Podtalk: Writer/Director Minhal Baig of Set-in-Chicago ‘We Grown Now’

CHICAGO – There was once a Chicago housing project called Cabrini Green, and its legacy was a damning testament to Chicago’s mismanagement of housing for the poor in general. It’s gone now, the victim of gentrification, but its memory lives on in “We Grown Now,” a new release from writer and director Minhal Baig.

Podtalk: Matthew Modine, Plus Director & Producer of ‘Hard Miles’

CHICAGO – The journey of a thousand miles begins … in the case of “Hard Miles” starring Matthew Modine … with a single pedal. “Hard Miles” joins the pantheon of cycling movies, in this case with Modine portraying a social worker who teaches his life lessons through a bicycling journey with his youthful charges.

Podtalk: Writer/Director Laurent Négre on ‘A Forgotten Man’

CHICAGO – The 20th Century crisis that was World War II resulted in a bloodbath for virtually all of European and Allied countries … except in “neutral” Switzerland. Veteran writer and director Laurent Négre, a Swiss native, pokes the holes of truth into that overinflated neutrality in the imported feature film “A Forgotten Man.”

Podtalk: Writer/Director Alice Rohrwacher on ‘La Chimera’

CHICAGO – One of the heralded auteur filmmakers of the recent decade is Alice Rohrwacher. The Italian director joins her cinema forebears like Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini, both of which she’s been favorable compared to, in creating unique and personal stories that resonant beyond their narrative.

Podtalk: Producer Scott Perlman of Documentary ‘Out of the Loop'

Out of the Loop

CHICAGO – Chicago is acknowledged as one of the great comedy cities in the world mostly for The Second City influence. However like other cities, there is an ebb and flow regarding stand-up comedy, and during the late 1980s/early 1990s there was a stand-up boom in the Windy City, chronicled in the film “Out of the Loop.” Producer Scott Perlman provides the context behind the documentary, now available for free on PLEX and TUBI, and for download on various platforms.

Podtalk: Director Ahn Hung Tran for ‘The Taste of Things,’ Digital Release on March 28, 2024

Taste of Things, The

CHICAGO – The great food movies of cinema history … think “Babette’s Feast” or “Big Night” … use food prep cinematically as a palette for the senses. A French/Belgium film from last year continues that tradition. “The Taste of Things,” featuring Oscar winner Juliette Binoche and written/directed by Ahn Hung Tran, is set in late 19th Century France within a romance between a chef and his muse.

Podtalk: Legacy Curator Kathy Connor of The George Eastman Museum

Kathy Connor, George Eastman Museum

ROCHESTER, NY – The last week of the “job well done” certainly applies to the career of Legacy Curator Kathy Connor of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York. After 42 years she retires as of March 31st, after overseeing the renovations and expansion to the Victorian mansion and the preservation efforts of George Eastman’s photography and film heritage.

Podtalk: Joan Shamanic on Life Force Arts ‘Hawaiian Goddesses: Fire of Life,’ March 24, 2024

LFAE Fire of Life

CHICAGO – Healing is the goal of the Life Force Arts Ensemble (LFAE). Combining Shamanic practice with the arts of music, dance, poetry and paintings, the current thematic exhibit is “Conscious Body: Living Soul From Sentience to Sovereignty.” In association with that theme will be a Sound Healing Ceremony entitled (click link) “Hawaiian Goddesses: Fire of Life” taking place on Sunday, March 24th, 2024.

Podtalk & Photos: David Dastmalchian in ‘Late Night with the Devil’

CHICAGO – David Dastmalchian is taking the spotlight in his latest role. The in-demand character actor, with vital portrayals in “Suicide Squad,’ “Dune” and “Oppenheimer,” is the lead performer as a 1970s talk show host in the new horror epic “Late Night with the Devil,” co-written/directed by Colin and Cameron Cairnes. In select theaters March 22nd.

Podtalk & Portraits: Actor Christina Jackson on Netflix’s ‘Shirley’

CHICAGO – One of the great lesser known pioneers of social and civil rights history is Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. As a black woman in the 1960s/70s, she not only was elected to the House of Representatives but also ran for president in 1972 against all odds. Actor Christina Jackson was in Chicago on behalf of the new biopic, “Shirley.”

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  • Manhunt

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on March 21st, 2024, reviewing the new streaming series “Manhunt” – based on the bestseller by James L. Swanson – currently streaming on Apple TV+.

  • Topdog/Underdog, Invictus Theatre

    CHICAGO – When two brothers confront the sins of each other and it expands into a psychology of an entire race, it’s at a stage play found in Chicago’s Invictus Theatre Company production of “Topdog/Underdog,” now at their new home at the Windy City Playhouse through March 31st, 2024. Click TD/UD for tickets/info.


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