Jane, the new documentary from award-winning director Brett Morgen, pays tribute to the life of chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall. The National Geographic archives contained over 100 hours of footage from the last 50 years that had never been seen before. It’s from that footage that Morgen draws from to bring us this intimate portrait of the acclaimed researcher. In 1960, when Goodall first made waves, a woman doing this sort of research on chimpanzees was…"Jane: An Intimate Portrait of Jane Goodall"
In his feature directorial debut, Black Cop, writer/director Cory Bowles uses unapologetic satire to explore the racial tensions within the police force and communities. Bowles made this film in response to social media and if not viewed through the right lens, it’s a film that could come off as being absurd. For one cop, who is only known as Black Cop (Ronnie Rowe Jr.), he gets pushed over the edge and decides to target the…"Chicago Film Festival: Black Cop"
1945 can best be described as a film that examines what happens in a village when the Jews start coming back after the Holocaust. Directed by Ferenc Török and based on the 2004 short story Homecoming by Gábor T. Szántó, the Hungarian film stars Péter Rudolf, Bence Tasnádi, Tamás Szabó Kimmel, Dóra Sztarenki, Ági Szirtes, József Szarvas, Eszter Nagy-Kálózy, Iván Angelus, Marcell Nagy, István Znamenák, and Sándor Terhes. The return of two Orthodox men–Hermann Sámuel (Angelus)…"1945: What Happens When The Jews Come Back?"
Geostorm, directed by Independence Day‘s Dean Devlin in his feature directorial debut, doesn’t give us the disaster movie that we wanted it to be. Devlin directed from a script he co-wrote with Paul Guyot. The fillm stars Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, with Ed Harris and Andy Garcia. What we got from the film is a suspenseful political thriller mixed in with some natural disasters, and two…"Geostorm: A Suspenseful Political Thriller, Not A Disaster Movie"
Although it means well, Ali’s Wedding is one of the weaker films selected for the two-week festival. Directed by Jeffrey Walker from a script he co-wrote with Osamah Sami, the film stars Sami, Helana Sawires, Don Hany, and Ryan Corr. The film is based on a true story and after watching the large majority of the film (it wasn’t offered as a screener link, only a P&I screening), it may have been for the best…"Chicago Film Festival: Ali’s Wedding"
Only the Brave tells the powerful and true story of the heroic Granite Mountain Hotshots. Directed by Joseph Kosinski from a screenplay written by Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer, the film stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, with Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly. It was based on the GQ Article “No Exit” written by Sean Flynn. Josh Hopkins makes a quick cameo in the film. When most of us would run away from a fire,…"Only the Brave: A Heroic Firefighting Tale"
And Then There Was Eve is one of the rare films that places the spotlight on a transgender actress in a leading role. Much credit should to go to director Savannah Bloch, who co-wrote the screenplay with Colette Freedman, for being adamant that a trans woman was cast as Eve rather than following the Hollywood trend of casting cis males as trans woman. Rachel Crowl shines in her role as jazz pianist Eve. It’s one of…"And Then There Was Eve was Worth the Wait"
Scaffolding is one of four Israeli films to be shown during the Chicago International Film Festival. Written and directed by Matan Yair, the Israeli film stars Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Jacob Cohen, and Keren Berger. Lax makes his professional and cinematic debut as an actor and takes home an Ophir Award nomination in the process. Asher (Lax) is a troublemaker and he’s always been this way in school. Despite the rage and violence that Asher…"Chicago Film Festival: Scaffolding"
Sidemen: Long Road To Glory celebrates the contributions that Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Hubert Sumlin made to the blues musical genre. Scott Rosenbaum came to direct Sidemen following the inclusion of the aforementioned musicians in a previous feature film of his, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. They were cast because of the authenticity they added for the evolution of rock and roll through blues. One thing led to another and…"Sidemen: Long Road to Glory profiles Three Bluesmen"
The newest Hulu documentary, Too Funny to Fail, revisits a short-lived 1996 ABC sketch comedy series, The Dana Carvey Show. The sketch comedy series was truly ahead of its time. I was there at the beginning in 1996 for The Dana Carvey Show. Carvey was fresh off the success of a run on Saturday Night Live and hit comedy Wayne’s World. Why wouldn’t I have watched the show? The Beatles sketches, fresh off of The…"Too Funny to Fail revisits The Dana Carvey Show"