Tag Archives: Tyler Pistorius

Here’s the First Look at the New Feature “Path of Egress”

pathofegressby Legendary Lew

Trance Productions presents a new locally-made Chicago crime thriller from director Vincent Baran. Path of Egress features a large cast and, having seen some working clips of the film, looks very sharp indeed. (Full disclosure: I appear in the film briefly and am friends with leads Tyler Pistorius and Paskal Pawlicki).

From the youtube site:
A story about three close friends; Ray, a mover for a mob boss named Bub, Udjenzo, one of Bub’s best hitmen, and Leigh, Ray’s childhood friend who attempts to prove himself by providing information about the perfect heist, so perfect, that it convinces Ray to bring it to his boss. Bub, a man who never gets his hands dirty, decides to oversee the job himself. Consequently, Ray is pulled in by the FBI who make him question his friendship with Leigh.

Keep on the lookout for its appearance in film festivals this year. We will keep you updated.

 

Cannes Film Festival Entry “The Gun Equation” Gets On-Demand Release

guneqby Legendary Lew

Matthew Weinstein’s new short film The Gun Equation gets released to day via Vimeo’s On-Demand option.  You can rent it for 99 cents, or pay 51 cents more and get to upload a load of special features.  Your daily cup of coffee easily costs more and entertains less.

As disclosure, of course, the star of the film (Tyler Pistorius) is the current co-director of The Underground Multiplex, so I’m very proud of his work on this film.

There’s some very good work done here, by wonderful competent pros that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting: Matt and Colin Jackson.  Terrific cinematography by A.J. Young. The short film’s been shown at Cannes and the Blue Whiskey Film Festival.

I should add that one of the bonus features has Matt, Colin and Tyler discussing the film at The Thrillo Pad, so you’ll get to see the interior of the famed place.

So shake the piggy for a buck fifty and help out these local Chicago filmmakers!

Profiles Theatre Brings the Curtain Down Permanently

~ by Ty Pi and Legendary Lew

Closed

Yesterday morning, we had published an article focusing on a group of activists in the Chicago theatre community taking action against Profiles Theatre, where decades of abuse had allegedly taken place. Later in the evening, the Chicago Tribune reported that Profiles is closing down, effective immediately.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this development. The closure–a result of pressure exerted through social media and direct action–has the beginnings of a movement.

As of today, Bill Cosby’s criminal case is ongoing. Abuse in Hollywood is ongoing. Abuse in the music industry is ongoing. God forbid, there are other theatre houses engaging in abuse and sexual assault in Chicago or anywhere else.

The Chicago theatre community, along with organizations such as Not In Our House, said to Profiles, “enough is enough.” The activists featured in the video below show that anyone can make an effective peaceful demonstration with a strong message. Profiles had to either drop Darrell W. Cox and Joe Jahraus or shut its doors.

And so, Profiles has decided to shut its doors. We support this decision.

However, the struggle does not end there. The fight for positive changes in the entertainment world continues. Physical abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation have no place in creating art that examines the human condition.

Art Activists Fight to End the Abuses at Profiles Theatre

~ by Ty Pi

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Profiles Theatre Windows of Shame (Photo taken by an anonymous tenant.)

On Thursday, June 9th, 2016, an explosive and lengthy article was released in The Chicago Reader. Written by Aimee Levitt and Christopher Piatt, the report details the abuses taking place at the famed Profiles Theatre. The alleged abuser is actor/artistic director Darrell W. Cox, with co-founder/artistic director Joe Jahraus allegedly complicit to these abuses.

The story has since been picked up by Jezebel, Playbill, The New York Times, and The Chicago Sun-Times.

The day the story went into print, a group of art activists, led by Emma Couling and Gaby Labotka, took action in front of Profiles Theatre, handing out copies of the damning article. Later that stormy night, Legendary Lew and I got to witness them put up multiple Chicago Reader front page covers and the full article on the windows of Profiles Theatre.

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Art activists in front of Profiles Theatre. “Whatever the Truth Requires” is the Profiles’ mission statement. (Photo taken by a supporter.)

In the video featured below, you’ll hear Couling, Labotka, and Anna Rose li-Epstein state why they were demonstrating.

You can also visit the activist site, Not In Our House, where their mission statement reads, “Join us as we lead a cultural shift to strengthen our collective experience by working together to protect and develop our artists, our theatres, and our Chicago Theatre Community.” The activists featured in the video are not affiliated with Not In Our House, but are acting independently.

 

 

CLOSING NIGHT: “Incendium” by Chicago Slam Works

Incendium_Goldstar

~ by Ty Pi

March 4th, 2016 was the closing night of the world premiere of the Chicago Slam Works production of Incendium.  I had a chance to see their previous show, Handsome Animals, which explored the social construction of body image and gender.  The production was directed by J.W. Basillo and the writing team was led by Teagan Walsh-Davis.  I enjoyed that production quite a bit and eagerly awaited the chance to see their followup production, Incendium.  I attended on their closing night and I was not disappointed.

The structure of the two Chicago Slam Works productions mentioned here are rooted in poetry.  Handsome Animals delivered its content through a series of poems and short scenes.  Basillo once again helms Incendium (written by the performers), which presents itself more like a cabaret set on a black box stage at Stage 773.  The show comes equipped with not just poetry, but also songs, juggling, acrobatics, a burlesque number, and the occasional breaking of the fourth wall, going as far as to have the audience directly involved.  It goes against the norms of theatre and is performed with a great sense of fun.  Within this abstract circus lies one central theme: Death.  The concept of death is explored throughout most of the play, if not all of it.

For this theatre patron, their presentation of that theme is what not only made this ride worthwhile, but also necessary.  The production makes a heavy emphasis on how life is temporary, memories fade, life can be miserable, and death is inevitable.  Although these points are repeated, it works because these are all too true.  These theme are supported by the show’s examinations of time, individual identity, one’s sense of purpose in the world, and even the feeling of boredom.  The more I think about it, Incendium does not just make death a theme, but also more of a statement.  In a person’s lifetime, one will experience hardships, feelings of boredom, contemplate their sense of purpose in the world, memories of their life will fade, and until someone discovers the cure for mortality, death is inevitable.  Life is a temporary experience and we only get to do it once.

I am reminded of a quote from Orson Welles in his documentary, F for Fake.  “Our songs will all be silenced.  But what of it?  Go on singing!  Maybe a man’s name doesn’t matter all that much.”  Although such themes can be seen as too downbeat or morose, the show has a sense of fun about it, and at times becomes self-deprecating.  The play explores that when one of the performers named Noob (Joseph Ramski) tries to bring optimism into the situation, only to be crushed by everyone in a fashion that can be described as humorous cynicism.  My takeaway from that is that it’s easy to be cynical about life and death, but it does not change anything.  Instead of remaining pessimistic about it all, I felt the play encouraged me to become more optimistic and happy that I even get to experience life at all.

I extend my congratulations to the Chicago Slam Works cast and crew for their efforts to bring Incendium to life.  Although the run of the show has ended, their next production will premiere at Stage 773 on May 6th, 2016.  It is called This Great Nation, Much Enduring.  I was informed that this production will be about America.  Already, I am looking forward to seeing it, and I encourage you to head to their website to learn more about the poetry-forward company.

TUGM Hosts Chicago’s First Ever Razzies Themed Party and NEW AWARD!

RazzieLogo180by Legendary Lew

Tonight is the special night dedicated to bad movie buffs like me. TUGM will host a private Razzie-themed party. On hand will be themed food such as raspberry wings (Left Behind–it centers mostly on a plane); Transformers 4 Age of deviled egg-stinction; The Legend of Hummuscules; Teenage Mutant Ninja Chocolate Turtles and nothing representing Saving Christmas, because Kirk Cameron gets way too much attention already.

We will also present for the first time TUGM’s Movie Rumble, pitting two movies against each other for the coveted first-ever Golden Undie Award, given to the feature that wins the party audience vote for Best Future Cult Movie.  The contenders are “The Legend of Hercules” defended by Jack the Gripper and “Left Behind” defended by Gorgeous Gaffer Gorrillawitz.

I hope to have pictures of the evening’s events for you later after the event.

Mediatrocities #14: The “Gravity” Screenplay Legal Case, J-Lo’s New Thriller and the Literature FAIL, and JCVD’s Valentine Gift to Media Makers

Teacher/Student Tutoring Sesh

Teacher/Student Tutoring Sesh

by Legendary Lew

We’re giving you fair warning. Mediatrocities #14 had just launched and we’ve got a fun one for you! First up, author Tess Gerritsen responds to a court throwing out her breach of contract case regarding the screenplay for the Oscar-winning movie Gravity. Next, Jennifer Lopez tries to revitalize her movie career with a movie that’s caused a lot of howling laughter via social media. We’ll tell you why. Finally, Jean Claude Van Damme lets everyone know why he’s one of the coolest actors using social media. Mountain Drew, TyPi and Legendary Lew give their insights.

The episode is NSFW but plenty safe for your sanity. Give a listen!