Chicago Film Festival: The Replacement

The Replacement, starring the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s own Mike McNamara, is one of the shorts to make its world premiere during the Chicago Style: City and State shorts presentation at the Chicago International Film Festival. “What I love about this script is that it packs so much into 15 minutes,” McNamara tells Solzy at the Movies.  “Action, satire, humor, suspense and even a little bit of romance.  And it’s so timely.  And we shot…

"Chicago Film Festival: The Replacement"

Chicago Film Festival: Thelma

Norway’s official Oscar submission, Thelma, makes a stop in Chicago this weekend. Directed by Joachim Trier (Louder than Bombs) from a screenplay co-written with Eskil Vogt, the foreign film stars Eili Harboe, Okay Kaya, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, and Henrik Rafaelsen. The film combines a few genres with a mix of romance, thriller, and the supernatural as the shy Thelma (Harboe) undergoes terrifying seizures away at college in Oslo.  It’s not even a few minutes into…

"Chicago Film Festival: Thelma"

Chicago Film Festival: Zoo (Dir. Colin McIvor)

Based on an inspiring true story of a woman who rescued an elephant from the Belfast Zoo, Zoo showcases bravery in Belfast 1941. Written and directed by by Colin McIvor, the Belfast-set film stars Art Parkinson, Penelope Wilton, Toby Jones, Ian O’Reilly, Ian McElhinney, Amy Huberman, and Damian O’Hare. Tom (Parkinson) has to step it up when his zookeeper father, George (O’Hare) decides to enlist in World War 2.   As George takes the fight overseas,…

"Chicago Film Festival: Zoo (Dir. Colin McIvor)"

Chicago Film Festival: Chasing The Blues

Chasing The Blues is a fun but short-ass dramedy with a running time just under 80 minutes long. Scott Smith directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Kevin Guilfoile.  The film stars Grant Rosenmeyer, Ronald L. Conner, Chelsea Tavares, Clem Cheung, with Steve Guttenberg, Anna Maria Horsford, and Jon Lovitz as Lincoln Groome. It’s 1987 and our story evolves around Alan Thomas (Rosenmeyer) and Paul Bettis (Conner).  The two of them try to con the…

"Chicago Film Festival: Chasing The Blues"

Chicago Film Festival: The Square

The Square, this year’s Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival is an amusing but over-long comedy that satirizes the art world. Written and directed by Ruben Östlund, the film stars Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, Terry Notary, and Christopher Laessø. How far is too far to go when it comes to getting publicity?  That’s what writer/director Östlund is trying to get out of viewers watching the film. The curator of an art…

"Chicago Film Festival: The Square"

Chicago Film Festival: Why I’m Not Screening Lola Pater

Lola Pater was one of 150 films selected to screen at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival.  As a transgender film critic based in Chicago, I opted against screening the film in the lead-up to the first screening on Friday. You’re probably wondering why a transgender film critic would opt against screening Lola Pater, a film in which a transgender character plays a prominent role.  It comes down to said character being played by a…

"Chicago Film Festival: Why I’m Not Screening Lola Pater"

Special Presentations headline the Chicago International Film Festival

A number of special presentations headline the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival, which runs at AMC River East 21 this year from October 12-26, 2017. This year’s special presentations include: The Ballad of Lefty Brown Blow-Up Borg/McEnroe Breathe Call Me By Your Name Goodbye Christopher Robin I, Tonya Lady Bird Last Flag Flying Marshall Mudbound The Shape of Water The Square Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Touch of Evil Wormwood I, Tonya and The Ballad…

"Special Presentations headline the Chicago International Film Festival"

53rd Chicago International Film Festival: First Films Announced

The first films were announced today for the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival.  This year’s festival will run October 12-26 and will be headlined by special presentations of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Goodbye Christopher Robin, and The Square. One change entering this year’s edition is that Mimi Plauché took over for Michael Kutza as the artistic director of the festival.  Kutza is now the CEO and president of Cinema/Chicago. The following films have been…

"53rd Chicago International Film Festival: First Films Announced"