas, the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. The 2018 edition will be the 34th annual, and Vargas has shepherded the film celebration since its beginnings. Opening Night is on Thursday, April 5th, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago, with a Puerto Rican themed night, with the films “From Now On” (short) and the feature film “Broche De Oro: Beginnings.” For more details, click here.

Podtalk: 50 Years Later, Jesse Jackson on Martin Luther King Jr.

CHICAGO – On April 4th, 1968, Reverend Jesse Jackson was already, at age 26, a civil rights leader. He joined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, on that April night to help with a sanitation workers strike. He was in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel when the shots rang out that killed Dr. King on the balcony.

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Festival Celebrates Kartemquin Films on April 3, 2018

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

CHICAGO – It was an amazing Oscar season in 2018 for Chicago-based Kartemquin Films. Two of the their documentary film productions, “Edith + Eddie” by director Laura Checkoway and “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” by Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) were nominated at the 90th Academy Awards. Both films will be showcased at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018, at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago For more information, ticket purchasing, click here.

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  • 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 April 29th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cold War

    CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

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