Chicago Film Festival 2018: Friedkin Uncut

A host of talent, directors, and more pay tribute to the career of William Friedkin in Francesco Zippel’s documentary, Friedkin Uncut. Fresh off a Best Director win for The French Connection, the Chicago-born native would do to horror what Star Wars did to sci-fi.  When The Exorcist premiered in 1973, audiences were lined up for the film like crazy.  Because of its content, Quentin Tarantino’s mom forbid him from seeing the film. Friedkin was born to…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Friedkin Uncut"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Other Story

The Other Story is grounded through a father-daughter relationship but also touches on the struggles between Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and secular lifestyles. There are two major plots going in The Other Story.  One is the relationship between Anat Abadi (Joy Rieger) and Shachar Elkayam (Nathan Goshen).  The other deals with patients of Dr. Shlomo Abadi (Sasson Gabai), Rami (Maayan Bloom) and Sari (Avigail Harari).  While Shlomo brings in his son, Yonatan (Yuval Segal), to help these…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Other Story"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Great Buster

The Great Buster: A Celebration is a well-deserved cinematic tribute to Buster Keaton–one of the greatest silent comedy stars to have ever lived. Discussing the great silent comedy stars must include Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd.  Interestingly, Keaton starred in College as a response to Lloyd’s The Freshman.  Where Lloyd starred as a freshman who played football, Keaton would play every other sport.  As for Chaplin, he directed Keaton in 1952’s Limelight.  This…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Great Buster"

Beautiful Boy: A Wonderfully Acted Film

Beautiful Boy is a wonderfully acted film showing that Timothée Chalomet’s Oscar-nominated performance from last year was not a fluke. As wonderfully acted as the Felix van Groeningen film may be, the story of father-and-son, David (Steve Carell) and Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet), is such a sad one.  When we first meet David, he’s in some sort of office looking to learn more about crystal meth.  This is because his son, Nick, is an alcoholic and…

"Beautiful Boy: A Wonderfully Acted Film"

Chicago Film Fest 2018: This Changes Everything

Addressing the gender disparity that troubles Hollywood, This Changes Everything is one of the most important documentaries of the year. I can’t exactly point to when all the focus started turning to women directors not getting the same opportunities as men.  That being said, This Changes Everything is equally important to the Amy Adrion-directed Half the Picture.  This two films go hand in hand with a similar focus on women directors. “The door has to…

"Chicago Film Fest 2018: This Changes Everything"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: Albert Berger’s Keynote

Film producer Albert Berger returned to Chicago to serve as the keynote speaker of the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival Industry Days. Albert Berger never wanted to be a producer.  It just kind of happened that way.  It just so happened that he and producing partner Ron Yerxa just happened to own a copy of This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff.  They didn’t even own the theatrical rights when they headed off to the 1989…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Albert Berger’s Keynote"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: Industry Days – A Midwest Career

During the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival, the panels held during Industry Days allowed for both conversations and networking.  While I was not able to get to everything I wanted to, I was able to get to a few key panels. I don’t go into these panels from the perspective of reporting on them.  Instead, I attend Industry Days for the insights that the panelists offer.  Improv is one of the reasons why I moved…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Industry Days – A Midwest Career"

Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind The Bunny

Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind The Bunny profiles the man who revolutionized the magazine industry through his role as art director. When people think of the Playboy magazine, it’s not uncommon to think of nude women or founder Hugh Hefner.  The magazine started up in 1953 and would later grow into a full-blown brand in later years with the changing technology.  For the era in which the magazine begun, it would play an…

"Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind The Bunny"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: [Censored]

[Censored] is a documentary that exposes just a small amount of clips from films that that Australian Film Censorship Board censored during 1958-1971. Australian filmmaker Sari Braithwaite digs deep into the archives of some 2,000 clips from films censored.  Inspired to do so following a short film about censorship battles, she becomes one of few people to see what’s inside.  As a filmmaker, Braithwaite admits that some of the clips she found are “vile.”  Furthermore, these…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: [Censored]"

Chicago Film Fest 2018: The City That Sold America

The City That Sold America makes for a captivating look at how innovative advertisers in Chicago would forever change the country. The original Amazon got its start in Chicago.  Not the online retailer but the original mail order catalog.  Without Aaron Montgomery Ward or Richard Warren Sears, history could be looking down a very different light.  Their two companies changed the very foundation of the American economy for better or worse.  The two school of advertising…

"Chicago Film Fest 2018: The City That Sold America"