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Wrapping up the Chicago Film Festival

One of the great joys of reviewing movies is the opportunity to attend film festivals. They offer moviegoers a chance to see multiple offerings in myriad genres from countries all over the globe, featuring everything from little-known independent productions to Hollywood blockbusters. And so it is with my hometown event, the Chicago International Film Festival, which just recently completed its 55th edition. The Chicago festival just keeps getting better and better every year. I’ve attended many of the festivals over the past 40 years (I started attending when I was 2…), and I’ve seen vast improvements in programming and staging in that time, efforts that have truly made this a world class event. Over 12 days, I screened 15 films, [...]

2019-12-17T18:21:13+00:00October 30th, 2019|Movie Reviews|

‘Capernaum’ chronicles the creative struggle to survive

‟Capernaumˮ (“Chaosˮ) (2018). Cast: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawsar Al Haddad, Fadi Kamel Yousef, Haita ‟Cedra“ Izzam, Alaa Chouchnieh, Nadine Labaki, Elias Khoury, Nour El Hosseini, Joseph Jombazian, Farah Hasno, Joe Maalouf, Tamer Ibrahim. Director: Nadine Labaki. Screenplay: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojelly, Michelle Keserwany, Georges Khabbaz and Khalid Mouzana. Web site. Trailer. Survival can be a challenging proposition. The more difficult the circumstances, the harder it can be to get out from under. However, the more we can call upon our powers of creativity to come up with innovative solutions, the better our chances of succeeding – which can be critical when we have our very existence on the line. So it is for a young [...]

2019-02-11T11:43:17+00:00January 23rd, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ celebrates living life on one’s own terms

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018). Cast: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, Aaron McCusker, Ace Bhatti. Maneka Das, Priya Blackburn, Dermot Murphy, Neil Fox-Roberts. Director: Bryan Singer. Screenplay: Anthony McCarten. Story: Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan. Web site. Trailer. So often in life, we end up settling, taking jobs we merely tolerate, getting into relationships that are less than satisfying, and sacrificing our creative visions for purposes of practicality, convenience or commercialization. How unfulfilling those experiences generally prove to be. But need things be that way? Can we live our lives on our terms, attaining the gratification we crave? Maybe it just takes a little inspiration to put us on [...]

2018-12-13T00:30:09+00:00November 20th, 2018|Drama, Movie Reviews|
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