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Festival Feature: The Films of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

CHICAGO – The 16th Tribeca Film Festival wrapped last Sunday (April 30, 2017) and the award-winning films of the festival have been named. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com was there for the first week of Tribeca and files his personal best of the films he experienced.

Film Review: Cut of Nostalgia in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

CHICAGO – When I first saw “Guardians of the Galaxy” I was unfamiliar with the comic book source. I enjoyed the film, but worried it might be just a little too nerdy and obscure to develop a following. Now with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the series has solidified itself as the class clowns of the Marvel Studios cinematic universe, and it’s been embraced for it.

Film Review: Blissful ‘My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea’

CHICAGO – In animation, the real innovators who evolve the artform are the risk takers who stamp their own inspiration on those cartoon images. Director Dash Shaw is one of those breakthroughs, who creates a work of anarchistic art in “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea.”

Interview: Founder Pepe Vargas of Chicago Latino Film Festival on Closing Night, May 4, 2017

Pepe Vargas of Chicago Latino Film Festival

CHICAGO – On the final day of a major film festival, it’s always good to acknowledge the work of the people who make it happen… like Pepe Vargas, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. The Fest concludes on Thursday, May 4th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago, with the Venezuelan film, “Tamara.” For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: Cinema/Chicago Presents 2017 CineYouth Festival From May 4-6, 2017

2017 CineYouth Festival

CHICAGO – The 13th annual CineYouth Festival – presented by Cinema/Chicago – starts on Thursday, May 4th, 2017, at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, kicking off a three day festival run. The opening night film is the animated “My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea,” a debut by director Dash Shaw, who will make an appearance on behalf of the film for the CineYouth Festival.

Interview: Director Park Heung-sik of ‘Love, Lies’ at Closing Night Film of Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Love, Lies

CHICAGO – The Fourth Season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series comes to a rousing conclusion with the Closing Night film – “Love, Lies” – from South Korean director Park Heung-Sik. The screening will take place on Wednesday, May 3rd, 1017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. Director Park Heung-sik will attend the screening, and participate in a Q&A afterwards. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: ‘Animation Showcase’ at Midwest Independent Film Festival on May 2, 2017

Animation Showcase, MIFF

CHICAGO – The Midwest Independent Film Festival, the year round “First Tuesday” film happening in Chicago, is about to go cartoony. The Fest’s first-ever Animation Showcase will take place on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017, at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Jonathan Demme

CHICAGO – The impact that director Jonathan Demme had on the last couple generations of cinema will live beyond his passing last week, at the age of 73. The Oscar-winning filmmaker also made an impact with the film writers of HollywoodChicago.com – Jon Espino, Patrick McDonald and Spike Walters.

Exclusive Portrait: Caitlyn Jenner at Union League Club of Chicago

CHICAGO – She was one of the most notorious “outings” in gender history. Caitlyn Marie Jenner, who began her life as Bruce Jenner, announced to the world in 2015 that she would identify herself as a woman. She appeared in Chicago at the Union League Club to talk about her new memoir, “The Secrets of My Life.”

Interview: Sean Patrick Leonard, on World Premiere of ‘Rockabye’ at Twister Alley Film Festival

Sean Patrick Leonard

CHICAGO – The sudden drama of tragic death is beautifully rendered in a new short film called “Rockabye,” a Chicago-based production directed by David Bradburn and written/performed in by Sean Patrick Leonard. The World Premiere of the film will take place at the Twister Alley International Film Festival in Woodward, Oklahoma, on April 29th, 2017.

Film News: 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Honors ‘Keep the Change’ as Best U.S. Narrative Feature

2017 Tribeca Film Festival

CHICAGO – The 16th Edition of the Tribeca Film Festival continues through April 30th, 2017, but the main jury awards were announced yesterday at Awards Night ceremonies. “Keep the Change,” directed by Rachel Israel, was award Best U.S. Narrative Feature. All of the 2017 winners represented a wide range of topics, from inspirational to entertaining, and featured veteran as well as up-and-coming creators and talents from around the world. Worth noting, and a first for Tribeca, all five feature categories winners are from women-directed films.

Exclusive Portrait: Happy Birthday to Actress Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – April 28th marks the birthday of actress Jessica Alba, and what better way to celebrate than publishing, for the first time, an Exclusive Portrait by photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com, taken in 2013 at Anderson’s Book Shop in Naperville, Ill. Alba was representing her book, “The Honest Life” when Arce snapped this photograph of the actress and entrepreneur.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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