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‘God of the Piano’ tackles the perils of desperation

“God of the Piano” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Naama Preis, Andi Lev, Ron Bitterman, Ze’ev Shimshoni, Alon Openhaim, Shimon Mimran, Leora Rivlin, Itay Zipor. Director: Itay Tal. Screenplay: Itay Tal. Web site. Trailer. Preserving a family legacy is certainly a noble goal. It provides a sense of continuity that links the generations and gives a family its character, reputation and even notoriety. But how far is one willing to go to keep up the tradition? At what point does a goal turn into an obsession? And what are the costs of going too far? Those are among the issues raised and addressed in the captivating new Israeli psychological thriller, “God of the Piano.” Anat Tal (Naama Preis) comes from [...]

2020-10-27T23:53:39+00:00 October 27th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

Wrapping Up the 2020 Chicago Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With moviehouses just now beginning to reopen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the Festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home or in the comfort of their vehicles at its drive-in performances. As has been the case with other such events this year, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future programs, even without the threat of a pandemic. It makes it possible to offer the Festival’s films to a wider audience and provides flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented [...]

2020-10-26T01:02:50+00:00 October 26th, 2020|Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Chicago 7’ fights for the pursuit of justice

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (2020). Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch, Yahya Abdul Mateen II, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ben Shenkman, J.C. MacKenzie, Danny Flaherty, Noah Robbins, John Doman, Caitlin FitzGerald, Alice Kremelberg, Wayne Duvall, Steve Routman, Mike Geraghty. Director: Aaron Sorkin. Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin. Web site. Trailer. We all want justice. We all want to see it served. But does it always turn out that way? Seeking it requires diligence and a concerted effort to make sure that what needs to be revealed indeed is. Nevertheless, even with the best of intentions and a noble approach, it’s possible that the process can become [...]

2020-10-19T23:02:05+00:00 October 19th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘House of Cardin’ celebrates the joy of creativity

“House of Cardin” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Interviews: Pierre Cardin, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Naomi Campbell, Sharon Stone, Alice Cooper, Jean-Michel Jarre, Dionne Warwick, Amy Fine-Collins, Phillippe Starck, Hanae Mori. Archive Footage: Jeanne Moreau, Andre Oliver, Hiroko Matsumoto. Directors: P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes. Web site. Trailer. Style – it’s something that can be challenging to get right but all too easy to get wrong. Achieving success at it can seem like a random, even capricious endeavor. But when it works, it works. And, if someone manages to make a habit out of catching the brass ring, that’s one fortunate individual indeed. Such has been the case for a truly inspired innovator who has left his mark on the design [...]

2020-10-12T20:31:38+00:00 October 12th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Cicada’ chronicles the path to healing

“Cicada” (2020). Cast: Matthew Fifer, Sheldon D. Brown, Sandra Bauleo, Cobie Smulders, Jazmin Green Grimaldi, Scott Adsit, Michael Potts, David Burtka, Jason “Freckles” Greene, Beau Curran, Bowen Yang. Directors: Matthew Fifer and Kieran Mulcare. Screenplay: Matthew Fifer and Sheldon D. Brown. Web site. Trailer. Healing old wounds can be a long and painful process, especially if we’re unclear about the nature or source of the hurt. When we are, though, the path to overcoming trauma can be a seemingly unending one in which the anguish never goes away, leaving us feeling as if there’s no hope for recovery or a future worth looking forward to. But, many times, and often quite unexpectedly, something happens that sets us off in a [...]

2020-10-10T21:03:23+00:00 October 10th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews, Romance|

Wrapping Up Reeling

Reeling 38, Chicago’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With movie houses just now beginning to reopen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home. In fact, in some ways, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future events, one that makes it possible to offer the festival’s films to a wider audience and providing flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented in theatrical venues. Because of this new format, I was able to screen a greater number of films than [...]

2020-10-07T13:56:42+00:00 October 7th, 2020|Featured Post, Movie Reviews|