Still from the documentary film, "Eat That Question."
14 Jul 2016

‘Eat That Question’: An Engrossing Film About Frank Zappa, A True Anti-Establishment Artist

“The thing that sets the Americans apart from the rest of the cultures in the world is we’re so fucking stupid,” Frank Zappa declares in “Eat That Question.”

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Still from the documentary film, "Weiner."
27 Jun 2016

Film Review: ‘Weiner’ Captures Quintessence Of Political Hubris

It is captivating to see Weiner and his team, along with Abedin, follow the playbook for handling political scandals.

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Screen shot from "A Girl In the River" official trailer.
27 Feb 2016

Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts Deal With Profound Crises of Humanity

It is Oscar weekend. The backlash against the Academy Awards for the extreme lack of diversity in nominees is how this year’s awards will be remembered. One could argue this is how the awards will be remembered for a second year in a row. However, let’s focus on one awards category:

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Michael Moore plants an American flag in a living room in "Where To Invade Next." (Screenshot from the trailer)
19 Feb 2016

‘Where To Invade Next’ Shows Americans Can Live Better If They Believe Anything’s Possible

Michael Moore’s latest documentary is meant to inspire Americans with great ideas for social justice policies inspired by his visits to Europe.

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Screen shot from Kartemquin Films' "Trick Bag"
15 Feb 2016

Kartemquin Films 50: ‘Trick Bag’

Kartemquin Films continues to celebrate its 50th Anniversary with this short film on racism among working class Chicagoans in the 1970s.

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Screen shot from "Hum 255" (1970)
24 Jan 2016

Kartemquin Films 50: ‘Hum 255’

At the University of Chicago, during the winter quarter of 1968-1969, students protest the firing of Professor Marlene Dixon and occupy an administration building. They sing “We Shall Not Be Moved” and appear on film describing how they view student power. A number of the students see their action as

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Scene from "Thumbs Down" (Photo by Kartemquin Films)
16 Jan 2016

Kartemquin Films 50: ‘Thumbs Down’ and ‘Parents’

In the early years of Kartemquin Films, the group produced cinéma vérité documentaries. Co-founders Gordon Quinn and Jerry Temaner were interested in “cinematic social inquiry.” And, at its core, the concept was films could be created to promote social change. One of the pioneering films produced in 1967 is “Thumbs

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Screen shot from trailer for "The Hateful Eight"
09 Jan 2016

Review: ‘Hateful Eight’ Evokes Nostalgia for When Going to Movies Was an Event

For Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, the director pushed for “The Hateful Eight” to be distributed and screened in 70mm. The Weinstein Company provided immense support and helped Tarantino craft a roadshow experience to make seeing this epic an event. Venues were outfitted so that the 70mm format could be projected

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Mark Baum (Steve Carell) in "The Big Short"
11 Dec 2015

Review: ‘The Big Short’ Hilariously Depicts Crash of American Economy

With an incredible ensemble of actors, director Adam McKay transforms the tragedy of the collapse of the American economy in 2007 into a hilarious, informative, and mesmerizing tale of how it all unfolded. The film is based on Michael Lewis’ best-selling nonfiction book of the same title and follows a set

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Dolmedes (Samuel L. Jackson). | Screen shot from "Chi-Raq" trailer
05 Dec 2015

Film Review: ‘Chi-Raq’ is Timely Piece of Satire That Comes From Place of Love

Few films in recent years have been as polarizing as Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq.” Before it premiered, numerous well-meaning people throughout the United States, especially in Chicago, had already chosen to oppose the film, even though they had not seen it. It is too bad these people did not wait to

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