You Have to See This! Shiva Baby (2020)

Streaming on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max

It’s unreal that Emma Seligman is a newcomer director when watching “Shiva Baby.” She manages to build and introduce us to what is easily one of the most chaotic and absolutely uncomfortable movies I’ve ever seen. “Shiva Baby” is a master class in making its viewer absolutely uneasy and anxious as Seligman just revels in amping up the anxiety to every single bit of her narrative every minute. Seligman, despite making “Shiva Baby” her work of absolute love, is not one who ever lets her characters off the hook. Despite focusing the entirety of “Shiva Baby” on her central protagonist Danielle, Seligman has a great time making her squirm, panic, and just about heave in sheer horror as she twists the screws on her throughout “Shiva Baby.”

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The Boulet Brothers’ Halfway to Halloween TV Special (2023)

It’s that time of year yet again, the time where we’re officially halfway to Halloween! Not one to ignore the pre-festivities, Shudder celebrates the occasion with their runaway hit, “The Boulet Brothers.” This time around the Boulet Brothers and their wicked horror loving personas pull out all the stops celebrating Halloween the best way they know how: with a classic variety show filled to the brim with blood, dark comedy, and myriad horror heavyweights.

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Going Nowhere (2022)

One of the things that being a filmmaker does is it grants you the ability to know the true hardships of really making a film. For an indie filmmaker, simply getting your work out there is not just a labor of love, but it is laborious in and of itself. “Going Nowhere” is thankfully one of the many very good indie productions about making movies. Izzy Shill’s feature film debut is a meta-mock documentary about the struggles that come with getting a movie finished. Along the way she also tackles ideas about human relationships, getting the perfect message across with your film, and the impostor syndrome.

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Summoning Sylvia (2023)

It’s really sucky that Wesley Taylor and Alex Wyse’s horror comedy “Summoning Sylvia” is one of the genre gems that audiences seem to be sleeping on. I say that because “Summoning Sylvia” is everything you can want in a horror comedy. Not only does it adhere to the classic supernatural movie tropes, but it also subverts them by unfolding a very heartfelt narrative with richly developed characters. While a film like this could have served the fully LGBTQ cast as stereotypes, directors and writers Wesley Taylor and Alex Wyse introduce these characters one by one and then smash our pre-conceived notions.

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“Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” Carries the Torch of the Classic Movie Well

Like it or not, “Grease” is now a universe, and it has its own extended timeline that begins with “Rise of the Pink Ladies” and ends with “Grease 2.” That’s not particularly bad thing, especially if you loved “Grease” as much as I do–even though I’ll never budge on “Grease 2.” I still consider that movie to be immensely awful. As for “Rise of the Pink Ladies,” it’s a very good prequel series. It’s flawed, sure, but at the end of the day, it might achieve its goal of bringing in a new generation of fans. The majority of “Grease” was spent mainly following around the T Birds and focusing on their struggles with rival gangs. Although the Pink Ladies are there a lot of the time, there isn’t real emphases on their whole group dynamic.

“Rise of the Pink Ladies” ventures to explore the origins of the female gang and why their members take the name so seriously.

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Heathers: The Musical – Live at The Other Palace (2022)

How do you take one of the most twisted, yet perfect dark comedies from the 1980’s and make it even better? You turn it in to a musical, apparently. I didn’t know there was even a “Heathers” musical up until about two years ago when snippets of the music appeared on social media. Although I loved the original 1989 Dan Waters dark comedy (it’s a childhood favorite), I was more than open to seeing what the musical had in store. In fact, I was quite optimistic, when all was said and done.

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Leather Archives & Museum Announces New Film Series “Fetish Film Forum” March-December 2023

The Leather Archives & Museum is thrilled to announce Fetish Film Forum, a new monthly screening series about non-normative sex, relationships, and art. These ten erotic films spanning nine countries and six decades are visceral explorations of fetish, kink, leather, and BDSM, kicking off in March with the whimsical Sundance winner Secretary (2002) and concluding with nunsploitation stunner Cristiana: Devil Nun (1972) in December.

Screenings are March-December, 2023, held the 3rd Saturday of the month at 7pm at the Leather Archives & Museum (6418 N Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL), and post-screening discussions are included with all screenings. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the LA&M’s website and cost $10 per screening, or $8 for LA&M Members with an active membership. A Season Pass to see all ten films costs $80 for General Public, or $70 for LA&M Members. General Admission tickets include a 30-day membership to the LA&M.

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Requiem (2021)

A film like “Requiem” is just begging to be turned in to a feature, as I think a lot of the whole Salem Witch Trials is capable of interesting stories. “Requiem” is not so much a tale about the Salem Witch Trials, and how it became a scapegoat for hate, repression, and homophobia.

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