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Film News: Season 4 of Asian Pop-Up Cinema Begins in Chicago with ‘Survival Family’ on Mar. 1, 2017

Survival Family

CHICAGO – What defines success? How about another Season, the Fourth, for the Asian Pop-Up Cinema Festival in Chicago. The premiere themed fest will kick off its 2017 Spring Season run with Shinobu Yaguchi’s “Survival Family” on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. Filmmaker Yaguchi-san will be in attendance, as well as moderator Mark Schilling from the Japan Times. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: Gene Siskel Film Center to Honor Four Filmmakers at ‘Hollywood on State’ on Feb. 26, 2017

HolState2017

CHICAGO – As Chicago evolves as a film town, so do its parties. The annual “Hollywood on State” gathering, put together by the Gene Siskel Film Center, is enhancing their Oscar watching event by honoring four prominent and emerging Chicago filmmakers – Lonnie Edwards, Lori Felker, Jennifer Reeder and Michael Smith. For more details, and to be a part of the magical evening, click here.

Interview: Jose Carlos Gomez Screens ‘Day 1’ at 2017 Beloit International Film Festival

Day 1 Walt Sloan

CHICAGO – The success of a local Chicago filmmaker is always cause for notoriety, and writer/director Jose Carlos Gomez will present his film “Day 1” as part of the programming for the 2017 Beloit (Wisconsin) International Film Festival on Saturday, February 25th (for more information, click here). “Day 1” is a post-apocalyptic thriller, and features Chicago actors Walt Sloan and Harold Dennis.

Film Review: ‘Get Out’ is Funny, Scary & Tells Us About Us

CHICAGO – When he got his chance, writer/director Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele”) completely understood what he had to do – combine his skewered hilarity, love of horror movies and true social conscience, and put them all into one great movie. Ladies and germs, “Get Out.”

Interview: Dale Robinette, on His Iconic Photo From ‘La La Land’

CHICAGO – The photograph of the 2016 movie year is undoubtedbly the iconic shot of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, caught in mid dance, in the musical “La La Land.” The film received 14 nominations for this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony (Feb. 26th), and the “Unit Still Photographer” who got the shot was Dale Robinette.

Interview: Producer & CEO Julie Smolyansky, 2017 Women in Film Chicago Focus Awards Honoree

2017 WIFC Focus Awards

CHICAGO – One of the signature events for Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) is their annual Focus Awards, which will take place on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 (for more details and ticket purchasing information, click here). The WIFC will honor four notable women who influence Chicago-area film production, including actress Julia Sweeney, producer/activist Mary Morten, director of photography Tari Segal and CEO (of Lifeway Foods, Inc.) and film producer Julie Smolyansky.

Film News: Spertus Institute’s Sunday Cinema Series Concludes on Feb. 19, 2017

Spertus Cinema Series

CHICAGO – The Spertus Institute, Chicago’s leading center for Jewish learning and leadership, concludes a two-month film series at their downtown location, featuring a documentary entitled “Torah Treasures and Curious Trash,” preceded by the short film “Hannah Cohen’s First Communion.” The screenings begin at 2pm within the Institute’s Feinberg Theater, located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago…click here for more details.

Film Review: Odd Times at the Cinema with ‘The Great Wall’

CHICAGO – Taking a concept higher than the Wall that inspired it, and mostly succeeding, “The Great Wall” gets a nod as one of the oddest stories in a long time. Pre-supposedly based on a “legend,” it brings Matt Damon into ancient China to help battle lizard monsters at the Great Wall. Book it.

Film Review: ‘A Cure For Wellness’ Provides a Much-Needed Temporary Fix

cureforwellnessnews

CHICAGO – Gore Verbinski is no stranger to the spooky. He always creates these tense, terror-filled scenes that effectively frighten us. His films, from “Ring” to “Rango”, each are compelling enough to keep our attention, not matter how absurd they transform into. Boy, does he ever deliver in the gorgeously grotesque “A Cure for Wellness.”

Film Review: Report Card on ‘Fist Fight’ is a Failing Grade

CHICAGO – “Fist Fight” is such a thin premise it can’t even sustain its own two minute trailer, much less a feature length film. That premise, what there is of it, is simple – English teacher (Charlie Day) and History Teacher (Ice Cube) get involved in an altercation with a student on the last day of class, at a failing high school known for senior pranks.

Film Review: ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Adds Artistry to Mass Murder

CHICAGO – It takes a special kind of film that enthralls the audience so much that they stop caring about the body count and are more concerned with the main character running out of bullets. “John Wick: Chapter 2” offers the same cathartic effect as watching a Nazi get punched but in an infinitely more picturesque package.

Film Review: Rotating Perspectives Converge in ‘Train Station’

Train Station

CHICAGO – Taking on the variance of choice in a very unique and compelling way, “Train Station” was interpreted through 40 filmmakers in 25 countries, following a character – The Person in Brown – in a singular story that flexes and changes as the role is exposed. Chicago was one of those filming locations, and “Train Station” will screen here at the Music Box Theatre on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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