Chicago Film Festival: Blueprint

The South Side-focused Blueprint is one of many Chicago-focused films playing at the Chicago International Film Festival. Directed by Daryl Wein from a screenplay that was co-written with Jerod Haynes, the film spotlights the Chicago Southside. Chicago’s Southside is one that does not have a great reputation because of the gang violence that overwhelms the news day in and day out. Haynes stars as Jerod, a daycare teacher.  He loses a close friend and from…

"Chicago Film Festival: Blueprint"

Chicago Film Festival: Chasing the Blues Q&A

Cast and crew were on hand for an entertaining Q&A session following the world premiere of Chasing the Blues at the Chicago International Film Festival. On hand for the Q&A session were director/co-writer Scott Smith, co-writer Kevin Guilfoile, actors Jon Lovitz and Grant Rosenmeyer, producer J.J. Ingram, associate producer Aria DeBenny, and executive producer John Fromstein.  The session was moderated by Anthony Kaufman. Rosenmeyer said that the first time he traveled to Chicago was to…

"Chicago Film Festival: Chasing the Blues Q&A"

Chicago Film Festival – Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Sam Pollard’s documentary, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me is the first major documentary to spotlight the life of the late Rat Pack member. The documentary features interviews with Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, among others, including Nixon staffers such as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.  We are treated to never-before seen photos as well as numerous clips from Davis’ career. For someone such as Davis, it’s beyond crazy…

"Chicago Film Festival – Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me"

Chicago Film Festival: Princess Cyd

From writer-director Stephen Cone, Princess Cyd adds to a nice collection of films showing that the Chicago filmmaking scene is as vibrant as ever.  The film is also important in that the coming-of-age film adds to the LGBTQ voices in media. Written and directed by Cone, the film stars Rebecca Spence, Jessie Pinnick, Malic White, James Vincent Meredith, with Matthew Quattrocki and Tyler Ross.  The younger actress makes her feature film debut and rises to the…

"Chicago Film Festival: Princess Cyd"

Scott Smith, Grant Rosenmeyer talk Chasing the Blues

Chasing the Blues director/co-writer Scott Smith and actor Grant Rosenmeyer spoke about the new film on the red carpet prior to the world premiere at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Actor Jon Lovitz and producers Aria DeBenny, John Fromstein, and J.J. Ingram also walked the red carpet.  A Q&A session took place following the world premiere.   The film was produced by Fulton Market Films.  They are currently looking for buyers.

"Scott Smith, Grant Rosenmeyer talk Chasing the Blues"

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"