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Podcast Talk: Frank Carr on Yippie Fest at Prop Thtr in Chicago Aug. 18-20, 2017

18 August 2017 11:44 AM, PDT

Chicago – With the closing of the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company in Chicago, came the end of their annual theater happening after 28 years, the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival. But that wasn’t the end of the Spirit of Abbie Fest. A group of Abbie veterans got together and founded Yippie Fest, and the first annual Yippie Fest will take place at the Prop Thtr on Chicago’s Northwest Side from August 18th through the 20th, 2017 (more details below).

The First Annual Yippie Fest

Photo credit: YippieFest.com

Like Abbie Fest, Yippie Fest takes place around the anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Nation, and features three days and nights of continuous performance, theater, music, short films and other surprise acts. Passes are available for individual days or the whole weekend of August 18-20 (see details below), and will feature both veteran acts from Abbie Fest like Danger Circus and Famous in the Future, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Magic & Creativity is Formula for ‘Dave Made a Maze’

18 August 2017 7:59 AM, PDT

Chicago – When the magnificently creative film “Dave Made a Maze” begins, it seems like another Millennial generation stab at micro budget filmmaking, with a claustrophobic set and extreme archetypes instead of characters. But then the “exploration” of the title maze starts, and suddenly “Dave” becomes a marvel of invention, tribute, hilarity and even truth.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

A passionate group of filmmakers got together with a strange idea… what if they were to send this group of archetypes into a cardboard fort that a frustrated artist has built, a group that includes his offbeat lover? And what if once inside that maze, the magic begins, as rooms become expansive and tests the will of the search party, transporting them into fantasies of their favorite adventure films from the last 40 years. Oh yeah, and there has to be a film-within-a-film that a hapless documentary crew is trying to make. Does this sound like »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Podcast Talk: Aimy Tien for Women of the Now on ‘Poerotica’ on Aug. 19, 2017

17 August 2017 10:09 PM, PDT

Chicago – Less than two years ago, Women of the Now (Wotn) Founder and filmmaker Layne Marie Williams brought her Philadelphia organization to Chicago, when she moved here to evolve her career. As Woman of the Now has grown in its new home, the group has sponsored many happenings and events, the latest of which is “Poerotica,” subtitled “Liquor, Lingerie and Love Languages.” The event will take place at Reunion Chicago on Saturday, August 19th, 2017 at 8pm (details below).

The ‘Poerotica’ Event Takes Place on Saturday, August 19th

Photo credit: Woman of the Now

The event is sponsored by Wotn and “A g Thing” (a creative agency in Chicago that works as a catalyst to bring unsung voices forward to a broader community) and is described as an “…intimate and sensual night celebrating women of color. Featuring musical performances, burlesque dancers, expert panelists, and the premiere of The Poerotica Memoirs – a »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Un-Buddy-Like Violence in ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’

17 August 2017 3:59 PM, PDT

Chicago – One day I would like to meet a professional assassin. Are they as quippy and biblical as Samuel L. Jackson? This tired movie occupation is trotted out again, this time pairing Jackson with Ryan Reynolds, in an overwrought and ultra-violent buddy comedy, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.”

Rating: 2.5/5.0

I almost typed “The Hitman’s Holiday” because those actors got a pretty good free working vacations, highlighted by London and Amsterdam. But they also shoot up and blow up these two places, which makes it a bit too close to the reality of recent terrorism activities, and probably explains the film’s lackluster release in the dog days of August. Samuel L. Jackson gets full use of his tried-and-true persona, which is fine when you want to cash a paycheck, and want to make sure that you don’t have to work too hard. Ryan Reynolds does his smarmy dude as well, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview, Audio: Danielle Macdonald on Title Role in ‘Patti Cake$’

17 August 2017 7:16 AM, PDT

Chicago – How does a native Australian actress become a New Jersey hip hop artist? Practice, practice, practice… in formulating the character of “Patti Cake$.” Danielle Macdonald, who had never rapped before in her life, portrayed the title Jersey Girl with a stellar determination, poignancy and heart.

“Patti Cake$” features Danielle as that title character, that of a bartender with a talent for hip hop rhymes, and her friends Jheri (Sid Dhananjay) and Bob (Mamoudou Athie), who want to help her record those beats. Patti’s home life is difficult, as her mother Barb (Bridget Everett) is depressed and unstable, plus her beloved grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) is fighting a homebound illness. But Patti will not be stopped, despite her weight, the odds and her obsession with rapper O-z (Sahr Ngaujah). The film was written and directed by Geremy Jasper, making his debut as a feature filmmaker.

Danielle Macdonald Brings it Home »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview, Audio: Bridget Everett Plays Mom in ‘Patti Cake$’

16 August 2017 7:58 AM, PDT

Chicago – Bridget Everett is a New York City entertainment maven, as a singer and “cabaret provocateur.” She is breaking out recently as a movie actor, with the just-released comedy “Fun Mom Dinner” and her latest role, as a mother to “Patti Cake$,” a white girl hip-hop artist from New Jersey with a determination of gold.

“Patti Cake$” features Danielle Macdonald in the title role, that of a bartender with a talent for hip hop rhymes, and her friends Jheri (Sid Dhananjay) and Bob (Mamoudou Athie), who want to help her record her beats. Patti’s home life is difficult, as her mother Barb (Bridget Everett) is depressed and unstable, plus her grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) is fighting a homebound illness. But Patti will not be stopped, despite her weight, the odds and her obsession with rapper O-z (Sahr Ngaujah). The film was written and directed by Geremy Jasper, making his debut as a feature filmmaker. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Individualism in ‘Menashe’ Challenges the Tribe

15 August 2017 9:13 AM, PDT

Chicago – We all belong to something, be it a family, workplace, congregation or (expansively) a tribe. But within all that belonging is a sometimes nagging feeling of being an outsider. There is not a human being in existence that hasn’t felt that way, and a new film expresses that feeling in “Menashe.”

Rating: 4.0/5.0

The title is a character, a Hasidic Orthodox Jewish man whose wife had died, and due to tribal/religious tradition has lost the right to care for his son. He is the outsider in a very strict religious order, with a dogma that affects virtually every element of his difficult life. In another world, that type of individual would simply walk away, but within this closed society Menashe fights to exist and express, often taking matters destructively into his own hands. The film is unique, funny, sad and wise, plus gives audience outsiders a glimpse into »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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