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Exclusive Portraits: Jane Fonda Wows the Crowd in Chicago

CHICAGO – It was show time for two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda, as she accepted a Career Achievement Award from Cinema/Chicago at the Radisson Blue Aqua Hotel, and participated in a tribute night – moderated by Chicago Sun-Times Film Critic Richard Roeper – on Saturday, July 29th, 2017.

Interview, Audio: Abby Quinn, Gillian Robespierre & Elisabeth Holm of ‘Landline’

Landline Abby Quinn, Elisabeth Holm, Gillian Robespierre photo by Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – It takes a collaborative village to make a movie, and part of that collective came to Chicago to promote “Landline.” Director Gillian Robespierre, Co-Writer Elisabeth Holm and debut actress Abby Quinn were essential to the film, which is set in 1990s New York City and features Jenny Slate in the lead role.

Podcast: John Michael Revives ‘Meatball Seance’ at Mary’s Attic Chicago on July 31, 2017

Meatball Seance

CHICAGO – John Michael is back! Chicago’s favorite monologist is reviving his latest show, “Meatball Seance.” For the next two Mondays, July 31st and August 7th, 2017, Michael will perform at at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. In celebration of this funny and amazing audience participation show, HollywoodChicago.com reruns a podcast done with Michael in April of this year.

Interview, Audio: Actress Jenny Slate Answers the Call in ‘Landline’

CHICAGO – Jenny Slate keeps getting more high profile, both in voiceover work (“The Secret Life of Pets”) and as an actress. Her latest film is “Landline,” her second with director Gillian Robespierre. In the film, Slate portrays an engaged-to-be-married “adult” who is having trouble coming to terms with her life.

Interview, Audio: Monica Raymund of ‘Chicago Fire’ Debuts New Film ‘Tanya’ on Aug. 1, 2017

Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Podcast Talk: Jerry Vasilatos of Chicago’s 48 Hour Film Project on Kickoff on July 30, 2017

48 Hour Film Project 2017

CHICAGO – For the 13th straight year, Chicago will host the 48 Hour Film Project. The international competition allows filmmakers to gather their production teams and challenges them to create a short film in only 48 hours. Producer Jerry Vasilatos is in charge of the Chicago competition and is hosting a meet and greet on July 30, 2017 at the Lincoln Tap Room on the North Side.

Film Review: ‘Detroit’ is Stark, Blunt & Honest U.S. History

CHICAGO – It has become clear to anyone who is making an observation about authority and “order” in America, that for certain people it comes with a severe price. “Detroit” explores an incident within the 1967 riots there, when white police officers raided a hotel and perpetuated crimes of their own.

Theater Review: Brown Paper Box Co.’s ‘They’re Playing Our Song’ is Bright Entertainment

They're Playing Our Song

CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

Film News: ‘La Choses De La Vie’ in French Film Series at Gene Siskel Center on July 24, 2017

La Chose De La Vie

CHICAGO – The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is in the midst of a series called “Journeys Through French Cinema.” The theme is based on filmmaker/film historian Bernard Tavernier’s documentary “My Journey Through French Cinema,” and highlights his experiences with the rich cinematic influences of French film. The series, which runs through August 2nd, 2017, is putting the spotlight on “La Choses De La Vie” (The Things of Life) on July 24th.

Film Review: ‘City of Ghosts’ Puts Citizen Faces on Syrian Crisis

CHICAGO – Syria has become a distant place, disconnected from the wider world through civil war and extreme sociopolitical instability, including the takeover of some regions by ISIS (the Islamic State). “City of Ghosts” looks at Raqqa, a Syrian city with the iron boot of ISIS on their necks, and the citizens who risk their lives to tell that story to the world.

Film Review: Strong Performance Makes ‘Lady Macbeth’ a Cogent Character Study

ladymmain

CHICAGO - Separating a performance from the rest of the film is usually an easy task. One may be stronger than the other, or vice versa, but either way, they can be judged individually and as a whole. “Lady Macbeth” proves to be that rare character study where a single performance (from breakout actress Florence Pugh) not only makes the film but essentially is the film.

Film News: Hollywood Icon Jane Fonda to be Honored by Cinema/Chicago on July 29, 2017

Jane Fonda

CHICAGO – Two time Oscar winner Jane Fonda will grace the Windy City, as she accepts a Career Achievement Award from Cinema/Chicago, and will participate in a tribute night on Saturday, July 29th, 2017. The event will take place at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, and will feature an on-stage conversation with Fonda, moderated by Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times. The evening is sponsored by SAGE Private Wealth Group, and includes partners American Airlines, Sound Investment AV, Chloe Wine Collection and Wansas Tequila.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

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