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Old-school animation that does not traffic in photorealistic backgrounds or attempt to place the audience in three dimensions may not be tearing up the multiplexes. But like the wonderful, Cuban jazz-steeped "Chico & Rita" seen this year at the Gene...
Two weeks from now, TV networks will announce their new slate of shows for next season. The majority of these series will be variations on a formula. Procedurals. High-concept sci-fi and fantasy dramas. Nighttime soaps. Comedies starring familiar faces....
When Anthony Bourdain was in town last summer taping a Chicago-themed episode of his Travel Channel show “The Layover,” he asked various people, including me, to name the quintessential Chicagoan, and a consensus quickly emerged. The...
Roger Ebert's death is mourned by many, but I will remember it as bringing down the curtain on a special guy in a special time: He was multimedia before multimedia was cool. In today's angrily polarized political times, I particularly appreciate how...
We all knew Roger Ebert. Even those who knew Roger only through his words and insights felt a bond. That was one of Ebert's many gifts, and with his death leaving such a profound void, it is easy to overlook all that we still have from him. Beyond the...
In 1991, Jan Thompson attended a reunion of World War II veterans who were prisoners of war in the Philippines. She accompanied her father, one of those veterans. "I was just dumbfounded at what I heard," she said. "I walked out saying, 'Why doesn't...
From 1964, a time when the world seemed ready to accommodate 33 revolutions per minute, the film "I Am Cuba" boasts some single-take shots so boggling, the following phrases showed up in my notebook: "How did they do that? A three-story-high tracking shot...
There's a billboard depicted in Chris Sullivan's animated wonder "Consuming Spirits" advertising beer that promises "the taste that haunts the lips." The same goes for the film. You've likely never tasted anything quite like it. Dense like a detailed...
Stephen Fry was all of 11 when his grandfather played him a recording of Richard Wagner's "Tannhauser" Overture. For the boy who grew up to become a distinguished British actor on stage, in television and film ("Wilde," "Gosford Park"), it proved to be...
Since its premiere at the Berlin international film festival, Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr's latest and (so he has suggested) final feature,"The Turin Horse,"has been widely characterized as a grim slab of miserablism. Well. Maybe. It's no "Shop Around...
Now is when Chicago’s celebrity scene gets interesting. Some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports will soon visit our city on vacation (NBA stars especially like to do this) or because they live here part-time (you can count on plenty...
Alexander Payne wasn’t the obvious choice to host the Gene Siskel Film Center’s “An Evening With Reese Witherspoon” on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, but the director and screenwriter best known for “Sideways”...
Jul 26, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
May 7, 2013 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Apr 4, 2013 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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Apr 1, 2013 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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Jan 24, 2013 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Nov 27, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
May 10, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
May 22, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Jun 25, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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