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Film News:‘All Creatures Here Below’ at Midwest Independent Film Fest, Sept. 3, 2019

All Creatures Down Below

CHICAGO – Two notable Midwestern filmmakers recently teamed up for their second film together, as the Midwest Independent Film Festival presents “All Creatures Here Below,” written by Colllin Schiffli and lead actor David Dastmalchian, and directed by Schiffli. After acclaim for their first shot-in-Chicago effort, “Animals” (2014), the duo widened their landscape palette in this road picture, as two desperate souls (Karen Gillan and Dastmalchian) seek asylum in their hometown Kansas City. The night’s activities begins at 6pm on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019, at the Landmark Century Cinema in Chicago, with an after party to follow the screening. Click here for details and tickets.

Exclusive Photo: John Travolta at Wizard World for ‘The Fanatic’

CHICAGO – John Travolta continues to surprise by challenging himself in offbeat roles. His latest is “The Fanatic,” which had its nationwide release on August 30th. To promote the film and greet admirers, Travolta stopped by the Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago, and Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com shot an Exclusive Photo.

Podtalk: Writer/Director Yuri Rutman on ‘Trained,’ to Premiere on Shorts TV, Aug. 31, 2019

Trained

CHICAGO – Filmmaking in Chicago just got another feather in its cap, as writer/director Yuri Rutman is about to premiere his short film “Trained” on the prestigious Shorts TV channel. Shorts TV is the official distributor of the Oscar nominated shorts every year, and picked up Rutman’s film as a high-level example of this truncated cinematic art form.

Appreciation: A Tribute to Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on its 90th Anniversary

Music Box Theatre, 90th Anniversary

CHICAGO – There are movie exhibitors, screening rooms, multiplexes and grindhouses, but there is only one Music Box Theatre, and Chicago is privileged to have it. The movie theater of all movie theaters opened on August 22nd, 1929, and is celebrating its 90th Anniversary all week at the venue, in the Southport Corridor neighborhood.

Podtalk: Singer Kevin Pollack is the ‘Man About Town’

CHICAGO – With summer winding down, it’s time for a focus on Fall, and singer Kevin Pollack is out of the gate early. His August song debut of “Man About Town” is part of a once-a-month song release schedule for autumn, culminating in an EP release in December. “Man About Town” is a swinging tune about a swinging soul.

Film News: Closing Night of Black Harvest Film Festival is ‘Crooklyn’ on Aug. 29, 2019

2019 25th Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – It’s been a fast four weeks, and the 25th anniversary edition of the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago will have its Closing Night on Thursday, August 29th, 2019, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in the downtown Loop. The special presentation will be the 25th Anniversary celebration of Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn,” and will feature appearances by Joie Lee (Spike’s sister and co-screenwriter) and actress Zelda Harris from the film. Click here for tickets and more information.

Film Review: Finding One’s Self in ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’

CHICAGO – There is something so lovely about a film that unfolds slowly, until the moment occurs when a multi-layered story occurrence takes the breath away. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is such a film, portrayed with a magic subtlety by Cate Blanchett, one of the finest film actors working. She lives a life that is broken, but not in ways we suspect.

Podtalk: Sergio Mims of Black Harvest Film Fest, Recipient of Gene Siskel Legacy Award

Sergio Mims

CHICAGO – The Black Harvest Film Festival (BHFF) is an August mainstay in Chicago, ever since 1994. As the Fest currently celebrates its 25th anniversary, one of the major reasons for its longevity and success will be honored on August 18th, 2019. Film critic, writer and broadcaster Sergio Mims will receive the Gene Siskel Legacy Award for his contributions as co-founder and co-programmer of Black Harvest. The bestowing of the honor, along with a reception, with occur at the screening of “Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts,” beginning at 5:30pm. For more information and tickets, click here.

Film News: Peter Fonda, Forever the ‘Easy Rider,’ Dies at 79

Peter Fonda in Chicago, January 28th, 2010

LOS ANGELES – Peter Fonda, part of Hollywood acting royalty, had many memorable roles in his long career. But he will forever be known as the “Easy Rider,” the 1969 feature (coincidentally, the film was the number one film exactly 50 years ago today) that ushered in a new wave of filmmaking. Portraying a biker named Captain America, his character was “born to be wild” as he motored across the country. Peter Fonda died in Los Angeles due to complications of lung cancer. He was 79.

Film Review: ‘Good Boys’ Misses the Mark But Manages to Land

CHICAGO – The innocence of childhood is about to be wrecked for the gazillionth time, c’est la vie. “Good Boys” is a raunchy film with foul-mouthed middle schoolers going on wacky adventures. The pretzel logic to set up these adventures are weak, but the core of the conclusion is the strength.

Podtalk: Frank Carr of ‘YippieFest,’ at the Prop Theatre in Chicago, Aug. 16-18, 2019

2019 YippieFest

CHICAGO – It’s the 3rd annual YippieFest in Chicago at the Prop Thtr (Theatre), and the three days of Theater, Performance, Music, Film, Comedy and more kicks off with its 2019 edition on Friday, August 16th (7pm), and runs through Sunday, August 18th. The Fest evolved from the spirit of Mary-Arrchie Theater’s Abbie Hoffman Fest, which began 30 years ago (1989), and ended in 2016. The Fest also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock music festival, which coincides with the weekend. For more information on YippieFest, including tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Viveik Kaira Channels Bruce Springsteen in ‘Blinded by the Light’

CHICAGO – Finding joy for many people is rooted in music, and nothing expresses that joy like the love of a particular artist. Bruce Springsteen is the rocker that helps a British immigrant through some hard times in the new film “Blinded by the Light,” and the beneficiary of that joy is portrayed by Viveik Kaira.

Podtalk: Aisling Franciosi Takes the Lead in ‘The Nightingale’

CHICAGO – The “star is born” expression is not to be used lightly, yet it absolutely applies to the performance of Aisling Franciosi (Lyanna Stark in “Game of Thrones”) in the role of Clare for “The Nightingale.” As a late 19th Century woman with nothing to lose, she suffers an emotional death, a survival rebirth and humanist hope.

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